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Columns

  • Possible signs of better times

    While there is nothing scientific about it, I’ve been thinking that the number of empty seats at Major League Baseball games this year suggests our economy is rebounding faster than most of the rest of the country. Our very mediocre Rockies draw big crowds while it seems like a lot of empty seats are watching better teams that have the misfortune of being located in areas with terrible economic stress.

  • The importance of being pleasant

    I was recently at an awards ceremony where a local business executive was honored. In describing his philosophy about hiring employees, he noted that his first test is always to find pleasant people. That rang true with me, but I’d never heard anyone say it before.
    It made me wonder: Is pleasantness the most underrated human trait?

  • The importance of being pleasant

    I was recently at an awards ceremony where a local business executive was honored. In describing his philosophy about hiring employees, he noted that his first test is always to find pleasant people. That rang true with me, but I’d never heard anyone say it before.
    It made me wonder: Is pleasantness the most underrated human trait?

  • For women, a drive for justice

    Did your heart stir at the recent news of the bravery of Saudi women as they dared to drive? Here’s a new word, “mihrim,” one they know all too well because this male guardian is needed to walk them to the store, give them permission to travel out of the country, or accompany them to the hospital to give birth.
    Saudi religious police are gaining powers over women, humiliating them in public, even as women are beginning to be seen demonstrating all over the Middle East.

  • Indirect results of direct governing

  • Budget cuts can’t be gleaned from green

    The National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden employs 2,300 and generates many more spinoff jobs as it operates within its budget of $350 million. NREL’s Research Support Facility has won numerous awards as it influences the way energy is consumed. From concept to completion, it is changing commercial building design nationwide. Solar panels, windmill blades, contracts and, uh-oh, progress are all part of NREL.

  • It’s past time for a true leader

    Every now and then, New York Times columnist David Brooks hits the nail right on the head, as he did last week. Writing about the upcoming presidential election, he noted that “the two parties contesting this election are unusually pathetic. Their programs are unusually unimaginative. Their policies are unusually incommensurate to the problem at hand.”
    Why? Because in Brooks’ words, “this election is about how to avert national decline.”

  • Front-runners, please step to the rear

    Chris Romer joined a fairly exclusive club last week. Along with Dale Tooley, Norm Early and Ari Zavaras, he’s now one of the can’t-miss front-runners for Denver mayor who fell to lesser-known opponents each of the last four times the office was truly up for grabs.

  • The smell of scandal at Elk Creek

    Where there's smoke, there's fire.

  • Did freedom or government come first?

    I recently overheard a conversation that went something like this: “Where does the right to free speech come from?” “The right to free speech,” came the reply, “was given to us by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”
    Is that accurate? Would our founders have agreed with that formulation? Take a closer look at the language of the First amendment itself: “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.”