Category: Education

Former Delta County School District students pressure district to end racism in schools

Jordan Evans (L) and Marisa Edmondson (R) are graduates of Paonia High School and are pushing the Delta County School District to  actively work to end what they see as pervasive racism in Delta County Schools

Two alumni of the Delta County School District (DCSD) began an all-out effort last year to pressure the Delta County School District to address the pervasive racism and discrimination they and others say they have experienced in Delta County Schools. Edmondson says while they have made some progress, the School District and School Board have largely stonewalled them and resisted the change.

Have you ever helped reverse a drug overdose? If so, your story is needed.

The University of Colorado Denver’s Anthropology Department is looking for Coloradans who have attempted to reverse a drug overdose and who are willing to tell their stories in a digital storytelling project for the benefit of Colorado.

The goal of the project is to increase knowledge about the role the use of drugs like Naloxone and Narcan play in reducing opioid overdoses in Colorado. These personal stories will be recorded and used to increase awareness of the importance of these drugs in helping to reduce the opioid overdose epidemic in the state. The project will also benefit opioid users who are at risk of suffering an overdose.

Delta County School Board blocks students from medically-accurate, comprehensive sex ed

Kathy Svenson of Delta County. speaking to the Delta County School Board, likens transgenderism to putting diesel in a gas engine. In 2013 Svenson, a former Delta County School Board Member, said transgender children should be castrated before they are allowed use school restrooms.

At its Friday, May 21, 2021 meeting, the Delta County School Board unanimously passed Resolution 2021-15, blocking students who attend Delta County public schools from being able to access a comprehensive, medically-accurate sexual education. People who attended the meeting reported that the School Board did not give the public any notice about its intent to vote on the resolution at the meeting. According to KVNF Radio, the school board had promised it would circulate a questionnaire and host a public meeting about the topic, but it did not.

Delta County right wingers fight the prospect of teaching medically-accurate sex ed in Delta schools; Gay groups to rally in support this Thursday

Conservatives in Delta are working to oppose the teaching of medically-accurate sex ed in Delta County schools

Delta County conservatives are in a tizzy over the prospect that their school district may implement a medically-accurate, comprehensive sex education curriculum in compliance with a new Colorado law passed in 2019.

Until recently, the Delta County Schools’ only consistent “sex education” curriculum consisted of presentations by a woman named Shelly Donahue, a Christian abstinence-only speaker whose talk relied heavily on shame, guilt and medically-inaccurate information. Donahue likened girls brains to cooked spaghetti and boys brains to toaster waffles. The slides in her show were sprinkled with crosses, and she told kids that having premarital sex put them “further from God.” Donahue’s $2,000 speaking fee was picked up by a Christian missionary group. One Oklahoma school district has banned Donahue from speaking because students said her talks were demeaning to girls and children from broken homes. (For more on Shelly Donahue and the Delta County School District, search on “Shelly Donahue” in the AnneLandmanblog search box on right side of any page.)

Colorado Mesa University Trustees anoint John Marshall as next President

New CMU President John Marshall. Many in the community considered his appointment  a foregone conclusion.

Colorado Mesa University’s Board of Trustees today appointed John Marshall as the next president of CMU.

Marshall, who formerly worked as a Republican political operative, was hired at CMU in 2007 by Tim Foster as “Development Director,”  a job that at the time paid $100,000/year with no experience in academia. He was widely considered one of Tim Foster’s many Republican crony hires at CMU.

One student called the appointment “Cronyism at its finest” saying “I’m sure this was decided before Foster even stepped down…and the ‘search’ was, well, just a farce.”

In the August 21, 2006 Denver Post, Marshall publicly disparaged progressive Coloradans, calling them “pampered, bed-wetting liberals” and adding “No one cares what they say about anything.” CMU people have related several anecdotes where they observed Marshall being dismissive of incidents of homophobia involving students on and off campus.

Concerns arise over CMU Presidential candidate Mirta Martin

Dr. Mirta Martin (2016)

Some faculty members at Colorado Mesa University (CMU) are raising red flags about CMU presidential candidate Dr. Mirta Martin.

The concerns stem in part from controversies arising during Dr. Martin’s tenure as President of Fort Hays State University (FHSU) in Kansas.

The Kansas Board of Regents hired Dr. Martin as FHSU University President on May 2, 2014. She resigned abruptly on November, 23, 2016.

Concerns about Dr. Martin’s management of the University were described in a November 11, 2016 article posted by Tiger Media Network (TMN), Fort Hays University’s “convergent media hub.” The article,  “Tempers Flare at Faculty Senate Meeting,” gives a detailed account of a contentious FHSU Faculty Senate meeting held on November 1, 2016 about then-FHSU President Martin, who is now one of three finalists being considered by the CMU Board of Trustees for president of CMU.

Shoe-throwing and other ‘unprofessional behavior’

Locals alarmed that CMU VP John Marshall is on the short list for new University president

Colorado Mesa University (CMU) announced today that CMU Vice President John Marshall is one of three candidates under final consideration to be the university’s new president.

A lot of local people are unhappy with that.

Ordinarily the second-in-command at a higher educational institution would seem a logical choice to step into the top spot, but this is the exception.

City Council candidate Jody Green appears to be barely literate

Jody Green

Jody Green is running for the Grand Junction City Council District E seat in the April 6, 2021 municipal election. His campaign website says he is construction worker and that he helped build the Oxbow subdivision, the Postal Annex on Patterson, Ratekin Tower Apartments, Lakeside Apartments and other buildings in Grand Junction. Green writes on social media that he “Works at School of Hard Knocks, University of Life,” but provides no other information about his educational background.

In a February 4, 2021 article in the Daily Sentinel, Green told the paper that he is running for City Council because God asked him to.

Application by Cindy Ficklin to be D-51 Superintendent raises alarm

Cindy Ficklin (L), an applicant for the job of D-51 School Superintendent, flashes the hand signal of the “Three Percenters” militia while scuba diving in Hawaii. (Photo credit: Facebook). Right photo & caption are from Wikipedia. The Anti-Defamation League lists this gesture as a racist hand sign. [UPDATE 2/20/21]: We have since been informed that in the context of scuba diving, this symbol is used to say a diver is “OK.” That was likely the case in this scenario, although since Mesa County is largely a desert, very right wing politically, has numerous elected officials who have in fact advanced QAnon theories and Trump’s lies about the election, and since few people here scuba dive, many people interpreted this symbol in its political context rather than its scuba diving context.]

Grand Junction real estate agent Cindy Ficklin submitted an application February 10 to become District 51 Superintendent, raising alarm bells among people familiar with her extremist views.

Who is Cindy Ficklin?

Ficklin is a 40-something GOP firebrand known for her extremist right wing views and her outspoken manner.

In a red-meat speech she gave on July 4, 2020 to a mostly un-masked crowd at the “Stand for the Constitution Freedom Rally” in a local park, Ficklin railed against masking and contact tracing — the only tools available to control the Coronavirus. She said that “CDC guidelines for opening schools … are literally formed of human torture and child abuse,” and spread the false narrative that government was forcing vaccines on people. She railed against public health recommendations to “stay home to stay safe” and whipped up anger at community efforts to control the virus, saying “the new normal” we’re all living with is “an attempt to infringe on our civil rights.”

Central High’s team name may be in for a change

Central High’s outdated, racist “Warriors” team name and logo may be in for a change this summer.

The Cleveland Indians baseball team announced yesterday that they will be dropping their team’s name after 105 years, because it has long been considered racist.

Cleveland’s move follows the NFL team, the Washington Redskins’, announcement last July 23 that after 87 years they are changing their name for the same reason: the name is outdated and racist.

What of our local schools’ racist athletic team names?

New online resource map shows real and fake abortion clinics in Colorado

 

KeepAbortionSafe.com now offers a Pregnancy Resource Map that shows which “pregnancy clinics” throughout the country are real, and which are fake.

Offices that bill themselves as “crisis pregnancy centers” or “pregnancy clinics” often are not actual medical clinics, but religiously-based anti-abortion operations that lure in women struggling with unexpected pregnancies. They intentionally withhold information from women about their full complement of reproductive options. Such “clinics” steer women away from abortions and offer “information” that casts abortion as debilitating, dangerous and frightening.

Finding true reproductive health services clinics in Colorado, that is, ones that offer a full range of medically-accurate sexual health information, contraceptives, information and treatments for sexually-transmitted diseases and infections, and all legal and safe reproductive health options can be tricky because in Colorado fake “pregnancy resource” clinics and outnumber real abortion and medical information providers by almost 3 to 1.

The Pregnancy Resource map shows that the two “Pregnancy Centers” in Grand Junction are not real medical clinics.

The “Pregnancy Centers” in Grand Junction offer only self-administered pregnancy tests — which are available without prescription at drug stores — and anti-abortion pregnancy options. The two fake “pregnancy centers” in G.J. are at

  • 704 Elm Ave. and
  • 930 Main Street in Grand Junction.
  • The Delta Pregnancy Resource Center at 523 Dodge St., Delta, CO, is also not a real medical clinic.

The only real medical clinic near Grand Junction that offers medically-accurate sexual and reproductive health information and all applicable services is Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains in Glenwood Springs, located at 50923 Hwy 6 & 24, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601. Their phone number is (970) 945 – 8631 and their website is here.

Here is a list of the services, treatments and personnel Planned Parenthood offers. Note that care is not limited to women:

  • Abortions, pre- and post-abortion patient education, post-abortion follow-up exams, referrals for other abortion services (as needed), ultrasounds.
  • Birth control;
  • Emergency contraception (morning-after pill);
  • Pregnancy testing and services (adoption referrals, fertility awareness education, post-partum exams);
  • STD testing, treatment, and vaccination;
  • HIV testing;
  • Women’s healthcare (breast exams, cervical cancer screenings, hormone replacement therapy, mammogram referrals, menopause testing and treatment, pap test,
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI) testing and treatment, vaginal infection testing and treatment);
  • Men’s healthcare (colon cancer screening, jock itch exam and treatment, testicular and prostate cancer screening, urinary tract infection (UTI) testing and treatment);
  • General healthcare (anemia testing, cholesterol screening, diabetes screening, high blood pressure screening, thyroid screening, smoking cessation).
  • Certified Medical Personnel
  • Medical doctors and registered nurses

You can also get free answers to any sexual health questions from trained sexual health educators by chat online or text  by texting “PPNOW” to 774636 (PPINFO).

If you’re less than 10 weeks pregnant, you can also get a telemedicine abortion using the abortion pill from Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. For information click here.

Tim Foster endorses anti-science candidate with a track record of plagiarism for Mesa County Commissioner

“Principled”? Tim Foster’s endorsement of anti-science, documented plagiarist Janet Rowland for Mesa County Commissioner. (Screen shot taken from Janet Rowland’s Facebook page on 8/19/20.)

Tim Foster wants to make one thing clear: he is endorsing Janet Rowland for Mesa County Commissioner not in his capacity as longtime President of Colorado Mesa University (CMU), but strictly as an individual.

Well, Okay.

While he certainly has the right as a private citizen to endorse Rowland, doing so nevertheless makes Mesa County residents scratch their heads and wonder why Foster, who everyone knows heads a local university with a Nursing Program, Graduate Nursing Programs and a Physician Assistant program, would endorse an anti-science candidate who actively promotes Q-Anon-based anti-mask disinformation on her social media.

It seems incongruous. Rowland’s posts directly conflict with guidance issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control for controlling the pandemic. All this is going on while CMU is making a monumental effort at a tremendous expense to get students and staff to comply with strict on-campus masking and physical distancing rules to minimize the potential public health threat posed by CMU’s opening the school year with in-person learning amid the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.

School’s social media post violates separation of church and state, was removed hours later

Graham Mesa Elementary School’s religious Facebook post that prompted complaint

The principal of a public western slope elementary school posted a message on the school’s Facebook page April 11 that overtly endorsed Christianity in violation of the separation of church and state.

Brian Sprenger, the Principle of Graham Mesa Elementary School in Rifle, posted an Easter greeting on the school’s Facebook page yesterday evening with a photo of four children posing jubilantly in the driveway of a home with huge, chalk images of multiple large Christian crosses and the equally huge message “He is Risen.”

Western slopers who fail to grasp danger of Coronavirus are threatening public health

Post on the Grand Junction Community Message Board on Facebook yesterday by Anita Heffalump, who has since changed her name on Facebook to “Anita Hippogriff”

 

Local resident Anita Heffalump alarmed members of the community yesterday by posting an event on the Grand Junction Community Message Board Facebook page that urged people to physically gather to protest public health authorities’ stay-at-home order aimed at protecting people from the pandemic spread of COVID-19, the deadly disease caused by Coronavirus.

Coronavirus currently has no no treatment, no cure, no immunization available to prevent it, and is killing people throughout the globe at an alarming rate. The only tool available to reduce transmission of the new virus and save lives during the pandemic is to distance ourselves from each other by staying home as much as possible.

State to give free money to CO public schools to teach medically-accurate sex ed

 

Republican Colorado State Senator Don Coram, a rancher from Montrose, sponsored the legislation creating the grant program

Delta County School District 50J, are you listening?

For the first time, the State of Colorado is offering free money (pdf) and plenty of it to school districts to teach medically-accurate, comprehensive, culturally-sensitive and inclusive sexual education.

Last May, Governor Polis signed the Youth Wellness Act, (pdf) HB19-1032, that provides the funds and requirements for eligible curriculum.

Believe it or not, HB19-1032  was sponsored in part by Montrose rancher and Republican State Senator Don Coram.

Why Trump is being impeached: a helpful explanation for western slope Republicans

President Donald J. Trump

The large number of Trump supporters living on Colorado’s western slope no doubt vehemently oppose his impeachment. This blog is to help them understand why impeaching the President is imperative to protect our country, our democracy and our national sovereignty.

Trump has broken important U.S. laws, multiple times. In so doing, he has demonstrated that he poses a profound threat to our country. One of the laws he violated protects our country from foreign interference at very high levels of government:

Soliciting foreign interference in our elections

Trump has repeatedly invited foreign interference in our elections to benefit himself, an act that violates 52 U.S. Code § 30121, titled “Contributions and donations by foreign nationals.” This law states it is illegal for a person to solicit or accept “a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value” from a foreign national, “or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election” with a foreign national.

Offensive vehicle plagues the Valley, disgusts parents picking up kids outside Chatfield Elementary School

This vehicle bearing a gigantic, profane decal was spotted in the parking lot at the Texas Roadhouse on November 15. Now it’s plaguing a local elementary school.

This obnoxious vehicle and its huge, offensive window decal was spotted in the parking lot at the Texas Roadhouse on November 15. At that time I dismissed it as yet another disappointing reminder that there are people living among us here in the Grand Valley who tend to be full of hate and who lack respect for others.

But it was quite another thing when the same offensive vehicle was seen parked outside Chatfield Elementary School where it was seen by a mom who was waiting to pick up her seven year old daughter. Unfortunately, her child spotted the offensive car, instantly giving the child reason to question her mom’s efforts to keep her from swearing.

Talk about putting a well-meaning parent in a bad spot.