The 8 minute, 46 second video about social justice and the LGBTQ community in Grand Junction was created about a year and a half ago by Rachel DeWeber of DeWeber media in Grand Junction. The funding for the video was gathered by Caleb Ferganchick.
After months of deliberating ideas for an updated logo, Central High School finally unveiled its new logo today, January 4, 2022, replacing the outdated and embarrassingly racist Indian head symbol the school has had since 1947.
In what was meant to be a slur aimed at transgender people, Garfield County election conspiracy theorist Sherronna Bishop, who bills herself as “Americas Mom,” today in an Instagram post compared AnneLandmanBlog author Anne Landman to Admiral Rachel Levine, M.D., the highly accomplished public health physician who was recently confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the nation’s new Assistant Secretary of Health in the U.S. Department of Human Services.
Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers (WCAF) is running it’s annual wintertime billboard celebrating the solstice on the digital billboard facing west on I-70 Business Loop in front of Hobby Lobby and Chick-Fil-A at Rimrock Marketplace. At a recent meeting, WCAF members estimated that approximately 15-20% of western Colorado residents are non-religious and identify as atheists, agnostics, humanists or freethinkers.
Western Colorado’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender + (LGBTQ+) students have a new scholarship fund to boost their higher education aspirations, thanks to the thoughtful people who formed the Basinger Leadership Scholarship Committee. The Jeffrey Alan Basinger Leadership Scholarship was established to recognize beloved local resident Jeff Basinger, who died in May of 2018. Jeff was a strong advocate for western Colorado residents living with HIV/AIDS and members of the LGBTQ+ community through decades of working with various community organizations, and as a volunteer. Jeff worked on the “Vote No on Amendment 2” campaign in 1992 and was a founding member of the Common Decency Coalition, which later became Western Equality. He belonged to the Grand Junction Downtown Association and other community organizations, had a deep working historical knowledge of the Grand Junction area, and a long and successful career working with the Western Colorado AIDS Project (WestCAP).
On August 31, the Islamic Center of Grand Junction unveiled a colorful new sign installed in front of its new Two Rivers Mosque at 8th and Gunnison Ave. and held a community barbecue to celebrate. About 50 people attended the barbecue, and it was an afternoon of peace, friendship and great food.
Not three weeks later, the sign was vandalized beyond all recognition.
The third annual Women’s March in Grand Junction on Saturday, January 19th, drew an enthusiastic crowd of about 2,000 liberal and progressive western slope residents who came out to support women’s rights, equality for women and gay, lesbian and transgender people, people of color and immigrant communities.
The non-profit group Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers (WCAF) has a digital billboard up on I-70 Business Loop in front of Hobby Lobby and Chick-Fil-A for Christmas that says “Make Christmas great again. Skip church!”
The sign is a reminder that the holiday focus should be more on kindness, humanity and ethical treatment of others than on organized religion, which has been proving problematic lately, and to a horrific degree.
The Grand Valley Business Times (GVBT) has long been a source of business news in Mesa County, usually focusing on helpful items like what new businesses are moving in, the newest soups at Zoup, and which authors will be appearing at the downtown bookstores. In his latest issue, though, the paper’s owner, Craig Hall, used his editorial column to denigrate and insult Democratic and progressive business owners in the valley, and criticize women who seek to control their own reproductive destiny.
Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers (WCAF) has a new digital billboard up in front of Hobby Lobby and Chick-Fil-A at Rimrock Marketplace on I-70 B just in time for Easter. It shows a child with a shocked look on his face holding a book that looks very much like a Bible. It says “Belief without proof is gullibility.” You can see the board as you are heading west on I-70 B.
WCAF wanted their spring billboard to have an educational component this year. The group wanted to emphasize that people deserve proof before believing what they’re told. They also want to urge people to come to logical conclusions based on verifiable facts rather than on lore, mythology or pure faith.
WCAF’s mission is to educate the public about atheism, promote acceptance of atheism as a rational belief system and preserve and promote the wall of separation between church and state.
The board is up through Tuesday, April 4. WCAF says anyone who takes their photo with the billboard and posts it on WCAF’s Facebook page will get a free package of M&Ms. To donate to more billboards like this, go to WCAF’s Donation page.
Grand Junction City Council plans to re-assess the issue of hosting religious invocations at public meetings at their Monday, March 5 workshop.
On January 17, 2018, the Grand Junction City Council sent an official letter (above) to Senators Cory Gardner, Michael Bennet and House Representative Scott Tipton urging the House and Senate to pass “a clean bill as soon as possible to prevent the end of DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] in March.”
The letter was signed by Mayor J. Merrick (“Rick”) Taggart. City Council approved it on a 5-2 vote. Councilmembers Duncan McArthur and Barbara Traylor-Smith voted against it.
Grand Junction, Colorado’s first Satanic invocation went off without a hitch yesterday evening, with an audience of about 50 interested onlookers and five out of seven city council members present.
The audience and was quiet and respectful as the speaker made the following statement to Council:
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.
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.
Grand Junction’s growing secular community wishes people well this holiday season with a bright, 12 x 24 foot digital billboard on I-70 Business Loop that says “Merry Winter Solstice.” The digital billboard is by the Rimrock Marketplace, in front of Chick Fil A, a fast food chain with a history of anti-LGBT activism, and Hobby Lobby, a craft store with a reputation of catering to an evangelical clientele. The board runs until December 26th and was purchased by the members of Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers, a local nonprofit group whose mission is “to inform and educate the public in Western Colorado about atheism,” and “promote acceptance of atheism as a valid, rational belief system.” WCAF also advocates for separation of church and state, and has served as a sounding board, exposing and confronting illegal religious proselytizing in public schools and local governments on the western slope. WCAF also gives western Colorado’s atheists, agnostics, freethinkers and humanists a way to connect with each other, share information, enjoy social activities, develop new friendships and enjoy freethinking conversation. It is the oldest secular advocacy organization on the western slope, and will celebrate its 10 year anniversary in February, 2017.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s recent refusal to stand during the playing of the national anthem has spurred debate over coerced and often perfunctory recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance.
In reaction to the September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, people started reciting the Pledge more frequently, on more occasions and in more venues than ever before. Many U.S. public schools starting requiring students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance daily. Mesa County’s District 51’s student handbook (pdf, at page 35) says students get an “opportunity” and have the “right” to say the pledge, but it never expressly says in a neutral manner that students also have a legal right not to say it. Rather, the manual practically sneers at students who choose not to say the pledge by using language that infers such students are likely to be disruptive and disrespectful in doing so:
“If you feel, based on personal convictions or religious beliefs, that you do not want to recite the Pledge or salute the flag, we ask you to remain respectfully silent, not interfering with the
rights of others to recite the Pledge and salute the flag.”
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.”