Melissa VanArsdale

melissa 4 years, 5 months ago on Rob Douglas: Are we not better than this?

A woman's (or couple's) choice to terminate a pregnancy is not as "black and white" as Douglas makes it. The tests women have provide more information than just Healthy vs Downs Syndrome. Tests also reveal several other neurological and genetic diseases: Some that can be life threatening to the mother or unborn child during pregnancy and some that may have life long health complications after birth and/or shorten life expectancies. Plus, several other pros and cons factor in to a very difficult and "personal" decision a woman (or couple) have to make to continue or terminate a pregnancy. We should never question or judge any one's decision. It is their choice, not yours, not mine, and not the government's to make.


melissa 4 years, 7 months ago on Kristopher L. Hammond: Build the casino for me

Not to mention, that the construction industry will get a temporary bump to build a larger penitentiary to house all your new clientele. In addition a larger penitentiary equates to more job growth in the correctional service industry. It's a win win for all the losses. [fist pumping] "Woop Woop"


melissa 9 years, 8 months ago on Howell, board part ways

I did not sign the recall of Dr. D...I supported all parties involved to work in a mature and professional manner--differences aside--for the district. Obviously, the board could not and let their personal differences stand before them.


melissa 9 years, 8 months ago on Howell, board part ways

Steamboat lost a very knowledgeable and sincere community leader Friday at the hands of a few. five to be exact: the school board. None of whom represent the community. Who, I might remind them, were elected to represent us--parents and staff alike.

Donna Howell's termination is a disgrace and will have irreversible, negative repercussions to the future of our school district.

Every person who attended the meetings on Friday (aside from the five member school board) were there in support of retaining Donna Howell. All those who spoke, spoke in favor of retaining Donna Howell. All those who declined to speak did so because they agreed with all that had been said by fellow supporters. Applause often followed every comment. Not one person, mind you, spoke out against Donna Howell.

The school boards' decision for public comment was none more than an insult to the community: all those who attended and all those who wished to attend but couldn't because of the impromptu meeting. It was an insult because the board had already determined to terminate Donna Howell. So all the out pouring from the community to retain Donna Howell basically went unheard and not taken to heart by the school board. This first became evident when the school board president's disclaimer at the end of the morning meeting was "we've appreciated public comment, but we've been evaluating this relationship since December". At this point it became apparent that it was not a matter of "If", but instead "When". And as many of us learned "When" was at 4pm that very afternoon with the announcement of Donna Howell's termination.

When all school board members voted in favor of terminating Donna Howell the room was silenced and sickened. I'm aware that Char Rusk abstained to vote because (in her words) she hadn't been on the board long enough to make a decision. But I believe this to be a cop out on her part. Rusk was involved long enough to have heard arguments from both sides. And if she didn't feel comfortable voting, then she should not have stepped up to fulfill the vacant position in the first place.

I' disappointed because I voted for some of these school board members to represent me based upon their election platforms. And I feel betrayed by all these members who stated the "board is of the opinion that everyone's interests...will be better served by severing the current employment relationship" with Donna Howell. Obviously, the board failed to take to heart any one of us who they supposedly represent when we all spoke in favor of Donna Howell.

Thank you Dr. Howell for your commitment and integrity to our district.

melissa vanArsdale