Friday, June 22, 2018

This Week in Pics

The Board of Mesa County Commissioners proclaimed Saturday, June 23, as St. Baldrick's Day in Mesa County and calls upon residents to recognize the seriousness of childhood cancers and the exemplary work of the St. Baldrick's Foundation. Read more at
Each year, more than 160,000 children are diagnosed with cancer worldwide, many of whom live in our community. Enlisting the support of community members at events such as the 7th annual Grand Junction Head Shaving Event will help to raise awareness and move closer to finding cures and better treatment options for children battling this disease. Pictured here: 3-year-old Grand Junction resident, and Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) survivor, Hadlee C. To learn more about the Grand Junction event, or to get involved, visit: Join St. Baldrick's at the 7th Annual Grand Junction Head Shaving Event on Saturday, June 23, at Charlie Dwellington's, 103 N. 1st St.

Mesa County Public Works crews clean up after a flash flood on V.2 Road west of De Beque. 

Flash flood clean up gets underway west of De Beque on V.2 Road.
The Mesa County overlay and chip seal program is well underway. We appreciate your attention around our crews, please slow down and drive safely.

Mesa County crews continue road work in the Fruita Area. Short road delays should be expected.

County crews chip seal a road. Chip seal can be completed over existing gravel surfaces, chip sealed surfaces, or unsealed asphalt. 

A dump truck full of chips (gravel) locks on to the chip spreader and is pulled backward. A thin layer of liquid asphalt is sprayed down in front of the chip spreader.
The chip seal process is completed by a distributor truck spraying oil over the surface at an even rate followed by a chip spreader evenly distributing the rock over the oil. Then, a rubber-tired roller is used to set the aggregate into the oil.
Left to right: Women, Infants & Children (WIC) Educator Marissa Alvarado, Child Care Nurse Consultant Heidi Belatti and WIC Educator Cristal Chavez learned a lot at a three-day Lactation Management Specialist training in Denver. The training will come in handy, as WIC offers lactation consulting for moms in Mesa County!
Mesa County Public Health Executive Director Jeff Kuhr presents to the Inside Mesa County class, Wednesday evening. The class gives residents a chance to learn more about their local government.
Mesa County Department of Human Services Executive Director Tracey Garchar tells the IMC class that DHS currently serves approximately 40 percent of the county's population. 

Executive Director Tracey Garchar talks to the class about the goals of the Mesa County Workforce Center, which is to help customers find meaningful employment and match local talent to local employers. 

Delilah, a current resident at Mesa County Animal Services, climbs on top of the table to see what is happening on the other side of the door. 

Mesa County Animal Services Officer Kevin Bozarth checks in a stray dog.
Noxious Weed & Pest Management employees joined new members at Western Colorado Conservation Corps for herbicide application technical training, including how to properly calibrate the backpack sprayers.

Alan Barbee and Willie Wilkins with Noxious Weed & Pest Management give pointers to a new WCCC member.

Mesa County Noxious Weed & Pest Management employees tour the orchards at the Western Colorado Research Center to learn more about horticultural pest management and fruit tree health.

Dr. Ioannis Minas, the Pomologist with the Western Colorado Research Center, leads the workshop and field tour, and shares findings from cytospora management studies. Cytospora is a common fungus that affects fruit trees in the valley and was recently added to the list of regulated pests in the Upper Grand Valley Pest Control District which has contributed funding to increase the awareness and management capacity by commercial fruit growers.
Beau Schmalz and Matthew Younger stock the shelves at the Mesa County Hazardous Waste Collection Facility. The facility, located at 3071 Highway 50, is the first building on the left as you enter the Mesa County Solid Waste campus. Stop by Thursdays or Fridays, at any time between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Hazardous waste includes cleaning products, automotive cleaners, garden chemicals, aerosol cans, antifreeze, old gasoline, paints, motor oil and more. Proper disposal helps prevent accidental poisonings and fire hazards in the home.

Hazardous Materials Manager Hope Petrie gives IMC class members a tour of the electronic waste holding unit. As of July 1, 2013, electronic waste was banned from all Colorado landfills. Electronics contain mercury, lead, cadmium and hexavalent chromium which are hazardous to people and the environment when not properly recycled. In addition to hazardous materials, electronics contain large amounts of glass, metal and plastic that can be recycled. The Hazardous Waste Collection Facility accepts electronics from residents and businesses of Mesa County for a fee of $.42 per pound.

Hazardous Material Manager Hope Petrie explains how latex paint is processed for recycling purposes. Waste latex paint, collected at the Hazardous Household Waste facility, mixed with commercial spray slurry, is used as an alternative daily cover at the landfill instead of shipping the paint off-site for recycling or disposal. The daily cover is applied atop a day's accumulation of trash to prevent the interaction between the waste and the air, reducing odors. The innovative process turns waste paint into a useable material that saves money.

Mesa County Solid Waste  Director Barrett Jensen explains to IMC class participants that the Mesa County Landfill accepts 175,000 tons of waste annually, which equates to approximately 7 pounds of garbage per person, per day. However, between 65 to 75 percent of what is thrown away can be composted, recycled or reused.
Mesa County Animal Services Manager Doug Frye welcomes the 2018 IMC class to the newly remodeled Animal Services facility. Animal Services enforces animal ordinances that protect the safety and welfare of the people and pets of Mesa County. Additionally, they collaborate with animal welfare agencies to rehome pets and to provide community education promoting responsible pet ownership

A tiny, 2-week-old kitten peaks out of his kennel at the Mesa County Animal Services facility.
Happy birthday, Mesa County Administrator Frank Whidden!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

This Week in Pics

The first Unaffiliated ballot batch opened in Mesa County was processed by Election Judges Marilyn Dent, Barbara Brewer, KC Anderson and Julia Marston on June 11.
Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Sheila Reiner explains to a voter, over the phone, how ballot order is determined. 
Bipartisan teams of election judges open ballot envelopes and verify the correct ballot style was completed and that only one ballot has been returned.
Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis tells KKCO Channel 11 News Reporter Megan McNeil that residents who paid a fee to the Grand Valley Drainage District should get their money back after a judged ruled that the fees collected were unconstitutional and violated the taxpayer bill of rights. Watch the interview, here.

The Board of Mesa County Commissioners proclaimed June 2018, as Toastmasters Month in Mesa County and encouraged citizens to join in this observance by attending and participating in a Toastmasters Club meeting during June.
Debra Kemp, left, and other members of Talk of the Town Toastmasters accept the proclamation. Toastmasters Clubs jointly present communication and leadership workshops for the community to become competent speakers and leaders.

After going for a walk, Rhino lays in front of the fan to cool off.

Animal Services Officer Kevin Bozarth socializes with one of the shelter dogs.
Mesa County Sheriff's deputies assist in the 416 Fire north of Durango.

Several emergency agencies, including the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, attend the 416 Fire morning briefing. At one point the fire had spread over 32,959 acres.

An officer directs traffic at the North Hwy 550 checkpoint. The 416 Fire started at about 10 a.m. on June 1, 2018, about 10 miles north of Durango. The fire is burning on the west side of State Highway 550 on private land and on the San Juan National Forest.

Mesa County Sheriff's deputies help direct traffic at the South Hwy 550 checkpoint due to road closures caused by the 416 Fire.

Chief Deputy Coroner Victor Yahn presented at a Lunch N Learn at Mesa County Workforce Center, last week. Staff members used their lunch hour to learn about the Mesa County Coroner's Office and their responsibilities.

Health Promotion Specialist Kelsey Fife shared information about tobacco cessation at the WELLTalks event at Mesa County Workforce Center, last week.
Mesa County Attorney Patrick Coleman presents to the Inside Mesa County (IMC) class Wednesday evening. The Mesa County Attorney is appointed by the Mesa County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) and supervises the County Attorney's Office. The County Attorney's Office provides legal advice to the BOCC and, upon approval of the BOCC, represents Mesa County, all elected Mesa County officials, boards, commissions and various Mesa County departments.

Chief Deputy County Attorney Jeremy Savage talks to the IMC class about his duties, responsibilities and the cases he works on. 

Mesa County Chief Deputy Coroner Victor Yahn gave the IMC class an overview about what the Office of the Coroner is tasked with. The Coroner's Office is mandated by Colorado Revised Statute and is a separate and independent organization, which conducts investigations into the cause and manner of a person’s death.
Many Mesa County Department of Human Services (DHS) employees took a tour of the Mesa County Solid Waste Campus to learn more about the services that they provide to the community. 

DHS employees tour the Mesa County Landfill.  

Mesa County Solid Waste Director Barrett Jensen welcomes DHS employees to the Solid Waste Campus, 3071 U.S. Highway 50, Tuesday morning.

Several DHS employees took a tour of the Mesa County Solid Waste Campus and learned about why keeping green waste out of the landfill and diverting it to a compost facility is important.

DHS Services Operations Supervisor Albin Escamilla tours the solid waste campus.

DHS Accounting Technician Dalys Otberg spends her birthday with her coworkers touring the Mesa County Landfill. Otberg coordinated the tour because she believes sharing knowledge and awareness within agencies is important.
Teresa Nees with Noxious Weed & Pest Management spraying for the invasive weed Dalmatian Toadflax on a roadside near a pasture in Collbran.

Alan Barbee with Noxious Weed & Pest Management setting up a road work sign to alert drivers of weed spraying. The noxious weed crew walked several miles of roadside scouting for and treating the aggressive but rare noxious weed Dalmatian Toadflax in Molina and Collbran.

A view from above Plateau Valley on the Grand Mesa.
In honor of National Garbage Man Day, Mesa County Employee Association (MCEA) stopped by the Mesa County Solid Waste Campus to recognize staff for their hard work and dedication.

MCEA provided cupcakes for the Mesa County Solid Waste staff Friday morning in honor of National Garbage Man Day.

Left to right: Hope Petrie, Beau Schmalz, Jason Mclarty, Barrett Jensen, Jennifer Richardson, and Matthew Younger. 

 MCEA representatives and Solid Waste Management staff pause for a picture. From left to right: Beau Schmalz, Jason Mclarty, Donna Redd, Matthew Younger, Amy Joy, Jennifer Richardson, Barrett Jensen, Lisa Petty, Rene Romero and Hope Petrie. 
Mesa County Elections Director Tim Long measures the height of staff members Jesse and Jacob in a standoff on Friday after setting up the Voter Service and Polling Center. Jacob Worth, left, won towering over his competition at 6-feet and 3 3/4 inches. 

Tim wins third place. Enough said.

It's not the 4th of July yet, but it was Flag Day on Thursday, June 14. Staff at both DHS and WFC got into Flag Day spirit by dressing in red, white and blue to celebrate! Pictured here is Adult Protection & SEP Ongoing Team (from left to right): Matthew Allen, Jillian Wilson, Heather Jones, ReAnna Hickman, April Durham, Dyann Walt, Cheryl Brown, Justin Arnold, John Moran.

211 Call Specialists show their Flag Day spirit (from left to right): Andrew Escamilla, Dana Weseman, Shonte Felker.

Flag Day spirit (from left to right):  Kathleen Gerlok, Misty Ulibarri, Manny Tarango, and Alicia Ramirez.

Child Support Specialist Jenifer Shultz dresses for Flag Day.

Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese speaks at a luncheon on Friday to give updates on the Jordan Cove Project and her recent trip to Washington D.C.

Mesa County Commissioner John Justman speaks regarding the Jordan Cove Project.

The Elections Crew said goodbye to Jesse Redmond! He will thankfully see them through Election Day part-time. From left to right: Rebecca White, Karen Reiher, Tim Long, Vince Cordova, Jacob Worth, Jesse Redmond, Jackie Campbell and Sheila Reiner.