The Delta County School Board is violating state and federal laws in order to keep students from getting medically-accurate sex education information, and it seems to be by design.
Last October, the school district hired controversial abstinence-only-before-marriage pontificator Shelly Donahue as a sex education speaker for students. According to students, this was the only “sex education” the Delta County School District provided them, and the school board and district administration apparently consider this an adequate sex education.
Far from it.
For those who aren’t familiar with Shelly Donahue, she is an evangelistic Christian abstinence-only speaker who rakes in government grant funds by giving “WAIT” (“Why Am I Tempted”) training in public schools. Donahue’s website says
“She is passionately committed to Jesus Christ as the ultimate answer to the teen sexual activity problem in America. As a motivational speaker and a leading sex education expert, she is making a significant impact for the Kingdom of God!”
In her talks, Donahue dishes out vast amounts of medically inaccurate information to kids and uses broad, simplistic analogies that convey stereotypical images of what boys’ and girls’ personalities are like. She includes liberal doses of religiously-based, guilt-and-shame to frighten students out of having sex before marriage.
Community Hospital will open its long-awaited new hospital on G Road near 24 Road on March 17.
It’s a gorgeous building, with beautiful main hallways, state-of-the art equipment, large windows on every floor, wonderful views and tons of light. It has 44 private rooms and a new labor and delivery center with extra beds for family members and jacuzzi tubs, all inside each of the exclusive individual birthing suites. The new emergency room is much bigger and better equipped than the old building’s, and the hospital has lots comfy waiting areas throughout for families and friends of patients.
The hospital employees who took the time last Saturday to give the public tours of the new building were enthusiastic about the move to the new facility and obviously very dedicated to their jobs.
A Very Important Option
In addition to its great new building, Community Hospital also offers Mesa County residents another very important value: it’s a secular (non-religious) hospital that can offer full service medical care to everyone.
St. Mary’s Hospital and Medical Center, a Catholic facility, is the biggest hospital between Denver and Salt Lake City, but because what happens at St. Mary’s is guided by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (pdf) rather than by the most informed decisions of doctors, Catholic hospitals can deny people access to many important and necessary health care services and procedures.
The Daily Sentinel reported on January 28, 2016 that our western slope State Senator Ray Scott is considering running for governor of Colorado in two years. He’s considering the governorship in lieu of running for a national office like senator, because, he says, he “feels he can do more if he stays within the state.”
The notion is either side-splittingly funny or utterly tragic. Or maybe both.
The tragic part is that by mulling over his lofty ideas to the Sentinel, Scott is putting his narcissism on display for all to see. The funny part is that he’s been the worst legislator imaginable and has consistently acted to the detriment of most of his constituents, if you can call that funny. Maybe it’s the tragic part.
But tragicomedy is nothing new to the western slope Republican political crowd.
Things aren’t going too well for folks here in Mesa County, but you wouldn’t know it from what Colorado House Representative Yeulin Willett is up to.
Rep. Willett is sponsoring a bill to make it legal for women to wear pink when hunting.
Yes, isn’t that just so wonderful of him to consider what the little ladies would prefer to wear in the woods?
In the mean time, more Mesa County residents than ever are living in poverty, falling into homelessness and freezing in the cold, working at low-paying jobs, more District 51 kids than ever are going hungry and more of our citizens are committing suicide.
Doctors in Grand Junction who have gotten frustrated with the modern bureaucracies of health care are adopting an entirely new, less complicated and more satisfying business model that cuts out insurance companies completely and lets them spend generous amounts of time with patients.
It’s called “concierge medicine,” and in this business model, patients pay a single yearly fee to a doctor. In exchange, they get fast access directly to the doctor via phone, secure email, text, 24/7 video chat or in person. At office visits, which can be gotten on short notice, concierge doctors give their patients highly personalized care and spend as much time as necessary to answer every last question their patients may have about their condition. And if later on after the appointment you think of something you forgot to ask, just call, text, or email your doctor and get an answer right away.
A campaign in Fort Collins to decriminalize the female breast says the city’s public indecency ordinance, which prohibits exposure of female breasts while allowing men to display theirs, is sexist.
Section 17-142 of Fort Collins’ city charter, “Offenses Against Decency,” states “No person shall knowingly appear in any public place in a nude state or state of undress such that the genitals or buttock of either sex or the breast or breasts of a female are exposed.”
But Brittany Hoagland of Go Topless Fort Collins points out that the ordinance conflicts with Article II Section 29 of Colorado’s Constitution, which states:
“Equality of the sexes. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the state of Colorado or any of its political subdivisions on account of sex.”
This is an interview I did with my mom on Christmas Day, 2009 in honor of the “National Day of Listening.” According to Wikipedia, it is “an unofficial day of observance where Americans are encouraged to set aside time to record the stories of their families, friends, and local communities. It was first launched by the national oral history project StoryCorps in 2008 and now recurs on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, when families are more likely to spend time together. It was proposed as an alternative to “Black Friday,” a day many businesses see as a high volume pre-Christmas sale day which was actually the day after Thanksgiving.” I couldn’t be with my parents at Thanksgiving, so I did shortly after when we finally were able to get together. I figured better late than never.
My mom was one of the first women to enter the field of medicine, graduating medical school in 1951.
While Caitlyn Jenner has been grabbing all the headlines, it’s been almost overlooked that Grand Junction has been experiencing some gender-bending of its own.
Grand Junction now has its first professional drag queen troupe, The CD’s Drag and Jewell Case, LLC. The troupe is another indication of a slow but steady culture shift going on in this formerly conservative area of Colorado, and for that reason alone it’s surely something significant enough to talk about.
The troupe currently has five members, although usually only two or three perform at any given time. The group’s founders and lead performers are Coco Jem Holiday and Donatella Mysecrets De’Ore, and the supporting members are Livvi Dior, Onyx Reign and Delilah Delight. With a total of five entertainers now in their “Jewell Case,” the CDs have enough so they can have coverage in the event that some can’t make it to a gig.
Grand Junction’s Third Annual Colorado West Pride Parade was more impressive than ever this year, with more sponsors and floats than in previous years, and a bigger crowd of spectators on Main Street. The weather was perfect for the event, with a temperature in the 70s, intermittent cloud cover, just a faint breeze and no rain.
In August, 1969 all of the citizens the town of Greenfield, Iowa (pop. 2,100) attempted to quit smoking as a publicity stunt in connection with the on-site filming of the movie Cold Turkey, starring Dick Van Dyke.
In an internal project they code-named “Bird 1,” Philip Morris (PM), the manufacturer of Marlboro cigarettes, surveyed the citizens of Greenfield 8 months after their quit attempt. PM used local Girl Scouts to hand-deliver the questionnaires to citizens to increase the acceptance of the packets. The Girl Scouts were instructed to knock on doors and hand a questionnaire packet to “every person who was 14 years old on Cold Turkey Day.” PM paid five dollars to everyone who completed and returned a survey.
This tobacco industry document is the report containing Philip Morris’ analysis of the success of citizens’ efforts to go “Cold Turkey.” PM’s descriptions are entertaining, highly chauvinistic and of course paint a very dismal picture of quitting smoking:
See a PDF of the confidential internal PM document here.
Convicted domestic abuser and former short term Grand Junction City Councilman Rick Brainard is publicly gloating over the former Blagg juror’s contempt conviction, and is being assisted by Paul Shockley, the Daily Sentinel’s court-beat reporter.
In response to an April 29 article by Shockley about Ms. Charlesworth’s conviction, Brainard tweeted, “XOXO. That darn Karma is a son of a gun.” Shockley retweeted the comment, helping Brainard further magnify it.
9News journalist Chris Vanderveen today published an investigative news story about the beleaguered Grand Junction woman who has endured eleven years of invasive personal attacks as a result of serving on the jury that convicted Michael Blagg of murder in 2004. The piece focuses on Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger, who is now piling on to the former juror’s woes by pursuing legal charges and fines against her. Vanderveen’s efforts bring the story of the Grand Junction juror’s plight to Colorado’s front range.
The piece is titled “Juror gets sued after murder conviction.”
Marilyn Charlesworth first endured ten years of attacks by Blagg’s defense attorneys, who, in repeated efforts to win Blagg a new trial, first accused her of failing to disclose a vision impairment, then of failing to disclose a prescription for a certain medication, and now finally accusing her of lying about whether or not she believed she had experienced an incident of domestic abuse over twenty years ago. Now Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger is joining Blagg’s defense in attacking against Charlesworth by charging her with contempt and threatening her with jail time, fees and fines in excess of $50,000, purportedly to pay for costs of Blagg’s first trial, like hotels and meals for expert witnesses.
Hautzinger’s legal pursuit of Charlesworth is forcing her and her husband to spend their retirement savings on legal fees, and could bankrupt the couple. The stress Charlesworth has been under has recently caused her eyesight to deteriorate further to the point where she can no longer drive or work. The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel’s many negative articles editorials about her has turned her into a pariah locally, to the extent that she rarely leaves her house.
Why so harsh on Charlesworth? Misogyny? Politics? Smokescreen?
Hautzinger’s over-the-top pursuit of Charlesworth is raising questions locally of whether this is a possible case of misogyny, since he recently let a male juror in another case who was accused of exactly the same offense walk free with no consequences. Others think Hautzinger is disproportionately attacking Charlesworth to divert attention from former Mesa County Sheriff investigator Steve King, who was the lead investigator for Blagg’s 2004 trial. King recently pled guilty to embezzling, and a result can no longer offer credible testimony in a new Blagg trial. King is also a former State Senator and favorite of the Mesa County Republican Party, which has suffered a number of embarrassing incidents of corruption and candidates who have broken the law in recent years. Charlesworth has in the past also been an outspoken critic of longstanding Mesa County Republican institutions, like the GOP-dominated Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce. Hautzinger is a Republican, so his actions could also potentially be political payback.
KUSA 9News reporter Chris Vanderveen won the Edward R. Murrow journalism award in 2011, and the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) Reporter of the Year Award in 2012. He and a camera operator drove out to Grand Junction from the front range and back in a single day to cover Charlesworth’s story.
Charlesworth wants to publicize her experience so citizens are aware of the dangers they face if they agree to sit on a jury, since there are no limitations on how long or intensively defense attorneys can try to get new trials for their clients by pursuing jurors who return verdicts they don’t like.
Marilyn Charlesworth of Grand Junction, Colorado, has started a GoFundMe campaign asking for help to pay the mounting legal fees arising from her jury service of 11 years ago.
Charlesworth is the victim of the worst case of juror abuse in American history. It has dragged on for eleven years now past the time of her jury service, and has utterly ruined the life of a woman who responded to a jury summons she got in the mail, as all American citizens are required to do by law as part of their citizenship.
What is juror abuse?
If you want tourists, friends and family to see the best our area has to offer, whatever you do, don’t take them up 27 1/4 Road into the desert north of H Road. While the panoramas from the north desert area are spectacular, this formerly stark and beautiful range of mancos shale hills running along the base of Grand Junction’s iconic Bookcliffs is now defaced from virtually end to end with trash dumps, mud ruts, shotgun shells and makeshift religious memorials to people who have died out there in accidents.
What used to be a marvelous place for a long, peaceful walk with your dog, is now so disappointing it tries the soul.
Since the shooting range opened several miles out on 27 1/4 Road, and since the North Desert started being included on OHV (off-highway vehicle) maps, the area has turned ugly. It’s also a more dangerous place for peaceful users, like walkers, bikers and horseback riders.
Updated November 5, 2014
Colorado’s Amendment 67 did not pass, to the relief of most of the state. The measure would have declared unborn human beings as a “person” or a “child” in the Colorado Criminal Code.
It was yet another a personhood measure, but this year Personhood USA, the group pushing these kinds of measures, tried to disguise that fact by calling it the “Brady Amendment,” after a fetus a woman lost in a 2012 drunk driving accident. Naming the measure after a woman’s lost fetus was an attempt to give the measure emotional appeal, because when you can get people to react through emotion, they’ll often bypass their rational thinking.
A fundamentally flawed argument
Coloradans have rejected personhood measures three times now, for good reason. The thinking behind these ballot initiatives is illogical and thus fundamentally flawed.
A fetus is not a person in any legal sense.
Both fertilized eggs and clones represent potential, not actual human beings.
Zygotes, or fertilized eggs, and fetuses lack many of the physical characteristics of human beings. They don’t have brains, skeletons, or internal organs. A fetus cannot engage in human perception or thought. The analogy that fits is that an acorn is not an oak tree and the egg you eat for breakfast is not a chicken.
Fetuses have no social identity, and there is no precedent for giving them such. Names are not legally conferred upon fetuses, only upon babies after birth. The first legal recognition of a person’s existence is their birth certificate. No government on Earth issues “pre-birth certificates.” The government does not issue death certificates for miscarried or aborted fetuses. The government does not issue social security numbers to fetuses, nor does the government confer any rights of citizenship on upon conception.
An eye-opening database publicly available on Google Docs lists known major organized crimes implemented globally by the Catholic church and other religions. The list includes systematic child abductions by the Church (the seizure of millions of babies from unmarried women and girls from the mid 1940s to the mid 1970s who were then adopted out for profit), child and female enslavement, sexual abuse, child pornography, abuse of deaf victims, beatings, severe punishments and use of orphans as “guinea pigs” in human experimental and clinical trials. All entries are documented to authoritative sources or reporting. One example of crimes committed by the Catholic church is the so-called “Baby Scoop Era,” in which unwed pregnant girls were “disappeared” into Catholic “Mother-Baby Homes.” There the girls and young women were fed and housed with minimal attention until they gave birth in rooms alone, without support, assistance, counseling or coaching. The new young mothers were then coerced or forced to surrender their babies for adoption. This human rights crime against women is backed up with a link to a one hour investigative news program by Dan Rather titled “What the Catholic Church failed to tell you: Abominations of the Catholic Church in USA and Canada” that details how from the 1950s to the mid-1970s, Catholic nuns coerced over one million American women and girls to give up their babies. The Church then sold them into illegitimate adoptions for “astronomical profits.”