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Columns

  • A tax hike by any other name …

    I always make it a practice to ask my Metro State journalism students to explain what a mill levy is, because few things are more central to covering governments than understanding how taxing entities get money from the public.
    Usually, the students look at me as if I’m speaking in an obscure Klingon dialect: A mill? A levy? What are those, and what do they have to do with government funding? These are typically intelligent, well-informed students, and they have not the slightest idea what I’m going on about.

  • Reporter saw the best and worst of Jefferson County

    After a 12-hour day spent making bone grafts in October 2009, I was in a small locker room changing out of a pair of sweat-soaked long-sleeve scrubs. The day, exhausting, had been routine until I sat down on a stainless-steel bench to check the single message on my phone left by the man who is now my editor, Doug Bell.
    Since no one was around to enforce my self-congratulatory inhibitions, I jumped up and did a little dance, a moment to which I happily confess but remain glad no one else had to witness.

  • Make your voice heard on wildfires

    Several years ago, when I was still a state legislator, I carried a bill to provide tax breaks for volunteer firefighters to offset the costs of their safety equipment. These volunteers, who are on the front lines of wildfire response in most mountain areas, must often buy their own boots, helmet, jackets and other personal protective equipment. A tax credit would allow more volunteers to serve their communities, helping all citizens in the process.

  • I’ll always be a Tim Tebow fan

    Yes, I understand. Peyton Manning is a four-time MVP, a Super Bowl winner, and a sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer. He commands a game like nobody else. Even when he’s just at 75 percent, he’s still better than everybody else. And by all accounts, he’s an even better man off the field than on it. It’s great to have him in Denver.
    But I’m still going to miss Tim Tebow.

  • Technology giving stalkers many new tools

    By Ted Mink

  • Campaign season is upon us

    As you have no doubt concluded from the many recent GOP presidential debates, it’s an election year. And it’s a watershed year for Colorado politics, in many ways.
    Jefferson County voters will be casting ballots in races that range from county commissioner to U.S. Congress. And nearly all the voters in our coverage areas find themselves electing U.S. House members and state legislators in redrawn districts that will be game-changers for candidates and voters alike.

  • Right advice on wrong end of horse

    You never know when you’re going to have a life changing experience.
        Stories about both the untimely death of former CU and CSU track coach Jerry Quiller at the age of 69 and his funeral in the last couple of weeks reminded me of the impact Quiller had on my development in a way that I’m sure he never even realized.

  • Hey, Newt: Go easy on capitalism

    Last month, I saw something I never thought I’d see: a Republican presidential candidate attacking an opponent for his participation in free-market capitalism. Newt Gingrich launched the first volley several weeks ago, going after Mitt Romney for his past work at a buyout firm, Bain Capital.
    The Wall Street Journal took notice of the unusual attack, saying that “a super-PAC supporting the former House speaker plans to spend $3.4 million in TV ads in South Carolina portraying Mr. Romney as Gordon Gekko without the social conscience.” 

  • An editor ponders his empty nest

    A little less than five years ago, Evergreen Newspapers had a sudden opening for a photo editor. Though I’ve never had kids myself, that week I experienced a taste of what it must be like.
    Two students of whom I was particularly fond had recently moved to the East Coast, and I was fairly certain that either would hurry back to join our team. And therein lay the dilemma: Who would come home, and whom would we go on missing?

  • DeGette reaches out to new constituents

    When I first heard that Congresswoman Diana DeGette, D-Denver, would announce her bid to be re-elected to Congress from the 1st Congressional District at the Columbine Library, my first thought was, “I thought that library in Cherry Creek was on Milwaukee, not Columbine.”
    As it turned out, I was right — there is no Denver library on Columbine Street. DeGette, who has represented Denver in Congress since 1997, chose to announce her re-election plans from the newest part of her district, the part in South Jeffco around Columbine and Ken Caryl.