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Opinion

  • The things we, the people of Colorado, do to our state constitution are pretty remarkable. Most informed voters know and understand how the conflicting provisions of TABOR, which restricts government collections and expenditures; Amendment 23, which mandates increased spending for K-12 education regardless of the condition of the state treasury or impact on other state programs; and the Gallagher amendment, which creates ever disparate property tax treatment of residential and commercial property ties elected officials’ hands and makes it difficult to deliver government services.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • After expressions of unhappiness from all corners of Jefferson County about school starting Aug. 12 this year, the school district has come up with a calendar for next year that extends summer for two more weeks and meets almost all of the desires expressed by students, parents and teachers.

  • 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.”

  • 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.”

    Colorado voters find themselves in the dog’s direct line of fire this fall as unnecessary and competing citizen initiatives have found their way onto our ballot.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • As chief of the Colorado State Patrol and a motorcycle rider for the past 14 years, I know there is nothing like the freedom and exhilaration of riding a motorcycle in our beautiful state. But with that freedom come responsibility and certainly some danger. Every year for the past nine years, the number of motorcyclists killed on our nation’s highways has increased. And sadly, motorcycle fatalities in Colorado are on the rise — from 45 fatalities in 1995, doubling to 90 deaths in 2007. The majority of last year’s deaths occurred between May and October.

  • 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.

  • 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.”

  • Hannah Hayes

    I work in a presumably green industry. A few months ago there was a giant 45,000-person national trade show all set up for recycling. It’s far too easy to still recall the image of the huge mountains of trash in and around the carefully labeled bins. Recently I started getting “natural” electronic signatures that claim the way to go green is to think twice about printing out an e-mail. Really? Could it be that easy?

  • The Russians are coming

    Editor:

    I wonder if anyone “in charge” in Jeffco has realized that we’ve been invaded by Russians?

    I’m not speaking of people, of course, but of trees — Russian olive trees, to be exact.

    You can get a pretty good look at them driving down Coal Mine, in the valley basin between Pierce and Wadsworth. They’re the trees with leaves that look dusty-green, or gray-green, lighter than the leaves of other trees. They are frequently thorny, and sport little yellow flowers in the spring.

  • Hannah Hayes

    When it comes to reducing greenhouse gas carbon emissions, a personal contribution can be daunting, especially when it involves lifestyle changes as deeply rooted as what we eat. Food is integral to who we are, but it turns out that those who make a relatively small dietary shift benefit our planet’s ecology.

  • I needed caffeine. I woke up feeling like my brain was in an unclean fish tank and a hundred miles away. A shower didn’t help rejuvenate my senses, and I stumbled around trying to find a shirt not wrinkled like a dead elephant’s carcass. There were none. This wasn’t all that unusual. Iron in hand, I cleared a space on my countertop and melted a hole in a $40 shirt. I looked at the bottom of the iron and then to the clock above the stove — I was running late for a meeting.