Printed Letters: August 2, 2017
City could repurpose school for rec center
We have many different groups requesting fees and funds within slim budgets and now they’re asking for increased taxes to achieve their individual goals. It isn’t important to this discussion of how we gradually got into this mess; I’ve written about it along that path.
What is important is the one over the others that has been identified for many years: Orchard Mesa Middle School and the need to replace it. With limited chance to achieve all the goals at once we should look at merging goals to achieve any success with unified support.
There are those who want a recreation center. I have an idea that I have offered around the community with very positive results: repurpose the old school for a recreation center. With minimal remodeling and utilizing what is there, the main components of a rec center could be realized at great savings and quickly. A gym, a pool, lockers, rooms for activities, skate park, walking paths, a pedestrian bridge over the river, Riverfront Trail connectivity, a library, internet access, a cafeteria, offices for the Parks & Recreation Department and cheap seats for the fireworks on July 4th. Infrastructure of access and parking and it’s on the GVT bus route! There could be a cafeteria for rec guests and Riverfront Trail walkers. Maybe a takeout point for river users. It’s an excellent first step to the conceptual design at Los Colonias Park.
It’s a better way for two groups vying for limited resources to be successful together with mutual support.
Parks & Rec staff maintain countless amenities
I wanted to take a moment to recognize and thank the City of Grand Junction Parks & Recreation Department. If you’ve sent your kid to camp, hit up the pickleball courts or attended a concert at the new amphitheater at Las Colonias Park, you’ve enjoyed one of the countless amenities they maintain for our community.
United Way of Mesa County recently held a benefit concert at the amphitheater with tremendous support from local businesses, volunteers and attendees. As a nonprofit event planner, I know it takes the work of many to put on a successful fundraiser. Having Grand Junction Parks & Recreation’s help was key. Everyone I have worked with approaches their job with dedication, professionalism, humor, resourcefulness and humility. Over the years, they have given so much to help United Way’s mission in the Grand Valley.
Most people don’t have the opportunity to work directly with the Parks & Recreation folks. So the next time you see them before hopping off the diving board at Lincoln Park Moyer Pool, enjoying the shade of one of the city’s tree canopies, riding along the Riverfront Trail or playing a round of golf at Tiara Rado, give them a nod. My guess is they’ll smile back.
United Way of Mesa County
‘Unsavory’ invocation is the price of freedom
It seems every 10 years or so, the face of intolerance rears its ugly head. I recall many years ago a gift of the Ten Commandments was given to the city, and shortly thereafter a group protesting such a disturbing display of religious support demanded its removal. Refusing to be bullied, the then-council instead added the Magna Carta, The Mayflower Compact, The Declaration of Independence, The Preamble to the Constitution, and The Bill of Rights, to the display and made a wonderful cornerstone to law and liberty. Inclusion was the legal remedy.
In my term of office as a member of council, our right to an invocation was challenged by the Atheists and Free Thinkers. They attempted to bully the council into discontinuing our historical practice. Again council stood firm, and by expanding our selection process to include everyone, we prevailed.
We recognized that there would occasionally be an unsavory selection among the many fine folks wishing to offer the invocation, but that is the price of freedom. Inclusion. Everyone has the same opportunity to be selected to offer the invocation. In setting this new policy, it was not meant to have selectees trade or give away their turn. Either they accept and offer an invocation, or we had a moment of silence in its place.
I would encourage the current council to take heed of past council actions and stand firm for what you perceive as right, and the will of the people you serve. It often is difficult, and pressure is brought from all sides, but past council have stood firmly on this issue, and despite atheists and free thinkers, and even The Daily Sentinel all advocating a moment of silence,
I urge you to follow your hearts. If a prayer before the meeting is gaveled to a start helps center you, calm you, and focus you, as it did for me, then refuse to be bullied by intolerant people trying to force their will upon us all. Never give in, never give up.