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Opinion

  • Given the fact that a major theme of the coordinated campaign of all five members of the newly elected Jefferson County Board of Education was the lack of transparency their predecessors exhibited, it was more than a little disappointing when one of the first announced activities of the new board was to enter a secret session to discuss compliance with open-government requirements.

  • It’s a little known fact that members of Congress don’t have to live in the districts from which they are elected. That’s not the case for school board members in Colorado.

    There was some question about the residency of candidate Regan Benson during the recent school board election in Jefferson County, but as it didn’t appear (or occur) that she would be a particularly viable candidate, the issue went away pretty quietly.

  • By Greg Dobbs

    This is about more striped bicycle lanes on our roads, which our Jefferson County commissioners approved late last month, and it isn’t only important if you ride a bike. If you drive a car, it’s about you, too.

  • As we enter the holiday season, I’m thinking about a big do and a big don’t.

    The big do is Colorado Gives Day. In its five-year history, Colorado Gives has become the preferred way of making end-of-year charitable gifts for many people in our state. An initiative of the Community First Foundation and First Bank, Colorado Gives Day is an easy way to make contributions to more than 1,800 of our state’s nonprofit organizations.

  • The results in Tuesday’s school board recall were not surprising, but the vote margins were stunning: Ken Witt, John Newkirk and Julie Williams were recalled with about 64 percent of the votes in a county where registrations are evenly split among Democrats, Republicans and independents.

  • Few things are more important to our four newspapers than coverage of high school sports, and few journalists could have brought that coverage to our readers more completely or competently than Michael Hicks. But after five years, Michael is leaving his post as sports editor at Evergreen Newspapers for his next challenge at the Boulder Daily Camera, and that paper is beyond lucky to have him.

  • I’ve been planning for weeks to offer my thoughts on the controversy surrounding the Jeffco school district. And I’ve also been procrastinating for weeks. Of late, our politically polarized school system has become the third rail of local politics — touch it, and you die.

    A phone call last week from a loyal reader stirred me from my inertia (some would say cowardice). The gentleman raised several good questions about our recent coverage and, as a result, helped me organize my own thoughts. He should call daily.

  • Imagine the impact of a Bernie Sanders-versus-Donald Trump presidential election in 2016. Property values in Canada would likely skyrocket with the biggest exodus of Americans to Canada since the end of the draft.

    Fourteen months before the next presidential election, the biggest surprise has been the emergence of Sanders and Trump when conventional wisdom suggests that neither has any chance, or business, of becoming president of the United States. Their seeming viability results from completely different circumstances in our two major political parties.

  • The worst thing about the almost two years of turmoil that we’ve experienced in Jefferson County schools is that it’s been a continuing distraction from the school district’s most important responsibility — to educate the kids who live in this county. Anything that distracts teachers from focusing their energy on giving kids the best possible education is a major flaw that should be resolved as soon as possible.

  • For our youths in the foothills, summer brings a freedom from school schedules for three brief months — you can read what you WANT to read. I was always excited about the first book of the summer — my choice. I love books. I love the feel of their weight, the smell and the look. To me, they represent a new beginning, hidden knowledge and the best of humanity. This may seem a bit romantic but … so be it — it’s summer!

  • The political news is surprising as two unlikely candidates are soaring in the polls. Not many would expect a self-identified socialist to challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president, but U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is gaining some traction. He trails her in a recent Iowa poll 52 percent to 33 percent. In New Hampshire, it’s 56 percent to 24 percent. No, he is not the front-runner, but his strong numbers are very surprising, and Clinton must be looking over her shoulder.

  • These life events just keep marching on. Our baby turns 21 next week.

    Since we moved to Evergreen almost 18 years ago, we’ve been through a lot of milestones. Two kids started school. Three kids completed elementary school, middle school and high school. Three kids had bat-mitzvahs. I turned 40 … and then 50 … and then more. (Luckily my wife is ageless and avoided these milestones.) We celebrated a silver wedding anniversary. Two kids graduated from college, one cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

  • Jefferson County students got a real-life lesson in civil disobedience last September when school board member Julie Williams suggested that a curriculum review committee be established that would, among other things, look into Advance Placement U.S. history classes with direction that “materials should not encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law.”

  • Speeding on Brook Forest Road endangers residents, motorists

    Editor:

    I am 11 years old, and I have seen at least seven crashes on Brook Forest Road. I am sick and tired of people flying up the road and sounding as loud as a race car.

    Too many people have learned the hard way going too fast. A lot of the stories are dreadful, and I heard that one person even died. The others have had a lot of luck. I was shocked to see one live to see another day.

  • Pigs get fat. Hogs get slaughtered!

    That should be the simple lesson for some grousing small arts organizations that have argued that the proposal to continue the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District and shift modest revenues from large organizations to smaller ones doesn’t give them enough.

  • Testing is not connected to school accountability

    Editor:

    Greg Romberg’s recent column speaks of school “accountability” and testing as if they were somehow connected. In my opinion (many years in education, many years in business), they are not.

  • It’s pretty well documented now that the “Prince of Pigskins,” Tom Brady, cheated in the championship game, and in all probability in many other games as well. He is likely to be fined and suspended. His team will probably be punished, reminding us of their involvement in “film-gate” a scandal in which the league found the Patriots’ actions to be outside the rules. In a way, it’s a predictable situation when each team brings its own footballs. How about the NFL bring the pigskins, and everyone uses them?

  • A friend called the other day asking me to explain why funding for K-12 in this year’s state budget wasn’t larger? Also, was K-12 taking more than its “fair share” of Colorado tax dollars? I thought they were both good and important questions that perhaps deserved an answer to a larger audience.

  • It’s déjà vu all over again — if we’re a year away from a presidential election, it must be time to talk about how we pick our delegates to national nominating conventions.