Weed, greed & need:  The 2010 year in review

It’s that time when we look back on the past year — at our memories, the special moments, all of our achievements — and say, “Well that sucked.”

So we won’t look back at 2010 too long, just at the important things that happened, beginning in:


Fallout from the case of accused swindler Phillip Lochmiller continues as he makes his first court appearance in federal court. A U.S. magistrate agrees to release him on a $100,000 bond, but Lochmiller says he cannot afford it. He goes on to say that if the magistrate will release him now, he promises to pay him back the money in 60 days with 18 percent interest.

A long cold snap threatens western Colorado farms, including the grape harvest. One local peach grower says half of his trees are damaged, while workers at the Mesa State forensics department’s controversial new body farm say the recent freeze has completely wiped out this year’s crop.


Federal authorities continue their raids and investigations into alleged thefts of Native American artifacts. Confiscated artifacts include an 18th century pipe from the Ute Indian tribe, a 17th century arrowhead from the Anasazis and a 1971 video poker machine from the Ute Mountain Casino.


Authorities investigate reports that odors from a medical marijuana growing operation seeped into an adjoining office occupied by the U.S. Census office. Law enforcement becomes suspicious after local census officials peg Mesa County’s population at “489 million people.”


A Grand Junction man pleads guilty to dragging a dog to death. Following legal precedent in previous dog torturing cases, the man is sentenced to a multi-million dollar contract and ordered to become the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.


The long-awaited opening of Cabela’s brings out thousands, including 86-year-old Velma Thompson of Rangely, who doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about. Thompson admits she hasn’t been to the mall in a few years, and is here because, “Mervyn’s always has the best prices on underwear.” She says it appears the store has undergone some remodeling, adding that the last time she was here, “there weren’t nearly as many stuffed mule deer.”


An otherwise successful JUCO tournament is marred by controversy after beloved mascot Mr. JUCO is arrested and charged with solicitation of prostitution at the Fuji massage parlor. An attorney for the furry, bug-eyed beast denies the allegations, pointing out that Mr. JUCO has been in a committed, long-term relationship with his domestic partner, Ronald McDonald.


In a sign of the worsening local real estate market, officials from the Department of Housing and Urban Development release a statement announcing, “Regrettably, our records indicate that every single home in Mesa County has now been foreclosed.”


Recently released court documents reveal how local authorities were able to break up a local meth ring through the use of cell phone wiretaps. Meth task force officers acknowledge that phone conversations aren’t always clear, and that the occasional mistake will be made. In that vein, officials once again formally apologize for the no-knock search recently conducted on the Grand Junction High School Math Club.


Montrose County Commissioners agree to provide Extra, a German corporation, with over $2 million in economic incentives. After questions arise over Extra’s financial outlook, worried commissioners call the company’s German headquarters to demand they immediately begin building airplanes. An Extra spokesman replies in broken English: “I think somebody over there screwed up the German translation. We make cupcakes.”


A reported water pipe breakage causes widespread flooding on Main Street. City officials later are forced to admit that the flood was not a pipe break and, in fact, was part of an ill-fated attempt to increase tourism by creating a Venice-type canal.


The Montrose Board of Commissioners and the Montrose Hospital Board of Directors get into a public spat after commissioners issue a formal letter to the board in which they demand the hospital “begin making airplanes immediately.”


Mesa County Sheriff’s Department officials work to contain the damage after information on nearly 200,000 officers, informants and victims is accidentally made available online. Department officials say that, in hindsight, setting the username and password as “Admin” was a mistake.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was Grand Junction 2010. To sum up: We got a Cabela’s, a strip club and several medical marijuana dispensaries. In other words, it was a great year if you’re a stoner who likes to look at naked women and fish.

Happy New Year.

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