Grand Junction’s Tax Day March Dominates Downtown on the Day Before Easter

While some stayed home dying Easter eggs Saturday, almost 300 western slope citizens turned out for the national Tax March to demand Donald Trump make his tax returns public. Marchers gathered at Grand Junction City Hall and listened to speeches before starting off on a figure 8-shaped route through downtown that took them along Main Street, Grand Avenue and by the Post Office, where they mailed post cards to Trump saying they want him to release his taxes.

On January 11, 2017, Trump dismissed the idea that voters were interested in his tax returns, claiming the only people who care about his tax returns are members of the media. But he was proved badly wrong when on April 15, thousands of people in hundreds of cities across across the country took to the streets to demand he make his taxes public. An ABC News/Washington Post poll (pdf) released on January 16,2017 showed 74% of Americans want to see Trump’s returns.

How does Moab Feel about a “MOAB” Bomb Being Dropped on Afghanistan?

Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb, the largest non-nuclear conventional bomb in existence

 

Moab residents are not happy that the name “MOAB” is being associated with the massive bomb the Trump administration dropped on Afghanistan yesterday.

The largest non-nuclear bomb in the United States’ weapons arsenal, the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB), nicknamed the “Mother of All Bombs” (MOAB). It was dropped yesterday, leading the acronym MOAB to be broadcast over national news repeatedly for the last 24 hours.

Asked about how Moab residents feel about the name of their town being associated with destruction, Moab City Councilman Kyle Bailey responded, “Mayor Sakrison and the Moab City Council sent a letter to Bush administration in 2003 protesting the association of the name [of this bomb] with Moab. Some people in Moab do like the association.” The city councilman sent a link to the February, 2003 BBC article about the mayor’s protest.

How About Letting the Rabble Decide What to Spend Their Own Tax Money On?

The way ballot proposals typically come about in Grand Junction, the Grand Junction Chamber, big local business owners and members of the Old Guard Republican Establishment (OGREs) conceive of some idea that benefits one or more established, successful businesses. They then try to convince people “our community is dying,”** promote this single idea as the only way to save the local economy, and portray it as the key to creating jobs. They may include language to the effect that their idea will also contribute down the line somehow to a project city residents really do want, like a community recreation center or more walking and biking trails.

Then proponents pool their money, hire a professional marketer to develop an ad campaign to make their idea look fantastic and then get their project on the next local ballot, where it gets trounced, because voters know it won’t really make their lives better as the bigwigs promised. Or voters go ahead and approve it only to see it never happen.

In a word, this method is a failure.

Cavalcade in Fruita: a Unique, Enchanting Local Entertainment Venue

Cavalcade at 201 E. Aspen in Fruita

It’s no secret that there are a few ways in which Fruita has been blowing the doors off Grand Junction lately. Their property values are increasing faster than those in G.J., they’ve got a fantastic rec center, they’ve attracted a young, fun, creative crowd by emphasizing outdoor activities and now there’s another little surprise that makes the place even more special.

It’s a wonderful little locally-owned, non-profit entertainment venue called Cavalcade, located on Fruita’s main drag, at 201 E. Aspen.

Rep. Scott Tipton Faces Upset Liberal Crowd at Montrose Town Hall


The western slope’s U.S. Congressional Representative Scott Tipton (R) faced a packed and overwhelmingly liberal/progressive crowd in the gymnasium at Montrose High School Friday evening, April 7, 2017, at his town hall meeting. Citizens came from Montrose, Crawford, Paonia, Ouray, Grand Junction and other locations. They asked Rep. Tipton about topics including where he stands on health care, why Congress is failing to recognize that the existing for-profit health care system isn’t working, why he hasn’t introduced any legislation to deal with climate change, where he stands on plans to de-fund the EPA, U.S. involvement in foreign wars without Congressional approval, the threatened end to student loan forgiveness promised to people who went to work in the public sector after graduation, the $3 million per weekend it costs taxpayers to protect President Trump on his golf trips to Mar-A-Lago, and more.

Overall, it appeared the audience was decidedly unhappy with Rep. Tipton’s responses, in which he stated that health care in the U.S. was a privilege, not a right, that he sided with big corporations and businesses and the oil and gas industry when it comes to climate change. When asked about the tremendous expense to taxpayers of President Trump’s many weekend golf trips to Mar-A-Lago, Rep. Tipton won howls of anger from the crowd when he said merely that the same protection was afforded to President Obama.  There was plenty of booing and foot stomping in response to Rep. Tipton’s answers throughout the town hall. A lot of people came equipped with (and used) signs that said “Disagree” and “Answer the Question!”

In Case You Missed It: County Commissioners Officially Approve Collbran Landowner’s Illegal Activity

Colby Olford broke the law for years, then the Mesa County Commissioners caught up with him — and rewarded him for it.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported on March 15 that Mesa County’s three Republican County Commissioners publicly admonished a Collbran landowner for violating the law by hosting commercial events on his property for years without required permits.

Then they rewarded him by making his activities legal.

Central High Seniors Take Steps Toward Eliminating Religious Baccalaureate

Word is out that Central High School’s Senior Student Senate has voted to change the school’s annual baccalaureate from a religious event featuring a blessing by a pastor to a secular event featuring 3-5 minute speeches by students about what they are grateful for.  By the time the Student Senate voted on the issue, it was too late to change the name of the event because the materials promoting it had already been printed, but they say next year the name of the event will be changed as well.

Tax Day March Planned in Grand Junction to Push Trump to Reveal his Tax Returns

Tax Day march planned in Grand Junction April 15

Activists are organizing a local tax day march on Saturday, April 15 in solidarity with a national effort to show President Donald Trump that Americans very much want him to reveal his tax returns.

The Trump administration poses unprecedented economic conflicts of interest to the office of president.  People across the country are participating in Tax Day Marches to urge the president to make these potential conflicts visible, including pertinent documentation regarding foreign influences and financial interests which may confirm that President Trump is in conflict with the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. Trump has insisted on keeping his tax returns secret. He is the first president in decades who has refused to make his tax returns public.

Undecided About Who to Vote for for City Council? Maybe Some Notes from the Candidates Forum March 23 Will Help

The City Council Candidate Forum March 23

For those who couldn’t attend the League of Women Voters City Council Candidate Forum last Thursday, March 23, at City Hall Auditorium, I am sharing my notes here. The notes are not a direct recording of what was said, but rather a synopsis. I wrote as fast as I could!

Names in boldface type indicate the incumbents. Jesse Daniels is challenging Norris for her seat on Council. At age 35, Daniels is the youngest candidate. Duncan McArthur is running unopposed, but you can write in a candidate you’d rather see in his Council seat. Duke Wortmann is a relocation consultant for Mesa Moving and Storage and is challenging incumbent Marty Chazen. Incumbent Rick Taggart is a former executive with Swiss Army Knife, and did not attend the forum, citing a previous engagement. Taggart is running against C. Lincoln Pierce for an At-Large seat on Council. For folks hoping Grand Junction will someday have a recreation/community center, two incumbents, Duncan McArthur and Phyllis Norris, both said clearly they were NOT in favor of building a public community/recreation center.

Delta County “Sex Ed” Teacher Shelly Donahue Banned from Oklahoma School District

Donahue with her bag of spaghetti, which she uses to illustrate what girls’ brains are like

A school district in Tulsa County, Oklahoma has banned sexual abstinence speaker Shelly Donahue from returning after students complained that her comments during a “sex ed” presentation were demeaning to girls and insulting to children of broken families.

The news of her being banned pertains to Colorado’s western slope because Delta County School District regularly hires Shelly Donahue to give the very same talk to Delta high school seniors.