School District 51 is holding forums today and tomorrow (Wednesday, 11/15 and Thursday, 11/16) to discuss the state’s new social studies standards. The forums are today at Redlands Middle School and tomorrow at Orchard Mesa Middle School, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. each day.
Classified ad placed by Colorado Mesa University in the 11/12/23 issue of the Daily Sentinel for a tenure-track assistant professor of nursing
Colorado Mesa University (CMU) has been advertising for a tenure-track assistant nursing professor for its Montrose campus.
The position requires teaching 12 course credit hours each semester, or 24 credits over an academic year, which is considered a standard, full-time teaching load. Applicants must also have a current RN license, plus a minimum of two years of full time professional clinical experience and a graduate degree in nursing from a nationally accredited school of nursing, with a Ph.D. preferred, as well as other requirements.
“I feel like we need to be teaching both ends of the spectrum when we’re teaching things in school as well….What I mean by that is if we’re teaching the Big Bang Theory then we need to teach creationism as well.” — Barbara Evanson
On October 31, the Colorado Times Recorderhighlighted a locally-made video interview with District 51 School Board candidate Barbara Evanson in which Evanson says that if schools teach what is scientifically known about the origins of the universe, then they should also have to teach creationism alongside that information so kids can decide on their own what’s true.
Creationism is the religious belief that God created the universe. It is a wholly religious construct with no scientific proof behind it,
The idea of mandating creationism be taught in public schools alongside scientific information has been declared by U.S. courts to be illegal.
In this excerpt from an interview with “Ruth” and “Lisa” (who do not provide their last names) posted on a YouTube account named “MesaCountyCompass” on October 8, 2023, “District 51 School Board candidate Barbara Evanson says she would ban “a ton of material” from school libraries that she feels is inappropriate.
Truth & Liberty Coalition fliers seek to influence the local school board election by focusing on right wing culture war issues. The fliers were placed at La Milpa Tortilleria on 30 Road.
High-quality, multi-colored, bilingual fliers created by the front range Christian dominionist group Truth & Liberty Coalition are showing up at businesses around town. The fliers use right wing culture war rhetoric targeting gay and transgender students in an attempt to influence the outcome of the November 7 District 51 School Board election. The fliers appear to endorse CynDee Skalla, Jessica Hearns and Barbara Evanson.
The fliers were found at La Milpa Tortilla Factory in Grand Junction and are bilingual in English and Spanish.
A slide shown at a mid-October, 2023 Stand for the Constitution meeting that indicates the group still supports criminally-indicted, election denier Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters. The same group is supporting Evanson and Skalla for D-51 School District Board.
It seems like Mesa County never seems to learn from its past mistakes.
For this article, information was taken from Colorado Tracer (the state’s campaign finance disclosure website), Little Sis (a free database that tracks key relationships between politicians, business leaders, lobbyists, financiers, and their affiliated institutions), the subscription background check site Truthfinder.com, Zillow.com, the archives of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, the subscription newspaper archive Newspapers.com, the candidates’ own social media accounts and campaign websites if they have them, and the social media pages of other people and groups in Mesa County where the candidates might have posted, or where they might have been mentioned.
I would urge readers to particularly look at which candidates have hired professional agents and campaign consultants, who they’ve hired to do these jobs, and which candidates are serving as their own registered agents and managing their own campaigns.
The candidates running for the two open seats on District 51 School Board in 2023 are:
District A: José Luis Chavéz, CynDee Skalla and Jessica Hearn
District B: Barbara Evanson and Cindy Enos Martinez
The former Rocky Mountain Gun Club building at 545 31 Road, where Ascent Classical Academy plans to open a new charter school eventually, after missing its initially-proposed September 5 date for occupancy. The gun club signs were still on the building as of early August.
Michael Kosnett, M.D., M.P.H., at CU Anschutz School of Public Health in Aurora, CO, an expert in medical toxicology, occupational and environmental health who specializes in occupational and environmental toxicology of heavy metals, including lead, weighed in about the type of post-remediation lead testing that should be used at the Ascent Classical Academy building (swipe or bulk testing), and what the residual lead levels are allowed to be in this situation.
Lead is a highly poisonous element that, according to UNICEF, is responsible for 1.5% of global deaths. Children are particularly susceptible to its effects.
How much lead exposure does it take to poison a child? This much.
AnneLandmanBlog received the following email from Bradley Turpin, Milk and Institutions Program Manager in CDPHE’s Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability saying the company that performed the post-remediation testing for lead at the new Ascent Classical Academy building (the old Rocky Mountain Gun Club at 545 31 Road) did in fact use a test that they are allowed to use in this instance. He apologized for the confusion caused by their former statement that bulk testing would be appropriate in this situation. The official did not comment on the current lead levels in the building, but CDPHE does appear to be involved in overseeing the remediation.
How lead is dispersed at shooting ranges (Georgia Dept. of Public Health/Seattle Times)
The Vertex Company LLC of Denver, which Ascent Classical Academy hired to test the old Rocky Mountain Gun Club building for lead contamination after the building was remediated, did the wrong kind of testing, says an specialist with Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).
Caren Johannes of CDPHE’s Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division Compliance Unit, who oversees closed shooting ranges, looked over online remediation report (pdf) that Ascent posted its website on August 11, 2023, and concluded that the Vertex Company did the wrong kind of testing for lead in the building, so their results will not be valid.
How much lead exposure does it take to poison a child? This much. And so far no one has guaranteed there isn’t this much lead remaining in the old Rocky Mountain Gun Club building, which is being repurposed to serve as Ascent Classical Academy’s new charter school in Grand Junction
Notice: Since this article was written, AnneLandmanBlog has found out from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)’s Hazardous Waste department expert in charge of dealing with closed firing ranges that Ascent contractor Vertex Companies of Denver utilized the wrong type of post-remediation testing technique for this facility, rendering the results in the report Ascent posted on August 11 invalid and essentially useless. Read more about it here.
And Ascent did not test the air inside the facility.
Derek Shuler, CEO of Ascent Classical Academies, in 2018 (Photo: YouTube)
The post-remediation testing was performed by the Vertex Company, which included a disclaimer in the report that essentially says it wasn’t feasible to test all areas of the building, so there may still be areas where lead dust levels exceed HUD limits.
Advocates for Moms Demand Action, a gun violence prevention group, handed Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-CO) a pin on July 18 honoring 10-year old Maite Rodriguez, one of 19 children massacred in the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022.
Meme D-51 School Board President Andrea Haitz posted on social media c. May 9, 2022, widely seen as transphobic and a dig at public school teachers
The committee to recall District 51 School Board President Andrea Haitz has stopped gathering signatures for the recall.
The Committee issued a statement at 7:52 p.m. on June 29:
Sometimes we win. Sometimes we win, regardless.
The Recall Andrea Haitz Committee has decided to suspend collecting signatures. We are close to our goal, but the D51 board’s decision to include Marillac Clinic in Grand Junction High School was a major factor for starting the Recall. We celebrate the board’s decision to give our D51 students accessible and needed health care. We believe our Recall effort is a success by acting as a “6th member of the board” and keeping community attention on the actions of the board while important decisions are being made.
Recalls rarely succeed. But we have shown that non-violent, democratic action can positively move the needle, and galvanize voters before the election of two new board members in November 2023.
Folks have spoken clearly – No more political agendas in our schools. No more charter schools that siphon off public school students. No more secret committees deciding how many additional neighborhood schools will be closed.
We hope that Recall supporters know that while the Recall committee is turning a page, community attention remains squarely on board decisions. Our students are worth the time and energy of a 100-strong coalition of signature collectors has devoted to the attempt to peacefully and constitutionally effect change. We continue to Sign for D51 Kids.
Sarah Lester, Eric Rechel, Ricki Howie The Recall Andrea Haitz Committee and D51 Stakeholders
Drinking Liberally is a non-partisan social group that holds get-togethers in town at food and drink establishments while hosting guest speakers. The event focuses on protection of our civil liberties, like freedom from government and corporate overreach (for example denying workers the right to organize, denying women the right to access abortions and preventing transgender people access to medical care). On Tuesday, May 23, the event was held at Edgewater Brewery at 905 Struthers, by the Colorado River.
The packed crowd included notable conservatives like Tom Keenan and Cindy Ficklin, members of the far right wing group, Stand for the Constitution. The event featured two Speakers: newly-elected Mesa County Clerk Bobbie Gross and Darren Cook, former longtime D-51 teacher who is running for D-51 School Board.
The petition is available for signing every day from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon at Lincoln Park. The table with circulators and petitions will either be at 12th and Teller by the Barn, or at 12th and Gunnison.
Are you aware of someone who owns firearms and is presenting a danger to themselves or others?
Colorado’s new Red Flag law was passed in 2019 and went into effect in January of 2020.
A Red Flag law is an “if-you-see-something-say-something” law put in place by the Colorado Legislature to give Coloradans a way to alert law enforcement to people who have guns and are posing a threat to themselves or others.
Red Flag laws, also called Extreme Risk Protection Orders or ERPOs, give judges the ability to seize the firearms of people who are posing a danger to themselves or others, to protect public safety.
The law was created to give people a way to try to head off incidents of lethal domestic violence, suicides and mass shootings like those currently proliferating across the U.S. in schools, shopping malls, theaters, grocery stores, universities, in parking lots, at parades, in offices and other places Americans go in the course of their everyday lives. As of May 8, 2023, there have been more mass shootings than there have been days in America, so the threat of mass killings being committed by people who own or possess firearms is very real and happening more frequently now than ever before in our history.
Click the image to go to the new website for the Andrea Haitz recall effort
The public can now keep track of the effort to recall School District 51’s Board President Andrea Haitz by going to SignForKids.com, where people can find out where to sign petitions, get trained in how to gather signatures, donate to the effort or volunteer to help. The organizers need to gather 15,000 valid signatures of registered voters within the next two months.
The website states the public’s grievances against Haitz:
Andrea Haitz was elected to the District 51 Board in 2021, promising transparency.
Instead, Haitz has turned local control of school dollars over to extremist organizations, turned fundamental parts of her job over to expensive lawyers, denied student pleas for mental health services, and used her office for family political gain.
The biggest decisions at District 51 are now being turned over to outside interests and fringe extremists who don’t represent Mesa County families.