• The results in Tuesday’s school board recall were not surprising, but the vote margins were stunning: Ken Witt, John Newkirk and Julie Williams were recalled with about 64 percent of the votes in a county where registrations are evenly split among Democrats, Republicans and independents.

    The three conservatives, who claimed their seats in the 2013 off-year election, were trounced at the polls in another off-year that saw an impressive turnout fueled entirely by Jeffco’s school district drama.

  • I’ve been planning for weeks to offer my thoughts on the controversy surrounding the Jeffco school district. And I’ve also been procrastinating for weeks. Of late, our politically polarized school system has become the third rail of local politics — touch it, and you die.

    A phone call last week from a loyal reader stirred me from my inertia (some would say cowardice). The gentleman raised several good questions about our recent coverage and, as a result, helped me organize my own thoughts. He should call daily.

  • The last time the Jeffco Public Library saw a tax increase, the Internet was still a gleam in Al Gore’s eye. Nor had DVDs been invented. E-books? Forget it. “Portable” computers that didn’t result in a hernia? Surely you jest.

    In fact, the last time our library saw a boost in taxpayer support was some 29 years ago, and since then in Jefferson County, demand for services that the library offers has exploded:

    • The county’s population has grown by 130,000 people.

  • The worst thing about the almost two years of turmoil that we’ve experienced in Jefferson County schools is that it’s been a continuing distraction from the school district’s most important responsibility — to educate the kids who live in this county. Anything that distracts teachers from focusing their energy on giving kids the best possible education is a major flaw that should be resolved as soon as possible.

  • By Jim Rohrer/Columnist

    The political news is surprising as two unlikely candidates are soaring in the polls. Not many would expect a self-identified socialist to challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president, but U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is gaining some traction. He trails her in a recent Iowa poll 52 percent to 33 percent. In New Hampshire, it’s 56 percent to 24 percent. No, he is not the front-runner, but his strong numbers are very surprising, and Clinton must be looking over her shoulder.

  • Pigs get fat. Hogs get slaughtered!

    That should be the simple lesson for some grousing small arts organizations that have argued that the proposal to continue the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District and shift modest revenues from large organizations to smaller ones doesn’t give them enough.

  • County commissioners’ decision questioned in Jared’s rezoning


    Jefferson County has a Planning Commission that responds to zoning issues presented in unincorporated areas of the county. That commission recently held hearings on a request by Jared’s Garden Center to build an indoor volleyball facility and a pub on its property on West Bowles Avenue.

  • On Feb. 18, the Colorado Senate presented the House of Representatives with a take-it-or-kill-it ultimatum on a spending bill for the Department of Public Safety. The disagreement centered on whether more funds should be made available to process criminal background checks for gun permits. At that point, it looked like developing a state budget was going to be a very difficult task.

  • When the original “Star Trek” debuted in September 1966, our nation was about to be torn apart by an unpopular war in Vietnam and by race riots at home. In the nearly half-century since, the science-fiction juggernaut spawned five additional television series and 12 movies on its way to becoming a cultural icon.

    At first, many assumed “Star Trek” to be an escapist space opera, but it didn’t take long for the writers to begin secreting much bigger issues into their scripts, from racism to war to civil rights.

  • You know you’ve reached a certain point in life when a longtime friend is recognized as a legend. And so it was for Laurie and me last week when we attended the Colorado High School Activities Association Hall of Fame induction dinner to see South Jeffco resident Marcia Neville be inducted.

  • By Jeffco Sheriff Ted Mink

    As my term in office approaches its final days, I’m experiencing a great deal of personal reflection. I’m sure everyone goes through a similar process of recounting how they reacted to a situation or event, sorting out in their mind if they could have done something different — while recalling the successes and failures along the way.

  • Olli Maatta, a 20-year-old hockey player from Finland, was living the dream. A year ago, he broke into the Pittsburgh Penguins’ lineup as a teenager and became one of their regular defensemen, and he was widely recognized as being among the National Hockey League’s top rookies.

  • Council of Homeowners Organizations supports Foothills’ mill-levy boost


    After review and discussion of the issue at our Oct. 1 meeting, the members of the Council of Homeowners Organizations for a Planned Environment have voted to support Foothills Park and Recreation District’s mill-levy request in the upcoming election.

  • Whether playing ice hockey at The Edge, enjoying a sunny afternoon at Clement Park or attending a community gathering at The Peak, the lives of countless South Jeffco residents are touched on a regular basis by the Foothills Park and Rec District.

  • “The history of liberty is the history of resistance.”

    — Woodrow Wilson

    I have remained stubbornly silent about the new school board majority for many months, mainly because I felt the three new members deserved a chance to prove that the hysteria about hidden agendas was an overreaction.

  • Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.

    After the movie “Jaws” made people so afraid of shark attacks in 1975 that there was a demonstrated reduction of swimming in the ocean, the marketing people at Universal Studios came up with perhaps the most memorable tagline in move history when they introduced “Jaws 2” in 1978 with: “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.”

  • By Carol Brzeczek

    The Colorado Open Records Act provides citizens with a process to gain access to public records. Under Colorado law, information packets no longer constitute “work product” under CORA once they “are produced and distributed to the members of a public body for their use or consideration in a public meeting.”

  • When I was a junior at Steamboat Springs High School in 1975, there was a huge controversy when the Boulder County clerk began issuing same-sex marriage licenses. It was a national story, but it was really big news in Steamboat, as the clerk had grown up there and her father was the longtime clerk in our county.

  • Leading up to the Republican gubernatorial primary June 24, the Colorado Springs Gazette ran an editorial May 19 urging candidates Mike Kopp and Scott Gessler to drop out of the race to ensure that Bob Beauprez would win the nomination over Tom Tancredo. The Gazette argued that Tancredo was not a viable candidate in the general election and that Gov. John Hickenlooper’s re-election would be a sure thing if Tancredo became the Republican nominee.

  • Maybe they just got tired of being called the new conservative majority.

    How else can you explain school board members Ken Witt, John Newkirk and Julie Williams voting to pay, including performance incentives, new superintendent Daniel McMinimee almost 40 percent more than his predecessor and to give him a five-year contract despite the fact that he’s never been a superintendent before? The decision doesn’t meet any definition of conservative I’ve ever heard.