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Opinion

  • 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.

  • By any account, Colorado has a robust citizen initiative process. Both by law and practice, we are asked to vote on more proposed constitutional amendments and initiated laws than people in other states.

  • There’s something singularly awful about watching the worst environmental disaster in our country’s history and knowing that, with all of America’s wealth and technological prowess, nothing has been done to prevent the ongoing catastrophe that threatens an entire way of life.

  • Long before the earthquake that devastated Haiti hit in January, aid to the island country was in vogue in Evergreen. The latest chapter of the story is a heartwarming tale about how compassion and culture can help ease a terrible situation.

  • The new government in Great Britain is wasting no time getting down to business. Shortly after taking power, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition announced spending cuts totaling about $8.2 billion. According to The Economist, “this is a small first step on a long journey.”

  • When legislative budget staffers were looking into ways to balance the state’s budget during the 2009 session, they happened onto the fact that Pinnacol Assurance, the quasi-public agency that serves as the insurer of last resort for workers’ compensation, had reserves in excess of half a billion dollars more than appeared to be necessary. When legislative leaders suggested taking some of the money to address budget issues, the reaction from Pinnacol, business interests and Pinnacol customers was swift. They said the state should keep its hands off.

  • Who among you is a card-carrying member of the Evergreen Park and Recreation District? Only a fraction of our Evergreen area residents actually are. Since our two rec centers are used only by a minority of our populace, do we really need them? On the other hand, can you imagine our community without them?

  • In less than two months, mail ballots will start to arrive for the 2010 primary elections, which means it wonít be long at all before the airwaves start to fill with wall-to-wall political advertising. And more than ever, those advertisements will come from groups with vaguely appealing names (ìColoradans for Mom, Home & Apple Pieî) that leave you with absolutely no idea who is behind them.

  • Do you screen your calls before answering the phone? Do you ignore calls if you don’t know the caller? You should make an exception and answer a call from area code 540 if you get one in the next couple of weeks.

  • Christie Greene didn’t have to marry Dan to get green. As a young child growing up in Florida, she felt a visceral connection to the environment, one that led her to Evergreen more than 20 years ago and honed her passion for sustainability.

  • Elections seem to bring out the best and the worst in people. On the positive side, the interest in public service and scrutiny of government services re-energizes us and provides the impetus to update and improve services. On the negative side, the emotions of campaigns inevitably lead to conflicts and vilification of candidates and causes that don’t deserve it. Such was the case with our recently completed Evergreen Park and Recreation District election.

  • In 1983, the Baltimore Colts selected John Elway with the first pick in that year’s NFL draft. Elway had no interest in playing for the Colts, and said he would play professional baseball if they took him. So the Colts traded Elway to the Broncos for two players and a first-round pick in the 1984 draft. The rest is history.

    Since then, Broncos drafts have been pretty ordinary. No big headlines, no huge stories. 

    Until this year.

  • Sometimes the story isn’t as big a deal as the story about the story. How much different would United States history look if, the day after the Watergate break-in, President Nixon had said, “Campaigns make people do crazy things,” instead of getting involved in the cover-up that led to his resignation?

    While there is little doubt there is nothing in Scott McInnis’ tax returns or John Hickenlooper’s charitable contributions that rise to the level of Watergate, the principle is the same. The longer questions persist, the bigger the story gets.

  • On May 3, 1972, Sylvia Brockner wrote her first column for the Canyon Courier, about pine siskins, and readers flocked to her words about nature’s rhythms and the beauty of Evergreen and its surroundings.

  • An important election May 4 will determine the direction the Evergreen Park and Recreation District takes in future years, and may affect property taxes. Property taxes provide 41 percent of the current EPRD operating budget. The other 59 percent comes from user fees, grants, etc. EPRD costs will likely remain stable or increase. Tax revenue is projected to decline for the next two years. We consider key issues to be dealing with finances, determining the broad needs of the district (not special interests), and Buchanan Park development.

  • Two weeks ago, my kids returned home from school with new backpacks. The green bags — which more resembled re-usable grocery totes — touted the U.S. census, proclaiming “Be counted” in several languages, with a backdrop of multi-colored hands. 

  • Before Coloradans went to their precinct caucuses last month, it looked like U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and former lieutenant governor Jane Norton were on their way to meeting in a combative and expensive race for Colorado’s U.S. Senate seat. What a difference a month makes!