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Today's Opinions

  • 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.

  • Colorado's budget: Here come the cuts

    The Denver Post recently reported that “Colorado’s budget shortfall has grown another $40 million, reaching a projected $600.6 million for the fiscal year that ends in June.” This is due in large part to declining tax revenues as a result of bad economic conditions.

    To make matters worse, in the upcoming fiscal year — which starts in August — the budget shortfall is expected to be $1.5 billion. 

    To put those numbers into perspective, the state's operating budget for fiscal 2009-10 is just about $19 billion.

  • Leverage always a player in politics

    It’s disappointing on every level that health care reform, like the stimulus plan before it, will be enacted without bipartisan cooperation. While Democrats have charged Republicans with being obstructionists and Republicans have called Democrats arrogant, the simple fact is that President Obama’s major initiatives will be enacted without Republican support.