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Today's Opinions

  • Helping a furry friend in need

    Oliver needed a friend.

    The 9-year-old chihuahua mix was sick, missing about half his teeth and hadn’t had a place to call home for more than a year. He was a hefty14 pounds — a bit much for a pooch his size, likely due to months of inactivity and a poor diet.

    Things weren’t looking good for him in general.

    He was scheduled to die on Jan. 19 at a metro-area animal shelter.

  • Community newspapers not extinct

    Few industries have gone from boom to bust as quickly as newspapers.

    In 1989, I was working for the Rocky Mountain News, and times were good. Really good. Our circulation was soaring, and ad sales were humming along.

    Fast-forward 20 years, and many things have changed. The Rocky has disappeared, and several other major dailies have followed that same path to extinction. Craigslist has drained away classified advertising. The current economic downturn is taking its toll. And of course readers are turning to the Internet for their news and away from print publications.

  • School board weighed difficult choices

    The Jeffco school board took serious actions on Jan. 14 related to managing school facility capacity. The district’s student population has steadied at about 80,000-plus kids, and students “choicing” in and out of neighborhood schools have affected the numbers of kids at different schools.

    Ken Caryl Middle School was on the block at one point so Jeffco could fill more seats at Deer Creek Middle School. A walk-through of the Deer Creek facility showed insufficient library, gym and cafeteria space for the roughly 1,200 kids that would be in that building.

  • School board avoided tough decisions

    When members of Congress and Pentagon leaders realized we needed to close military bases around the country and find ways to use others better, they knew they would face impossible political dilemmas. Communities around the country would fight to keep their bases and missions. What politician with an ounce of self-preservation instinct would vote to close a base in his or her own district?

  • Sweet and bittersweet journeys

    “And he carries the reminders

    “Of every glove that laid him down

    “Or cut him till he cried out

    “In his anger and his shame

    “I am leaving, I am leaving

    “But the fighter still remains.”

    — Paul Simon

    For me, hanging in our coverage areas is all about the happy little surprises that crop up and punctuate your day — and the unexpected connections that result from other, less-lighthearted encounters.

  • Shrinking government will expand economy

    As the Colorado General Assembly returns to the Capitol for the 2010 legislative session, the state faces a $600 million budget shortfall in the current fiscal year and a $1.5 billion shortfall for the coming year. Though economists say the worst of the recession is behind us, they also say the recovery will be slow and it will take some time to recover the jobs we have lost.

  • Ritter’s compass showed him the way

    Shortly after I started as the founding director of Denver’s Mayor’s Office of Regulatory Reform in 1991, Elbra Wedgeworth, the office’s deputy director, told me she wanted us to have breakfast with one of her Leadership Denver classmates from the district attorney’s office. Shortly thereafter, she and I met with Bill Ritter. From that day, the three of us went on to bigger and better things. Elbra became president of the City Council and brought the Democratic National Convention to Denver.

  • Will a third-party movement emerge?

    As I write this column, I’m looking at an online Denver Post story announcing that my friend and former colleague in the state House, Kathleen Curry, has renounced her affiliation with the Democratic Party and is now officially “independent.” It comes as a surprise only insofar as sitting elected officials rarely leave their parties. That said, Curry, who hails from Gunnison, has always had an independent streak.