They continue to say they're still trying to determine to time (start of failure, end), but they're reasonably confident it isn't more than a month's period. The failed equipment in question was sent to CSP dispatch in Craig, where apparently they have people who can figure this out, per CSP.Mr. Shockley also stated he's made additional inquiries to the State Patrol, and hopes to have additional information from them soon.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
- I believe that EMS is a full part of the community public safety system.
- I hope that the controversy over who flips burgers for golfers will not negatively affect the City's process in selecting who will provide Emergency Medical Services for the next 5 years. These services have been competently provided by the Fire Department, and their provision should remain with them.
- I believe that the provision of EMS resides at an equal level with the provision of Police and Fire services. As such, all of these services must be provided in a way that is unencumbered by anything that impedes excellent service delivery and public accountability. In my opinion, these benchmarks transcend and exclude any profit motive.
- The same principles used to decide who will flip burgers for golfers cannot be used to decide who will be saving the lives of those golfers that clutch their chests and drop on the 14th fairway. The latter bears no relationship to the former in terms of overall importance to the community at large.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
First and foremost, change in our society and culture must come from within. No amount of finger-pointing and prodigious punditry will do anything at all unless hearts and minds are moved beyond words and toward personal action.
I have chosen to ignore the "blamethrowers" that seek to try to find some kind of barely plausible explanation for the actions of an irrational individual. These people spray the airwaves and cyberspace with their drivel, and leave a scorched, uninhabitable landscape of hysteria and hyperbole in their wake, much like their namesake in war. I'm pretty much fully aligned with Tuesday's editorial in the Daily Sentinel - all except the fact that it's paywalled.
That being said, I was largely unimpressed with what I saw on MSNBC Monday night. Keith Olbermann was a bit overblown, but brought some good points to the forefront. Now if only I could remember some of them. Rachel Maddow was focused on the NICS process for screening gun applicants, even in her Facebook posts before the show. I took the time to comment there:
I'm having a hard time seeing the point here. Absent of being convicted of a felony or a domestic violence-related crime, or being adjudicated mentally ill by a judge, Mr. Loughner's gun purchase was legal under the laws of the United States and of Arizona. Even tighter laws on gun purchases will do what, specifically?Ms. Maddow started her show by recalling and listing all of the major gun violence incidents of the last fifteen years or so. Like Olbermann, she also brought attention to the "gunsight" graphics now formerly a part of the website for Sarah Palin's PAC. Ms. Maddow was focused on legal remedies to wanton gun violence. As Leslie is so fond of saying, blah, blah, blah..
As much as I agree that political histrionics may have something to do with Mr. Loughner's actions as a consequence of mental illness, I'm very hesitant to try to pin this on any one particular segment of our society. Sheriff Dupnik was right that free speech has consequences, but are we about to muzzle people as a result? Think along those lines before you start thinking about additional gun restrictions, or even worse, scrutinizing people for signs of 'mental illness'.
The Sentinel editorial also briefly touched on this nation's cavalier approach to mental health treatment, and the stigma that still surrounds those who may have some form of mental illness that is not being treated. This includes a significant percentage of homeless individuals.
It's not just one thing that is setting people off - it's the manner in which our society glorifies excess, taking advantage of one's fellow man, the generally disingenuous approach toward living, and what constitutes success, in this purportedly Christian nation.
As much as I enjoy Internet discourse - sometimes to my detriment - I have to realize that there are people out there who take things too literally, and who don't understand sarcasm. The more misunderstandings we have, the greater the probability of negative reactions to them.
Olbermann and Maddow continued down the same path on Tuesday evening. Keith reviewed previous presidential speeches in the wake of mass killings. He focused on President Clinton's speech to mourners after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing as an example of how President Obama needs to perform in Tucson tonight. I don't care much for this politically expedient line of thinking - it detracts from the respect we should be having for the mourners, and from the reason that the President is going to be there.
Rachel Maddow continued to focus on gun laws, specifically the assault weapons ban that was allowed to sunset in 2004, which if in place would not have allowed Mr. Loughner to allegedly purchase a 30-round clip for his legally obtained Glock 9mm pistol.
Knowing gun laws and the systems that support them, I'm not convinced that additional laws will have the desired effect, except to inflame those who are already a little paranoid about the government banning all guns - an extreme concept that for me has no sustainability in rational thought. But we're not talking about rational thinking when we talk about Tucson.
The question for me remains, how can our society readily identify someone who is mentally unstable to the point that Mr. Loughner allegedly was, and based on that how do we deny that person their rights under the Second Amendment, not mention the rest of the Bill of Rights?
The answer does not lie in more gun laws, but in caring for our citizens the way that they deserve to be cared for. That does not start with the government - it starts with you and me. Mental health services are part and parcel of health care. Instead of focusing on hasty new gun laws, perhaps Mr. Boehner and the House should be re-thinking the logic behind their hasty attempt at repealing "Obamacare".
Connection and opposition are both fundamental to human relationships. We approach others and define ourselves by asking, consciously or instinctively, “Is she like me? Am I like him?” Those whose words are broadcast across the public sphere – and the Internet makes it easier for words to spread widely and quickly – can take advantage of either impulse: awaken compassion by helping us see others as fundamentally like us, or instigate hostility and aggression by reminding us that we’re different. In the extreme, they can lead us to forget or deny others’ humanity entirely.
Friday, January 07, 2011
"Mesa State College does not currently have an automated system that will contact the fire department. However, during the summer (of 2009) MSC will be undertaking a controlled maintenance system project that will be updating all of MSC's aging monitoring systems with state-of-the-art systems that will all be linked together on the college's fiber network."This week I decided to re-contact those that I spoke with back then, and ascertain the status of these planned improvements, especially as they relate to non-fire related water leaks of the type that struck the College Center last week. I sent e-mails to MSC Media Relations Director Dana Nunn and Grand Junction Fire Department Public Information Officer Mike Page, asking about the status of the Controlled Maintenance System project, and what it's designed to do.
Yes, work was completed on Controlled Maintenance Project M06002, Campus Fire Alarms in June, 2010. Fire alarm systems are used to notify others (MSC, emergency services, etc.) in the event of a fire or if/when problems arise in the various sensors and annunciators within the building. These sensors were not triggered by the events on New Year's Eve. Cleanup and restoration of the facility is ongoing.The GJFD also received an extensive response from Kent Marsh, MSC Facilities Manager, that they shared with me. Mr. Marsh went into more detail about the nature of the incident, and the capabilities of the College's new monitoring system:
Fire alarm systems are used to notify others (MSC, emergency services, etc.) in the event of a fire or if/when problems arise in the various sensors and annunciators within the building. Said incidents will ether notify College personnel (faulty annunciator, detector, etc.) or both College personnel and emergency services (fire, smoke, etc.) depending on the type of alarm / emergency detected. Unfortunately, the leak that caused all of the damage occurred within three separate heat pumps inside the building. Said heat pumps are not connected into the Notifier alarm panel in the building.
The flooding that occurred in the College Center was in no way connected with the fire suppression systems within the building so neither emergency responders or MSC personnel were alerted. In addition, the building's Direct Digital Controls were not set up to monitor make up water in the building's geo loop. However, MSC has asked the same questions about the building's Direct Digital Controls and Notifier Alarm system to determine if either system has the capability of alerting MSC personnel in the event of a water leak inside the building.
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
When he's out and about near his Denver home, former Broncos quarterback John Elway has come up with a novel way to travel incognito—he wears his own jersey. "I do that all the time here," the 50-year-old Hall of Famer told me. "I go to the mall that way. They know it's not me because they say there's no way Elway would be wearing his own jersey in the mall. So it actually is the safest thing to do."
In trying to think about what the future will look like for myself and my family, I was trying to think of what significant changes have come about over the last four years for our society and culture, and how we've responded to them. While the economy and the job market are clearly issues now, so is the proliferation of social media across all segments of our society. What started with MySpace is now being carried on by Facebook and others, and the number of participants has grown exponentially.
This fact was not lost on me when Michaela passed away in July. A benefit was organized to help Leslie with expenses, and a Facebook page was quickly created. This helped the word get out to numerous people who otherwise would have not been informed. Lots of messages and comments expressing sympathy and support were generated.
I compare this to the throng of people who lined up at the funeral home for visitation, and the conversations Leslie and I had with many of them. As much as the online exposure helped to get the word out, and helped those separated by the miles to express their sorrow, the face-to-face interaction seemed more meaningful and memorable.
So as social media has the power to connect and mobilize us, it paradoxically adds to our collective isolation and separation, especially from those who feel that an email or a tweet can somehow be any kind of replacement for a warm embrace and tender expressions of love, concern, or sympathy.
What I also find intriguing is how much one can structure their online appearance to represent something not at all resembling their real emotional condition, and in fact communicate in a way that their true feelings are only apparent to certain people. The social media researcher Danah Boyd identified some of these trends in an August blog post.
Dubbing this practice "Social Steganography", Ms. Boyd explained how certain groups, in this case teenagers, engage in "communicating to different audiences simultaneously, relying on specific cultural awareness to provide the right interpretive lens". She used the example of the song "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" from Monty Python's Life of Brian, and how a hypothetical teenager used it to convey a message:
We've all got problems - My impression is that most people that have a group of close friends do not want their particular set of circumstances out on the Internet for all to see. One friend of mine had a long-term marriage come to an end this year; a former co-worker uprooted everything and everyone for supposedly greener pastures, only to return within weeks. I haven't spoken with these people in years, yet I know about these things because of Facebook. This helped to bring me to a true realization of the potential power of social networking to connect, as well as to conceal.
Her mother wrote her a note saying that she seemed happy which made her laugh. But her closest friends knew that this song appears in the movie when the characters are about to be killed. They reached out to her immediately to see how she was really feeling.
This leads me back to my current set of circumstances. I've made a mess of my life in a lot of ways, and need to make some changes. Knowing the path is not the same as walking it, however, and I'm frequently reminded of my shortcomings by seemingly well-intentioned silence and avoidance on the part of others.
I'm praying for the courage to face the fear of rejection, failure, and enmity, and move in the direction that I feel is the best for myself and my family, both old and new. This will hopefully culminate with a wedding in early spring, and the promise of building a life with Leslie as a pair through strength, not separation. I hope that somehow I can prove to myself and to others that this is much better than being alone, or by engaging in relationships that may have esoteric benefits, but are otherwise hollow and brittle.
Notice how the camera zooms in ever so slowly, until at the end of the song we're right in his face. The feeling and the anguish of the lyric is there right in front of us. Is this something that a tweet can substitute for?
This song came out during my senior year of high school. It carries a lot of meaning in retrospect; if we had voted on a "class song" like they do today, it could have been this one.
Saturday, January 01, 2011
While working on the 'Words' program for January, I found this piece of music that I am attracted to for the poignant and reflective nature of the lyric, and how it relates to my life over the last several years.