en Why we do what we do <p> Journalists usually are not good at tooting their own horns. Shoot, in a lot of ways, it doesn&rsquo;t feel right to do so. But this time, we are.</p> <p> We&rsquo;re a small, but dedicated staff at Evergreen Newspapers. The past two weekends have been a bit surreal for us as our peers paid tribute to our diligent work during the past 12 months.</p> <p> First, the Colorado Press Association honored our staff with 47 awards, including a pair of sweepstakes awards for photography and design for the Canyon Courier and Clear Creek Courant.</p> Underpinnings of democracy <p> <em>&ldquo;A Fourth Estate, of Able Editors, springs up, increases and multiplies; irrepressible, incalculable.&rdquo;</em></p> <p> &mdash; Thomas Carlyle, English political philosopher</p> <p> In 2002, Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists in Pakistan, four months after the Sept. 11 World Trade Center attack. Pearl was one of hundreds of reporters killed in action before and since, dying to ensure your right to know.</p> VOX POP <p> Profit vs. truth</p> <p> Editor:</p> <p> A recent heavily publicized event became the perfect example of the growing sickness in America called racism &mdash; only in this case, the racist was profit. Profit versus truth, to be more precise.</p> <p> Two people were ultimately removed by force from a Starbucks because they were occupying a table without buying something and refused to give up their place. It&rsquo;s not news.</p> Who wants to be a victim? <p> <strong>Alisha Hill<br /> </strong></p> Defining candidates’ ‘respect quotient’ <p> What does the Colorado General Assembly&rsquo;s majority leader do when she shows for her town hall meeting, but few others do? Not much, except call it good and scoot home to Boulder.<br /> But what do Clear Creek citizens do about being deprived of the rare opportunity to visit with, question and hold their representative accountable because she failed to adequately inform them, the press and local officials of that April 5 town hall? Grouse, one supposes. Or, in my case, voice it in a column.<br /> Vox Pop <p> <strong>Eagles or lemmings?</strong><br /> Editor:<br /> In quantum mechanics, we have learned to approach reality differently and see everything as probabilities instead of certainties. In a mathematical sense. anything is possible.<br /> As well as in science as in our daily lives, the extent to which we can calculate or figure out probabilities, is determined by our intellectual capabilities to recognize patterns. The less biased we are, the clearer we can identify these patterns and base our actions on reasonable probabilities.<br /> Visionaries create change <p> Deniers can have their say, but scientific and technological advances never stop. Human progress in the full array of fields is inevitable.<br /> Progressive thinkers by nature push forward into unexplored terrain, while conservative-minded serve as our mothers, warning us before venturing forth to pull on our galoshes, wear clean underwear and look both ways before crossing.<br /> John Haas, my most-admired professor, was a visionary. He encouraged his students to think outside the box, not to be constricted by or restricted to the ways of before.<br /> Government and business <p> <strong>Nicole Byerley<br /> </strong></p>