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Opinion

  • In my last column, I wrote about a soon-to-be introduced bipartisan bill called the Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids (or CAP4K). Since that time, legislation has been formally introduced in the state Senate and was assigned a bill number, SB 212.

    SB 212 is supported by Gov. Bill Ritter and enjoys bipartisan sponsorship in the Senate (Sen. Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, and Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver) and the House (Rep. Christine Scanlan, D-Summit County, and myself).

  • Hannah Hayes

    There’s a longstanding trend to expand voting rights as demonstrated by these amendments — the 15th bans race-based voting qualifications, the 19th extends suffrage to women, and the 26th enfranchises 18-year-olds. Choosing our leaders is fundamental. An election decided by the Supreme Court is contrary to U.S. standards. The image of a team of hired protesters banging on Florida’s election room door to stop a hand count still bristles.

  • As I wrote several weeks ago, I’ve been working with Gov. Bill Ritter and a bipartisan group of legislators to craft a rigorous education reform bill to prepare Colorado’s educational system for the challenges of a new global economy. That bill, called the Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids (or CAP4K), was formally introduced last week.

  • Last week the Colorado Department of Transportation confronted a problem that is usually more closely associated with newspapers — the dreaded typo. Here in the world of print journalism, one of our biggest fears is that a rogue spelling will escape our attention and wind up in a monster-size headline on the front page.

  • Hannah Hayes

    It’s hard to wrap your mind around $720 million a day, and $500,000 per minute.

    After five years, the Iraq war is much more than a titanic financial burden. Civilian deaths are over 1 million, another challenging number, but these are lives, mostly of women and children. Iraq now has 5 million internally displaced people and refugees.

  • If you’ve been to Summit or Grand counties lately, you’ve seen the effects of the largest and most catastrophic pine beetle infestation in decades.

    As the Rocky Mountain News recently reported, “Every large, mature lodgepole pine forest in Colorado and southern Wyoming will be dead within three to five years,” based on projections from the U.S. Forest Service. The Rocky further reported that the outbreak, which began in 1996, has infested 1.5 million acres of trees, culminating in an unbelievable 500,000 additional acres in 2007 alone.

  • The Colorado General Assembly passed the halfway mark of this year’s 120-session last weekend. This year’s session has been marked by big reports, the arrival of TABOR author Douglas Bruce and a workmanlike tone. The biggest issues are likely still to come.

  • Hannah Hayes

    In typical “Both Sides Now” fashion, there are contrasting ways that citizens might feel about government authorizing wiretaps on Americans communicating with those outside the country. President Bush felt that he had been granted the power to spy on us when Congress gave him unchecked authority to fight terrorism. That was a mistake made in the first week after the attacks on the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon.

  • Earlier this month, Barack Obama’s wife Michelle said that, “people in this country are ready for change and hungry for a different kind of politics and ee for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback.”

    At another speech later that day, she made a similar statement, saying that “for the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country ee not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.”

  • Hannah Hayes

    Grassroots democracy was the big winner at Democratic caucuses. In that spirit, here are some impressions from those who participated.

  • This year’s presidential race is shaping up to be the most interesting and unpredictable in decades. Six months ago, conventional wisdom held that John McCain was finished and Hillary Clinton was heading for a coronation in Denver. So much for conventional wisdom.

    State legislators, like most Americans, are also watching the presidential race — but their interest also happens to be personal. Whom the parties nominate will have significant down-ticket effects, meaning that close state legislative races may turn on national trends.

  • It’s a little too early in this election year to declare democracy the big winner in 2008, but early returns are certainly encouraging.

    The stunning turnout by Democrats at Jeffco’s party caucuses Feb. 5 — 10 times the turnout during the last presidential campaign in 2004 — is an indication that long-apathetic voters are beginning to dip their toes in the puddles of populism that have somehow survived the last eight years.

    And in many precincts, the puddles overflowed.

  • “I am a clock without hands

    I’m walking through the midnights

    Counting all the moments

    Of the loves I’ve left behind.”

    — Nanci Griffith,

    “A Clock Without Hands”

  • Hannah Hayes

    The survival of our planet depends upon a large-scale shift in consciousness. Increasing the number of miles per gallon a car is required to achieve isn’t going to create enough change. If you are not already embracing a responsible 21st-century lifestyle, the journey might be uncomfortable at first, but it’s absolutely necessary. Reversing global warming and gearing up for sustainability requires steering outside of those double yellow lines and parking in an entirely new spot.

  • The first three weeks of the 2008 legislative session have been anything but dull. Of course, the vast majority of press coverage has focused on newly minted state Rep. Doug Bruce, R-Colorado Springs, author of the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights (TABOR amendment).

  • Hannah Hayes

    Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” Single-payer universal health care is the best way to dig out of the corporate mess we have now. Taking the profit out of health care will bring the greatest benefit to the largest number of citizens, and allow the U.S. a path to regain dignity in another area where we slip and slide so badly.

  • Hannah Hayes

  • I was a teenage dinosaur.

    Actually, I was in my early 20s when an old-school managing editor by the name of Gale Baldwin told me I’d just become the editor of a weekly section that would target readers in the 6-to-11 age bracket.

  • “When I find a well-drawn character in fiction or biography, I generally take a warm personal interest in him, for the reason that I have known him before — met him on the river.”

    — Mark Twain, in “Life on the Mississippi”

    Brad Bradberry never met a person he didn’t know, or with whom he couldn’t navigate a long, meandering conversation. While some people collect objects, Brad collected people: childhood friends, rivals, Rotarians, fellow publishers, bosses, employees, customers.

  • From the time I was diagnosed with cancer about 14 months ago, I wondered what the subject of my final column would be and when I would write it. Well, I’m no closer to a subject and have been wondering how much longer I could hold out, but now the time has come.

    Like everything else during my life, I have put it off until the last minute.