Lisa "I Want To Listen" Eckert bans Glade Park man from passing out flyers

By John Wilkenson

(NOTE: In the interests of full disclosure, the "David Wilkenson" in this story is one of my younger brothers and resides on Glade Park. ~ JRW)

The whole truth of this situation -- initially omitted by the so-called "mainstream" media (aka "MSM") (which I like to refer to as the "Vestigial Dinosaur Media" (VDM) -- is exactly the type of story this citizen-journalism-based website is designed to publish.

Normally, the story should have been about Colorado National Monument (CNM) superintendent, Lisa Eckert, but since Mesa County's so-called "journal of record", the Daily Sentinel, initially (in its 10/9/14 story) didn't see fit to inform its readers about what I consider to be a crucial and opinion-forming part of the story, the story became partly about The Daily Sentinel, in particular publisher Jay Seaton (the top of the Sentinel food chain) and reporter Gary Harmon, because of what initially looked like a blackout due to Dave having told Harmon about being booted from Two Rivers premises for passing out flyers PRIOR to Gary attending the 10/8/14 meeting and writing his 10/9/14 story.

Because I understand full well that, like judges, policemen, politicians and all people "in power", the MSM serves Power, and not Truth, Liberty & Justice for all, I suspected that the illegal ban of flyers might somehow inexplicably be omitted from the Sentinel's version of events. So, at "10/08/2014 10:07 PM" I sent Harmon an email saying in essence that I looked forward with great interest to reading his story.

The question is, did Harmon make the decision to omit the information about government illegality from his 10/9/14 story, or did orders for the "blackout" come from higher up the Sentinel food chain? Let's return to that question/problem after first explaining what actually happened.

Logic and motive cause me to believe David Wilkenson and disbelieve Lisa Eckert.

Here are the facts as I believe the whole truth to be: David was at Two Rivers for about 30 minutes, went inside for about one minute to look around, and then went back outside (just outside the south doors) and stood there politely and unobtrusively passing out copies of a flyer titled "Assert Your Rights!" which was patterned after activist Charles Schenck's 1917 flyer of Schenck v. U.S., 249 U.S. 47 (1919) fame also titled "Assert Your Rights!" Lisa Eckert et al, who were inside the building, could very plainly see Dave through the windows passing out flyers. About one minute prior to being confronted by two Two Rivers employees, a female CNM employee came out through the doors and asked Dave for a copy of the flyer. Dave gave her one, and told her, “I'm just here trying to protect our right of way that we fought for and won 30 years ago.” About one minute later, two male Two Rivers employees came out and confronted Dave. One of them told Dave, “The CNM people don't want you passing those (pointing to the flyers Dave had in his hand) out here. And we are under contract with them; they paid for this time. You can't pass those out here. You can pass them out anywhere else, but not on the property.” At that point Dave left. On his way down the stairs, he met Gary Harmon who was coming up the stairs and told Gary about what had just happened. Gary said something to the effect of “Oh, really?” and went on his way inside the building.

In his 10/10/14 story, Harmon wrote (including a quote from Eckert) "As part of the contract with the convention center, 'the (National Park Service) agreed that we could not have other groups come in under our contract.' Eckert wrote in an email." (I would LOVE to have a copy of that email!)

I believe Harmon accurately quoted Eckert. Notice the carefully worded spin Eckert was using. Eckert apparently tried to make it look like David was not part of the group gathering and/or "sharing" input on the Glade Park road issue. Meanwhile the truth is that David, as a Glade Park resident, was directly involved in the same issue which was the very subject of the meeting -- and Eckert knew that because she (via her employee) already had a copy of the flyer. So, was Eckert lying? You be the judge. At minimum, I'd say she was trying to spin Harmon into believing something other than the truth. According to the values I was raised with, that's the same as lying.

Next, Harmon quotes Eckert as saying, “So, for example, when Two Rivers staff approached Mr. Wilkenson about handing fliers out on their property, he was told he could not do so, but that he could do so off of the property.” What Eckert and Harmon have left out is that Two Rivers staff approached Dave AT ECKERT'S REQUEST. Obviously, Eckert was deceptively trying to make Harmon think that the Two Rivers staff had approached Dave of their own volition, when nothing could be farther from the truth. I doubt very much that the Two Rivers employees would want to carry Eckert's water if they realized just how seriously illegal and 1st-Amendment-violative removing David from the premises was under the existing circumstances.

In paragraph nine of the 10/10/14 story, Harmon wrote, "While she didn’t ask that David Wilkenson be removed, Eckert said she saw convention center staff outside and later learned the details of what happened." Let's look at the two parts of the paragraph. First Harmon wrote "she (Eckert) didn't ask that David Wilkenson be removed." I believe that is an outright lie -- not because Harmon himself is deliberately trying to deceive the Sentinel's readers, but because he apparently believed Eckert who was apparently lying to him. It is important to note that Harmon wrote his story without talking to Dave, but in fairness, he did email me in an attempt to get Dave's contact information. Unfortunately, I didn't get his email before he had to submit his story for publication.

Eckert's version is the direct polar opposite of what Two Rivers staff told Dave. They told Dave that CNM personnel asked them to remove Dave from the premises. Harmon also wrote that Eckert told him she "later learned the details of what happened." In my opinion, that's another outright lie, because in the very next paragraph she admits talking to Two Rivers staff (PRIOR to Dave's removal) about a "question of contract". Notice how Eckert is trying to spin Harmon into believing that Two Rivers staff took it upon themselves to make the decision to "handle... accordingly" the removal of Dave from the premises, when the truth is that Two Rivers staff told Dave that CNM personnel (presumably Eckert) had asked them to remove Dave from the premises.

There is, of course, a twisted kind of logic behind all the lying -- and make no mistake, SOMEBODY is definitely lying about the situation! The motive for Eckert to lie -- in addition to whatever her real unspoken agenda regarding the road segment at issue may be -- is because the facts of any given case determine what law applies to that case. Obviously there is a huge difference between Dave being removed by Two Rivers staff of their own volition due to some nebulous cock-and-bull "contract" reasons and Dave being removed by Lisa Eckert because she didn't like the content of the flyer. In the first instance Eckert appears to desperately spin to achieve some kind of "plausible deniability", while in the second instance, Eckert deliberately violated David's 1st Amendment rights because she didn't like the content of the flyer. I believe the latter instance to be the truth.

Harmon quotes Eckert as saying, “Since Mr. Wilkenson has never introduced himself to me, it’s unfortunate he didn’t choose to attend the public meeting and do so. I believe there was a lot of varied input and sharing.” That's pure designed-for-public-consumption manipulation. Eckert's pretense that "it’s unfortunate [David] didn’t choose to attend the public meeting and [introduce himself]" is complete B.S. Despite her pretenses, she has no interest in meeting either David or me because from what I have written, she already knows where we stand on the issue of her illegal behavior regarding both the illegal-but-withdrawn propane ban and her prima facie anti-1st-Amendment banning of the dissemination of relevant flyers. The implication that if Dave had gone inside the building, attended the meeting and introduced himself to Eckert, she would have somehow been more amenable to him passing out the flyers in question is laughable. The fact is, from their own literature, the National Park Service would like to reduce commuter traffic over the road segment at issue, and Judge Matsch's decision in John R. Wilkenson v. U.S. Dept. of Interior, et al., 634 FS 1265 declaring the existence of a public right of way over the road segment at issue has always been a burr under the NPS' saddle ever since it was made.

In paragraph ten, Harmon quoted Eckert as saying, “There was a question of contract and that question was asked to Two Rivers staff who I assumed handled (it) accordingly." What a crock! WHO had the "question of contract"? WHY, and BY WHOM was it asked of Two Rivers staff? Why didn't Eckert say, "I had a question about the contract," if that were true. It obviously wasn't the Two Rivers staff who asked the question. They are just the maintenance and set-up people, and, of their own volition, couldn't care less about who attended the meeting or passed out flyers. Logic seems to dictate that it was Eckert herself who tried to spin the Two Rivers staff under the pretense of a "question of contract", when the real underlying reason for her wanting Dave's removal was the content of the flyer in question.

Let's take one more step in the logic-based reasoning process. According to Harmon (whom I believe), "Convention center general manager Stuart Taylor said Thursday he was unaware of the incident." I also believe that Stuart Taylor told Harmon the truth. Logic dictates that a couple of Two Rivers workers who, of their own volition couldn't care less about the happenings, aren't going to remove a person from the premises without consulting higher authority. Since that "higher authority" wasn't Stuart Taylor, under the rule of "most logical, least logical", it would appear most logical that Lisa Eckert -- because her underlings are going to obey her and not the other way around -- is the "that higher authority" cheese who stands alone in the midst of a tangled pile of lies and spin. Furthermore, Eckert's time line doesn't work. There was only about one minute between the time CNM personnel asked for (and received) a copy of the flyer and the time Two Rivers staff demanded that Dave leave the premises.

As you can gather from the Sentinel stories linked below, Eckert tried to illegally institute a ban on propane trucks using what is called the East Hill (running from the East entrance of the CNM to DS road on the way to the tiny hamlet of Glade Park. Why do I use the word "illegally"? Because it's a subject I am intimately familiar with, being the "John Wilkenson" of the U.S. District Court decision of John R. Wilkenson v. U.S. Dept. of Interior, et al., 634 FS 1265, the decision in which the Honorable Judge, Richard P. Match, declared that a public right of way exists over the road segment at issue.

Long story short, since she was forced to back away from her illegal propane ban, Lisa "I Want To Listen" Eckert has been holding some community meetings regarding the road segment at issue under the auspices of obtaining more community input before doing whatever she was planning to do anyway.

It is my understanding that Two Rivers is owned by the City of Grand Junction. So to recap, we are talking about a situation where a public official is spending public money to hold what was advertised as a public meeting about the public interests in a stretch of public road. (See 5 U.S. Code § 552b and C.R.S. § 24-6-402.) But, apparently based solely (and unconstitutionally) on content -- see the U.S. Supreme Court decisions linked below -- Eckert banned Wilkenson from passing out flyers that dealt directly with the public right of way over that public road, along with Eckert's attempts to illegally restrict the traffic on that road. Logic dictates that the flyer in question unarguably constituted part of the public "input" she claims (and wants the public to believe) she wants to "listen" to.

I have written at some length about the relevant law in an essay titled, "Colorado National Monument v. "Colorado Canyons National Park": Glade Park Access Fight, Round 2?" on my personal website, so interested persons can study that information. Part of what I stated as my reason for posting that essay was, "my concern that too many local citizens don't fully understand the duplicitous nature of the bureaucratic beast with which they are dealing. Too many 'normal' Americans are too gullible and naive when it comes to dealing with these types of 'Good Old Boy' (GOB) political situations."

So what is Lisa Eckert's real agenda regarding the road segment at issue? I don't know. People who attend her "listening" meetings say she refuses to answer many of their questions. She says manipulative touchy-feely things such as "there was a lot of varied input and sharing". Personally, I don't need Lisa to "listen" to me or "share" anything with me. I just need her to obey already existing law and tell me what her REAL agenda is.

Since Lisa won't say anything, and, unfortunately hasn't introduced herself to me -- she wasn't at the zoning meeting on Glade Park which I did attend -- I don't know what her real agenda is concerning the road segment at issue. I am forced to speculate.

There seem to be two basic groups of citizens, 1) those who favor the status quo and Judge Matsch's Wilkenson decision, and 2) those who favor turning CNM into Colorado Canyons National Park. The latter group has been disappointed that they didn't get their way. I am in the former group. Some people in the latter group believe that a huge majority of Mesa County citizens favor a national park. I believe the opposite is true.

Having lost round one, it makes sense in a perverse sort of way that the latter coalition of faux-economic-development and grow-big-government-bureaucracy groups would resort to various manipulations such as faux-neutral "input-and-sharing" moderators and/or polls to keep the political tea leaves stirred up and the issue alive in hopes of discovering a path to revisiting the question and eventually succeed in persuading a majority of the now-skeptical general public of the wisdom of their national park agenda.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I have a problem with those kinds of cutesy political manipulations. If you want to spend millions improving Little Park Road so you can turn CNM into Colorado Canyons National Park and eliminate non-recreational travel over the now-existing public right of way, say so openly and forthrightly. Tell me what your real agenda is.

Eckert's problem is that to eliminate the public right of way over, and the dual-purpose nature of, the road segment at issue would require new litigation and/or new legislation to overrule Judge Matsch's long since unappealable permanent injunction. Eckert's problem is there have been no major problems with propane, diesel, and gasoline trucks, so there are no scientific studies or statistics upon which to rationally base new litigation or legislation. So Eckert apparently feels she needs to resort to obfuscation and subterfuge. I vigorously object.

As for me, I am happy with Judge Matsch's Wilkenson decision, and the status quo has worked very well for decades. I see only problems in abandoning it.

Having said that, Lisa Eckert has zero credibility with me. I believe she is self-evidently a "bad fit" for Glade Park and the Colorado National Monument. She doesn't seem to know when to stop "doubling down" on her manipulations. For me, there exist sufficient facts constituting reasonable grounds for any reasonable and prudent person to have (and express publicly) the 1st-Amendment-protected opinion that she is an unprincipled manipulator who is willing to resort to wannabe-clever lies and spin to get her own way on any give agenda/issue. I faced way more than enough government lies, spin and manipulations in "Glade Park Access Controversy, Round #1". I don't need to meet or "share" with such a person. I believe she should retire, be transferred, or be fired.

(NOTE: Article 2, Section 10 of the Colorado Constitution says in pertinent part: “Freedom of speech and press…every person shall be free to speak, write or publish whatever he will on any subject, ... and in all suits and prosecutions of libel the truth thereof may be given in evidence, and the jury, under the direction of the court, shall determine the law and the fact.” See also the legal disclaimer for this website.

RELEVANT COURT DECISIONS AND STATUTES:

Government in the Sunshine Act - "The Sunshine Act provides, with ten specified exemptions, that 'every portion of every meeting of an agency shall be open to public observation.'"

C.R.S. 24-6-402 Meetings - open to public – definitions

5 U.S. Code § 552b - Open meetings

Government in the Sunshine Act

Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 652 (1925)
Stromberg v. California, 283 U.S. 359 (1931)
Lovell v. City of Griffin, Ga., 303 U.S. 444 (1938)
Hague v. Committee for Industrial Organization, 307 U.S. 496 (1939)
Schneider v. State, 308 U.S. 147 (1939)
"[O]ne is not to have the exercise of his liberty of expression in appropriate places abridged on the plea that it may be exercised in some other place."
Jamison v. Texas, 318 U.S. 413 (1943)
Martin v. Struthers, 319 U.S. 141 (1943)
Marsh v. State of Alabama, 326 U.S. 501 (1946)
Brown v. Louisiana, 383 U.S. 131, (1966)
Gregory v. Chicago, 394 U.S. 111 (1969)
Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971)
The ability of government, consonant with the Constitution, to shut off discourse solely to protect others from hearing it is, in other words, dependent upon a showing that substantial privacy interests are being invaded in an essentially intolerable manner. Any broader view of this authority would effectively empower a majority to silence dissidents simply as a matter of personal predilections.
Police Department of Chicago v. Mosley, 408 U.S. 92 (1972)
Grayned v. City of Rockford, 408 U.S. 104 (1972)
"[t]he crucial question is whether the manner of expression is basically incompatible with the normal activity of a particular place at a particular time."
United States v. Grace, 461 U.S. 171 (1983)
(b) As a general matter, peaceful picketing and leafletting are expressive activities involving "speech" protected by the First Amendment. "Public places," such as streets, sidewalks, and parks, historically associated with the free exercise of expressive activities, are considered, without more, to be "public forums." In such places, the Government may enforce reasonable time, place, and manner regulations, but additional restrictions, such as an absolute prohibition of a particular type of expression, will be upheld only if narrowly drawn to accomplish a compelling governmental interest.
Boos v. Barry, 485 U. S. 312, 315 (1988)
McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Comm’n, 514 U. S. 334, 347 (1995)
“Handing out leaflets in the advocacy of a politically controversial viewpoint . . . is the essence of First Amendment expression”; “[n]o form of speech is entitled to greater constitutional protection.”
McCullen v. Coakley, 573 U.S. No. 12-1168 (2014)

Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., et al. v. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and United States of America, 216 F.3d 1180 (D.C. Cir. 2000)

Grant v. Meyer, 828 F.2d 1446, 1456-57 (10th Cir. 1987)

Coalition For Secular Government v. Scott Gessler, Civil Action No. 12-cv-1708-JLK-KLM (U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado)

LAW REGARDING BLOGGERS:

Courts are saying that "regular citizen" bloggers have all the same 1st Amendment free-speech protections that so-called professionally trained "journalists" who work for the institutionalized establishment media do.

RECENT VIDEOS, BLOGS, ARTICLES, COLUMNS, AND STATEMENTS:

SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION: See John's Twitter for one of the web's most eclectic mashups of interesting real-time news articles. I surf the web for interesting real-time news stories and informative tidbits so you don't have to.

Open communication provides a potential path forward, by Lisa Eckert - Superintendent of Colorado National Monument

Did the Park Service muzzle free speech? - Daily Sentinel

Torn relationships the biggest hazard in Rim Rock Road restrictions, by Jim Spehar - via Daily Sentinel

Glade Park resident asked to leave Two Rivers over fliers, by Gary Harmon - Daily Sentinel

Residents leery of hazardous traffic, by Gary Harmon - Daily Sentinel

‘Our road too,’ residents tell Eckert, by Gary Harmon - Daily Sentinel

Glade Park meeting revisits propane issue, by Gary Harmon - Daily Sentinel

Monument to hold propane route meetings, by Gary Harmon - Daily Sentinel

Push to upgrade Colorado National Monument stalls in Mesa County, by Caitlin Row - Grand Junction Free Press

Opinion: National park status outcome deeply disturbing, by Terri Chappel - Grand Junction Free Press - Check out this sore-loser woman's amazing arrogance and we-they ad hominem attacks on those who disagree with her! She utilizes classic Good Old Boy political rhetoric in perpetrating her ipse-dixitism polemic misconduct. This kind of duopoly-political-hack crap is EXACTLY what the voters of Mesa County have got to reject and learn how to defeat.

Sudden Death to the National Park in Mesa County - KREX TV5

Surprise: Colorado Democrat Won't Attend Fundraiser Obama is Hosting For Him - Townhall.com

Lack of leadership derailed park status - Daily Sentinel editorial

Secrecy Surrounds Sudden Ditching of Colorado National Monument Upgrade, by Anne Landman - Anne Landman's Blog

Monument upgrade dropped, by Gary Harmon - Daily Sentinel

National Park Service creates hazard by banning ‘hazardous’ cargo, by Marjorie Haun - Watchdog Wire

Reverse fuel ban on monument, county says, by Gary Harmon - Daily Sentinel

Archives for : Lisa Eckert, by Friends of the Colorado National Monument

Park hits brakes on propane haul ban, by Gary Harmon - Daily Sentinel

Monument bans fuel, by Gary Harmon - Daily Sentinel

Tipton keeps firm grasp on U.S. seat, by Gary Harmon - Daily Sentinel

Gerry Spence on the American "justice system"

CIA Officer (Robert D. Steele) Explains the Good Old Boys' Demise

FOOTNOTES:

Under construction . . .