• During my conversation with Clear Creek Economic Corp. executive director Peggy Stokstad and Commissioner Tim Mauck on KYGT about post-Henderson Clear Creek, I quipped that while the belief that the Japanese character for chaos is the same for opportunity is urban legend, it remains a wonderful idea.

    On the one hand, both Stokstad and Mauck aver it’s important to keep in mind the size of the Henderson property-tax footprint has not always been gargantuan. Nevertheless, it is something we need to be concerned about.

  • “The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other.”

    — Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Some years ago, I spontaneously took a trip to Las Vegas. I’ve little interest in gambling, and my betting skills are less than my interest, but the thought of basking in the sun around a pool after a harsh Rocky Mountain winter seemed the perfect elixir.

  • I found myself engaged in a conversation with a couple locals about how I pick topics for this column. The train of thought, as is often the case when thoughtful exchanges occur, meandered from my latest — what do we do post-Henderson — to that which has been dubbed “deflategate,” the charge that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady deliberately had his equipment managers deflate footballs below the league-required minimum.

  • When preparing to write this column, I began by constructing an ideas list about intrinsic community assets young Americans expect or anticipate. The list, which surely is incomplete, follows, but upon reflecting on it, I’ve come realize it can be summarized in three words: the American Dream.

    The promise of America, whether for native-born youth or immigrants, is something that does separate us from most other nations. It helps make us exceptional.

  • The situation was presented in the CCHS auditorium by Henderson Mine/Climax Molybdenum officials, the Clear Creek Economic Development Corp. and the county commissioners: Henderson will more than likely cease production after 2026.

     “The Henderson deposit is well defined,” said Henderson Mine general manager Stuart Teuscher. “It would be a gamble to think it could go past 2026.”

  • Game on. It looks as if it’s Hillary and Bernie versus the pack for now.

    Out of the gate, announced and presumed Republican candidates are spending more time trashing “Granny” than laying out specifics about their potential presidencies. One wonders what they’ll propose now that repealing the Affordable Care Act has lost its luster, the economy has steadily recovered under President Obama’s stewardship, and the deficit is becoming manageable.

  • It’s been fascinating, horrifically so, to watch events in the Middle East unfold. Comprehending the complexities of quantum physics seems child’s play compared with grasping the region’s dynamics.

    Religious strife, the Islamic version of Europe’s 16th-century Protestants-versus- Catholics wars, ethnic and racial hatreds, and economic dislocations and disparities ranging from oil-rich sheiks to abject poverty combine to present the observer an overwhelming but interwoven scene.

  • Vox

    Workforce housing issue could be solved by operating campgrounds


    It sounds as though various individuals and organizations are trying to convince the county commissioners that they should be responsible for providing workforce housing, and I believe I have a possible solution.

    The problem is that rafting company employees need a place to camp during the rafting season. These employees don’t need housing in the normal sense of the word.

  • Over the course of American history, the term “states’ rights” took on a pernicious and ominous connotation. It became synonymous with discrimination and racial bigotry, in that those who spoke about the rights of states to create their own laws without having to accede to federal authority did so with one purpose: to re-impose Jim Crow-type laws that effectively made African-Americans second-class citizens.

  • Sen. Cory Gardner needs to explain to his Colorado constituency why he signed Sen. Tom Cotton’s letter to the Iranian leadership. Not only was the letter detrimental to the interests of the United States, it also has cast a chill on his ability to work with President Obama and his Democratic Senate colleagues.

  • The results are in: The Rail to Vail is a success!

    Well, OK, there’s no train through the Interstate 70 corridor providing rapid transit for Summit and Eagle county snow riders, but there were two from Denver’s Union Station to Winter Park on March 14 and 15, and they sold out in hours.

    Skiers and boarders, as well as those who wanted to visit the area for just fun, were elated. No doubt some rode the train for nostalgic and “to-be-cool” reasons, but others appreciated the alternative to the never-to-be-ending I-70 morass.

  • Vox

    Tell council to say no to new Exit 241 bridge


    On Feb. 23, the Idaho Springs City Council is scheduled to vote on allowing the Colorado Department of Transportation to build a new bridge at Exit 241 on the east side of Idaho Springs.

    It’s time for everyone in Idaho Springs to say no!

    There are viable alternatives to a new bridge. The current bridge has three lanes under it that can be used for highway lanes. The lanes at 241 can be moved beyond the current bridge, requiring no further changes be made.

  • According to Colorado Statute 30-5-112, the description for the county line between Clear Creek and Gilpin is simply: “Commencing at the junction of North and South Clear Creeks, and running thence up the dividing ridge between said streams, to the summit of the Snowy Range …” (more commonly known as the ridge extending between forks of North and South Clear Creek, and the summit of James Peak).

  • Vox

    Thanks for help with Mardi Gras fund-raiser


    On behalf of the board of directors of the Mill Creek Valley Historical Society, we wish to thank everyone who participated in our Mardi Gras fund-raiser.

  • Having followed the unfolding saga taking place within the fire district, I can say this with certainty: I’m glad I’m not on the Fire Authority board. Talk about occupying a hot seat in the midst of a raging wildfire.

    Having said that, I want to thank the board for dealing with the contentious issue about Fire Chief Kelly Babeon’s status in a transparent, professional manner.

  • In my last two columns I discussed the scope of the I-70 corridor problem as well as the single-solution mind-set of the Colorado Department of Transportation: widen and pave it. I hold to four contentions:

    • For more than 97 percent of the time, the highway as it exists is more than adequate.

    • For the remaining 2 to 3 percent of time, there is no on-ground solution.

    • Expansion of the highway’s footprint is more than inimical to Clear Creek’s interests; it’s destructive to the community and environment.

  • In last week’s column, I explored the scope of the Interstate 70 corridor problem, holding that the rubber has met the road both metaphorically and literally in Clear Creek, and we’re at a crossroads. CDOT’s plan is simple: widening and laying asphalt; ours is to maintain and assure a vibrant, healthy and sustainable community.

    I concluded with wondering whether Clear Creek remains a full-fledged partner in the decision-making process.

    When I posed that to Commissioner Tim Mauck, he said he disagrees to a point.

  • It’s been inevitable Clear Creek arrive at the fork in the road that will have profound outcomes on the county in our lifetimes and beyond. Along with the lifespan of the Henderson operation, actions taken in context of the Interstate 70 corridor will have more impact on our community’s future than any other challenge: economically, socially, environmentally and more.

  • Vox

    Contractor trying to make it right


    It’s an amazing thing when we see a business try to make things right. Mountain Corridor Constructors is trying to do just that with the offer for compensation for lost revenue to our businesses in Idaho Springs. Let’s hope that Mayor Hillman and the city council can respond in a positive way to its offer. 

  • The Christmas season: The time when good boys and girls find delightful presents in their stockings. That might be happening elsewhere, but here in Clear Creek, the Grinch has stolen Christmas.

    Dr. Seuss could’ve had the Colorado Department of Transportation in mind as a model for his creepy villain, given how CDOT muck-a-mucks must’ve decided the good citizens and merchants of Clear Creek have been naughty instead of being cooperative, supportive and patient stakeholders.