• Vox

    Buckland’s background suited to being a county commissioner
    I would like to address this to the voters of Clear Creek County.
    In the coming weeks and months ahead, you are going to be asked for your vote by a number of candidates running for county commissioner. Before you cast that vote, I would encourage you to first determine what is required of a county commissioner and then compare the qualifications of the candidates to see who actually has what it will take to be effective in that position.

  • Part 2 of a series on the polarization of the American political process.

    I concluded last week’s column on the reasons people arrive at diametrically opposing political positions with University of Virginia social psychology professor Jonathan Haidt’s declaration that compromise has become a “dirty word.”

  • Vox

    Don’t allow off-highway vehicles near Empire
    Prior to moving to CCC, we had the misfortune of living in an area that allowed off-highway vehicles, or OHVs, on roads near our home. In the summer, we never enjoyed a peaceful moment on our deck, walking in our woods or even in the rooms facing the roads. We had to turn on radios or the TV to drown out the sound.
    In early February, facing a similar proposal in Chaffee County, opponents outnumbered supporters of the expansion of OHVs on county roads 3-to-1.

  • An old saw says it’s best to avoid politics and religion at social gatherings. Jonathan Haidt, author of the soon-to-be-released “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion,” now says politics is religion, a curious conflation on the surface.
    In a recent interview with Bill Moyers, Haidt, a social psychologist at the University of Virginia, offers insight into his research on the reason people of good intention and intelligence arrive at polar-opposite perspectives.  

  • Vox

    Don’t allow off-highway vehicles on roads near Empire
    I hate to be a party poop these days, but there is going to be a public meeting to consider the request to authorize roads by Empire as off-highway-vehicle routes. The meeting is scheduled for Feb. 27 with the Board of County Commissioners.

  • On Feb. 15, young men ran through the streets of ancient Rome wearing only goatskins to celebrate Lupercalia. We have goatskins in Clear Creek but all occupied by original tenants. Not being a great white hunter, my preference is to allow them to continue being comfortable in their own skins.  
    On Feb. 15, 1950, I was wearing not a goatskin, but a birthday suit, the last time I was so underdressed in public.

  • Same-sex marriage does not pose a threat to traditional marriage for one simple reason: Traditional marriage has been long dead. Its death came after a protracted assault by those one assumes would’ve been its most ardent defenders: heterosexual men.  
    Lament not its passing.
    Professor Stephanie Coontz of Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., director of research and public education for the Council on Contemporary Families and author of “Marriage, A History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage,” traces its demise.

  • Vox

    Thanks for sports coverage
    As always, I can’t thank the Courant staff enough for the great support and coverage of CCHS sports.
    We hosted a silent auction/fund-raiser evening at the Hamill House on Saturday, Jan. 28. We had a great turnout and raised more than $4,000 for the CCHS ski team.
    Funding had been greatly reduced due to budget cuts the last few years, and coming up with the money to pay for transportation, equipment, fees, etc., has become a challenge.
    Trish Kintzele

  • By Rob Witwer

  • Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, making a heroic recovery after an attempted assassination, resigned from Congress last week. Her priority is correct: focus on healing.
    Gabby, as she is called, serves as a model for the rest of us in courage, integrity and civility.  
    In his State of the Union address, President Obama talked about how the team that eliminated Osama bin Laden worked collaboratively to ensure the mission succeeded.  

  • Less than a month into 2012, and fatigue has set in. Edgar Allan Poe’s plaint in “The Raven” comes to mind: “Respite — respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore; Quaff, oh, quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
    Nepenthe is an ancient potion that helped one to forget his/her pain or sorrow. Twelve-year-old single-malt scotch works for me.
    The fatigue is the result of a double-whammy of Tebowmania and the Republican primaries.  

  • By Rob Witwer

  • I recall a “th” being added to “commonweal” in an article I submitted a few years ago, altering its meaning and, thus, the point I was making.

  • Vox

    There’s a way to fund
    Idaho Springs project

    In last Wednesday’s Courant, there was an article about a dilemma on how might the county fund an Idaho Springs project. The answer is easy.  
    The county attorney writes up a contract for advertising, a banner doing so is hung, and payment, in this case $17,000, is made. Simple, and I’m told legal.  
    The commissioners do it all the time. Ask them.
    Mark Kline
    Idaho Springs

  • If you read Sam Morreale’s obituary in last week’s Courant, you might’ve, like me, been wowed by his amazing life. Sam didn’t sit back and watch it unfold. 
    I knew Sam for his activism and ownership of Mangia’s! in Idaho Springs. Occasionally we discussed politics; but I now realize how little I knew him. But then, that’s probably true of most people we meet — if we only knew their stories.

  • 2012 promises to be a fine year despite it being the last for what Hal Lindsey called “The Late, Great Planet Earth.”
    I admit I haven’t read Lindsey’s work. Since it was published 42 years ago, I’ve been busy … teaching, cheering the Broncos, writing columns among other things — in other words “living.” Nonetheless, I apologize for not reading my planet’s, albeit premature, obituary.

  • 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.