com·pas·sion – kəmˈpaSHən/ nounsympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. “the victims should be treated with compassion”

synonyms: pitysympathyempathyfellow feelingcareconcernsolicitude, sensitivitywarmthlovetendernessmercyleniencytolerance, kindnesshumanitycharity

“have you no compassion for a fellow human being?”


Palisade Police Chief Deb Funston recognized Officer James Baker this past Tuesday evening, March 8, as being ‘guilty as charged’ of demonstrating extreme compassion in dealing with a local teen recently. As Officer Baker was dealing with the teen on other issues, he realized that there was also a hunger problem involved.

He took it upon himself to not only make sure the teen was fed in the present moment of crisis, he also went about finding out how to get supplemental assistance to provide reduced rate school meals, and enrollment in the ‘backpack program’ to provide help with meals over weekends and other school breaks.

Baker’s efforts were all under the radar, making sure that the teen was not identified to prevent embarrassment, going above and beyond the call of duty.

The Board of Trustees and members of the public attending Tuesday’s regularly scheduled meeting of the board joined Chief Funston in congratulating Officer Baker and thanking him for his efforts on behalf of the community. The meeting was held at the Palisade Civic Center.


Recreation and Events Coordinator Sarah Brooks gave a short presentation for the trustees, summarizing the 2015 program year. Identifying the most popular programs as being Youth Programming, Group Fitness and Group Trips, Brooks outlined the profitability of each, and also described many of the other department offerings such as the Community Garden, the aquatics programs including development of a competitive youth swim team, and Trick or Treat Street.

Brooks’ annual report also included suggestions for new and expanded offerings such as the pickleball program and information about the new Bike Skills Park at the east end of Riverbend Park. She also suggested a re-vamping of the Halloween carnival to accommodate the growing number of participants.

Scott Winans of the Colorado Mountain Bike Trail Association (COPMOBA) also gave a short presentation on the Palisade Plunge. The recently completed concept paper had been submitted that day, March 8, 2016, to Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) for consideration for a grant to help fund the proposed mountain bike trail from the top of the Grand Mesa down into Palisade and the east end of the valley. The Town of Palisade, COPMOBA, and the Mesa County Commissioners have partnered at least as far as creating the concept paper on the trail, but it is just the first step in a long process for the trail to become a reality.

The groups will be notified by the first week in April as to whether they will be invited to submit a full grant application, due to GOCO in July for an October decision.

As one of the ’16 Trails in 2016’, a plan by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper to assist in developing or finishing sixteen different important hiking/biking trails across the state this year, it is hoped that the Palisade Plunge will be deemed eligible for a grant. Even with an affirmative answer, there is much work, research and planning on the route to be done before any construction begins.

The Plunge has gained wide support across the county from mountain bike enthusiasts and community leaders in Palisade and Grand Junction, citing the economic development benefits possible for the Town of Palisade and across Mesa County. To be fair, there is also some opposition, most from residents along one of the possible routes down Rapid Creek. Mesa County Commissioners also specified that the Rapid Creek route was not their choice.

Town of Palisade officials stressed that town funds will not be used to build the trail, but town staff time is and will be spent on organization and coordination of the project. Grants and donations will be used to build the trail, if and when it is approved.

Other Town News

Chief Funston also announced that she would be adding a year-round code enforcement officer to the staff to help deal with the growing number of code issues and violations.

An amendment to the Fee schedule was also approved.

The next meeting of the Palisade Board of Trustees will be held on Tuesday, March 22, and will begin with a 5 p.m. work session with members of the Tourism Advisory Board. The regular Trustee meeting will begin at 6 p.m. as always, in the public meeting room of the Civic Center at 341 W. 7th Street. All meetings are open to the public.