Now’s your chance! City seeks to fill open City Council District E seat

The $64,000 plaza in front of Grand Junction City Hall, installed for the purposes of circumventing laws regarding separation of church and state and keeping the Ten Commandments tablet on public land.

If you’ve ever wanted to serve on Grand Junction City Council but didn’t want to have to endure a campaign and election to do it, now is your chance.

City Councilor Duncan McArthur is stepping down from his seat on Council because of health problems, and City Council will be choosing his replacement.

Mr. McArthur represents District E (map). To be eligible to fill this vacant seat, you must have lived within the boundaries of District E for a minimum of 12 months. The boundaries include all of the green area represented on this map, and comprise a strip of land between 7th and 12th Streets running south from Orchard Ave., all City land south of D Road/Riverside Parkway, and all City land on Orchard Mesa. The eastern boundary extends to 32 Road, but the City is a hopscotch of parcels to the east, so if you’re interested in the seat, consult the map to see if your residence is within City boundaries or not.

No qualifications other than minimum age:

The only qualification to sit on Council is that you must be a minimum of 18 years old. It doesn’t matter if you have a degree or not, or whether you have any experience in local government or not, or whether you are employed or unemployed. Age is the only qualification. (It would be helpful to be able to read, however.) It doesn’t even matter if you’ve ever been arrested or convicted of a crime, you are STILL eligible to sit on Grand Junction City Council.

How to apply:

To be considered for the District E City Council seat, email your contact information including your phone number and email address to the Grand Junction City Clerk at CityClerk@GJCity.org, or bring or mail the information to the City Clerk’s office at Grand Junction City Hall, 250 N. 5th Street, Grand Junction, CO 81501.

Now’s your chance to sit on City Council without having to go through an election!

The deadline to apply is June 21, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.

After that, Council will take 30 days to consider all the applicants and schedule interviews.

What’s involved in serving on City Council?

Members of City Council are paid $500/month, and a couple hundred more if you are ever appointed mayor. Expect to spend a minimum of 10 hours per week on the job. Duties include attending City Council workshops and public meetings on the 1st and 3rd Mondays and Wednesdays of the month, and attending executive sessions as needed. You may also be called upon to serve on one or more City boards and committees, like the Airport Board, Parks and Recreation Board, Planning Boards, etc. You can serve on as many boards as you like, however, if you really want to be involved.

This is your chance to represent your neighbors on Council!

 

 

 

Oklahoma is just the beginning of what life will be like under Republican rule

Oklahoma Republicans just passed a mind-blowingly strict law that makes abortion illegal in virtually every circumstance, effectively terminating the right of women in the state to control their own bodies and reproductive fate.

Oklahoma wasn’t alone in this, either. Other Republican-dominated states are also enacting extremely strict laws that effectively make abortion illegal, with some banning the procedure as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Republicans base these laws on their belief that a fetus is a fully legal person entitled to all the rights and privileges that all legal American citizens enjoy.

But if actually put into effect, what do these beliefs really portend for life in America?

ACLU Sues CO State Senator Ray Scott for Blocking Constituent on Social Media

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

May 13, 2019

 

MEDIA CONTACT:

Vanessa Michel, Director of Communications

Office: 720-402-3112, Mobile: 917-399-0733

Deanna Hirsch, Media Strategist

Office: 720-402-3122, Mobile: 720-971-2393

ACLU Sues Colorado State Senator for Blocking Constituent on Social Media

 

DENVER – ACLU of Colorado filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court this morning against Colorado State Senator Ray Scott for blocking constituent Anne Landman from his official Facebook and Twitter pages. Landman, a resident of Colorado Senate District 7 in Grand Junction, speaks out regularly on public policy issues and writes about Colorado politics on her blog. She also uses social media to interact with fellow constituents and elected officials. Landman had been able to interact with Scott and others in these spaces until June 2017, when she wrote an article critical of Scott’s position regarding climate change and posted it on his official Facebook page. In response, Scott blocked Landman from his Facebook page and official Twitter account.

Sen. Ray Scott sponsors bill to eliminate price break for low-income energy consumers

Colorado State Senator Ray Scott

Last week State Senator Ray Scott embarrassed Mesa County residents and made a fool of himself by actually saying out loud on the Senate floor that climate change has led to “massive improvements” in our climate.

Now Scott is co-sponsoring a bill, SB 19-250 (pdf), that will deal a blow to low income people served by Black Hills Energy, the gas and electricity provider for residents of Pueblo, Canyon City, Ordway and Westcliffe. Scott’s bill would do away with a two-tiered rate structure Black Hills Energy put in place in 2017 to help low income energy consumers by giving them more protection from a state-approved rate increase that happened that same year.

Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers’ spring message

Billboard by Sprouts

Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers (WCAF) has a message for Grand Valley residents this spring: Atheism is “a personal relationship with reality.”

WCAF is the area’s longest-serving secular group, and their billboard is to help encourage people come to logical conclusions based on verifiable facts rather than basing conclusions on dogma, fables, mythology, superstition or sheer faith. That’s the message of the group’s spring, 2019 billboard, which went up today on I-70B by Rimrock Marketplace in front of Hobby Lobby and Chick-Fil-A. The board is west-facing and visible to traffic coming into town. It will be up for one week. Take photos with it while you can.

Free digital literacy resources available from Southern Poverty Law Center

Are you a teacher looking for ways to teach kids how to tell the difference between real and “fake” news, how to determine whether an online source is legitimate, reliable and fair, and how to engage in social media discussions responsibly? Are you looking for ways to help kids negotiate topics in the news, like immigration, civil rights, race and gender identity?

Well, here’s your answer.

The Southern Poverty Law Center now offers free Common Core-compatible classroom materials and resources that can help kids discern malicious online fare like propaganda deployed by hate groups to recruit new members, false conspiracy theories and racist lies. It will also help kids become more sophisticated consumers of news and social media and navigate topics like race and ethnicity, religion, variations in ability, immigration, class, bullying and bias, gender and sexual identity and rights and activism.

And did we mention it’s all free?

SPLC’s, program, “Teaching Tolerance,” includes K-12 lesson plans that align with Common Core standards and offers professional development tools that will help teachers increase their own online savvy. Teachers can access a multitude of resources, like lessons for different grade levels, student tasks, lesson plans, teaching strategies for different grade levels, film kits, printable posters and other classroom materials, and they are all available at no cost by visiting Tolerance.org.

Colorado bill would prohibit teaching religious doctrine in public school sex ed curriculum

Colorado State Senator Don Coram

Delta County School District, are you listening?

Colorado State Senator Don Coram, a Republican who represents Montrose and Ouray counties, is a sponsor of HB19-1032, “Comprehensive Human Sexuality Education,” a bill to prohibit sex ed instruction in K-12 public schools from “explicitly or implicitly teaching or endorsing religious ideology or sectarian tenets or doctrines, using shame-based or stigmatizing language or instructional tools, employing gender norms or gender stereotypes, or excluding the relational or sexual experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals.”

The bill would appropriate least $1 million annually for a grant program to carry out the new law, and it would give highest priority for the grant funds to rural public schools.

Why is this bill needed? Because of the Delta County School District.

Local students win essay contest awards of $500 and $250

An awards ceremony will be held tomorrow, Sunday, March 31 at 1:15 p.m. in the Monument Room of the downtown Mesa County Public Library to announce the winners of Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers‘ 2018 Student Essay Contest.

The contest, announced last September, was open to all middle and high school students in Mesa County. The topic for submissions was the importance of separation of church and state to our country, and our democracy.

A student from Grand Junction High School won the high school award of $500 and a student from Redlands Middle School won the middle school award of $250.

One good thing Trump has done: Banning bump stocks

Trump banned bump stocks last December by executive action, and the new law is effective NOW.

Watch out, local gun nuts. President Donald Trump is coming for your guns.

Last December, President Trump issued an executive order banning bump stocks (pdf), devices that use the recoil energy generated from each shot of a semi-automatic rifle to increase the firearms’ rate of fire. The new rule amended the definition of “machine gun” to include bump stocks.

The ban went into effect three days ago, on March 26, 2019, exactly 90 days after it was published in the Federal Register.

On March 28, 2019 the U.S. Supreme Court refused an effort by gun nuts to block the ban, so Trump’s new rule is currently in full force, making anyone who owns a bump stock a felon.

AnneLandmanBlog Voter Guide: Grand Junction City Election 2019

Wondering how to vote in the City of Grand Junction 2019 election?

Following are AnneLandmanBlog’s recommendations for how to vote in the 2019 City of Grand Junction April 2, 2019 Regular Municipal Election.

I reached my conclusions about which city council candidates to vote for by listening to interviews, knowing the candidates personally or knowing something about them and their history in town, and considering factors like how well-funded their campaigns are. Decades of living in Grand Junction helps put this in context.