Opinion Columns, Columnists
Last week, Gov. Hickenlooper unveiled Colorado’s first ever water plan. After nearly two years of meetings and input, the ballyhoo of releasing the plan was heard from Yuma to Grand Junction. There’s good and bad in the plan, and the on-the-ground result depends on which part of the plan the state decides to implement. The final plan is an “all of the above” water policy, and, just like “all of the above” energy policies, there’s plenty for everyone to love and hate.
First, for the good news: The plan proposes to achieve 400,000 acre feet of water conservation in cities. This makes sense and is a smart move for Colorado — conservation is faster, easier, cheaper and creates more jobs than spending billions of dollars on new dams and river-destruction projects.Learn more »
With the high cost of housing in the mountains, it is not uncommon for parents to want to lend money to their children to purchase a home. Unfortunately, Colorado law does not make this easy, as explained in this article.
In the wake of the financial crisis, private financing has become increasingly regulated. I wrote about some of the issues in my December 2013 article titled “Real estate brokers and sellers take note: Seller financing just got harder.” The gist of that article was that seller financing generally requires structuring the loan to fall within certain exclusions under federal and state law in the face of strict penalties for noncompliance.Learn more »
We should all truly celebrate. Two years after the governor’s executive order, we finally have a Colorado Water Plan that lays out measurable objectives and metrics to help guide us toward a secure water future.
In the face of future challenges that include population growth and climate change, Colorado’s first-ever water plan is a call to action to all Coloradans to work collaboratively to ensure we protect our scarce water resources by using and developing our water supplies in the most efficient and responsible manner possible.Learn more »
Here we are, teetering on the edge of Thanksgiving, the quintessentially American holiday that marks the beginning of the annual descent into the maelstrom of avarice that Christmas has become in our increasingly secular age. This Thursday, as we gather for our yearly bout of tryptophan and football, perhaps we ought to pause a moment and consider both our present circumstances and the meaningful history of the meal we share.
The first “Thanksgiving,” the one celebrated with iconically insulting stereotypes all around, was not called that as far as is recorded. It was a three-day celebration of many things: survival, for the half of the Pilgrim population still alive after one year in their new-found land; bounty brought on by the instruction and cooperation of native Americans; friendship with the Wampanoag tribe, a mutually beneficial relationship that lasted half a century. All things for which one could understandably give thanks, and, to Gov. William Bradford, evidence of “God’s Providence” and the special nature of the Plymouth community.Learn more »
It would usually begin with an insult or some harsh words, perhaps a few shoves, and then someone would throw the first punch. Often there would be no second punch as friends, teachers, coaches would intercede. Mostly it was little more than adolescence bravado and posturing.
Occasionally, it would go down like in the movies when two combatants would square off in the middle of a circle of spectators and go at it until one person quit. More often than not a bloody nose, fat lip or black eye was the worst results.Learn more »
I’ve been hearing a lot about Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Can you tell me more about it? — Greg, BreckenridgeLearn more »
To call Newport, Nebraska a small town inflates its size. Located on the edge of the sparsely populated Sand Hills, the hamlet has just 70 people. Like nearly all of Nebraska’s rural areas, it has been shedding residents.
Yet determined opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline first arose at Newport and other minuscule places on the Great Plains. Ranch and farm owners became riled up by what they considered the bullying tactics of Calgary-based TransCanada. Their opposition caught the attention of national environmental groups and climate-change activists like Bill McKibben, and they in turn made Keystone a centerpiece of their campaigns against fossil fuels. A winning campaign, as it turned out: President Obama rejected the pipeline on Nov. 6, saying that granting approval would have “undercut” our leadership on global climate change.Learn more »
If Hillary Clinton hopes to sell herself as a foreign policy whiz and credible commander-in-chief, she’ll need to perform better than she did this weekend in response to the Paris attacks.
What we wanted to hear from Hillary, in Saturday night’s debate, was a substantive strategy for stopping ISIS. We know what the Obama administration and its allies are doing, but clearly it’s not working too well. So what would she do differently, and more effectively?Learn more »
When I lived in Denver, my neighbor was attacked by a pit bull. A rash of mauling continued and after the news covered the bloody attacks; pit bulls were banned from the city. At the time, I agreed with the decision, and when I moved to Summit County, I was appalled by the animal shelters that took in pit bulls, farming them out to families.
I will be forever sorry I felt that way and am ashamed and embarrassed that I exhibited such blatant prejudice. True, I had a bit of information to stand by — there were maulings, my neighbor did get attacked, and eventually they were banned from Colorado’s capital. However, I firmly believe the decision was made out of fear, and misinformation. It’s not the breed; it’s the behavior by the owner that creates a vicious dog. I am now the proud owner a pit bull mix—the sweetest dog I’ve ever owned.Learn more »
“I don’t think they’re gaining strength … from the start, our goal has been first to contain. and we have contained them.” — Barack Obama on ISIS, Friday, Nov. 13.
At least they’re not the “JV team” any more …Learn more »
A high school boy who recently survived a catastrophic crash that killed three of his friends in Maryland was quoted by the news media, saying: “We felt invincible!”
The police estimated that their car was traveling at more than 70 miles per hour when it veered off the road and hit a tree. A pastor in our small town in eastern Montana said something similar when he spoke about a crash that occurred near our town: “They must have felt invincible.”Learn more »
Today I hiked along a forest trail near my home. Squirrels scolded, a raven croaked. I moved steadily on. Startled at my approach, a deer bounded away, labored up the loose soil of the steep little canyon, and disappeared. I barely paused. There was nothing there for me to fear, nothing for me to attend other than what I chose.
Such as this late afternoon light, striking golden against the eastern slope of the canyon, bringing the polished trunks of the madrones to a fine glow. I stop to savor the aesthetic thrill of a harmonious landscape. How wonderful to be carefree in nature!Learn more »
I’ve been hearing more and more about environmental impact investments. Can you explain what these are? — Mark, FriscoLearn more »
When can a person who enters into a contract get out of the contract due to a mistake? In an attempt to answer this question, let’s compare the arguably contradictory results of two leading Colorado cases, Poly Trucking and Sumerel.
Starting with Poly Trucking, the basic facts were that a trucker driver had a seizure while driving and killed a man in an auto accident. The dead man’s widow then sued the trucking company, Poly Trucking, for wrongful death. In turn, Poly Trucking sued Concentra, a health services company, alleging that it had improperly issued a medical certification to the truck driver and was therefore responsible for the accident. Critically, Poly Trucking did not at that time sue Concentra’s doctors who had medically examined the truck driver. Poly Trucking and Concentra exchanged drafts of settlement agreements that initially included a release of liability for the doctors. However, they eventually entered into a settlement agreement that released Concentra, but not the doctors, from liability. Poly Trucking then filed a separate lawsuit against the doctors. In response, Concentra argued that the failure to include a release of liability for the doctors in the settlement agreement had been a mistake.Learn more »
As Veterans Day approaches, I am sitting in my office viewing a picture of some of the men with whom I served in the United States Air Force. We were in Primary Flight training at Marana Air Base (now Pinal Airpark) Class of 58E. As young men in our early twenties, we viewed life through a different prism than today as octogenarians. We had a military obligation and uncertain future, not knowing whether we would be at war, again, with the Cold War adversaries Russia and China. Our father’s generation (the greatest generation) and those slightly older than us fought on the battlefields of WWII and Korea.
The picture on my desk was taken at the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2000. It was one of many reunions held by our group. Of the fourteen “brothers” pictured, five have since passed away. And, at least three have significant health problems. So, like veterans before our time, our numbers are dwindling.Learn more »
The off-off-year elections have yielded some noteworthy results — Chris Christie’s Jersey legislature has gotten bluer, Kentucky has gotten considerably redder — but election night’s most fascinating tally was posted in Ohio, where voters refused to rebrand their state as Ohigho.
At first glance, it would appear that the marijuana legalization movement was dealt a crushing blow. A ballot measure that would’ve made Ohio the fifth legal state got clobbered by a nearly 2-1 margin. That might sound puzzling, given the fact that nearly 60 percent of Americans want weed to be legal, and that at least five more states will try to go that route in 2016. What explains the landslide loss in bellwether swing-state Ohio?Learn more »
Now we know what the global-warming lemmings do when their predictions of immanent disaster, destruction and death caused by naughty developed countries using more than our fair share of resources don’t materialize. They change both the timeline for catastrophe and the amount of pollution necessary for fatal effects.
Case in point is a recent and very quiet announcement from the UN’s Environmental Program. Perhaps nonplussed that — although global greenhouse-gas emissions have exceeded the 2020 amounts that their 2010-13 reports said would cause us all to roast to death while drowning in rising seas as hurricanes tore us apart, we remain dry, upright and hydrated — the UNEP essentially said “OK, since we’re already way over the threshold, maybe the deadline was 2030. And maybe the amount necessary for irrevocable disaster was 25 percent more than we thought.”Learn more »
People in the Western United States like their trains, or so E.M. Frimbo, The New Yorker magazine’s great rail writer with the unusual name, liked to say. But Frimbo believed that Westerners lost track of what happened to so many railroad lines: We spent the last half of the 19th century building them up, then spent most of the 20th century ripping them out. He warned that there would always be a cry to make passenger trains “pay for themselves.” He was right, as that all too often has meant concentrating on trains on the East Coast, where most of the riders live.
You can see Frimbo’s worst fears at work this year in the U.S. House of Representatives. It’s not just starving the budget of Amtrak, it’s the lawmakers’ all-too-common belief that Western trains can’t ever break even. Also unfortunate is the fact that Amtrak’s board is made up so heavily of East Coast businessmen. This year, the board proposed a budget putting what little money there is for new equipment solely into the high-speed fleet.Learn more »
I saw a sign referring to pumpkin composting. What is it? Why is it important? — Meaghan, BreckenridgeLearn more »
The Day of the Dead, Dia de los Muertos, was just celebrated in Mexico, throughout many Latin countries and in many parts of our country. The name often scares people, but the Day of the Dead is a holiday and celebration to remember our ancestors, honoring loved ones.
The holiday stems from ancient Aztec traditions that later merged with practices by Catholic conquistadors. The Catholic traditions stemmed from Celtic, nature-driven practices — a good example of globally-blended rituals and relationships.Learn more »
“Excuse me sir, but are you stupid, ignorant or just plain crazy?”
Thus, the general tenor of the so-called questions in the third Republican presidential candidates’ debate — a thinly-disguised attempt by the old “Nobody But Clinton” network to put the hurt on one and all of her rivals across the aisle. Perhaps because it was Boulder, or perhaps because the CNBC moderators thought the Republican candidates a pack of rubes undeserving of consideration — or even respect — the night began with a snarky attack disguised as a condescending question and went downhill quickly from there.Learn more »
Facebook is a little bit like “Lord of the Flies,” without the exotic island locale. It’s a place where people can gang up on you in a virtual lynch mob if you stray from the communal orthodoxy, and they use the “like” button as rope. You have two choices: Be shamed into submission or slink away on a life raft.
The problem are the “friends” of my friends, people who would never have shown up on my radar screen if we didn’t share that valued point of human contact in our mutual Facebook buddy. They often say that friends are the family we choose. Well if that’s the case, these one-degree-of-separation characters are the in-laws-you-didn’t-choose, but who you tolerate about as graciously as Job tolerated his boil.Learn more »
I am thinking about painting my face and my daughter’s face for our Halloween costumes but after looking at the Halloween make up package, I am wondering whether or not it is safe to use the paints. — Lisa, FriscoLearn more »
Hiking the Mad Creek Trail north of Steamboat, Colorado, one day this fall, I glanced back at another hiker, who was accompanied by two yelping dogs. I was taken aback to see the man wore a pistol in a holster on his hip.
He fell into step for a while with my daughter, Greta, who’s 28. She didn’t notice the pistol until they’d parted ways, but his words made it clear why he was packing. He said he searched for antlers on hikes and occasionally encountered bears. So far, they’d always scattered. The man also mentioned seeing a mountain lion that tore off into the woods, and its size frightened him. He was also worried about “part-wild” cows grazing in the area because they made his dogs go berserk.Learn more »
Even in our increasingly digital world, many people still pay for goods and services with good old-fashioned checks. And that means that we still have bad checks that are not honored when the recipient—known as the “payee”—presents them to the bank for payment. What are the civil remedies in this circumstance under Colorado law?
It should come as no surprise that the person who wrote the check—known as the “maker”—remains liable for the face amount of the check. The maker is also liable for a bad check fee not to exceed $20 if it is posted at a business or provided in a contract such as a lease.Learn more »
It’s now clear that, barring indictment, Hillary Clinton will be the Democrat presidential candidate in 2016.
Read that again and consider: When was the last time we were saddled with a major party presidential candidate whose eligibility was determined not by primary voters but by the results of a federal investigation? Not Warren G. Harding nor Richard Nixon nor Lyndon Johnson, that evil genius of vote-rigging. Even scandal-ridden Bill Clinton’s brush with the FBI was pursuant to a congressional, not a judicial, investigation. Nevertheless, here we are. But why?Learn more »
I’m a Realtor here in Summit County and I would like to understand energy efficiency better so I can convey this knowledge to prospective homebuyers. Can you give me a quick overview? — Meredith, FriscoLearn more »
The first Democrat debate last week was certainly informative — but perhaps not in the way the candidates or their party wished.
We discovered, if we had not already known, that Vermont Socialist Bernie Sanders hates rich people and wants to see them punished for their successes. That the frontrunner continues to think her being seen as a liar by a large majority of the American people is the product of some retreaded “vast, Right-wing conspiracy.” That four out of five Democrat presidential candidates think open borders are a great thing. That those who entered or remain in the country illegally have the makings of fine citizens. And that vast new giveaway programs are essential to the preservation of our way of life.Learn more »
Water runs uphill toward money from Arrowrock Dam on the Boise River, where the Bureau of Reclamation first pioneered high-rise concrete dams that transformed the face of the West. Thanks to Arrowrock, the wealthiest 10 percent of its water users control 75 percent of the water. Mostly large corporations, they pay about a dime for every tax dollar it costs the public to deliver irrigation water, while urbanites competing for that same river water pay a mark-up of more than 6,000 percent.
This Oct. 4 marked 100 years to the day since Arrowrock Dam’s dedication, and though much has been written through the years about the dam as an icon of progress, not enough has been said about the revenge now being wrought by its technological systems. Sometimes an engineering structure designed for a lofty purpose has unintended consequences that flip the results.Learn more »
Every Halloween I feel pressured to dress up as something new, but I don’t want to buy the typical costume that is a one time use and shipped from who knows where. Do you have any suggestions on how to be more consumer conscious when it comes to buying a costume? – SarahLearn more »