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Columns

  • Grads will leave empty place behind

    “As soon as you walk out of our door … everything’s going to change, and it won’t change back. Not to the way it is now. I am so happy for you … and I am so proud. … Sometimes I want my sweet little (child) back. I’m going to miss you a lot.”
    — from the TV show “Glee”

  • Civil discourse: a horse is a horse

    As work in the state House of Representatives ground to a halt on the second to last night of the legislative session last week to ensure that no vote would be taken on legislation to create civil unions, I found myself reflecting on the role my hometown of Steamboat Springs played in the debate on same-sex unions way back in 1975.

  • It’s all about jobs, jobs, jobs — and jobs

    I laugh when I hear politicians talk about growing jobs. Like growing grass, they think all we need is a little water and some good soil. Most know nothing about the nation’s business.

  • Let’s try to keep politics in its place

    As we enter the most intense period of the American political cycle — Ppresidential election season — it’s worth reminding ourselves that not everything is political. This may sound obvious enough, but lately the line between politics and everything else has become blurred.

  • Nature’s privileges do come with responsibility

    The naturalist John Muir wrote, “The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.” Many of us came to the Front Range foothills to find ourselves, and nature has been the common path. Our mountain community is just about paradise on Earth, and as the Denver Post weather page and building both acclaim, “ ’Tis a privilege to live in Colorado.”
    The Lower North Fork fire was a reminder that with privilege comes responsibility. Fire mitigation is on everyone’s minds, but will it be enough?

  • League opposes Jefferson Parkway proposal

    The proposed Jefferson Parkway does not meet smart 21st-century sustainable transportation goals, according to the League of Women Voters of Jefferson County. “We oppose the proposed private toll road on many levels,” said League president Ann Roux. “It fails our tests for adequate public input and transparency, government accountability, and economic sustainability.”
    The League’s opposition to the proposed parkway stems from its in-depth study of the toll road, and is based on its consensus-driven standards for evaluating any highway proposal.

  • Teaching students the wrong lesson

  • A tax hike by any other name …

    I always make it a practice to ask my Metro State journalism students to explain what a mill levy is, because few things are more central to covering governments than understanding how taxing entities get money from the public.

  • Make your voice heard on wildfires

    Several years ago, when I was still a state legislator, I carried a bill to provide tax breaks for volunteer firefighters to offset the costs of their safety equipment. These volunteers, who are on the front lines of wildfire response in most mountain areas, must often buy their own boots, helmet, jackets and other personal protective equipment. A tax credit would allow more volunteers to serve their communities, helping all citizens in the process.

  • Reporter saw the best, worst of Jefferson County

    After a 12-hour day spent making bone grafts in October 2009, I was in a small locker room changing out of a pair of sweat-soaked long-sleeve scrubs. The day, exhausting, had been routine until I sat down on a stainless-steel bench to check the single message on my phone left by the man who is now my editor, Doug Bell.
    Since no one was around to enforce my self-congratulatory inhibitions, I jumped up and did a little dance, a moment to which I happily confess but remain glad no one else had to witness.