• Perhaps good can come of the more-than-horrific mass murder of 20 of our most innocent Americans and their teachers. As a retired a teacher, I “get it,” as does every current and retired teacher when it comes to what teachers do: first protect your charges even at the cost of your life. 

    The children — what can one say? Their slayings tear the heart out of every decent human being.

  •  Happy New Year and welcome to 2013. I hope you do not have triskaidekaphobia because you’re going to have the number 13 in your life for a whole year. Personally, I am not afraid of the number 13, especially since I ran for House District 13. 

  • Research shows that coming home from a long deployment can cause more stress than the deployment itself. Although the return is viewed with great anticipation, changes at home can be significant. 

    Expect everyone to be a little different. Loved ones have had new responsibilities and have made their own decisions. Don’t feel hurt if they did well on their own. Be proud. 

  •  The simple fact that you are reading this column indicates that the world did not end on Dec. 21, 2012. Christmas has come, and it has gone. We now face the New Year and all that 2013 has to offer us. 

    Over the last few years, we have all had many sufferings and hardships. The economy has tanked in a way that our generation has never seen. We have suffered through the most venomous of political seasons. Recession, depression and despair have been all around us. 

  •  The massacre of 27 people in Newtown, Conn., has ignited a national conversation about the intersection of gun control, mental illness and school safety.

    First, Americans, at the very least, can insist that the national ban on assault weapons that expired in 2004 be reinstated and require background checks on gun purchasers at gun shows. No hunter needs an assault weapon for a successful hunt. And why shouldn’t purchasers at gun shows be subject to the same checks as other buyers?

  •  In August, I wrote a two-piece series on the Aurora theater massacre. 

    On Aug. 1, I asked, “The larger question for us as a society: Have we seen enough? Or are we willing to continue to say, ‘Mass shootings are the price we pay for personal liberty’? ”

    On Aug. 8, I wrote, “I am sensing the horror of that day two weeks ago is wearing off as we fall back into our daily routines, denying the reality that already there are young men — 18 to 24 years of age — plotting the next mass shootings.”

  •  The word is out: The War on Christmas is over. I’m unclear whether it was a surrender or a cease-fire, but, by consensus, Christmas has won so overwhelmingly that it has, as Jon Stewart noted, wiped out Thanksgiving. Black Friday has given rise to Black Thursday Night so much so the NFL evening game is facing stiff competition. 

  • Happy holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa. For all cultures of our great nation, I wish you the very best of holidays for whichever holiday you celebrate. At the time of writing this, I am hearing details of the school shooting in Connecticut and am deeply saddened by this despicable act of a deranged person. Our hearts, our thoughts and our prayers go out to the victims’ families. 

  • Vox

     It would be safer if everyone had a firearm


    Bad guys kill children, so why encourage them?

    I find it sadly fascinating that enraged gun-ban proponents want to stop gun-toting maniacs from killing children by disarming their defenders. They assume that by banning all guns, those bad guys won’t have them.

  •  The looming fiscal cliff — the automatic tax restoration, and safety-net and defense-program cuts that will ensue barring a deal between President Obama and the Republican Tea Party congressional opposition — ought not to come as a surprise to anyone paying attention. 

    Its seeds were sown 10 years ago when Congress approved former President George W. Bush’s giveaway tax cut, a blank check to fight two unfunded wars, and deregulated the banking/finance industry.

  • Vox

    Civil War cannon needs support to be refurbished


    I enthusiastically support Bruce Bell’s initiative to restore the Idaho Springs Civil War cannon. This cannon was given to the city in 1905 by a Civil War veterans group and has been prominently displayed on the Carnegie Library grounds at Miner Street and 14th Avenue. 

    The exposure to harsh weather elements during the last century has resulted in major deterioration, causing an unsightly view and a hazard to close observers.

  •   “It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.”  

    — R.E.M., 1987


    I want to lighten it up a little bit from the post-election analysis and talk about the end of the world. Yes, the world ends this year on 12/21/12. Or wait, is it 12/12/12, in which case it’s already ended before you read this. 

  •  America seems to celebrate the holidays earlier each year. Stores are quickly decorated, and the holiday shopping frenzy begins anew. The children of military families can be resilient and resourceful, but those with a deployed parent are particularly susceptible during the holidays. 

    Many will face some emotional challenges, and how the families deal with them makes a big difference. 

  •  “Seward felt an involuntary shudder in his limbs. He was also ravished by the irony of the moment. For nearly three years, a thousand voices, including his own, had called for a Cromwell, a dictator, a despot; and in all the time, no one had suspected that there had been, from the beginning, a single-minded dictator in the White House, a Lord Protector of the Union by whose will alone the war had been prosecuted. 

  • Vox

     Please support the Salvation Army


    The Clear Creek Extension Unit of the Salvation Army would like to thank all those who have contributed in the past and encourage you to please donate to our Salvation Army extension this holiday season.

    Did you know that all money donated to our Extension Unit stays in Clear Creek County? Our Extension Unit helps locals and stranded travelers.

    The amount we can use to help those in need is based solely on how much money we have.

  •  Failure is always an option. What we do with failure depends on us and how we choose to move forward. 

    Will failure crush our will, deplete us of our enthusiasm and send us packing, or will it propel us to certain victory in the next battle?  

  • Vox

    Election results prove illiteracy on many levels


    Jerry Fabyanic said, “The simple truth is that Randy Wheelock and George Clark would be our new commissioners if it weren’t for a number of Democrats jumping ship. … In every other contest, Democrats romped.”

    Robert Houdesell said, “Obviously the Republican ‘brand’ is damaged; that much I know.”

  • The 2012 election has clarified and solidified a trend since Ronald Reagan: The once Republican majority has become a minority. 

    This election was heralded as a referendum on the role of government. Indeed, it was, and the outcome does not bode well for those who cling to Reagan’s aphorism that government is “the enemy.”

  • The results are in, and Clear Creek, like the rest of the state and nation, not only remains blue, but is becoming increasingly so. That assessment seems to fly in the face of the outcome of the commissioner races, both won by Republicans. Both, however, were squeakers and decided not on the basis of issues or philosophy but on the personalities running.