Friday, June 21, 2019

This Week in Pics

The Board of Mesa County Commissioners proclaimed Saturday, June 22, 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. The St. Baldrick's Foundation is the largest volunteer-driven charity committed to funding research to find cures for childhood cancers. The Foundation currently funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization, except the U.S. government. Read more at https://bit.ly/2IvpoLm.
Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis talks to Joshua Vorse with KJCT News Channel 8, about an important public figure and role model in the Grand Valley—Tilman Bishop. Watch the interview at https://bit.ly/2WYjyeC. Tillie Bishop was a strong voice and successful advocate for the interests of the people in Mesa County and Colorado as a whole. Tillie was elected to serve a four-year term as a Mesa County Commissioner in November 2002.
Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters stands outside the Clifton satellite office for motor vehicles on Monday morning moments before the ribbon cutting ceremony gets underway to officially reopen.

Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters cut​s​ the ribbon to open the Clifton DMV officially. The office is located in the Peach Tree shopping center​, ​3225 I-70 Business Loop, Unit A2​. KJCT News Channel 8 reports that "Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters heard from residents that they had to take time off work or get babysitters to go to the DMV when there was just one office. Reopening closed offices was a goal of hers." Watch the interview at https://bit.ly/2IvILnO.
The Clifton office is open and ready to serve customers for all things motor vehicle-related. Find them in the Peach Tree shopping center behind Starvin' Arvin's, 3225 I-70 Business Loop, Unit A2.

Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters thanks Maintenance Supervisor Federico Vargas, right, and his crew for all their hard work and help in getting the Clifton office ready for business at the ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday morning.
Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese talks to residents about the role energy plays in Colorado, and gives a presentation on the Western States Rural Gas Initiative.

Mesa County Treasurer Sheila Reiner and staff members are celebrating because they were able to collect taxes that were past due since the 80s and were formally recognized with a letter of appreciation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. "Way to go team! Our office is very excited to have collected on these accounts and cleaned up past due balances from the 1980s!" said Treasurer Reiner. "Not often do you get recognition from a federal agency!"
The road over the Uncompahgre Plateau is now open. Here is a view from the top of the Uncompahgre Plateau on Thursday, June 20, 2019. At this time, all major roads are open across the Uncompahgre Plateau including 90 Road, Dave Wood Road, Divide Road, Transfer Road, and 25 Mesa Road.

Mesa County and the U.S. Forest Service Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests have opened Divide Road after a winter of steady snow combined with a wet spring. "Mesa County Road and Bridge crews have been working hard to reopen roads in the high country after snow accumulation, run-off, and road wash-outs from snowmelt and rain," said Road and Bridge Manager Rudy Bevan. "We urge visitors to stay off secondary roads that are still drying out." Read more at https://bit.ly/2XqNe3m.
Mesa County Department of Human Services Executive Director Tracey Garchar shares with Inside Mesa County class participants that DHS's responsibility is to ​to ​help individuals and families achieve safety, stabilization and opportunity for meaningful employment. Currently, DHS serves approximately 30 percent of the county's population, which is roughly 60,000 individuals. 

Mesa County Attorney Patrick Coleman talks to residents about the internal functions and operations of his office. 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 government departments.

Jeremy Savage, Chief Deputy County Attorney for Human Services, represents the people of the State of Colorado in certain human services proceedings including adult protection, mental health, dependency and neglect, and in other civil matters relating to the Department of Human Services. Savage shares with Inside Mesa County attendees that he is in court almost every day.

On Thursday morning, at the hazardous waste facility, Bill Clarke preps lithium batteries for shipment by taping the terminals to reduce the risk of contact and fire.

Shay Starr helps a resident check out free items available for reuse at the hazardous waste facility.

Teresa Nees rings up a customer paying for electronic waste disposal while Jason McLarty assists a caller. Learn more about hazardous waste disposal at https://www.mesacounty.us/swm/hazardous-waste/.

Matt Younger unloads residential waste to bring to the hazardous materials collection facility on Thursday afternoon.

Mesa County Solid Waste Director Jennifer Richardson gets ready to give Mesa County residents a tour of the solid waste campus, 3071 US Highway 50.

Residents learn about how latex paint is recycled and added to a mineral slurry mix to spray on top of the trash collected at the Mesa County Landfill as a daily cover.

Mesa County Solid Waste Director Jennifer Richardson explains to residents the importance of keeping flammable, poisonous and toxic waste out of the landfill.

Hazardous Materials Manager Teresa Nees shares with Inside Mesa County class participants, touring the solid waste campus Thursday afternoon, that it is crucial to keep medical waste out of the landfill. Residents can pick up containers to recycle medical waste and sharps for free. She also reminded residents they can drop off medical waste at no charge.

Teresa Nees with Hazardous Materials talks to residents about adequately disposing of lightbulbs. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) are energy saving light bulbs and do not belong in the landfill because they contain mercury.

Mesa County Solid Waste Director Jennifer Richardson educates residents on materials and items that can be recycled so that they don't end up in the landfill. Learn more about recycling at https://www.mesacounty.us/swm/recycling/.

A mountain of yard waste will soon be turned into compost — Mesa Magic. Learn more about compost at https://www.mesacounty.us/swm/composting/purchasing-compost/

Compost is a soil amendment that is a mixture of decomposed organic materials. Compost improves soil structure, texture, and aeration while increasing the ability of soil to retain water. Compost loosens clay soils, aids in erosion control, promotes soil fertility and stimulates root development. To produce rapid composting with high-quality results, Mesa County creates an environment favorable to the naturally occurring thermophilic (heat-loving) bacteria and fungi that break down organic matter.  By controlling particle size and porosity, as well as the moisture and oxygen contents of composting materials within scientifically prescribed parameters, the "microscopic bugs" do the work of mother-nature quickly and with predictable results. In a period between four and six months, green waste is converted to compost, a dark colored, nutrient-rich soil amendment.
The Western Slope Breastfeeding Coalition set up a tent at the Bluegrass Festival in Palisade last weekend.

Registered Nurse Melanie Duyvejonck with Nurse Family Partnership (NFP), attends the Palisade Bluegrass Festival as part of the Western Slope Breastfeeding Coalition, a coalition that works together to help provide support and resources for breastfeeding families in the community.



The Western Slope Breastfeeding Coalition is just getting started, and this was the first informational booth! Their mission is is to build and link resources so that every family on the Western Slope has knowledge and support.

Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese talks to a group of residents about putting the National Popular Vote to a vote of the people on the November 2020 ballot. The Board of County Commissioners adopted a resolution on April 1, 2019, encouraging voters in Mesa County to sign the petition. For more information on the resolution visit, http://blog.mesacounty.us/2019/04/commissioners-adopt-national-popular.html.

In honor of National Selfie Day, Mesa County Department of Human Services made a collage! 

Smile! Today, Friday, June 21, 2019, is National Selfie Day!
Mesa County Fairgrounds will be hosting the ​Traxxas Monster Truck Destruction Tour​ this ​Saturday, June 22​ at​ 1:30​ p.m.​ ​and​ 7:30​ p.m. ​Information ​regarding the show ​may be found at www.MonsterXTour.com​.​

Mesa County personnel and public safety officials perform a safety inspection in preparation of the Monster Truck show. Safety is always first.

Incredible transformers and a flaming firetruck will deliver a couple of shows this Saturday, June 22 for the entire family to see. See you at the Mesa County Fairgrounds!

Road Over Uncompahgre Plateau is Now Open

A view from the top of the Uncompahgre Plateau on Thursday, June 20, 2019.

Mesa County and the U.S. Forest Service Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests have opened Divide Road after a winter of steady snow combined with a wet spring.

At this time, all major roads are open across the Uncompahgre Plateau including 90 Road, Dave Wood Road, Divide Road, Transfer Road, and 25 Mesa Road.

"Mesa County Road and Bridge crews have been working hard to reopen roads in the high country after snow accumulation, run-off, and road wash-outs from snowmelt and rain," said Road and Bridge Manager Rudy Bevan. "We urge visitors to stay off secondary roads that are still drying out."

Driving on muddy roads creates deep ruts that damage roads and trails, and it increases the chances of getting vehicles stuck, please use caution when heavy snowmelt or rain is present.


Two designated campgrounds on the plateau—Iron Springs and Columbine—are open to the public at this time.  For more information about the GMUG, including campground information, please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/gmug.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

St. Baldrick's Day is June 22!

The Board of Mesa County Commissioners proclaimed Saturday, June 22, 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.

The St. Baldrick's Foundation is the largest volunteer-driven charity committed to funding research to find cures for childhood cancers. The Foundation currently funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization, except the U.S. government.

Mesa County Commissioners call upon residents to recognize the seriousness of childhood cancers and the exemplary work of the St. Baldrick's Foundation. Pictured above from left: Commissioner Scott McInnis, Robyn Carmine, Commissioner Rose Pugliese, Jim Hamlin, and Commissioner John Justman.
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 8th 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.

To learn more about the Grand Junction event, or to get involved, visit:  www.stbaldricks.org/events/gv19.

Join St. Baldrick's at the 8th Annual Grand Junction Head Shaving Event on Saturday, June 22, at Avalon Theater.

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This Week in Pics

Mesa County Commissioners proclaim June 2019 as Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month in Mesa County. From left to right: Commissioner Scott McInnis, Development Manager on the Western Slope Tonja Keuper-Rinaldo, Commissioner John Justman, Regional Director for the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado Debra Bianchi, and Commissioner Rose Pugliese. Read more at https://bit.ly/2WzVgrc.

Debra Bianchi, Regional Director for the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado (left) and Tonja Keuper-Rinaldo, Development Manager on the Western Slope, accept the Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month proclamation in public hearing. 

The Board of Mesa County Commissioners approved an agreement between Mesa County and Singletrack Trails, Inc. for Palisade Plunge Phase I, for $678,639.76. This phase of the project consists of 13.5 miles of trail from Highway 6 to Lands End Road.
Mesa County Public Works Director Pete Baier and Engineering Division Director Scott Mai (at podium) brief the Board of Commissioners on the progress and status of the Palisade Plunge. Mesa County was awarded a $527,000.00 grant to help with Phase I of the construction of the Palisade Plunge.
Have you tried plogging?  It's a combination of jogging and picking up litter.  Epidemiologist, Chelsea Stacey, (left) and Public Health Clinic Manager, Allison Sanchez, (right) do a modified version along with the MCPH team.  We walked at a fast pace and picked up around the Community Services Building as part of Spring Clean day.


30 minutes, and a huge 30+ gallon trash bag full of litter later, some employees of MCPH health gather for a photo after plogging.

Mesa County Public Health WIC Educators Cara Lee (left) and Marissa Alvarado (right) inform residents at the Summer Meals Kickoff about the importance of nutrition to give kids a healthy start.

Andy Gingerich, Regional Transportation Planning Office Transit Coordinator, was out of the office for a few weeks because he is a NEW dad, his son Leo Martin Bruegger Gingerich was born on May 29, 2019. When Andy arrived back to the office, last week, his cube was decorated to look like a bus. The picture features Andy aboard the daddy bus. Congratulations, Andy!

New detour — Grand Valley Transit (GVT) can no longer travel on Orchard Avenue to 28 ½ Road due to road construction.
Mesa County Commissioner John Justman talks to KJCT News 8 Reporter Chris Schumann about why moving the BLM headquarters to Grand Junction would be of benefit to the local economy.

Mesa County Public Health Executive Director Jeff Kuhr talks to Inside Mesa County (IMC) participants about a recent community health assessment and its findings.

Mesa County Coroner Victor Yahn presents to IMC participants about the functions and responsibilities of his office. The Mesa County Coroner’s Office investigates approximately 660 cases and conducts about 150 autopsies per year, the Coroner and his staff recognize each death reported to the Mesa County Coroner’s Office represents the death of a person whose absence is grieved by relatives and friends.

The road closure on Lands End Road on the Grand Mesa is still in effect. Currently, several sections of the road are still more than halfway covered with snow, and in a few parts, gravel and rocks have fallen through the geogrid making the road unsafe for travel. 

Traveling on thawing, saturated, and muddy roads can result in resource damage and severe safety concerns, especially if visitors are unprepared. Mesa County crews have been monitoring snow accumulation and melt on Lands End Road on the Grand Mesa and are working there this week to reopen the road.

Lands End Road on the Grand Mesa has been closed since Dec. 1, 2018, and is expected to reopen in a couple of weeks depending on snowmelt. Pictured here is Kevin Holderness standing on top of a snowdrift, which covers a large part of the road at the top of Lands End Road toward Highway 65.
The Mesa County Hazardous Waste Collection facility received and shipped out over 13,000 pounds of TVs, computers, and other regulated electronic devices from April 1- May 30.   For more information, visit https://www.mesacounty.us/swm/hazardous-waste/.

Shay Starr with the Hazardous Waste Collection Facility stages a stacked and secured pile of televisions to load on the truck for shipment to the final recycling vendor. You can properly dispose of your regulated electronic waste at the Hazardous Waste Collection Facility for $0.42 per pound.


Ryan Kyle, Solid Waste Management Regulatory Compliance Specialist, helps load TVs and other electronic waste onto the truck for final processing and recycling. Electronic waste is banned from all Colorado landfills and must be disposed of properly.

Jason McLarty and Matt Younger with the Hazardous Waste Collection Facility unload a trailer with 1,378 pounds of TVs and other electronic waste that was illegally discarded on public lands. Help keep your county and our public lands clean and healthy by properly disposing of your electronic waste at the Hazardous Waste Collection Facility or other waste management providers in town.

Robert Topliss is an operator with Mesa County Solid Waste Management who helps compact and bury the trash at the landfill. Last week he ran over a buried oxygen cylinder with a piece of equipment, and it ruptured below him. Robert was able to spot another cylinder and pull it out of the pile. Please be mindful of the health of our landfill and the safety of our workers and call ahead to learn tips to properly dispose of your pressurized cylinders!
Mesa County Department of Human Services (DHS) staff members participate in Partners Superstars annual event hosted at Colorado Mesa University.

Partners Superstars is an annual event that raises money for Partners, a local youth program. Various Mesa County agencies had teams to compete in volleyball, basketball, tug-o-war, obstacle course, and corn hole. The event was hosted after-hours at Colorado Mesa University.

The DHS team raised over $900 to benefit Mesa County Partners, a program that helps youth develop a positive self-image and acceptance of responsibility for their actions. Tickets to the event were $10 and included a raffle ticket. Participants attended the after-hours event at Colorado Mesa University. Pictured here: John Moran, DHS Social Case Worker, participates in a game of corn hole.
6.3 Road, also known as the Niche Road, is closed due to multiple rock slides. The road is not expected to reopen until mid to late July. Mesa County’s priority is to protect residents and road infrastructure.
Mesa County crews continue cleaning drainages and blading the roads on the Uncompahgre. Pictured above is the last gate on the Mesa County side before you get to the Mesa/Montrose county line gate.  The gate is damaged and will be repaired.