KREX reporter Michael Loggerwell’s story about Mesa County’s new Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the Health Department- Part 1
KREX-TV News recently did a two-part series about the Mesa County Commissioners’ new, post-Jeff KuhrIntergovernmental Agreement (IGA) that more tightly regulates the County’s relationship with the Public Health Department (MCPHD), and how it differs from the old 2012 agreement in important ways that could negatively affect public health and safety in the county.
“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.
On September 29, Colorado Administrative Law Judge Timothy Nemecheck fined former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters $15,400 for illegally soliciting and accepting contributions to a 2022 re-election campaign for county clerk without first registering as a candidate with the State.
The fine was the end result of two campaign finance complaints filed in 2021 by Scott Beilfuss, who is now a Grand Junction City Councilman. The first complaint was dated August 16, 2021. Beilfuss wrote a single sentence:
“Tina Peters flew up to Mr. Pillows cybersymposium on a private plane provided to her and is staying as a guest of the Pillow foundation in a clear violation of accepting gift laws.”
Marshall Zelinger of 9News’ Next with Kyle Clark reported on Friday, October 6, 2023 that an administrative law judge has fined Republican former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters $15,400 for soliciting donations to run for re-election as Mesa County Clerk without having first filed the necessary paperwork with the state that requires she report all the money she raised and spent on her campaign. The $15.4k fine pertains to Tina’s campaign for Clerk that she dropped out of in 2022 to run for Colorado Secretary of State instead.
Welcome to the new Mesa County Board of Public Health (Photo: AP/Matt York)
At the meeting of the new Mesa County Board of Public Health (BOH) scheduled for tomorrow, Monday, September 11, 2023, the County Commissioners hope to impose a new Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) (pdf, page 10) on the Board of Health that will tie the BOH tightly to most County policies and procedures eliminate the BOH’s ability to control their own meeting agendas, and allow the Commissioners block discussion of any subject the commissioners don’t like.
Despite railing against the debt limit deal for weeks, tweeting against it 23 times and calling the bill “D.C. self-created garbage,” on May 31, 2023 Colorado House Rep. Lauren Boebert missed her chance to vote on the bill.
A CNN reporter caught video of Boebert running up the Capitol steps too late to vote on the bill. As Boebert is dashing up the steps the reporter tells Boebert “It’s closed.” Boebert stops, turns around and says, “It’s closed?” then turns keeps running up the steps.
For all her railing against the debt ceiling bill, Colorado’s 3rd District House Representative Lauren Boebert missed voting on the bill entirely on Wednesday night. The vote passed by an overwhelmingly bipartisan margin of 314-117. The Senate passed the bill this morning by a vote of 63-36. The bill had to pass before Monday to avoid a potentially catastrophic, historic federal government default on paying debts the nation has already incurred.
Boebert had vowed to vote “no” on the bill, saying “Our base didn’t volunteer, door knock and fight so hard to get us the majority for this kind of compromise deal with Joe Biden. Our voters deserve better than this. We work for them. You can count me as a NO on this deal. We can do better.”
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.
Darren Cook (Photo: CO Education Association via Twitter, 2015)
Note: This is a guest post by Darren Cook, a former longtime District 51 middle School teacher and former President of the Mesa Valley Education Association, which represents public school teachers. Darren started a website and blog to give the public his take on decisions being made by the current District 51 School Board majority. Darren is running to replace controversial current school board member Andrea Haitz in the upcoming recall election.
On Friday, the Mesa Valley Education Association shocked the teachers of District 51 by announcing that for the first time in forty years, the Board of Education will not directly negotiate with teachers. Instead, they will be represented by two lawyers, David Price and Tammy Eret.
In my twenty-three-year career with D51, I was part of the teachers’ negotiation team for seventeen of those. We brought eight to ten teachers, paying attention to having representation from each instructional level, content, and area of expertise. D51 administration brought a similarly representative team, with administrators from each level, the Chief Financial Officer, Executive Director of Human Resources, and Superintendent as key parts of their team. And, of course, all five Board members were there. Always.
Below are the results of the April 4, 2023 City of Grand Junction election. These are marked on the City’s website as the final election results. There will be a ballot curing period of 8 days following which the official final results will be viewable by going to this link on the City’s website.
Referred Measure 1A is the Community Recreation Center and 1B was to lengthen the lease on a parcel of City-owned land.
Winners of seats on City Council are Cody Kennedy, Jason Nguyen and Scott Beilfuss, and incumbent Anna Stout skated to re-election running unopposed.
The Community Recreation Center measure passed by almost 4,000 votes. Voters also passed the measure to lengthen the lease on City-owned property.
Alexis Bauer owns Octopus Coffee on Horizon Drive. Last week she emailed me to talk about the proposed community recreation center on the upcoming April ballot. (We differed on what we think about it. I am for it). As we got into a longer conversation, Alexis sent a follow-up email in which she offered a variety of insights from her standpoint as a western slope resident and local business owner. She talked not only about the Rec Center, but also other issues facing Grand Junction, like the housing shortage, the cost of doing business, her experience with the local workforce, City Council’s recent approval of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and what it portends for the City, the buzz she hears from customers, and more.
I found Alexis’s insights interesting and felt they deserved a wider forum, so with her permission I am sharing her email to me below, edited slightly for clarity, in hopes others find it enlightening as well.
For this article, I drew from publicly available sources, including the candidates’ own websites and social media accounts, newspaper articles, the candidates’ financial disclosure statements filed with the City of Grand Junction, background-checks done on TruthFinder.com, and public records requests to the Grand Junction Police Department (GJPD) for records of any contact the candidates had with local law enforcement agencies. I felt the law enforcement piece was necessary after seeing Mesa County voters elect people to public office who were later involved in theft, falsifying time cards, embezzlement, assault, plagiarism, DUI, double-dipping, election tampering and other offenses.
These City Council candidates are asking voters to hire them for a job. City taxpayers pay their salaries. The candidates should be background-checked.
Sen. Rich, shown here in 2022 when she was a House Representative, has a track record of introducing beneficial, bipartisan legislation and getting it passed. Here she is seen at the signing on April 12, 2022 of HB22-1040, “Homeowners’ Reasonable Access to Common Areas,” which limited homeowner associations’ (HOAs) ability to restrict homeowners’ access to their own common open space and amenities. (Left to right: House Rep. Edie Hooton, Rep. Janice Rich, Gov. Polis, Sen. Tammy Story)
State Senator Janice Rich (R) is doing something we haven’t seen in years from our elected state Senator: Introducing thoughtful, beneficial, bipartisan legislation that can benefit everyone.
Sen. Rich recently introduced SB23-023, a bill that requires high schools that teach the state’s comprehensive health education program to instruct students in how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use an automated external defibrillator (AED).