City of Grand Junction Officially Endorses Gay Pride Week

The City of Grand Junction's official proclamation  endorsing Gay Pride Week in town

The City of Grand Junction’s official proclamation endorsing Gay Pride Week in town

In a landmark action towards welcoming diversity in our community, at its Wednesday, May 4, 2016 meeting, the Grand Junction City Council will officially declare May 2nd through May 8th, 2016 “Grand Junction Pride Fest Week.”

The full proclamation, available as a link on the City’s website (click on May 4 agenda), states in part:

“WHEREAS, Colorado West Pride was established five years ago and is dedicated to the creation of an inclusive community in Grand Junction through events, outreach and education; and

WHEREAS the Colorado West Pride Board now has 11 diverse board members which [who?] represent the depth and breadth of the local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community; and

WHEREAS Colorado West Pride will sponsor various activities and events throughout the week of May 2nd through 8th, 2016 to promote and build a positive environment and relationships” which will include the Grand Junction Gay Pride parade and festival,

“NOW, THEREFORE I, Phyllis Norris, by the power vested in me as Mayor of the City of Grand Junction, do hereby proclaim the week of May 2-8, 2016 as “GRAND JUNCTION PRIDE FEST WEEK…and urge all citizens to learn about and help create a positive environment for he LGBTQ community.”

The proclamation is the first official action the Grand Junction City Council has ever taken to call attention to the need to welcome and respect diversity in town.

Now, if we can just get City Council to stop praying to Jesus at the beginning of their meetings, the City will truly be in accord with multiple official proclamations on its website that the City does, in fact, embrace diversity. The City says on its website,

“We are mindful that this 21st century brings a new diversity of citizens. We must strive to make our government sensitive to the values of Americans with minority views, whether religious, political or otherwise.” [Italicized emphasis added.]

Okay, City Council members, it’s time to stop paying lip service and make the promise real.

“Citrus Gypsies” are Back in G.J.!

The Citrus Gypsies' fruit booth at First Street and Patterson Road

The Citrus Gypsies’ fruit booth at First Street and Patterson Road

They’re BACK!  They’re the Citrus Gypsies, and they have the best citrus fruit around! (When I asked them if they had a name, Ana at the First and Patterson booth told me they don’t really have a name for their business, but that’s what they call themselves informally).

These wonderful itinerant young fruit people come from a ranch in Montana and travel the southwest buying great citrus fruit at the height of the harvest and driving it to other places in the west that don’t have great fruit (at least right now). They have by far the best citrus you can get. It’s fresh-picked and doesn’t have any waxy coatings, stickers or other junk on it. They picked this last batch of navel oranges themselves from an orchard in California’s central valley, near Fresno, so they put a great deal of effort into it. Before coming back here, they took a haul to Salt Lake City and got sold out very quickly after someone posted about them on social media.

Because this batch is the last picking of the season, these latest oranges have been left on the tree the longest and are super-sweet.

The Citrus Gypsies have two stands: one in the Rite Aid parking lot at First Street and Grand Ave., and another on the dirt lot on the northeast corner of Patterson and First Street. They have a spinner on the corner much of the time with a sign that says “Amazing Oranges.”

Ana told me they’ll be here for five days, and asked me to put info about their stand out on social media. So here ya go! Stop by and get yours! They also have lemons, grapefruits, pomelos, olives and I think some tangerines and honey, but personally, I just can’t get past the fantastic oranges.

New Group Offers Businesses a Less Costly Networking Alternative

NetworkNowLocal business owners no longer have to pay the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce’s high membership fees if all they really want is a convenient and inexpensive way to network regularly with other businesses.  Network Now is a new Grand Junction business networking group with the troubled G.J. Chamber that meets every other Wednesday from 8:30-9:30 a.m. in the ReMax 4000 meeting room at 120 W. Park Drive, Grand Junction, at Patterson Road and First Street. The next meeting is next Wednesday, April 20, 2016. For more info call Jill at 970. 270.7958

G.J. Chamber Opposes Patient Choice in Pharmacies

No-choiceThe Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce in their Monday, April 11 ad in the Daily Sentinel, announced that it OPPOSES Colorado House Bill HB 16-1361, the “Patient Choice in Pharmacy” bill, which would prohibit health insurance companies from restricting subscribers’ ability to select a pharmacy or pharmacist of their choice. The bill also prohibits insurance companies from imposing extra co-payments, fees or restrictions on subscribers if they choose to use a pharmacy outside the insurance company’s network, as long the pharmacy/pharmacist has a valid CO license and meets some other criteria.

The G.J Chamber opposes citizens’ ability to freely choose where to shop for medications. Without this bill, smaller locally-owned pharmacies that are not in an insurance company’s network will lose businesses to bigger chains stores or mail order pharmacies that insurance companies tell subscribers they have to use.

Once again, the Chamber opposes a measure that would help smaller and locally-owned businesses, and that is beneficial to all citizens and working people.


Delta County School Board Rips Off Kids

A slide from Shelly Donahue's "WAIT" program shown at Delta High School

Crucifixes in a slide from Shelly Donahue’s “WAIT” program at Delta High School

The Delta County School Board is violating state and federal laws in order to keep students from getting medically-accurate sex education information, and by all appearances it seems to be by design.

Last October, the school district hired abstinence-only-before-marriage pontificator Shelly Donahue as a sex education speaker for students. According to students, this was the only “sex education” the Delta County School District provided them, and the school board and district administration apparently have the gall to consider this an adequate sex education.

Far from it.

For those who aren’t familiar with Shelly Donahue, she is an evangelistic Christian abstinence-only speaker who rakes in government grant funds by giving “WAIT” (“Why Am I Tempted”) training in public schools. Donahue’s website says

“She is passionately committed to Jesus Christ as the ultimate answer to the teen sexual activity problem in America. As a motivational speaker and a leading sex education expert, she is making a significant impact for the Kingdom of God!”

The leading "T" in Donahue's business logo is a crucifix in flames; the logo and cross appear in every slide, regardless if presentations at public schools

The leading “T” in Donahue’s business logo is a flaming crucifix; the logo and cross appeared in every slide in her presentations at Delta schools

In her talks, Donahue dishes out medically inaccurate information to kids and uses broad, simplistic analogies that convey stereotypical images of what boys’ and girls’ personalities are like. She includes liberal doses of religiously-based, guilt-and-shame to frighten students out of having sex before marriage.

Delta County School District Has Lots to Answer For

DDServicesThe Delta County School District is in serious need of help.

The recent exposure of the extent of Christian proselytizing in the Delta County school system has not just raised eyebrows locally, state-wide, nationally and internationally. It has encouraged Delta area residents to come forward with their own personal stories of proselytizing and discrimination in Delta public schools and their workplaces, and how it has affected their lives.