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Opinion

  • After the assassination of Sen. Robert Kennedy in 1968, his brother Ted ended a moving eulogy by saying, “My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it. Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will someday come to pass for all the world.”

  • By Hannah Hayes

    After hearing the phrase “health care reform,” it’s sorely disappointing to see how shallow the thinking goes. All that’s being talked about is how to pay for exactly the same kind of health care that many Americans already have. The finances of medicine are in shambles, but true reform should go much further if the aim is to raise the quality of life.

  • By Hannah Hayes

    There’s a June 6 article in Forbes magazine called “The Best and Worst Cities for Recession Recovery.” Colorado has one city on the “best” list, Boulder, because of its technology industry and the university creating stable jobs. At the top of the “worst” list is Flint, Mich., with “the longest road to recovery.”

  • When I served in the legislature, there was a guy who e-mailed me often to remind me of what an idiot I was. He didn’t like the way I voted on a bill, and he let me know about it — again and again and again (most people don’t realize it, but Colorado state legislators don’t have a full-time staff, so when you’re e-mailing or calling your state representative or senator, the person taking the message is probably the legislator himself or herself).

  • Chalk up another victory for open government. The Board of Governors of Colorado State University has released the tapes of an obviously illegal executive session and paid the legal fees of newspapers in Fort Collins and Pueblo.

  • Although I don’t agree with President Obama on many policy issues, his “beer summit” last week turned out to be a novel and very effective way of using the power of the presidency to defuse a potentially volatile situation.

    And while it remains to be seen what the longer term effects will be, it may turn out to have a significant positive impact on race relations going forward.

    The controversy erupted a few days earlier, when African-American Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates accused Boston police Sgt. James Crowley of racial profiling.

  • By Hannah Hayes

    So much vitriol has been directed at Michael Jackson and probably too much adoration. His bizarre behavior has been subjected to intense scrutiny. Typically, a celebrity must fit a certain mold; not being a pedophile is certainly essential, and being too odd puts you dangerously outside the mainstream.

  • I’m one of those people who can’t help but shift into lecture mode whenever people complain about jury duty. I automatically launch into how jury duty is a privilege and that it and voting make living in our democratic society so special. Despite my civic pride, I hadn’t been called for jury duty since 1994 and hadn’t been on a jury since 1992.

  • I recently spoke to a political pollster, who told me he is seeing strong evidence that Americans (and Coloradans in particular) are increasingly frustrated with their government’s culture of reckless spending, both at the state and federal levels. This is not a partisan issue, he said, since significant numbers of Republicans, Democrats and independents all share this concern to one degree or another.

  • By Hannah Hayes

    For 30 years Iran has slowly been staging a rebellion. The recent election and demonstrations may be a turning point for those with legitimate grievances against the repressive mullahs. It is unclear to what degree there was voter fraud, yet students, women and the middle class have certainly raised profound issues while risking everything. Unfortunately, there is not yet a sufficient coalition present that unites these groups of revolutionaries with labor, military, ethnic groups and oil producers.

  • Score one for common sense. When Colorado voters approved Amendment 54 last fall, they tromped all over First Amendment political speech rights of thousands of their friends and neighbors. While on its face Amendment 54 addressed pay-to-play government contracting, it was so far-reaching and the limitations it imposed had so little nexus to specific contracts that it was too flawed to pass any reasonable constitutional muster. When Denver District Judge Catherine Lemon blocked its implementation, she said, “It’s just not a close case.”

  • Between Durango and Pagosa Springs is a hidden gem of Colorado history. Before prehistoric dwellings were built into the cliffs at Mesa Verde, Ancestral Puebloans created a small settlement on top of a mesa near two dramatic pillars of stone. The place is called Chimney Rock.

  • The Curmudgeons enthusiastically endorse the Mounsey/Campbell proposal to renovate the former Albertsons store for use as a community center, with facilities for both performing and visual arts, meeting facilities for myriad nonprofit groups, and a small convention center. This facility would be self-supporting. Nonprofit groups would pay modest rent for their use of this building, while the majority of the operating funds would come from groups outside Evergreen renting parts of the facility at market rates.

  • Do Colorado roads sometimes feel like the Wild, Wild West? A new law seeks safer roads and happy trails for all, here in Jeffco and throughout Colorado.

    Gov. Bill Ritter signed into law Senate Bill 148, the Bicycle Safety Bill, clarifying our state’s rules on how bicycles and motor vehicles share public roads. Sponsors Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, and Rep. Michael Merrifield, D-Manitou Springs, worked with fellow legislators to find common-sense approaches that enhance road safety for everyone. The new law takes effect on Aug. 5.

  • By Hannah Hayes

    The Earth has shifted, and days are already getting shorter. The passage of time seems to accelerate, and change is happening at breakneck speed.

  • In Denver area ice hockey circles, he was known simply as “the goalie in the wheelchair.”

    Kyle Stubbs and his chair stopped pucks for a lot of teams over the years: the Warthogs, the Grinders, Berserk, Spitfire, and Chimney Full of Squirrels, to name a few. And he frustrated the shooters of other teams too numerous to list.

    On a recent Saturday, many of us who played with and against Kyle gathered at the Promenade in Westminster to say goodbye and to remember a man who refused to accept the limits that life imposed.

  • Cynics who believe that, when given a chance, politicians will take the politically expedient route were dealt a blow when Gov. Bill Ritter vetoed two priority bills of organized labor after the 2009 session of the Colorado General Assembly adjourned.

  • Two years ago, I got a call from my friend Mark Obmascik. Mark, a former Denver Post reporter turned author, was working on a new book, and he needed help.

    His previous book, called “The Big Year,” was about hard-core birders who tried to accumulate as many species sightings as they could in 365 days. It was quirky and entertaining, and compelling enough to get me into birding myself.

  • By Hannah Hayes

    Native America is not immune to modern troubles, although the advent of gaming might indicate otherwise to some. Will President Obama create the kind of change desired by the American Indian Movement? It seems he is poised to please.

  • “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

    — Joseph P. Kennedy

    That statement has been uttered by many who are trying to get someone within earshot to try harder during tough times. It probably hasn’t worked all that well, but it is a memorable phrase. The truth is that during tough times businesses often do need to get going … to new tactics.