• By Rob Witwer

  • As news begins to trickle in about improvements to our economy, the political implications about who will benefit most will have both high stakes for the interests who will battle for the increased resources a better economy makes available, and high drama as our state’s leaders decide where to dedicate the newly found money.

  • “And so when 30 years from now, our brothers go down the street without a leg, without an arm or a face, and small boys ask why, we will be able to say ‘Vietnam’ and not mean a desert, not a filthy obscene memory, but mean instead where America finally turned and where soldiers like us helped it in the turning.”
    John Kerry to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 23, 1971
    Thirty years later, the lessons of Vietnam had not been learned, and America hadn’t turned: first, Afghanistan and next, Iraq.

  • I’ve never been fond of compilation columns or the laundry lists produced when deadline arrives before any decent ideas, but I’m going to indulge myself this week with a list of thank-yous amid the holidays:
    • For the news-room staff at Evergreen Newspapers, the most talented and hardest-working group of journalists I know. We are small but mighty, and your 20 awards in this year’s Colorado Press Association contest say everything that needs to be said.

  • The Colorado Reapportionment Commission recently wrapped up its work of redrawing state legislative boundaries to reflect the 2010 census figures. What began as a collaborative, bipartisan process ended on a bitter note, with five Democrats and the commission’s unaffiliated chairman pushing through a very partisan map on party-line votes.  

  • Vox

    Thanks to supporters of, volunteers for Charlie’s Place

  • Finally! The solstice arrives at 5:30 a.m. Thursday. Hereon, sunlight time will lengthen, except maybe in Georgetown. By the time he surmounts the town’s eastern ridge, oftentimes clouds block or at least diffuse ol’ sol’s rays.  
    Still, for those who worship — not necessarily literally — the sun, the winter solstice is a time of great tidings and joy.

  • Tis the season: Tiny Tim Time, unless you’re a member of the latest cult of personality. Then it is Mighty Tim Time.
    Some might confuse Tiny Tim Cratchit of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” with Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, which is understandable with them both being Tim. Tim is diminutive for Timothy, so one might sense timidity when hearing “Tim,” but generally Tims are far from being timid.

  • Vox

    Adding bore to Twin Tunnels
    shifts problem to the east
    I’m not sure how attentive Evergreen residents have been about what’s going on with the I-70 mountain corridor, but it looks like they’ll be suffering some serious consequences within the next couple of years if CDOT follows through on its plans to widen the eastbound Twin Tunnel bore near Idaho Springs.
    How so?

  • Remember commenting as a kid about a schoolyard fisticuff, “It was a fair fight”?
    We celebrate the underdog, who despite daunting but not impossible odds, perseveres.  
    Pro sports have worked on establishing parity, obligating larger-market teams to share revenue with their smaller-market opponents.  
    We speak of a “level playing field,” the place where young people learn fair play and sportsmanship, and develop integrity as a metaphor for fairness.

  • Now that we’re into the holiday season and near the end of the year, many Coloradans are preparing to make a large part of their charitable gifts for 2011. For the second year in a row, we have the opportunity to make many of those gifts through Colorado Gives Day.

  • In a recent article, Joyce Shelby, emeritus professor of history at UCLA and the author of “The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism,” writes, “From 1776 to the present, the bottom 60 percent of the American population, as University of Southern California historian Carole Shammas has documented, has never had more than 11 percent of the country’s wealth.”

  • Vox

    Bennhoff would be good commissioner
    I was glad to read that Tom Bennhoff is running for Clear Creek County commissioner.
    I have known Tom for years and had the pleasure of working with him during my two terms as county commissioner. He brings the necessary experience to the position, having served three times as police judge in Georgetown. 

  • I’ve been considering changing the name of this column. Not that it matters; after all, New York Times columnists don’t title theirs nor do Denver Post writers Vincent Carroll and Mike Littwin, though I hesitate to mention them in the same breath as Thomas Friedman, Paul Krugman and David Brooks.
    I feel bad about that because they’re home-town boys, and one should always support their own even if one finds them disagreeable or finds him/herself disagreeing with them.

  • Vox

    Bennhoff would accomplish a lot as commissioner
    As mayor of Silver Plume, I had the opportunity to work closely with Tom Bennhoff on the Georgetown/Silver Plume Joint Wastewater Treatment Commission for over a year.  We were not only able to solve the immediate problems that faced us, but we were able to set a plan in motion that will be a solution to our wastewater problems in the future. I look forward to the accomplishments Tom Bennhoff will make as county commissioner.
    Earl Ballard
    Silver Plume

  • I’m going to miss Andy Rooney. Not that I watched him without fail or hung onto every word he uttered while poking fun at life’s absurdities and us for taking ourselves too seriously.  No, it will be because he got to do what he loved doing — writing and commenting — and didn’t much care what we thought. Like me doing this.
    Andy was a living institution, an everyman philosopher, a symbol of and model for …yada yada.  
    Ouch!  He would’ve hated that.  

  • Vox

    Thanks to everyone who supported Mill Creek melodrama
    On behalf of the Mill Creek Valley Historical Society, we want to thank all of the cast members who participated in this year’s melodrama, “The Shame of Tombstone.” Thank you so much for your time, support and all of your efforts. 

  • A few weeks ago, I wrote Americans are not revolutionaries by nature; let me add cynics to the list of what we’re not. The can-do spirit is part of our DNA, an article of faith in our secular religion like salvation to Christians.
    A recent poll shows 57 percent agree that we can fix any problem, which seems incongruent to the current political clime.

  • Getting your e-mail account hacked is the tech equivalent to catching a cold: Despite taking precautions to protect yourself by washing your hands and installing antiviral programs on your hard drive, even your best efforts can be overwhelmed.
    After logging on and seeing a flurry of e-mails, some from people with whom I rarely communicate, with subject headings such as “RE: very important” and “RE: hello,” I knew I had been hacked.

  • Vox

    Idaho Springs council needs to get its act together
    As a longtime resident of Idaho Springs, I have a question for our city council. What is going on? What are the problems with the budget and city administrator? When do we let bad actors take over? When did our city, in the mountains, not know how to deal with snow? These problems are and should be dealt with ease, instead of with all the drama.
    The budget should have an excess of funds due to the many tourists in town this year.