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.

Saying “No” to the Events Center Doesn’t Mean You’re Saying “No” to Grand Junction

Table tent-style ad for a real event coming to an existing venue in Grand Junction this May

The events center promoters call their group “Say Yes for Grand Junction,” but a “no” vote on the proposed events center doesn’t mean you are saying “no” to Grand Junction as a whole. Far from it.

Grand Junction residents aren’t shallow or selfish. They put a lot of thought into their votes, and there’s a lot to consider with this measure, particularly given Grand Junction’s dire financial position and long list of other needs.

Promoters say the events center, known as Measure 2A on the citywide ballot, will cost $65 million to build, but their own press release and the wording of the ballot measure both say that, including the financing costs over its proposed 30 year term, the total cost to taxpayers for the event center will actually come to $134 million. Fully half that amount is interest the City will have to pay on the loan needed to finance the project. That’s twice the amount we’ve been told about in promotions for the project, and while it’s the more realistic total estimated cost of the project, it’s not the figure event center promoters have been touting.

Also, voters need to consider other information about this project that isn’t being volunteered by promoters, like the potential long term risks of the project.

G.J. City Council Candidate Jesse Daniels is Generating Buzz

Momentum is growing for Grand Junction City Council candidate Jesse Daniels, the youngest and most modern-thinking city council candidate we’ve ever had. He’s fighting for some long-needed beneficial change in Grand Junction, and it’s about time.

Jesse is different kind of candidate. He has special appeal to the younger set who’ve long felt completely unrepresented on city council and longed for a change. Jesse knows how to roll…He has a logo, a Facebook page, understands social media and the importance of the Internet, and like most hard-working city residents, Jesse is a working person himself, not a retiree. He’s been involved in the goings-on in downtown Grand Junction for over 20 years.

AnneLandmanBlog Voter Guide, 2017

This guide offers AnneLandmanBlog’s recommendations on how to vote in the April 4, 2017 municipal election in Grand Junction. Recommendations are based on which candidates have the imagination, vision and new ideas to finally pull Grand Junction out of it’s persistent economic slump, and votes that offer the best long term outcomes for average working people and their families. In considering these recommendations, the needs of established businesses are considered, but not given any greater weight than the interests of average working city residents and their families.

Please note that all City residents can vote for candidates for all city council districts. AnneLandmanBlog does not make recommendations in races where candidates run unopposed.

Recommended votes:

City Council District A: Jesse Daniels

City Council District D: C.E. Duke Wortmann

City Council At-Large: C. Lincoln Pierce

Referred Measure 2A – Raising sales tax a quarter cent to fund an events center downtown: NO/AGAINST

Referred Measure 2BSpending funds set aside to pay the debt on the Riverside Parkway on road improvements instead: YES/FOR

 

This election is being conducted by a mail-in ballot. You will get your ballot in the U.S. mail and can either put your completed ballot in the the return envelope, stamp it and drop it in the U.S. Mail well before election day, take your completed ballot to the silver drop box outside Mesa County Central Services at 200 S. Spruce Street, or take it to the City Clerk’s office inside Grand Junction City Hall, 250 N. 5th Street. Ballots must be returned by 7:00 p.m. April 4, 2017 to be counted.

Spring Open Burn Season Fouls the Air, Casts a Pall over the Grand Valley

 

The Grand Valley’s springtime air is fouled with smoke from open burning

It’s springtime and open burning season is upon us once again, giving Grand Valley residents sore throats, burning eyes, runny noses, headaches and asthma attacks. Beautiful spring days that dawn clear and bright are soon fouled by dense plumes of smoke that drift across the valley forcing people to close their doors and windows and grab their inhalers. KKCO 11 News on March 16 said, “Add in an early allergy season and you have a recipe for a breathing disaster.”

And a disaster it is, for many people, and not just for their health, but for their property, too.

Undeveloped Parks Languish While City Pursues an Events Center

Matchett Park – Despite the City of Grand Junction putting on a community-wide planning effort in 2014 that resulted in a master plan and preferred alternative for development, and despite the City getting a GOCO grant to cover 75% of the cost it’s construction, nothing ever happened at Matchett Park

The City of Grand Junction owns a number of large land parcels around the valley that are designated as parks, but that are little more than vacant lots unused by the public.

Event Center Promos Mislead; Proposed Events are Costly

John Legend Table Tent

A quick glance at this tabletop promo for Measure 2A makes it look like John Legend is already booked in town, if only we had an events center. That’s not the case.

If you’ve eaten out lately, you may have seen table tents displayed at downtown restaurants promoting Measure 2A on the city ballot this coming April. The measure asks city residents to approve increasing the City’s sales tax by a quarter cent to fund a $60 million downtown events center.

But beware, these promos strive to deceive.