Monday, June 07, 2010

Getting To 'The Point'

Leetsdale, PA - I left Grand Junction on Friday afternoon, and arrived here in the wee hours of Sunday morning, driving 1700 miles in 34 hours, 26 of them spent on the road, actually the same road, a straight shot on I-70.

My fiancee Leslie and her two daughters live here, a small town with a large industrial presence along the Ohio River about 15 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. I'm not far from the hospital where Leslie and I were both born, and can easily walk to where we went to high school.

I'm here because Leslie said she needed my help. Her youngest daughter, Michaela, has been fighting cancer for the last 4 1/2 years, and right now is having a hard time. I'm writing in more detail about her struggle, which I've chronicled periodically in the past, and will have more about that soon. We head for Children's Hospital later this morning.

One of the things that I think about when I come back here are the similarities between Grand Junction and Pittsburgh. One of these is the location of both cities along the confluence of at least two rivers.

The recent news stories about the trashing of a homeless camp near what is called "The Point" in Grand Junction brought to mind a stark contrast and a revelation that I found interesting.

The confluence of the Grand (now Colorado) and Gunnison Rivers that is Grand Junction's namesake shares a nickname with Pittsburgh's more famous and developed confluence, pictured below.

Below is a map overview of Grand Junction's "Point", which appears to be railroad right-of-way. Note the different shading of some of the land areas in comparison to others.

The parcels shaded in tan are within the city limits of Grand Junction. The parcels in white are in unincorporated Mesa County. Yes, it does appear that the namesake of the City of Grand Junction is not even within the city limits of Grand Junction.

This begs another observation regarding the investigation of the allegations of misconduct by the three GJPD officers that were eventually fired for their actions. News reports and the City's press releases all stated that the investigation into the vandalism at the homeless camp was conducted by the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.

What appears to have gone unreported is that the MCSO may have conducted the investigation because the location of the incident was in their jurisdiction, and not that of the Grand Junction Police Department. More fuel for the "Where's the City Limits this week?" file.

Have a great week ahead.

Photo credits:

Mesa County GIS

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