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Opinion

  • “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.

  • More safety measures needed for boating at Evergreen Lake

    Editor:

    I read your incredible story with pictures of the Hunter family and their grandchildren about to drop off the dam. Also a plea from Dan Markey for greater safety in using the boats. This family was very fortunate that calm heads were present. I would certainly think that safety would be the most important factor in the use of boats on the lake.

  • Bob Smith — you know that name. You may not be sure from where or how many of them you actually know. Idledale boasts Robert Rainsford Smith, and I use his middle name to distinguish him, although surely his long and prolific career as a studio potter has done that already.

  • People in civilized societies understand that we have collective needs that can be met only through the coordinated efforts of citizens. Many of those collective needs are met through the activities of governments. We expect our federal, state, local and special-district governments to do things that it makes no sense to do individually. We drive on public roads. We get water and dispose of wastewater through governmentally owned utilities. We educate our children in public schools. We protect our homes and businesses through governmental fire departments.

  • Sometimes I wonder whether we use the right nomenclature to describe the basic political divide in America. We see “liberals” on this side and “conservatives” on that side, with Democrats generally representing the former and Republicans the latter.

    But a compelling case can be made that the political landscape is really more sensibly divided into those who believe government should have a limited role (libertarians) and those who prefer government to have a more active role (statists). 

  • I am now a permanent resident and registered alien after 10 years of struggle. The alien part notwithstanding, to a poet like me, this is like saying, a bird authorized to sing, a dog authorized to bark, and a mother to suckle her young.

    Andrei Guruianu, a Romanian immigrant poet, said this about his poem, “Alien Authorized To Work”:

  • 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. On a typical five-minute walk in downtown Denver, you don’t have to look very hard to find 20 or more cameras. They’re on lampposts, the sides of buildings, on ceilings, atop traffic lights and along walls.

  • Every community needs a cheerleader like Angela Bassano, the most enthusiastic supporter of Conifer and its many nonprofits. Having a fund-raiser? Need silent auction items? Want to move a road? She can make it all happen.

    While some may call her “Mayor,” I choose “Cheerleader” because Angela is not only enthusiastic, she is vocal. Her infectious energy is spread not just by example but with all kinds of verbal exhortations to, as she says, “Get up off your butt and participate.”

  • Women. More specifically, suburban women. Most specifically, independent and Republican suburban women.

    Now that we’ve made it through the primary process and have a race for Colorado’s U.S. Senate seat between Democratic incumbent Michael Bennet and Republican challenger Ken Buck, it looks to me like the key to victory in this year’s race will be unaffiliated and Republican women voters from the suburbs.

  • So it’s come to this. In perhaps the most favorable Republican year since at least 1994, scandal-plagued GOP front-runner Scott McInnis can’t even close the deal on his own party’s nomination, much less the general election. 

  • Abby Posner has leapt from the gold pans of Colorado to the “Frying Pans and Freeways” of L.A. Many know this former local artist from her solo career as a singer/songwriter. The high caliber of her musical talent began when she studied guitar under Kevin Alumbaugh at the Evergreen School of Music. I have friends who still remember her inspired performances with the Kamikaze Kids, an ‘80s theater group conducted by Clear Creek’s Jimy Murphy.