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Opinion

  • By Dean Dalvit

    It was disheartening to see George Long’s seemingly accusatory letter in last week’s Courier. I was surprised that Mr. Long was unable to find any information about the Downtown Evergreen Economic District and its voluntary 1 percent fund-raising program, the Evergreen Legacy Fund, before writing his letter. However, he poses excellent questions, and we are happy to respond. It’s always good to remind the community about what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. So, to answer each of Mr. Long’s questions:

  • When I was a junior at Steamboat Springs High School in 1975, there was a huge controversy when the Boulder County clerk began issuing same-sex marriage licenses. It was a national story, but it was really big news in Steamboat, as the clerk had grown up there and her father was the longtime clerk in our county.

  • Editor’s note: This column is the second installment in a four-part series that will look at the divisiveness in the U.S. Congress and offer possible solutions.

    By Jim Rohrer

    Have you ever participated in any type of athletic contest in which you feel that the deck is stacked against you or your team? Maybe your opponent’s advantage is technically within the rules, but something about the advantage seems unfair. Someone pushed the rules to the limit.

  • Leading up to the Republican gubernatorial primary June 24, the Colorado Springs Gazette ran an editorial May 19 urging candidates Mike Kopp and Scott Gessler to drop out of the race to ensure that Bob Beauprez would win the nomination over Tom Tancredo. The Gazette argued that Tancredo was not a viable candidate in the general election and that Gov. John Hickenlooper’s re-election would be a sure thing if Tancredo became the Republican nominee.

  • As long as I’ve lived in Evergreen, and that’s 28 years now, there has been an upside and a downside to being unincorporated. The upside is simple to see: We don’t have an additional layer of government, nor do we bear the costs of one. There are so many generous, committed, civic-minded citizens and nonprofits here that we don’t usually need a mayor or a council.

  • Maybe they just got tired of being called the new conservative majority.

    How else can you explain school board members Ken Witt, John Newkirk and Julie Williams voting to pay, including performance incentives, new superintendent Daniel McMinimee almost 40 percent more than his predecessor and to give him a five-year contract despite the fact that he’s never been a superintendent before? The decision doesn’t meet any definition of conservative I’ve ever heard.

  • Board majority disregarding community

    Editor:

    Parents and citizens of Jefferson County ought to feel outraged at the recent actions of the new majority members of the school board. Let’s see. What’s happened so far this year?

    • A decision to provide all-day, paid kindergarten at Lasley Elementary in Jeffco is on the chopping block, something parents and community members of this county had already voted on and approved.

  • Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s right. Or, perhaps more importantly, smart.

    When the Jefferson County Board of Education designated Daniel McMinimee as the sole finalist to serve as the new superintendent of schools, it met the requirements of Colorado law. What the board — or, more specifically, the board’s majority of Ken Witt, John Newkirk and Julie Williams — didn’t do was to learn from earlier miscues that how you do things is just as important as what you do.

  • The 69th General Assembly completed its work last week and adjourned. There was considerably less acrimony than in the previous two years, and a variety of important issues made their way successfully through the process. During closing remarks Wednesday night just before the Senate adjourned, Minority Leader Bill Cadman of Colorado Springs went out of his way to praise Senate President Morgan Carroll for the way the Senate handled its work in 2014 in a more bipartisan fashion than had been the case in previous years.

  • “Follow him to hell!”

    One of the more memorable things from my four springs as a student at Colorado State University was the annual pilgrimage to Fort Collins by a street preacher named Jed. Jed would place himself on the wall between the Social Sciences Building and the library and, at the top of his lungs, harangue any student in earshot about the terrible choices we were all making and the inevitable consequences of our transgressions.

  • I’m no union guy. I think the unions have generally outlived their usefulness in our country, and that’s why only about 11 percent of American workers are union members, compared to nearly one-third in the early ’70s. Today the majority of union members are employees in the public sector, where the relationship between employer and employee has always been more contractual than relational.

  • By Lesley Dahlkemper

    School Board President

  • This article may sound like I’m bashing the President or taking political sides, which would violate my “View From the Middle” look at politics, but honestly, that’s not how it is intended.

  • A fellow editor recently referred to me as an “excrement magnet”— and those of you familiar with editors know that this phrase has been modified for a family-friendly publication. I have found myself at ground zero for stories ranging from the JonBenet Ramsey slaying to the school shootings at Columbine and Platte Canyon high schools and Deer Creek Middle School.

  • Now that we’ve had a couple of weeks to digest election results, I find myself with observations about what we’ve seen and will see at all levels of government.

    On a federal level, I’m hopeful that now President Obama has won another term and will never run for re-election again, that we’ll find the necessary cooperation between the president and Congress to avert the fiscal cliff in the next few weeks and to address important issues more constructively going forward.

  • While there are many opinions about how we should educate our children in Jefferson County, we can all agree on one underlying principle — we care about our children, and we want the best for them.
    Jeffco schools have struggled over the last three years to manage more than $60 million in state funding cuts without hurting kids. We have reduced costs, closed under-enrolled schools, trimmed staff, streamlined administration and cut compensation.

  • When Abraham Lincoln took to the podium on March 4, 1861, to deliver his first inaugural address, his country stood on the threshold of war. The divisions that had festered since the founding era now threatened to erupt into open conflict over the issue of slavery.
    Yet Lincoln, who was far from neutral on the great question of his time, chose to use this occasion to sound a peaceful note.

  • Eight years later, it was an altered scene at Evergreen’s downtown traffic light, where 15 people gathered to remember the ongoing war in Iraq. Although we were standing on the same bridge, we felt distant from those driving by. Now most of them are on their cell phones. The mood as indicated by friendly waves, while mostly apathetic, continues to tally overwhelmingly in favor of ending this long and fruitless war. There were the usual one or two head shakes.

  • Facing severe budget problems if the legislature agrees to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s proposed budget, the Jefferson County School District took a new and dramatic approach to cutting its budget. A budget summit with representatives of the Board of Education, the teachers union, the classified employees association, the administrators’ association and district leadership spent a weekend with a federal mediator and came up with a $40 million reduction plan that has pain for everyone.