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.
Homeowners in the Moonridge Falls subdivision in Grand Junction woke up last December 21 to find their homeowners association (HOA) had suddenly locked them out of their own common space park.
Residents couldn’t remember a time when the gates to the park had ever been locked. No one had been hurt in the park. No accidents had occurred in the park recently, not even a close call, but for some reason the HOA suddenly decided to lock the park and keep everyone out, even homeowners, as though it was a crime scene or a grave emergency had just occurred. The HOA put up a sign saying the park would stay locked as long as there was ice on the pond. Yet long after the ice had melted, the locks remained, leading residents o wonder what was really up, and what they could do about it.
Newly-discovered Mesa County documents (pdf) reveal that in 2017, the Board of County Commissioners handed over $57,000 in taxpayer funds to a Christian organization represented by Janet Rowland for the purpose of recruiting solely evangelical Christian foster families in Mesa County.
Rose Pugliese, John Justman and Scott McInnis — all Republicans — unanimously agreed to enter into a contract (pdf) to pay $57,360 in taxpayer funds to Project 1.27, a Christian ministry that works through churches to recruit religious foster and adoptive families to assure children are “cared for within Christian communities.”
Janet Rowland was Project 1.27’s national director.
The group engages in “[foster] training with a solid Christian perspective,” and provides training to “Christian parents wishing to foster and adopt.” The group’s website makes no mention of recruiting families belonging to any other religions or of no religion.
The county’s contract required 20 hours a month be spent on “faith based recruitment.”
Project 1.27’s website only addresses recruitment of Christian families, saying they provide “state-required, biblically-based training for Christian parents wishing to foster and adopt.”
This is misleading since legally, no state can require “biblically-based training” in anything. Project 1.27’s website does not say it is open to recruitment of families from any other religion, or non-religious families.
Embattled Republican Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters expressed contempt for atheists yesterday in a comment on social media, sowing further doubt about whether she can truly conduct her office in an impartial manner.
Here is how the comment came about:
Participants on the public group Facebook page “Transparency in Mesa County” had been discussing the County Clerk’s office after it was found that they forgot to collect and count 574+ ballots from the November, 2019 combined general election.
@MesaCountyClerk Peters says in today's @DailySentinelGJ that she "has been getting calls all weekend about how outraged #MesaCounty citizens are" that people are trying to recall her. I'm a Mesa County citizen who's THRILLED for the recall. I like my ballots COUNTED! #ByeTina
— Anne Landman (@AnneLandman) June 2, 2020
If you are among those taking to the streets to protest police brutality against people of color, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) wants you to know their rights, and the risks.
As you head out to protest, here’s what the ACLU says you need keep in mind:
In a new documentary released Friday, May 22, Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff in the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe V. Wade, reveals that she was paid by anti-abortion factions to switch her position from supporting to opposing abortion rights for women.
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.”
KREX received a cease-and-desist letter (pdf) from President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign threatening the station over a political ad it ran called “Exponential Threat” produced by Priorities USA, a Democratic super PAC.
The ad juxtaposes a montage of the many dismissive comments Trump made about the Coronavirus pandemic earlier this year with an animated chart showing the rising number of infections in the United States. It ends by saying: “America needs a leader we can trust.”
The Trump campaign sent the threatening letter to television stations across the country, suggesting it would sue the stations for defamation and urge the Federal Communications Commission to revoke their FCC licenses.
Kids: want to make some easy money?
Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers (WCAF), is announcing its 2019 Student Essay Contest. The winning high school student gets $500 and the winning middle school student gets $250, and all this just for writing a short but insightful essay.
This year WCAF invites students from Delta County middle and high schools to participate, as well as all middle and high school students from Mesa County. Students in DeBeque, Plateau Valley and Gateway are all eligible to enter, as long as they are in middle or high school range.
On the same day Trump’s raids on immigrant families are scheduled to start (today), Trump issued a series of tweets that make his racism very clear:
“So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly…… ….and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how……..it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!”
Trump and his administration are working to create terror in immigrant communities throughout the U.S. by directing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) carry out sweeping “family op” raids across the country on undocumented immigrant families who have been in the United States for years.
Oklahoma Republicans just passed a mind-blowingly strict law that makes abortion illegal in virtually every circumstance, effectively terminating the right of women in the state to control their own bodies and reproductive fate.
Oklahoma wasn’t alone in this, either. Other Republican-dominated states are also enacting extremely strict laws that effectively make abortion illegal, with some banning the procedure as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected.
Republicans base these laws on their belief that a fetus is a fully legal person entitled to all the rights and privileges that all legal American citizens enjoy.
But if actually put into effect, what do these beliefs really portend for life in America?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 13, 2019
Vanessa Michel, Director of Communications
Office: 720-402-3112, Mobile: 917-399-0733
Deanna Hirsch, Media Strategist
Office: 720-402-3122, Mobile: 720-971-2393
ACLU Sues Colorado State Senator for Blocking Constituent on Social Media
DENVER – ACLU of Colorado filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court this morning against Colorado State Senator Ray Scott for blocking constituent Anne Landman from his official Facebook and Twitter pages. Landman, a resident of Colorado Senate District 7 in Grand Junction, speaks out regularly on public policy issues and writes about Colorado politics on her blog. She also uses social media to interact with fellow constituents and elected officials. Landman had been able to interact with Scott and others in these spaces until June 2017, when she wrote an article critical of Scott’s position regarding climate change and posted it on his official Facebook page. In response, Scott blocked Landman from his Facebook page and official Twitter account.
In a reaction to a letter the Mesa County Commissioners sent to the state legislature opposing SB19-181(pdf), Mesa County residents can now easily add their names to a letter that urges state legislators to PASS Senate Bill 19-181, a landmark bill to refocus the mission of the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission away from fostering oil and gas development to instead protecting public health, safety and welfare and the environment when considering new applications for drilling.
The bill was crafted with input from Erin Martinez, who lost her husband and brother in the explosion of a hidden gas flowline under their house in Firestone, Colorado in April of 2017. The bill will require public disclosure of flowline information.
The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled February 15, 2019 that a Fort Collins, Colorado city ordinance prohibiting women from baring their breasts in public and punishes them for doing so while putting no similar restrictions on men violates the U.S. Constitution.
Two female plaintiffs and an unincorporated group called “Free the Nipple” sued Ft. Collins over an ordinance the city enacted in 2015 that made it a misdemeanor for a woman to bare her breasts in public for anything other than breastfeeding. Violations were punishable by a fine of up to $2,650 or up to 180 days in jail. The ordinance did not specify the same for men.
But being politically liberal is a profoundly positive thing.
Because liberals have made most of the progress in American society.
Attend a FREE political event to celebrate the increasing power of liberals and progressives on the western slope! Come to the Progressive Family Picnic on Saturday, September 1 at the Watson Island Amphitheater from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. The event is 100% free, no admission, open to all. It celebrates workers and families, so pack a picnic, and bring your family! Come enjoy the grassy amphitheater behind the Botanical Gardens beside the Colorado River at the end of 7th Street in downtown Grand Junction. There will be free live music and even parking is free. The event is sponsored by Claudette Konola and Kennedy for Colorado. Chris Kennedy, who is running for State Senate District 7 against Ray Scott, will be there and Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Jared Polis will be there to share his bold ideas for the future and meet western slopers in person.
Tell your friends you’ll meet them there! There’s room for 1,000 people!
Note: I first published this article in August of 2018, but given President Trump’s recent racist statements toward four female freshmen members of Congress, it seems appropriate to re-post it. — AL, July 21, 2019
Anyone on the western slope who has pointed out hatred, bigotry, unequal treatment or violations of people’s constitutional or civil rights in our area has heard the phrase over and over: “If you don’t like what’s going on here, you can just leave.”
That’s what many western slope residents say to people who live here who aren’t just like them, who may have moved here from somewhere else, or who disagree with them or assert their constitutional rights.