Opinion Columns, Columnists
He was one of Nature’s biggest gifts, and the country owes him thanks. — Charles M. Russell, 1925
The bald eagle has been the national symbol since 1782, but the Western artist Charlie Russell was right: The buffalo was far more important to the story of the American West.Learn more »
I noticed that my water rates went up in Breckenridge, and I was wondering if you have any water saving tips for landscaping? – Donald, BreckenridgeLearn more »
At times, the cause for a party can seem a little flipped in our mountain world. You painted your closet — PARTY! You hiked a mountain on a manicured trail — PARTY! It’s your birthday — hmm, go buy yourself a frozen pizza.
It seems stylish to invite friends over for something original — like the day you resold all your used sportswear on One Man’s Junk, a local Facebook group. Accomplishments are admirable, but, just because we appreciate originality, does it mean we have to neglect all traditional celebrations?Learn more »
“We’re leaving for Santa Fe” my friend Leigh responded when I asked if she was free for lunch.
I texted Angela to see if she wanted to take a walk: “Well, we are walking around Montauk Lighthouse on Long Island tomorrow, can you make it?” she quipped.Learn more »
People often misunderstand the distinction between restrictive covenants and zoning. Here’s my stab at setting the record straight.
Restrictive covenants (which are sometimes called “protective covenants”) are land-use restrictions placed on property by a private owner, such as a developer, for the purpose of creating a general plan of development. A typical occurrence would be for a developer to record in the public land-use records a document that contains the restrictive covenants titled something like “Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions for Snowy Acres.” The document is often referred to as the “Declaration” or the “CC&Rs.” Except for disallowing certain types of restrictive covenants for public policy reasons — e.g. covenants that prevent certain patriotic displays — Colorado law leaves it up to the developer what to include in the restrictive covenants. Once created, the restrictive covenants form a contract between owners of property governed by them. Property owners in the development as well as any association of owners given such authority can enforce them. They are subject to amendment according to their terms, which typically involves a vote of a certain number of the affected owners.Learn more »
Let’s lurch Left, where the presumptive Democrat nominee is likely grinding her teeth over her inability to put a 72-year-old self-professed Socialist away.
If one thinks the Republican side of the presidential race disorderly, the spread-the-wealth-around folks are suffering what appears to be a re-enactment of “The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade.”Learn more »
On Sunday evening, Mom called. She asked why I hadn’t written about the Holy Spirit in last week’s column because it was Pentecost Sunday. She was right of course, it was an oversight on my part, and I apologize to all of you. Mom suggested that if I continue writing these weekly columns, I should get myself a religious calendar that would provide me a way to plan my thoughts around the seasons of the Church.
Quite frankly, my thoughts have been on a different seasonal calendar. Mud season.Learn more »
I wish I had hummingbird eyes. No, I don’t want an aerial sight of the world, nor tiny dark eyes. The eyes I wish for are the eyes which inspired me when our family first encountered hummingbirds.
We hung our feeder from the gutter by the sliding glass door, knowing it would be a nuisance, but convinced the proximity would be worth the inconvenience. We could observe the birds from the kitchen table.Learn more »
Choosing a book, or many books, to read on vacation can be challenging.
Will I be in the mood for a mindless beach read? Will I want to learn something and explore my personal growth? Should the book be work related? Completely literary? In the end, I almost always choose a bit of everything. In my line of work, reading is as important as the practice of writing.Learn more »
I have a bunch of old clothing and shoes that are in bad shape, so I don’t want to donate them to the thrift store. What are my other options? — Sydney, BreckenridgeLearn more »
America’s national parks will celebrate a centennial birthday this August. And, in 2018, the National Trails System will celebrate 50 years, and the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail will be 40 years old.
Together, our national public lands are celebrating many decades of providing Americans with outdoor recreation, breath-taking views and endless memories.Learn more »
Now Republican leadership has had its little conclave: Donald came to town and sat to chat for a bit; Paul Ryan, the latest member of the cringeocratic chorus on the Right, gave him the back of his hand.
Note to Speaker Ryan: if it’s unity you crave, it’s not only Donald Trump who has to work for it. Since he beat your champions like a pack of rented mules, you might put forth a little effort to try to figure out how the party apparat and its frontrunner can work together to ensure that the only public housing in Hillary Clinton’s future might involve Leavenworth, Kansas.Learn more »
Editor’s note: Rachel Richards is the Chair of the Water Quality/Quantity Committee, Northwest Colorado Council of Governments and a Pitkin County Commissioner
Colorado has for decades labeled rain barrel users as outlaws, the only state to do so. That label was removed on May 12 when Governor Hickenlooper signed legislation making household rain barrels legal under Colorado water law.Learn more »
The sharing of God’s Word that I experienced two weeks ago at St. John’s Episcopal Church warms my heart, even now.
I can’t decide whether it was the obvious synchrony and affection between Father Charlie and the members of the church, an intimacy that is enhanced by the lovely small historic chapel where services are held every week. Or, whether it was the sermon, delivered by a priest who, although new to Breckenridge, is using his thirty years of experience to discern the present challenges and blessings of his new parish family.Learn more »
I’m interested in remodeling my home this summer. How should I prioritize projects, and what sustainability considerations should I keep in mind as I start down this road?Learn more »
The Leftocracy running Colorado has come up with a solution to the problems posed by health care — that is, the unremitting price increases, diminishing coverages, uneven availability and in general, betrayals of the bright, shiny promises of Obamacare and its associated expansion of Medicaid.Learn more »
Mountain Law: Thoughts on the practice of leasing a property long-term and then subleasing it short-term (column)May 8, 2016 —
Under websites such as airbnb.com, travelers can book homes from local hosts. This can be a legitimate way for property owners to generate income by renting out some or all of their properties.
However, there is a shadow industry that is sometimes less than legitimate under which tenants lease properties from their owners on a long-term basis and then sublease the properties to travelers on a short-term basis. This allows tenants to make money on the spread between the cost of the long-term rental and the income from the short-term rental. I call this “short-terming a long-term.” Here are a few thoughts on legal aspects of this activity.Learn more »
When we hear about disease outbreaks arising in places like Brazil, Sierra Leone or Saudi Arabia, those of us in Summit County might be tempted to take some comfort in the fact that thousands of miles separate us from the epicenters of these public health crises.
Although we may feel concern and heartbreak for patients, families and communities affected by infectious illnesses in far-away places, we may not feel personally vulnerable in our high-alpine enclave here in the United States.Learn more »
The movie starts with a roar. Then we hear the words “fear,” “treachery” and “bloodlust.” Disney’s latest offering highlights the relationship between predators and prey. Curious to see how they’d spin this for kids, I bring my daughter to a spring break showing. At first, in Zootopia, they don’t pretty things up. Someone is about to get eaten.
Then the camera pulls back to reveal a school play about the distant past. “Over time we evolved and moved beyond our primitive savage ways,” a narrator intones. “Wait, who did?” I think. “The tiger? The kid two rows over eating a hot dog? Don’t carnivores still deal with blood and sharp teeth?”Learn more »
One year ago right before Christmas, Mom made a bold move.
We’d lived together for over 20 years after my father passed away. During that time, we’d worked overseas in Kiev, Ukraine; Baku, Azerbaijan; safaried on the Masai Mara in Kenya; and toured the pyramids of Egypt, before finally settling in a nice log home in Evergreen, Colorado.Learn more »
Paul Ryan is playing the game by Donald Trump rules.
Known as the somber-faced, mild-of-manner, would-be adult in the GOP’s play room, Ryan offered up more than what the headline writers are calling a “rebuke” of the Donald’s candidacy.Learn more »
Why should I compost? Why is it good? Is it hard to do? — Bobby, aged 7, DillonLearn more »
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.Learn more »
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.Learn more »
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.Learn more »
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.Learn more »
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.Learn more »
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.Learn more »
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.Learn more »
I have frequently heard the term “regenerative economy.” What does this entail and how is it beneficial? — Paul, FriscoLearn more »