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Opinion

  • Colorado is now a one-party state. The election of 2008 definitively put Democrats in the driver’s seat at both the state and federal levels.

    In addition to their control of the state House, state Senate and governor’s mansion, this year Democrats added wins in the U.S. Senate race (Mark Udall) and 4th Congressional District (Betsy Markey). Of Colorado’s nine seats in the U.S. House and Senate, only Congressman Doug Lamborn and Congressman-elect Mike Coffman have “R”s next to their names.

  • Hannah Hayes

    It’s Thanksgiving and an appropriate time to reflect on giving and receiving. A day, a season, perhaps an even longer time to trade in negative dialogue and give it up for someone who has contributed so much to our lives and to many others’ as well. This year I’ve chosen to write about Gloria Steinem. She appeared in our area a couple of times during the election cycle and I felt lucky to be able to hear this icon speak in person at the Lake House.

  • It’s been an interesting few years as it relates to general consensus about when to put school mill levy overrides and bond issues on ballots. Historically, lower voter turnout benefited these questions because teachers and parents were the more motivated voters. When those motivated supporters made up the largest possible percentage of the vote, the measures stood the best chances of winning.

  • Hannah Hayes

    This little piggy went to the free market; after all, we were told to shop. Unfortunately some shopped “on the margin,” meaning there was no inherent value in the paper they were purchasing. Who can blame the Chinese for trying to cash out if they started to feel insecure about the lack of backing on their loans?

  • Hannah Hayes

    Spending several nights in a Roy Rogers themed hotel room recently took me back to the childhood room my brother and I shared. Just think turquoise and brown. I loved all the ’50s Western TV shows, so, to further indulge nostalgia and my interest in politics, I watched a few episodes of “Maverick” when I got back home. Bret Maverick was an entirely different legend of the West than Roy was. Bret was always scheming, gambling and being run out of town. Roy Rogers knew it’s how you ride the trail that counts.

  • Writing before the election results are final, I have no idea of the outcome of the presidential race. So from behind a veil of ignorance, this column is an expression of support and good wishes to the newly elected president — whoever he is.

  • When witnesses testified about being in untenable situations before legislative committees on which Cliff Bryan served in the mid-’80s, the folksy appliance salesman-turned-state representative from Loveland often said, “It seems like we’ve put these people between the fire hydrant and the dog.”

  • Hannah Hayes

  • Immediately following the Democratic National Convention, a USA Today/Gallup poll showed Barack Obama leading John McCain by a comfortable 50-43 margin. USA Today/Gallup’s prior poll, released before the convention, showed Obama leading 48-45. The net difference of four points was the “bounce” provided by the convention.

  • When Jeffco school board President Scott Benefield told parents at the Aug. 21 meeting that “We all want a later start,” he set the stage for a real conversation about when school should start.

  • Even now, as the memories of the Democratic National Convention are starting to fade, the crowds and cameras have left, and the speeches turned into expired sound bites — I’ve come to understand that history is served best when it is not regurgitated back as a spectator sport.

  • Hannah Hayes

  • Be careful what you wish for! For as long as I can remember, Coloradans of all political persuasions have lamented the fact that we weren’t players in presidential politics. We weren’t players in the nominating process because of our timing and relatively few delegates. We weren’t players in general elections because we were such a lock for the Republican nominee. A Democrat hasn’t had the majority of presidential votes in Colorado since I started voting.

  • With primary season ending and the general election ramping up, we’re once again being inundated with political advertisements on television and radio. These ads have a predictable style and rhythm, depending on their source and whether they are for or against a candidate.

    The most common type is the positive ad from the candidate — well-lit, focused and upbeat. Mountains are often visible in the background. There may be some general discussion about issues, but it’s usually vague.

  • Six summers ago, in the blistering drought of 2002, virtually all adult trout in Bear Creek were killed from the Evergreen Dam downstream at least as far as Idledale. The problem was a lethal combination of low flows, high temperatures and oxygen-robbing algae blooms. Although the community responded splendidly when watering restrictions were called, it was not enough to save the trout, and the EPA subsequently placed the creek on Colorado’s statewide list of “impaired streams.”

  • Hannah Hayes

    Does it seem to our regular readers that Kelly and I are going in circles? This week we literally are as we debate Evergreen’s first roundabout. Change is a mantra for those of us on the left. Putting in a traffic improvement such as a circle suits us just fine. Traffic engineer Tim Murray says there are only 16 potential conflict points in a traffic circle, while a four-way intersection has 64.

  • The New York Times recently ran an interesting front-page article about Diane McLeod, a Philadelphia woman who is struggling to dig herself out from under a mountain of consumer debt. Her plight is hardly unique. According to the Times, the average household carries credit card debt of $8,565, which is 15 percent higher than in 2000.

    Other statistics are equally sobering. The Times reports that “household debt, including mortgages and credit cards, represents 19 percent of household assets, according to the Fed, compared with 13 percent in 1980.”

  • Cougars and Chargers and Rebs, oh my! The Colorado High School Activities Association announced 2007-08 academic team champions last week, and Evergreen, Columbine and Chatfield high schools are among our state’s elite.

  • When you gaze up at the familiar view west of Denver, it’s humbling to think that those mountains have looked almost exactly the same for hundreds of generations. Long before the first French Canadian and American trappers crossed the plains and chronicled the stunning and surprising “Shining Mountains,” this scenery was familiar to the Cheyennes, Utes, Arapahos and Kiowas, who occupied what is now the Denver metro area.

  • County Commissioner Kevin McCasky (Canyon Courier June 18) does an outstanding job summarizing commissioners’ responsibilities regarding land use decisions. But he doesn’t practice what he preaches. He writes of preserving “charm and beauty,” sustainability and improving property values. Many of his decisions do the opposite. He notes that, legally, his decisions cannot be subjective, yet his votes often ignore the bulk of citizen and expert testimony, community plans and county staff recommendations.