Category: Safety

Einstein Bagels is rounding up change to support a group that is facing multiple sexual assault and EEOC claims

Einstein Bagels asks people to round up their purchase to the next dollar to donate to a Christian missionary youth group that has been charged with widespread sexual assault, misconduct and harassment.

Einstein Bagels in Grand Junction is asking customers to round up their change to support an evangelical Christian missionary youth group, Young Life, that is facing a slew of sexual misconduct lawsuits by former club participants across the country and at least four Equal Employment Opportunity Complaints for racial discrimination, improper termination and other sordid allegations.

The group, Young Life, came under federal investigation after students, members and volunteers across the country reported they had experienced unwanted sexual advances and solicitations, racially discriminatory comments and treatment, and verbal harassment consisting of sexual innuendoes, comments, jokes, inappropriate texts and social media messages, grooming, inappropriate physical touching, sexual assault, racially discriminatory treatment and retaliation against volunteers who reported such events.

People forced out of Young Life for reporting sexual misconduct

A sign in Einstein’s window urges people to round up their change to support Young Life

After Becca Wong, a Young Life student leader in Michigan, reported an incident of forced oral sex on another member to the organization’s leadership, the leadership forced her out of the organization “in direct retaliation” for reporting the assault, Wong says. In an interview to Michigan Daily, Wong said,

“It’s a very harmful experience but when you’re in (Young Life), you really drink the Kool Aid and you really believe everything they’re doing… Leaving Young Life was a very eye-opening experience, and you can’t really see the problems in Young Life until you’re out of it.”

Laureana Arellano brought a lawsuit after she was racially and sexually harassed at a Young Life summer camp in Colorado in 2019. Arellano said in her legal complaint that a coworker assaulted her by “shoving his hand down her apron and groping her genitalia.” Court paperwork says that when she reported it, a manager told her it was “God’s plan.” Arellano reached a settlement agreement with Young Life, the terms of which are undisclosed.

Brie Boatman, a former staff member who left YoungLife in 2018, said

“Women are not safe in this ministry if Young Life is going to listen to our stories and do nothing about it.” 

CMU and many local businesses continue to support Young Life despite allegations, lawsuits & complaints about misconduct

A host of prominent Grand Junction businesses support Young Life by participating in a discount card program the organization uses to raise money to send youth to Young Life camps. The organization also flourishes on college campuses, including at Colorado Mesa University, which welcomes the group in spite of its fraught reputation.

Young Life is a $500 million, Colorado Springs-based organization that works to lure young people into Christianity. It starts recruiting kids as young as middle school, is present in all 50 states and in over 100 countries around the world.

If you have experienced sexual assault, harassment or other misconduct while in Young Life, you can report it to Business Insider, which is compiling reports on such incidents, at rpremack@protonmail.com, or contact the Denver-based law firm, Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC, that is handling many  cases against Young Life already, at 303-578-4400 or fill in the contact form at their website. 

This photo from Colorado Mesa University’s website shows the university promoting Young Life, a nationwide Christian missionary youth group based in Colorado Springs that has been accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment and racial discrimination

 

Grand Junction businesses that support Young Life despite sexual assault allegations

A host of Grand Junction businesses endorse Young Life, which has been charged with sexual misconduct against members and volunteers, doing nothing about it, and even working to cover it up

House Rep. Boebert (R) touts “replacement theory,” the far-right, white supremacist conspiracy theory increasingly behind mass shootings

In a video taken last September, House Rep. Lauren Boebert touts “replacement theory,” the racist ideology that led an 18-year old to massacre ten Black people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York on Saturday, March 14, 2022.  Payton Gendron, the shooter, left behind a 180-page manifesto that showed he was fixated on the idea that White people in the U.S. are being intentionally replaced — the same idea Boebert spouts in this video.

“Gold standard” medical study finds Ivermectin does not reduce risk of severe Covid-19

A large number of Mesa County residents harbor the mistaken belief that the anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin, used to de-worm horses and prevent heart worm in dogs, can treat Covid-19, even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says this is not true.

The bogus idea that Ivermectin is effective against Covid was promoted locally by Grand Junction area chiropractors who spread medical misinformation about Covid-19, including one who urged people to buy livestock-strength Ivermectin and administer it to themselves as a Covid-preventative. Some local chiropractors spread medical misinformation and discouraged people from getting safe and effective vaccines against the disease as a way to help sell their own proprietary brand of supplements they claimed would prevent Covid-19. Members of the Mesa County Republican Party even introduced a resolution for their party’s platform to try to make Ivermectin an over-the-counter drug in Colorado.

After Ivermectin poisonings surged across the country in 2021 due to the spread of this dangerous misinformation, the FDA created an entire web page explaining why people should not use Ivermectin to try to prevent, treat or mitigate Covid-19.

Now there’s even more proof that using Ivermectin to treat Covid is pointless: A large-scale “gold standard” study on using Ivermectin to treat Covid was just published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and it concluded Ivermectin does not reduce the likelihood of hospitalization from Covid-19.

Open burning still a scourge in Mesa County in 2022


It’s a beautiful spring day in Mesa County, and once again the time of year when palls of thick smoke from open burning envelope entire neighborhoods, turning beautiful, fragrant, warm spring days into days of physical illness, suffering and despair for Grand Valley residents.

With the biggest medical center between Denver and Salt Lake and a wide variety of retirement housing, Grand Junction has long been an attractive area for retirees. But many people who settle here are unaware of the archaic open burning tradition here that exacerbates health problems and can pose an extraordinary health threat to sensitive people with illnesses like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, bronchitis and those who use supplemental oxygen for lung and heart disease.

Is it safe yet to go to indoor meetings and parties? Here’s how to tell.

This post is dedicated to my dad, Daniel N. Fox, who died on 2/11/22 from Covid-19, after catching it from someone who came into his home and inadvertently infected his entire household. Two people out of the three in his household have died as a result. The second person died on 2/14/22.

As the omicron surge recedes in Mesa County, people are starting to gather in large crowds for indoor events again, like meetings, concerts and parties. But is it safe?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests you take into account the type of gathering you’re considering attending: Is it a small gathering of just people you know, or will there be people there from multiple households or with whom you are unfamiliar? Large gatherings with more people from other places pose a higher danger of infection with Covid-19.

Take into account your risk level, and that of others near you: Do you have children under 5 years old at home who are unvaccinated? Or do you live with, visit or work with older people who have weaker immune systems or other health conditions? If you are around people who are vulnerable to the virus, your behavior, specifically carelessly exposing yourself to large crowds and failing to test for infection before spending time with them, can raise their risk of getting Covid-19, and even kill them, as it killed my dad last Friday.

Mesa County Concerned Citizen meme demonstrates local cluelessness about respiratory transmission of disease

Meme in an email blast sent out by the far right group Mesa County Concerned Citizen on 11/15/21, showing that likely many local people lack any understanding of how respiratory disease transmission works — vital information that’s central to getting a pandemic under control

The above meme was sent out in an email blast last November 15, 2021 by the far right extremist group Mesa County Concerned Citizen.

The meme makes it clear that many Mesa County residents likely lack an understanding about how the transmission of respiratory diseases works — information that is massively important to our ability to bring the virus under control. This could be one reason why the coronavirus has been able to spread so efficiently in Mesa County, and why it is likely to persist here.

Former KKCO weatherman Butch McCain now shilling for anti-vaxxers

Former KKCO Channel 11 weatherman Butch McCain, who was fired last October for refusing to get vaccinated against Covid-19, stands in front of a fake weather map in a video promoting the anti-vax group Stop The Mandate GJ

Former longtime KKCO weatherman Butch McCain, who was fired from KKCO last October after refusing to get a Covid-19 vaccine in compliance with his employer Gray TV’s Covid-19 vaccine policy, is now promoting the anti-vax group Stop the Mandate GJ, which is encouraging others in our area to also refuse the vaccine.

McCain now appears on the first page of StoptheMandateGJ’s website, talking in front of a fake weather map and saying in part,

“It’s not about Covid any more, it’s about forced compliance…Let’s be the resistance to their nationwide tyranny…

 

G.J. chiropractor recommends novel but fraudulent way for anti-vaxxers to try to avoid mandatory Covid vaccination

New Life Chiropractic on Patterson Rd., operated by Wesley Sheader, recommends “VaxControlGroup.com” to anti-vaxxers who are trying to evade vaccine mandates. The only problem is, it’s fraudulent.

Grand Junction chiropractor Wesley Sheader of New Life Chiropractic at 2532 Patterson Road is giving people trying to evade Covid-19 vaccine mandates a unique way to evade the jab: he suggests they join an unvaccinated study control group which can issue them an official-looking ID card saying they can’t be vaccinated because they are a participant in the study.

The only thing is, there is no study and the “control group” is a scam.

Does Greg Haitz’s furtive editing of his “Immune Support Pack” page indicate consciousness of guilt?

Chiropractor Greg Haitz previously ran for Grand Junction City Council. His wife, Andrea, is now on D51 School Board.

Last month we noticed that Grand Junction chiropractor Greg Haitz of the Rimrock Wellness Center at 12th and Patterson, was marketing his own proprietary “Rimrock Wellness Center” brand of dietary supplement, “Immune Support Pack,” with a description that inferred the product could help mitigate or protect against Covid-19, or “C19”:

Rimrock Wellness Center’s “Immune Support Pack” description as it appeared on December 25, 2021, linking the product to protection from, and mitigation of Covid-19

The National Institutes of Health currently warns Americans that

Data are insufficient to support recommendations for or against the use of any vitamin, mineral, herb or other botanical, fatty acid, or other dietary supplement ingredient to prevent or treat COVID-19.”

At the same time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is actively monitoring for firms that are marketing products using fraudulent claims that they can prevent, mitigate or treat COVID-19.

After the blog about this product was published, we noticed Haitz edited his “Immune Support Pack” web page to remove the descriptive paragraph previously seen above, and instead he had substituted a list of five published studies:

Trump urges his supporters to get vaccinated. Will Mesa County listen?

“I recommend taking the vaccines. It’s good. I did it. Take the vaccines.”

“The vaccines do work and they are effective.” — Sept. 1, 2021

                                          — Donald Trump

An NPR analysis of more than 100,000 people across the country showed that people who live in counties that voted 60% or more for Trump in the November, 2020 election had 2.73 times higher death rate from Covid-19 than counties that voted for Biden. Counties with an even higher share of the vote for Trump have even higher death rates from COVID-19.

65% of Mesa County voters voted for Trump in the 2020 election.

Mesa County, obviously a strongly pro-Trump county, would appear to be a death trap. Our County is sadly is averaging more than a death a day from Covid-19. Eighty-five percent of people admitted to local hospitals for Covid-19 are still unvaccinated. 

ROLLING STONE: House Rep. Lauren Boebert participated in multiple planning meetings with organizers of Jan. 6 insurrection

Oct. 24 Rolling Stone article says Boebert participated in planning Jan. 6th events at the U.S. Capitol

According to an exclusive article published in Rolling Stone magazine October 24, 2021, two people who helped plan and organize the violent January 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, and who have already spoken to the House Select Committee investigating the insurrection, have named members of Congress involved in planning the attack.

One of them was CD-3 House Representative Lauren Boebert, who represents Colorado’s western slope.

My Pillow Guy appears with Sherronna Bishop at Garfield County School District RE-2 Board Meeting

Mike Lindell appears alongside election conspiracy theorist/anti-mask activist/Tina Peters defender Sherronna Bishop at a Wednesday, Oct. 13 Garfield County RE-2 School Board meeting held via Zoom

In a bizarre scene, “My Pillow guy” Mike Lindell made a cameo appearance alongside Rifle election conspiracist and Tina Peters defender Sherronna Bishop at a Zoomed Garfield County School District RE-2 Board Meeting on October 13.

Bishop appears about three minutes into the meeting, speaking during the public comment period and accusing School Board members of abusing children by “forcing medical devices on them.” She condemns the Board for how her “kid had to wear a mask to his homecoming dance” and how the students were “interrupted” by an adult at the dance who reminded students how to correctly wear their masks. Bishop accused the school board of “assaulting and abusing” children by having them wear masks for protection at school amid the pandemic.

After a member of the school board warns Bishop she has 30 seconds left to speak, a man wearing a shirt and tie moves into the frame with Bishop. He then bends down to where viewers can see his face, and it was the clear the man is Mike Lindell. One of the school board members can be heard in the background saying “Jesse, turn it off!”

As Bishop ends her comments, Lindell starts weighing in with the District RE-2 School Board, saying “There’s more science than you guys even know of” about masking, and “[inaudible] suicide and addiction…”

The school board then cuts the couple off, and lets a student present know that it is her turn to speak.
Video of the meeting is below:

D-51 School Board candidate Voter Guide for the 11/2/2021 election

NOTE: This article is longer than usual owing to the number of people running, the amount of information available on them and the need to put the practical meaning of Chamber endorsements in context so people can accurately grasp their significance. One photo in this article may be unsuitable for kids. Below is a brief summary of my vote recommendations for school board, if you don’t have time to read the whole article immediately:

Recommended Votes:

District C – Trish Mahre

District D – Nick Allan

District E – David Combs

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Following are summaries of the candidates running for District 51 School Board in the upcoming November 2 election. Sources of information included the candidates’ publicly available campaign and work websites, their campaign and personal social media, and other primary and authoritative online resources, including minutes of District 51 Board meetings and the website of Mesa County Libraries.

Daily Sentinel & Mesa County Public Health Department appear to take steps to shield CMU from criticism

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel and Mesa County Public Health Department appear to be shielding Colorado Mesa University from public criticism over its handling of the Coronavirus pandemic by minimizing and obscuring information about Covid outbreaks and how the school is handling cases.

Buried towards the end of an article in today’s Sentinel about Covid cases in area schools was a reference to a situation in which a CMU student who was sick with Covid-19 and quarantined in Piñon Hall failed to get any food delivered for two days. The paper referred to the situation as “one minor communications issue” and made it sound like the student was to blame, along with a single poster in the dorm.

Quarantined CMU student reports not getting food, help or medical attention

New CMU President John Marshall (Photo: Twitter, @MesaVeep)

Colorado Mesa University (CMU) students currently being quarantined in Piñon Hall after being exposed to Covid-19, or who are currently sick with Covid, are telling their parents there is no one stationed in the dorm to help them, and that the school is not providing them with medical attention or even food.

Colorado Public Radio (CPR) published an article September 9 titled, “To vaccinate, or not to vaccinate. At Colorado Mesa University, that was the conversation,” about CMU President John Marshall’s hands-off approach to controlling the Coronavirus pandemic. Currently CMU does not require students to be vaccinated against Covid-19, or to use face coverings, and does not allow instructors to enforce mask-wearing in classrooms — a recipe to spread the Coronavirus, especially with the more communicable Delta variant widespread in Mesa County, and where, according to the Mesa County Public Health Department, only 25-29% of people between the ages of 19 and 29 are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

CMU President John Marshall’s spin on the Israeli study matches TheGatewayPundit’s spin on the same study

The information CMU President John Marshall promoted in an email about an un-peer-reviewed Israeli study, and the key information that he left out, match that of the right wing conspiracy website TheGatewayPundit.com (Photo: Twitter @maverickprez)

On August 27, 2021, the conspiracy website TheGatewayPundit.com posted an article strongly promoting a “new study out of Israel” that touted natural immunity against Covid-19 over the immunity provided by vaccines. The Gateway Pundit article headline said people who have recovered from COVID-19 have more protection against the virus than people who’ve only been vaccinated. The study the website pointed to as the source of this information was the very same un-peer reviewed Israeli preprint on MedRxIv.org with a warning label that CMU President John Marshall pointed to as the basis for his August 30 “Campus Safety” email to staff promoting the protective value of natural immunity to Covid-19.

CMU President John Marshall cites unreliable preprint as a basis for the school’s weak Covid-19 response

New CMU President John Marshall has never published a single article in a peer-reviewed journal, and appears oblivious to the importance of the peer-review process in citing medical research as the basis for campus health policy. (Photo: Twitter, @MesaVeep)

New Colorado Mesa University (CMU) President John Marshall on August 30 cited a non-peer-reviewed study that bears a boldfaced warning label saying it might contain errors and be incorrect, as a basis for the school’s disturbingly weak mitigation plan against Covid-19 that is terrorizing staff.

The Agency of the Irresponsible

The following commentary on how Colorado Mesa University (CMU) is handling the coronavirus pandemic was written by CMU History Professor Sarah Swedberg, who is now experiencing CMU’s policies in person. This article was originally published on Nursing Clio, an open-access, peer-reviewed, collaborative blog that ties historical scholarship to present-day issues related to gender and medicine. The article is reprinted here with full permission from Dr. Swedberg.

———

Like many faculty at state universities, the beginning of this school year brings me more terror than excitement. Colorado Mesa University (CMU), the institution at which I have taught since 1999, will require neither masks nor vaccines for students, and faculty cannot enforce mask mandates in the classrooms. This flies in the face of best practices for public health. When I asked the reason for this policy, I was told that there were strong feelings on both sides.

“Strong feelings” is clearly code for the fact that CMU is in a politically conservative region where there is strong resistance to both vaccination and masks. These words remind us that public health measures have always been politicized. Because I teach about HIV and AIDS and because I was a young adult in the 1980s, it is that pandemic that is foremost in my mind as I try to negotiate my own and my students’ safety.