Opinion Columns, Columnists

Donovan: Affordable healthcare in the High Country (column)

May 4, 2016 — 

No matter your background or your zip code, every Coloradan deserves a fair shot at affording a quality health-care plan.

Unfortunately, those of us in the High Country are all too aware of the ever-rising cost of health care. While it is true our state’s total uninsured rate has dropped dramatically in recent years, the reality is that there are major regional disparities when it comes to how much Coloradans pay for individual health-insurance plans.

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Orwick: Amendment 69 would usher in health care disaster for Colorado (column)

May 4, 2016 — 

A letter to the editor entitled “A rare health-care opportunity” in the May 3 edition is misleading. Amendement 69 is not an opportunity; it is a threat to Colorado’s future and all of ours personally.

Why do I say this? First, it creates another large governmental agency controlled by elected officials. Yes, I know it is touted as “owned and accountable to the residents of Colorado.” Read the details: An initial 15-member appointed board, followed by a 21-member elected board. That’s a whole new elected body, which will require a large bureaucracy to support it and do the work. It just creates a separate state government to tax and spend more money than the state currently spends. Under the amendment, the “residents of Colorado” will have no more (actually much less) control than they currently have over the state Legislature.

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Liddick: Republicans to blame for the rise of Trump (column)

May 2, 2016 — 

Memo to the Republican Party’s Big Wazoos and the Wizards of Smart who do their thinking for them: Stop it.

Stop trying to thwart the will of those who have made Donald Trump the party’s frontrunner by a margin visible from the moon. Stop vilifying his only serious competitor. Yes, Ted Cruz has made you all look weak and mendacious by actually doing what he promised his constituents in Texas he would do, instead of cowering in fear at the first raised eyebrow of a party leader. But for multitudes who make him a hero, not the Prince of Darkness. So shut up, John Boehner. In seeking to salve your considerable ego at the Senator’s expense, you are doing both your party and your country harm.

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Jensen: Examining Hillary's so-called 'experience' (column)

May 1, 2016 — 

Hillary Clinton’s primary voters share a common mantra: She has “experience.”

They say she has experience as first lady, which includes fending off “bimbo eruptions” and tactically demeaning and intimidating women used and abused by former Pres. Bill Clinton.

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Lue: Take a page from the mountain goats (column)

April 30, 2016 — 

Goat Flat. The flat part sounded good, but the goat part made me nervous. Though mountain goats and I share an appreciation for Montana’s High Country, they favor scary-steep areas where they can escape most predators not carrying a firearm. You may find them scaling impossible cliffs or scampering across ledges too narrow to support a sandwich. Even their kids — plush-toy versions of their parents — could star in an acrophobic’s nightmare. How could a trail to a place named after them be suitable for human kids?

At any rate, we needed a break after that last stretch of switchbacks, which had zigzagged nearly all the way up to timberline. My husband, Tony, and I dropped our packs at Storm Lake Pass and took stock. Our 6-year-old, who had tackled the hill under protest, swatted irritably at the gray blizzard of mosquitoes swirling around his face. But our oldest son, who would turn 10 that day, fixed his eyes on the route ahead.

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Walking our faith: The common language of God and physics

April 30, 2016 — 

I flunked algebra four times during high school and college. And my one attempt at geometry resulted in a grade of 0.7 on a grading scale of 1 to 9.

I enjoy thinking about patterns and the relationship between things. Therefore, one of my greatest regrets about my mathematical illiteracy is that I cannot understand the language of mathematics that is used by physicists to describe the laws of the universe.

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Brown-Wolf: Jungle juice and sensory awareness (column)

April 29, 2016 — 

I recently returned from an adventurous trip to Nicaragua. It inspired.

My next few articles will no doubt be related to my musings about this particular part of the world. Like all journeys, my time in Central America was filled with highs and lows, offering up lessons and tales to be told.

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Ask Eartha: A new, kinder economy (column)

April 29, 2016 — 

Dear Eartha,

I have frequently heard the term “regenerative economy.” What does this entail and how is it beneficial? — Paul, Frisco

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Holbrook: How do Summit County women strut their stuff? (column)

April 27, 2016 — 

Very “Middle Earth” was my first impression of the Summit County fashion scene for women. Leggings, high boots with flat sturdy soles and a woolly tunic à la Frodo Baggins.

I was not particularly keen on this look for myself.

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Liddick: College campuses leave students speechless (column)

April 25, 2016 — 

“… The dictatorship of the proletariat imposes a series of restrictions on oppressors, exploiters, capitalists. We must suppress them … their resistance must be crushed by force …” — V.I. Lenin.

Harvard got an award. So did Yale. And UC-Berkeley, Brown, Oberlin, Princeton, Duke, Wesleyan and 42 other so-called institutions of higher learning, right down to Colorado College and Clemson.

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Walking our faith: Who is my Jesus? (column)

April 23, 2016 — 

The other day I was thinking about the different terms we use to portray the role that Jesus plays in our lives. There is: American Jesus, Eco-Social-Justice Jesus, Cancer Jesus, DIY Jesus, Foodie Jesus, Prosperity Jesus, Radical Jesus, I-Don’t-Want-to-Commit-to-a-Church Jesus, Angst-Jesus, and so many more.

Even the four Gospels of the Bible portray different versions of Jesus. Matthew’s gospel reads like a quickly drawn outline, a first-draft Jesus. Mark presents the Rabbinical Jesus. Luke gives us a Jesus that shares so many of our traits, we can believe that he truly became human during his brief time on Earth. And then there is my favorite, the gospel of John, metaphysical, spiritual, intellectual Jesus. The mystic who speaks in parables that are so nuanced and filled with knowing that two thousand years later we still do not understand them all.

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Stiegelmeier: Earth Day in Colorado's Continental Divide (column)

April 23, 2016 — 

Earth Day has a special meaning for both of us here in Colorado.

As Colorado natives, we were brought up with a sense of wonder and appreciation for our state’s amazing natural resources. Through the decades, we have experienced increasing population and development pressure on Colorado’s natural wonders.

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Help celebrate Earth Day in Summit County

April 21, 2016 — 

Dear Eartha,

What is happening for Earth Day this week? I’d love to be a part of the celebrations. — Lacy, Summit Cove

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Brooke: Old house, great style (column)

April 20, 2016 — 

I grew up on a Kansas road called North Hills — a poetic name for a street in the flatlands. We had block parties where, as kids, we decorated bikes and posted fliers along the street. Even if our only job was to bring the hot dog buns, every gathering was special, and all the neighbors knew each other’s names. The neighborhood was a mix of homes — from stylish French-blue shutters for windows that rarely opened, to cluttered driveways with beat-up cars used by the teens learning to drive. When there were tornado warnings, we would call up neighbors from our basements and exchange information about what we could see from our window wells.

At the North Hills house, the kitchen decor was brown — brown cupboards, brown refrigerator, brown pleather chairs. The only trace of color was the white protective cap on the bottom of the metal chair legs that prevented scratching brown-tiled floor. Ugly as it was, the kitchen chairs were the perfect height from which I could kneel as a seven year-old and reach the dye to color my Easter eggs. Mom didn’t seem to mind a little dye splattered in her brown kitchen — it was all part of the case she was secretly building to convince Dad to remodel. Every birthday, good grade card and first time eating frog legs was celebrated with cake and ice cream at that same table. The kitchen also offered plenty of space in which Dad could fly the Thanksgiving turkey, terrifying his young children and yelling, “Kaw, Kaw!” before he stuffed it into the brown oven.

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Liddick: The misguided fight for $15 (column)

April 18, 2016 — 

From her performance in the Democrat debate last Thursday, we know that Hillary “stands with the fight for $15.” File this with the rest of her pseudo-accomplishments, a litany of processes — “I worked for …”; “I pushed …”; “I was in the forefront …”; “I argued in favor …” — devoid of actual results.

File her remarks also as evidence that she has joined Bernie Sanders among the Democrats who need a remedial course in economics. A $15 minimum wage will not, as its proponents howl, “make sure that we can survive and take care of our families at home.” It will do three other things instead, none of them in the interests of the low-skilled, low-wage workers the “Fight for $15” crowd purports to cherish.

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Polman: Feeling the bull: Bernie's biggest con (column)

April 17, 2016 — 

You’ll get no argument from me that Hillary Clinton is a flawed candidate — stonewalling the release of those Goldman Sachs chats is merely Exhibit A — but, when it comes to bull-slinging and empty slogan-eering, she’s no match for her self-righteous rival.

Watching Bernie Sanders in Thursday night’s Democratic debate — the last of the season, if we’re lucky — all too often, I was “Feeling the Bull.” I realize that my perspective is anathema to those who shriek with Beatlemaniac delight at his every thunderous utterance, but what can I say. His passion for fantasy speaks for itself.

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Dupuy: Vulgarians against Trump (column)

April 17, 2016 — 

As an F-bomb enthusiast, I take great exception to Republican front-runner Donald Trump being derisively called a vulgarian. First, it’s offensive to vulgarians to be associated with someone as tacky as Trump. Second, The Donald talking about his junk nearly nonstop for the last two weeks is like the 10th or 11th thing with him that makes him unqualified for the office he’s seeking.

Let’s start with the vulgarity charge. This is a man who thinks it’s totally justified to sucker punch a protester because they flipped the bird. “Well, a lot of people don’t — you know, the finger means, ‘F you.’ A lot of people think — and you have children there, you have a lot of children that go, you know, they go with their parents — a lot of people think that’s very inappropriate.” Trump remarked to The Washington Post editorial board.

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Williams: Federal wildlife refuges are not up for grabs (column)

April 16, 2016 — 

Among the many talents of Dan Ashe, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are statesmanship and restraint. It’s hard to tell when he’s angry. But when we talked in March, he was seething.

The source of his ire: Wildlife managers in some states are seeking to oust federal management and take control themselves. Inciting the rebellion is Alaska.

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Walking our faith: A life of the mind aloud (column)

April 16, 2016 — 

I spend a lot of time talking to myself. I composed the opening of this article in this manner. I’m creating the characters and town of my first murder mystery in my mind, allowing them to incubate until they are ready to be written into life. Often, I grab my little black notebook and jot down the fruits of these imaginary musings before I forget them.

When I was a child, my habit of staring out the window and laughing to myself as my mother drove me home from swim practice, led her to ask the head of her doctoral program if I might have some form of mental illness. The professor, a kindly woman who was also an expert in child psychology, assured my mother that I had only an overactive imagination.

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Ask Eartha: Were you raised in a barn? Shut the door (column)

April 15, 2016 — 

Dear Eartha,

I’m a new business owner, and I’ve noticed that a lot of shops and restaurants leave their doors wide open in winter. What are your thoughts on keeping the door open to attract customers? — Brittany from Breckenridge

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Young: Tiny tweak, big statement about human dignity (column)

April 13, 2016 — 

At first glance, HB 16-1396, passed recently by the Democratic-controlled Colorado House, looked like one of those pointless and petty bills — like Congress’ designating National Tap Dance Day (May 20).

However, I’ve thought about HB 16-1396 a little more. I now realize it isn’t pointless, it isn’t petty and it’s not a small matter.

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Mountain Law: Colorado supreme court says towns can ban sex offenders (column)

April 13, 2016 — 

Can a municipality pass an ordinance that effectively bans any registered sex offender from living there? That was the issue in Ryals v. City of Englewood, which the Colorado Supreme Court decided recently.

In 2001, Stephen Brett Ryals had a sexual relationship with a sixteen-year-old girl he coached on a high school soccer team. He pleaded guilty to criminal attempt to commit sexual assault by one in a position of trust and was sentenced to seven years of probation. After violating his probation by continuing to see the girl, he was sentenced to two years in prison. He was released in 2003. Under Colorado law, Ryals was required to register as a sex offender for a decade after his release.

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Holbrook: Bluebirds go house hunting (column)

April 11, 2016 — 

“Is it spring? Is it morning?

Are there trees near you,

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Liddick: In U.S. Senate race, keep it Colorado-centric (column)

April 11, 2016 — 

It looks like déjà vu all over again.

Is anyone in Colorado not running against U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet this November? To date, he has 11 – or 12, or 13 – opponents, most Republicans but at least one from the Boiling Frog Party.

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Young: Devil's in the details, if we could find any (column)

April 10, 2016 — 

“Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it.”

Donald Trump in 40 words or fewer.

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Brooke: Any reason will do to justify a party (column)

April 10, 2016 — 

“I’ll bring the champagne and cupcakes,” said the stylist. Wooed by treats, I agreed to host the next Bubbles and Baubles jewelry party from my home.

The fact that this would be a direct sales party didn’t matter — I just loved any reason to be a host. From cabin fever to party planning fervor, my Bubbles and Baubles-themed in-home party was the compelling reason I needed to send out invitations so glamorous that they should have been personally mailed and sealed by a gold goose neck sticker.

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Marston: Heard around the West (column)

April 10, 2016 — 

WASHINGTON

If the fish in Washington’s Puget Sound suffer from migraines or depression or need birth control, they don’t need to schedule a doctor’s appointment: The water that passes through their gills is already loaded with pharmaceuticals. Each year, 106 wastewater treatment plants around Puget Sound discharge “as much as 97,000 pounds of chemicals,” which, according to a study in the journal Environmental Pollution, come from drugs like Advil, Benadryl, Prozac and contraceptive pills, says reporter Elaisha Stokes. James Meador, an aquatic toxicologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, found that some chemicals in the fish were at surprisingly high concentrations. “That’s the kind of information that raises eyebrows,” he says, adding that though pesticides in water get monitored, pharmaceuticals, “now ubiquitous in society,” do not.

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Polman: Cruz control and the rising odds of Republican chaos (column)

April 10, 2016 — 

How screwed up are the Republicans? Just read the Wisconsin primary exit polls. It doesn’t bode well for November when a huge chunk of the GOP electorate says it won’t support its own presidential nominee.

Yes, Ted Cruz buried Donald Trump with a double-digit win Tuesday night, and he snatched nearly all the delegates, thereby upping the odds of a contested national convention. But if you dig into the exit polls, you discover this stunning stat: If Cruz were to win the nomination and face Hillary Clinton, a whopping 34 percent of the Republican primary voters would not support Cruz. That’s a bad sign for a party that hasn’t won Wisconsin in a presidential election since, oh, 1988.

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Brown: Declaration of genocide is a big, fat nothing burger (column)

April 10, 2016 — 

Words matter. Especially words, which when spoken can save lives. But without action, words are empty…worthless…meaningless, especially when we’re talking about genocide.

Such are the words of the Obama administration, an administration so preoccupied with majoring on minor things like waging a war on prescription drug abuse, it barely has time to notice the things which really matter. So after biting its tongue for way too long, the administration finally mustered-up the energy to choke out a few conciliatory words, acknowledging that the mass killing of Christians in the Middle East is indeed genocide.

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Walking our faith: God shows up (column)

April 9, 2016 — 

On Tuesday, we expected one to three inches. Instead, we received a blizzard that at one point created white-out conditions that closed I-70 and obscured not only my view of Quandary Peak but my neighbor’s house across the street.

On Wednesday, Colorado blue skies returned and Quandary emerged in all her majesty.

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