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Columns

  • Help in the fight against MS

    It’s often said, “ ‘Tis a pleasure to live in Colorado.” And it is. We have some of the best quality of life of anywhere in the world. But one odd blemish that researchers have yet to fully understand is why we have a higher incidence of multiple sclerosis than most anywhere else.

  • Thoughts on a post-party world

    If you think the political atmosphere has become more complicated lately, you’re right. A recent poll by the Pew Research Center found that fewer Americans are willing to call themselves Republicans or Democrats than ever before, leaving our once-binary system in a state of multilateral flux.

  • Let’s leave standardized tests behind

    Jefferson County offers many school alternatives — neighborhood, option, charter and special programs, each with a different focus. Free public education with choice is about the best investment that can be made for a bright future. Unfortunately, the system has been corrupted by big business and a dysfunctional approach that institutionalizes one standard.

  • GOP can’t bear another sideshow

    I’ve never been much of a believer in governmental conspiracy theories. First of all, I’ve not met many people creative enough to think of them. Second, there are few, if any, people who could actually carry one out. Finally, if it could be crafted and carried out, how in the world would you keep it a secret?

  • Talks with teachers should be open to public

    By Ben Degrow

  • Beware the spy in your pocket

    Several months ago, I asked in this column, “At what point will we finally have enough surveillance cameras? It’s hard to go anywhere without being watched by at least one, and often several, closed-circuit eyes in the sky.”
    Well, as it turns out, there’s no longer any need to worry about external technology spying on us. Thanks to the intrepid work of two British techies named Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden, we now know that we’re spying on ourselves.

  • Implications of state budget cuts very real

    Before the legislative session even started, we all knew that developing and passing Colorado’s budget for fiscal 2011-12 would be a terrible ordeal. After years of cutting the budget, there would have to be additional cuts of around $1 billion. In addition, term limits had created a Joint Budget Committee with little previous experience (only three years on the committee among its six members), and split control of the legislature meant the committee would be equally divided between Republicans and Democrats.

  • Challenging math for Jeffco schools

    By Paula Noonan
    Thirty Jefferson County public schools recently received the John Irwin School of Excellence Award or the Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Award for academic achievement and academic growth in 2010. The Colorado Board of Education and governor give the awards to the 8 percent of schools that score highest in each category.
    Other numbers for Jeffco are not so great. The state legislature has finally put together the school finance bill that provides funding for all school districts in Colorado. Funding is on the down side of an arc.

  • Making waves with freedom and faith

    Two great and fearsome “tidal waves” have claimed the spotlight on the international stage lately, and for good reason. In addition to the earthquake and tsumani that shook Japan, there are the ongoing seismic quakes of social revolution that continue to sweep over the Middle East and Africa. From Tunisia, where President Zine al-Abdine Ben Ali was ousted after 23 years in power, the ripples have turned to waves in Yemen, in Jordan and Syria, in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Sudan, and, of course, Egypt.  

  • Some thoughts on wildfire season

    In more than 30 years, it’s hard to remember wildfire season starting so early. The combination of dry fuels and high winds has led to a dangerous situation. This year, especially, it’s worth being extra vigilant.
    Without human intervention, healthy forests burn. It’s a natural process. The seeds of some types of trees even need fire to germinate. But since people have moved into the foothills, a longstanding policy of fire suppression has interrupted this natural burning process, leading to greater accumulation of fuels and therefore greater fire hazard.