The Daily Sentinel from Grand Junction, Colorado on January 20, 1976 · 1
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The Daily Sentinel from Grand Junction, Colorado · 1

Grand Junction, Colorado
Issue Date:
Tuesday, January 20, 1976
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The Daily EKI Tuesday , Jan. 20, 1976 I Grand Junction, Colo. mIN 24 pages Newsstand price 1 5c Bear incident revealed after police chief resigns By SUZANNE SINCLAIR, DON FREDERICK and RAY SULLIVAN Sentinel staff writers The resignation of Grand Junction Police Chief Ben Meyers, announced Monday, follows a New Years Eve confrontation with the local state liquor Inspector at a Grand Junction bar. During the argument Meyers threatened to get" the job of James Gilliam, Central High School students Kirk Teany, Kathleen Coane, and Bryan Plummer, all members of a zoology course, were required to locate, clean and assemble the skeletons of various animals as part of the Postal Service halts rural office survey By VIVIAN BLUE Sentinel Correspondent The U.S. .Postal Service has discontinued a survey of area rural post offices. The survey worried many West Slope residents because a letter about the project left the impression their local post office would be shut down. Meanwhile, a top postal official in the state says there are no plans on closing any post offices in the area. Small, fourth-class post offices which were surveyed included Ophir, Placerville, Gateway, Egnar.Rico, Maher, Bedrock, Green Mountain Falls, Mountain Park and Bond. The survey followed discussions in Washington that 12,000 small post offices could be closed and $100 million a year be saved by the Postal Service, according to a December report in the Congressional Quarterly. The survey was discontinued mainly e m oc ra is ready to test WASHINGTON (AP) - President Ford will send Congress a $394. 2-billion budget Wednesday, but congressional Democrats are already attacking it and marshaling their strength for imminent veto battles to test their strength in the electionyear spending dispute. The outlines of the budget Ford will submit tomorrow were made clear in his State of the Union message Monday night as he urged spending restraint and renewed his proposal for a balancing income tax cut. In his address, Ford said the nation's condition was better now than it was a year ago but that its still not good enough. He proposed cutting income taxes by $10 billion, raising Social Security levies $4.2 billion, adding catastrophic health insurance for Medicare recipients, encouraging business expansion by offering new tax incentives and providing housing assistance for 500,000 families. A White House data sheet announcing the budget total for the 12 months beginning next Oct. 1 says the budget will be $43 billion in deficit. The deficit for the current fiscal year is estimated at $76 billion. Democrats responded with a chorus I - local state liquor inspector, according to a report filed by Gilliam with the state revenue department. Also during the argument, Meyers told Gilliam he would dismiss a police officer who had made allegations that the chief was illegally buying alcoholic drinks for a 19-year-old girl friend, according to Gilliam's report. The confrontation occurred during the new years celebration at The Tim Please because the Postal Service obtained a rate increase and because it entered the budget process for the next year, according to Art Smith, manager of the Colorado Springs District of the Postal Service, which includes the bulk of the West Slope. There are no plans now to close any small West Slope post offices, Smith said. We are trying to fid qjjjjLwe do have to close an office whal kind ov alternative service the customers would want. We dont want to make decisions in a vacuum and take surveys to see what options we have. Before any action was taken there would be advance notice and public hearings held. But one postmaster, Iva Seaman of Bond in Eagle County, said she was told her office could be closed in one day, if the service so decided. And Smith later confirmed that a new of charges that Ford was putting what they called an arbitrary spending ceiling ahead of the needs of the unemployed in an economy just beginning to recover. The Democrats also signaled that the forthcoming disputes over vetoes and the federal budget will bear the seeds for future political issues in this election year. Ford raised some political themes in his address, possibly trying out new realism as a campaign slogan and obli By The Assocciated Press Here are highlights of President Fords State of the Union address on Monday night: STATE OF THE UNION: The state of our union is better - in many ways a lot better - but still not good enough. FOREIGN POLICY: The state of our foreign policy is sound and strong. - TAXES: Proposed reducing federal income taxes by $10 billion a year starting July 1, offering tax incentives for long-term investments in common stocks and tax breaks for businessmen expanding in areas .of high unemployment. t if bers bar and restaurant, 1810 North Ave. The Sentinel learned of the details of Gilliams report this morning from Roland Brumbaugh, deputy director of the state revenue department. City Council members did not learn of the Timbers incident until last Thursday, when they were Informed of it by City Manager Harvey Rose. This morning, Rose said the bar argu do class work. Some of the more unusual skeletons will be given to the Historical Museum. Sentinel photo by Dennis Hogan policy allows the closing of rural offices if thhe postal service can provide service as good or better than that provided by the post office. Some rural route patrons received letters from the postal service asking them how they wanted their mail delivered if the post office was closed. People didnt react well, said Mrs. Seaman, one of the few postmasters who would speak for the record. Some patrons wrote their congressman, she said. Postmasters , were naturally concerned about their present job and how they would retain their Civil Service status if their post office were closed. Smith said proposed alternate service for areas where a post office was closed might include rural route carriers, a box delivery or a contract to maintain boxes in some community business, such as a general store. Smith said the decision to close an office is quely criticizing his Republican opponent, Ronald Reagan. The first veto dispute comes next Tuesday when the House will vote whether to override Ford's veto of a $45-billion labor-health, education and welfare appropriation heavy with funding for social programs. They would need a two-thirds vote to override, and the outcome is in doubt. House Majority Leader Thomas P. ONeill Jr., D-Mass., said Fords economic plan would throw an additional President's speech at a glance ment did not enter into his discussions with Meyers about the chiefs resignation. Rose said, Ben and I have discussed his leaving for a little over a week." The city manager added, We felt for his benefit it would be appropriate for him to accept the position with the PAS (Public Administration Service ) and resign his post with the city. Meyers is leaving Grand Junction to made at a level higher than his position. Postmasters would be offered other jobs, too, he added. Another postmaster who would comment was Ken Simon of Naturita. He is president of the Colorado chapter of the National League of Postmasters. Said Simon, whose own post office is too big to be closed: I dont agree with the philosophy that these small post offices should be closed. Rural communities would be losing service under the disguise of economy. But its a vast problem with no easy solution that encompasses the whole country. The rural post office has been likened to a town hall and the cornerstone of the community in speeches delivered in Congress. Regardless of their benefit or cost, Simon makes this point: Once the small rural post offices are closed, they will probably stay closed. sire ngf h 200,000 persons out of work. Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey, D-Minn., said Ford failed to come to grips with the problem of unemployment and the sluggishness of our economy. In another major squabble between the Democratic Congress and Ford, the House votes next Tuesday on a $1 12-billion defense appropriation that contains a ban on using U.S. funds to help any faction in the Angolan civil war. The Senate already has approved the ban. We must not face a future in which BUDGET: Announced he will propose federal spending of $394.2 billion for the 1977 fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. SOCIAL SECURITY: Declaring that the program is headed for trouble, he called for a $4.2 billion increase in Social Security taxes to take effect next Jan. 1. MEDICARE: Proposed catastrophic health insurance for everybody covered by Medicare. HOUSING: Asked for additional housing assistance for 500,000 families. ... CIA: In the near future, I will take actions to reform and strengthen our intelligence community. j t become a consultant with the PAS, an organization with its home office in Chicago. His resignation is effective Jan. 30. City Council members this morning could not say whether the argument between Meyers and Gilliam had any influence on the chiefs resignation. City Council member Jane Quimby said it was the councils policy to leave such personnel matters up to the city administration. But Mrs. Quimby added that when city council members were told of the bar incident, I know there was some concern. She added, The suggestion of the charges was serious. Gilliam's report to his superiors did not charge any violations of state liquor laws. Brumbaugh said he believed Gilliam had filed the report to inform us he was having some difficulties with the local law enforcement. When a reporter approached Meyers 1 with the intent of asking about the bar incident, Meyers walked away before the question could be put to him. According to Brumbaugh, who provided The Sentinel with the contents of Gilliams report this morning, Gilliam was at Thepmbers New Years Eve talking with ipdut four on-duty police officers about various violations of underage drinking laws throughout the city that night. . During this discussion, Gilliam was approached by Meyers, who was off-duty and was patronizing the bar. According to Gilliams report, Meyers accused the liquor inspector of trying to get him Brumbaugh said. Brumbaugh said that Gilliam reported that the chief then made threats that he would get Gilliams job. Gilliam added in his report that Meyers was upset that Gilliam had been going directly to the city council with information about liquor law violations rather than first conferring with the chief, Brumbaugh said. Also during the argument, Gilliam reported that allegations that Meyers had made to him by a" police officer who wished to remain unidentified. Meyers asked for the officers name. Gilliam asked what Meyers would do if he knew the officers name and Meyers responded that he would dismiss the man, according to Brumbaughs reading of Gilliams report. Gilliam also reported that a young woman he later verified as being 19 years old was sitting at Meyers table on the night of the confrontation. Gilliam reported the woman had a drink in front of her but that he did not check to see if it was an alcoholic beverage, -Brumbaugh said. ' Patriotic ' flag thief made the mistake MONTROSE - An anonymous letter-writer claims a U.S. flag was stolen from the Montrose Elks Lodge because the fraternal order was disrespectful to the national symbol. But the self-confessed thief was confused and a check of the flag rules shows the lodges display of the flag was correct after all. The claim of disrespect and the confession to the theft were contained in the letter mailed to The Daily Sentinel. Montrose police said a newspaper there also received a letter and surrendered it to authorities. The letter written Jan. 8 takes credit for taking the flag. But the writer excuses his actions because What school child is there that doesnt know that before the Sun goes down a person who in veto we can no longer help our friends, such as in Angola, even in limited and carefully controlled ways ..., Ford told Congress in the nationally broadcast address. He said such actions as the Senates vote for the Angola-funds ban were very short-sighted. House Speaker Carl Albert has said he cannot conceive of Congress approving Angola aid on the basis of arguments put forward by the administration. Albert called Fords spending POLICE CHIEF BEN MEYERS . . .no comment S Brumbaugh added that Gilliam later told his superiors at the revenue office that a few days after the bar incident, Meyers apologized to him and assured him his woman companion was drinking only Coca-Cola. Brumbaugh said of Gilliams report on the bar incident: We don't plan to take any action on this, expecially in light of the chiefs resignation. Gilliam, currently staying in St. Marys Hospital recovering from an operation, had confirmed for The Sentinel that he had filed a report with the state revenue department concerning the New Years Eve confrontation with Meyers. But, before Brumbaugh talked with The Sentinel, Gilliam said he did not wish to discuss the contents of the report until he had checked with his superiors. Meyers came to Grand Junction in February, 1974, from Salem, Ore., where he had served as police chief since 1967. For the past month in interviews with The Sentinel Meyers said he was considering other job opportunities and as early as last October spoke of the consultant position with the Public Administration Service. Meyers often cited press criticismas one reason causing him to seek another job. He has said he considers his major accomplishment in Grand Junction to be improving the sophistication and organization of the police force so officers could combat the citys growth pains and resulting crime increase. (Related story on page 6) shows proper respect lowers the flag with the greatest of pomp and Ceremony. The letter says the flag was taken at 5:30 a.m. long past dusk. We respect the United States, but yet it is necessary that these negligent disrespects be brought to light or all that our flag stands for has been destroyed, the letter read. Despite the excuse for the theft offered in the letter, Fred Ayer, manager of the Elks Lodge, correctly noted that the flag was illuminated and it had been flown around the clock for the past four years. Its our understanding that the flag could be flown at night if it were lighted, he noted. The light is not directly on the flag pole, but its about seven feet away and does light up the flag. ba tt I es restraint-tax reduction plan unworkable. Ford said his tax-cut and spendingceiling proposal, essentially the one Congress refused to vote last year, would provide a $10-billion tax reduction in addition to the compromise cut in effect until midyear. He said it would mean $227 a year in additional take-home pay for a family of four with $15,000 income. But Ford also proposed an increase in another tax, the payroll levy paid by employers and employes to support the Social Security system that has been running a deficit and dipping into its reserves. Effective in 1977, the increase would raise jthe maximum tax paid by an employe to $1,014, up from $855 this year. All but $49 of this proposed hike might occur anyway under automatic provisions of present law. Ford also proposed a revision in the Medicare health program for the aged. It would cost the over-65 patients more for short-term illnesses, but set a $740-a-year ceiling on what they could be Continued to page 6 t

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