Why We Should be Glad To Have an Alternative to a Catholic Hospital in Mesa County

While the above video is a humorous review of the dangers Americans face when using Catholic hospitals, the main points it makes are dead true. Catholic hospitals can endanger patients’ lives because of the many restrictions placed on their medical care by Catholic dogma.

Treatment of patients at Catholic hospitals is guided by 72 strict ethical and religious directives written by the U.S. Conference of Bishops (pdf), who are all men. Doctors at Catholic hospitals must agree to abide by these directives as a condition for working at these hospitals. The directives, if obeyed, block Catholic hospitals from providing any form of contraceptives, performing sterilization procedures (like tubal ligation or vasectomy) and abortions, even under some extreme circumstances. The directives can even prevent hospital personnel from giving patients full, factually correct medical information regarding their conditions, or offering them referrals to places where they can obtain appropriate care, if the topic involves contraception, fertility, birth or abortion services.  When asked about instances when medical care comes down to a dire choice between preserving the life of a mother or letting the mother and the fetus die, Father John Erich, the Medical Director of the Diocese of Phoenix, actually stated in an interview on National Public Radio in May, 2010 that “There are some situations where the mother may in fact die, along with her child.”

St. Mary’s Hospital and Medical Center, by far the largest and most dominant health care facility in our area, is a Catholic hospital run by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth (SCL) Health.

Dangers Posed to Women

Community Hospital in Grand Junction is a non-religious hospital where the only concern is what is best for their patients

Community Hospital in Grand Junction is a non-religious hospital where the only concern is what is best for their patients

Making this situation even more dangerous for Americans, and particularly for women, is that the Catholic church has been taking over U.S. hospitals at a rapid pace over the last 20 years. Between 2001 and 2016, the number of Catholic-owned or affiliated acute care hospitals in the U.S. grew by 22 percent, while at the same time the total number of hospitals in the U.S. decreased, effectively shrinking the number of secular medical options for millions of people. By 2011, ten of the 25 largest hospital systems in the U.S. were Catholic-sponsored.

In 2013, the American Civil Liberties Union tried to call attention to the growth of Catholic hospitals and the dangers it poses through its report titled, “Miscarriage of Medicine: The Growth of Catholic Hospitals and the Threat to Reproductive Health Care.” The report also describes how religious hospitals are taking federal money while at the same time putting life-threatening religious restrictions on their patient care.

In the above video, Samantha Bee discusses the problems people, and particularly women, face when being admitted to Catholic hospitals.

We should be very grateful we have a secular hospital option in Mesa County for medical care: Community Hospital, where the only tenets guiding care are what is factually and medically best for all of their patients.

If you are ever in need of emergency transport to an area hospital, you can ask the ambulance driver to take you to Community Hospital, and you should inform your family if these are your wishes in case you cannot speak for yourself.

What’s Really Going On Inside Mesa County Government? Here’s a Hint: It’s Pretty Bad.

Rose Pugliese, one of the sitting county commissioners responsible for ongoing discontent among County employees

Rose Pugliese, one of the sitting county commissioners responsible for a high level of discontent among Mesa County employees

The following is a guest column from the August 28, 2016 issue of the Daily Sentinel that many people may have overlooked. The author is the operations manager for the elections division of Mesa County. She describes how the County treats its employees. I am reposting it here because many people probably missed it, and county residents need to know about the poor management of county under our current county commissioners.

We have a chance to make positive change within County government by replacing two of our three commissioners in the upcoming election November 8.

This blog endorses Mel Mulder and Dave Edwards for county commissioners in Districts 1 and 3 respectively, to address situations like those described in this piece.

Please consider this information when voting this November, or before (in early voting).


Mesa County commissioners view employees as disposable

Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, Sunday, August 28, 2016


By Patti Inscho

Recently, I’ve been reading about the concerns raised by the Mesa County Board of Commissioners regarding the county’s budget and the hiring freeze they put into effect. As a county employee with degrees in both accounting and finance, I was very disappointed by the board’s comments on the subject of vacancy savings in their most recent press release.

“Vacancy savings” is a term describing the projected savings in payroll of an employee leaving their position for the 8-week period that it normally takes to replace them. The press release on Aug. 8 projected the loss in vacancy savings to be $400,000 since employee turnover was less than they had expected. This is concerning because it looks like the vacancy savings are being used to cover other shortfalls in the budget.  In fact, projected loss from vacancy savings is greater than the projected loss from mill levies on the oil and gas industry of $323,000.

Mesa County employees have been under a pay freeze since 2009. Since then, departments have been restructured, positions have been eliminated and layoffs have occurred. At some point the commissioners need to start looking elsewhere for savings. The remaining staff consists of a core of dedicated employees who are willing to continue to serve the public despite low pay and the constant demand to do more with less.  To imply that the lack of turnover in employees is a drag on the county budget is offensive.  There will always be a degree of employee turnover but we’ve reached the point where we are losing talented, knowledgeable, innovative and important staff members. Rather than value the dedication of the employees who are willing to serve the public under current conditions, our county commissioners see us as disposable; knowledge, loyalty and dedication are of little value, it seems.

Sitting Mesa County Commissioner John Justman

Sitting Mesa County Commissioner John Justman

Three years ago, after years with a pay-rate freeze, the commissioners agreed to a plan to increase employee pay rates over a period of five years. This pay increase was simply to bring our pay rates in line with other areas of the state. I supported this plan not just as an employee, but as a citizen who believes that competitive pay encourages above-average job applicants. Despite the five-year commitment, the pay increase only happened once.

At the beginning of 2015, the pay scales were adjusted so that there was an average pay raise of approximately 3.8 percent for those at the lowest pay level.  Not everyone received this adjustment based on where they fell on the pay scale. Since the plan was scrapped after the first year, we now have employees who have worked for the county for many years being paid the same rate as someone hired last week regardless of talent, knowledge and experience.

In 2015, a compensation committee was formed. The commissioners paid more than I make in a year for a compensation study to analyze just how far behind scale we really are. The results of this study have never been released. Instead the commissioners have decided that they are no longer interested in discussing the matter and have instituted a hiring freeze in order to create vacancy savings to cover the shortage in the budget. This is despite the fact that there are other options that should be considered.

There was considerable controversy over pay increases for elected officials last spring.  Each time someone brought up the subject in conversation, I consistently defended the decision. For me it wasn’t just the legal issues, but the belief that it’s important for our elected officials to receive a competitive pay rate so that our county doesn’t become a place where only the wealthy can afford to run for office.

For years, our county leadership has relied on the energy industry as a main source of income despite the fact that it has proven unreliable. The commissioners pointed out that 8 out of 10 of the largest taxpayers are from the oil and gas industry. This history, along with current comments made by leadership, makes me wonder if low pay and high turnover is simply a budgeting tool used by Mesa County to make up for the shortfall from oil and gas. Perhaps it’s time to ask if Mesa County, as an employer, is also unreliable.

The Board of County Commissioners’ page on the county website contains a “Strategic Plan” which states guiding values and gives citizens a way to measure success. Perhaps this is a document we should review since, by the County Commissioners’ standards, this doesn’t look like success.

Patti Inscho is the operations manager in the Elections division of the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder’s Office.




Local “Deplorables” Gather for Trump’s Visit

Former Delta County "Castration school board member" Kathy Svenson attended Trump's rally of self-described "Deplorables" yesterday at West Star Aviation in Grand Junction

Former Delta County “Castration school board member” Kathy Svenson (arrow, in hat) was one of the self-described “Deplorables” at Trump’s visit at West Star Aviation in Grand Junction yesterday


A woman who attended Donald Trump’s rally in Grand Junction yesterday appeared in a front page photo in today’s Daily Sentinel and was identified as “Kathy Svenson of Delta.”

Svenson was a highly suitable attendee for Trump’s rally. She is, in fact, a bona fide “Deplorable.”

Svenson is the famous former Delta County School Board member who gained notoriety nationally and internationally for saying transgender students should be castrated before being permitted to use the restrooms in public schools. She became known as “The Castration School Board Member” of Delta County, Colorado.

Svenson made her comments after the Colorado Civil Rights Division ruled that a 6-year-old transgender student could use the girls’ restroom at her school.

Lawsuit Filed Against Donald Trump on September 30, 2016, for Child Rape

Tipton announced he is supporting Donald Trump for president

Donald Trump was slapped with a lawsuit September 30 alleging forcible rape of a 13 year old girl. Several local elected officials, including Rep. Scott Tipton and all three Mesa County Commissioners, John Justman, Rose Pugliese and Scott McInnis, continue to openly support the Republican candidate for U.S. president. 

The domestic media has been quiet about the fact that the Republican Party’s candidate for U.S. president, Donald J. Trump, has been named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed on September 30, 2016 for rape of a child. The plaintiff originally filed her case in June, 2016, but pulled it and then re-filed on September 30, 2016.  The victim says she was 13 years old when Trump violently raped her at a Manhattan party in 1994. The woman pulled her original suit after filing it herself, without the help of attorney, and making errors in the filing. She has since refiled her case with the help of Florida attorney J. Cheney Mason, who served as co-counsel in the successful defense of Casey Anthony, the woman who was acquitted in 2011 of murdering her two year old daughter, Caylee Anthony, after the child’s disappearance in 2008.

The lawsuit names Trump and a friend of Trump’s, Jeffrey E. Epstein, who is a registered sex offender. The Florida sex offender registry describes Epstein’s crime as “procuring a person under age of 18 for prostitution.”

It is unprecedented for a candidate for U.S. president to face a rape a lawsuit during the course of a campaign.

Long Ballot? Don’t Worry. Use AnneLandmanBlog Voter Guide!

The entire November ballot is in today's Daily Sentinel, and it takes up 6 pages of fine print, like these two.

The entire November ballot is in today’s Daily Sentinel, and it takes up 6 pages of fine print, like these two.

Ballots were mailed today in Mesa County, and it’s a long one. The Daily Sentinel has published the entire November ballot in today’s paper, and it takes up six full pages of the paper, in fine print.

If you are worried about all the time it’s going to take to figure out how to vote on all this stuff, worry no more. We’ve done the research for you! We’ve looked into where the big money and corporate influence are coming from on all the issues, and how wealthy corporations are using ballot initiatives to try to trick you out of your rights, and weaken your influence and your ability to protect yourself and your families from their activities. We’ve looked at the ins and outs of all the issues, what’s fair and what’s not, and figured out how people can cast votes in their own interest.

Just go to AnneLandmanBlog Voter Guide 2016 to see the recommended votes on the local, state and federal candidates and ballot issues. The rationale for the votes is toward the bottom of the post.

Happy voting, and remember, after this you can mute all those annoying election TV ads!

Cidney Fisk Meets Madeleine Albright, and is a Featured Speaker at Freethought Day in Sacramento

Cidney Fisk was one of a small group of DU students who were privileged to meet and be able to converse at length with former U.S. Secretary of State Madelyn Albright on October 12

Former Delta High School student Cidney Fisk (second from right) was one of a small group of DU students who were privileged to meet and  converse at length with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on October 12

So far in her freshman year at Denver University, Cidney Fisk, the “A” student who was slapped with a slew of Fs by her Delta High School student government teacher after she publicly criticized the school district for its illegal Christian proselytizing and disproportionate funding of athletics over academics, has met former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and is a featured speaker at California Freethought Day in Sacramento, today, October 16, 2016. Albright was the first woman to serve as U.S. Secretary of State. Freethought Day organizers are footing the bill to bring Cidney to Sacramento for the event, and are paying her an honorarium for speaking. The theme of this year’s Freethought Day is #SecularPride.

AnneLandmanBlog Voter Guide, 2016

ALVoterGuideThis guide offers AnneLandmanBlog’s opinion on how to vote on candidates and issues in the November 8, 2016 election.

A discussion of the issues follows the recommendations.


Federal offices:

President/Vice President: Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine

U.S. Senate: Michael Bennet

Representative to U.S. Congress District 3: Gail Schwartz

Pinkwashing Gun Deaths: Sportsman’s Warehouse’s “Shoot for a Cure”

Sportsman's Warehouse tells people they can help cure breast cancer by buying and shooting guns

Sportsman’s Warehouse newspaper ad tells people they can help cure breast cancer by buying and shooting guns

It’s October again, that time of year when pink gets slapped on all kinds of products, from toasters to waffle makers to beer pong tables, and ads urge people to buy stuff to prevent breast cancer.

Now Sportsman’s Warehouse has jumped into the fray, running newspaper ads selling pink guns and urging people to “shoot for a cure.”


How inappropriate is this?

Let’s count the ways.

CO U.S. Senate Candidate Darryl Glenn: Pregnancy Resulting from Rape is a “Gift from God”

Colorado’s Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, Darryl Glenn, addressed a group of people in Jefferson County in 2015, telling them that pregnancy resulting from a rape is a “gift from God.”

Glenn is running against Democrat incumbent Michael Bennet.

Hundreds of Business Owners Go Public with Support for Amendment 70, the Minimum Wage Increase


The owner of Illegal Pete’s, a Colorado-based restaurant chain with 8 stores, reports that after raising wages, employee turnover dropped markedly. The owner credits his employees with making his business one of the fastest-growing restaurant chains in the country.

Business owners across the state are lining up to support Amendment 70, which would raise Colorado’s minimum wage to $12.00 and hour by 2020. Many of these owners voluntarily raised their own employees’ wages and are telling the public about the impacts it has had on their businesses.

They report positive economic results that directly contradict the predictions advanced by groups opposing the measure, like the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce.