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Opinion

  • 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.

  • In the week following the Sept. 11 attacks, Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette attended religious services at both a Jewish synagogue and an Islamic mosque. Her visit to Temple Emanuel coincided with our Rosh Hashanah services, which are very well attended, and Rabbi Steve Foster, the spiritual leader of the congregation, welcomed her publicly and made a point of telling everyone in attendance that she was attending the mosque that week as well.

  • Negative attacks, they say, have long been part of politics. In “Going Dirty: the Art of Negative Campaigning” by David Mark, we’re told that in the 1828 presidential election, Andrew Jackson’s political allies nicknamed John Quincy Adams “the Pimp,” a reference to “a rumor that while he was ambassador to Russia a decade earlier, he had coerced a young woman into having an affair with a czar.”

  • From county commissioner to Colorado governor, Jeffco voters face very crowded ballots this year, and as the primary election approaches on Aug. 10, our opinion pages will no doubt become more crowded as well.

    Before the usual avalanche of political letters to the editor — and the subsequent phone calls asking why some letters haven’t appeared — I’d like to review our policy.

    • All letters must be accompanied by a verifiable name, along with information that allows us to contact the author.

  • Looking back on the just completed “Arts Alive Evergreen,” it’s remarkable how many opportunities to participate in the arts there are in a community of this size.

  • Did you ever have a really great teacher? Someone who changed your life?

    I’ve been lucky to have more than one. In elementary school, I wasn’t the easiest kid — you could say I was pretty tough. These days I’d surely be diagnosed with ADD (actually, to say I had an attention deficit is a huge understatement). But Mrs. Arnold and Mrs. Ballangee stuck with me. It would have been easy to ignore this rowdy kid, but they put in extra hours, helping me learn what I couldn’t have learned on my own. I’m grateful they did.

  • Legal access to marijuana in Colorado seems to be a constantly moving target. As new medical marijuana laws go into effect in our state, a number of other things are coming together as well.

    The Department of Veterans Affairs is considering a more flexible definition of post-traumatic stress disorder at virtually the same time as the state health department is being asked to add PTSD to the list of medical conditions for which medical marijuana could be prescribed. If both these things come to pass, it would liberalize access to medical marijuana for PTSD sufferers.

  • Wake up, America: Even France gets it

    Leaders of the world’s 20 industrial economies recently met in Toronto to discuss global economic problems, including the worrisome developments in European sovereign debt. The meetings resulted in a group statement announcing a concerted effort to reduce government spending.

    “Advanced economies have committed to fiscal plans that will at least halve deficits by 2013 and stabilize or reduce government debt-to-GDP ratios by 2016,” G-20 leaders announced last week.

  • One of Congress’ fundamental responsibilities under the Constitution is budgeting. With large majorities in both houses of Congress, the only hurdle Democrat leaders have in developing and garnering support for the annual budget resolution is themselves.

    Yet, this past week House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer officially announced during a speech that Congress will make no attempt to develop and pass a budget this year.