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Nicholson will serve district well
I have known Jeanne Nicholson for many years and have been impressed with her ability to take on challenging tasks while bringing people together to find common ground.
These are skills that I believe are critical in being an effective state senator. In my experience, the legislators who are able to master these skills are the ones that get the job done and are able to pass bills with strong bipartisan support.  
As the current state senator for Senate District 16, I want to see my replacement bring to the Capitol our shared Coloradoean philosophy of common sense, toughness and fearlessness to take a stand, to ask the challenging questions and to fight for the issues that are important to us.
I know that Jeanne understands our economy and budgets, and will work tirelessly to put people back to work and support policies that will enable Colorado to recover from this economic downturn. She will also be a strong force in working on natural resources issues like water and forest health, and Jeanne knows that supporting and enhancing educational opportunities for youth and adults will only make our communities stronger.
Please support Jeanne Nicholson for state senator.
Dan Gibbs
State Senator, District 16

Think about these questions
when selecting candidates

Randy Wheelock’s article in the Oct. 6 Courant immediately stimulated numerous questions on how to “pick candidates who will better our world.” Six of them follow:
1. Did his selection process include Gov. Ritter and President Obama, whose policies brought us unemployment near 10 percent?
2. Why does he favor candidates who attack Republican candidates’ personal character rather than defend their voting records?
3. Why does he support incumbents in Congress with a favorable rating in the teens because of their failures to represent  constituents?
4. Does he support asking the question asked by Ronald Reagan: “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?”
5. Does he support policies of the Democratic Party that deprive us of our liberties? (We are government. We know what is best for you.)
6. Does he support Democratic action to take over medical care, which was against public opinion?   Bureaucrats will tell us what treatments are available, how much it will cost and when we get it, resulting in less freedom and Third World care?
Omer Humble
Fall River Road

Kline the better county
commission candidate

I have given considerable thought to our county’s open seat for commissioner. In the primary, I struggled choosing between Dan Ebert and Tim Mauck.
Dan’s business experience and Tim’s background in resource conservation made for a difficult choice. Compounding the dilemma was Tim’s tenure as a county employee and the possibility he was a “Kool-Aid” consumer.
By Kool-Aid I mean the back-slapping, high-fiving, good-ole boy network that exists in every workplace. Consumption of Clear Creek County Kool-Aid has resulted in a series of very poor management decisions. Here are but a few:
• We spent $2.1 million to renovate and expand the county jail during a significant and protracted period of population decline in our county.
• Just after the middle school was closed due to an apparent funding shortfall, $2.1 million materialized out of thin air to build the new jail.
• We built a new high school with far more capacity than warranted, in a place requiring expanded busing.
• To offset those costs, we eliminated educational programs, teaching positions and classroom resources.
• Our county government salivates over the prospect of turning Floyd Hill into a shopping mall while our established business districts suffer from severe blight.
• Our chairman of county commissioners, Kevin O’Malley, continues to insist that the proposed Eclipse (Coors’ family) Ski Area in St. Mary’s is a good idea even when it is painfully apparent the project cannot turn a profit and the infrastructure does not exist to support it.
I voted for Mauck in the primary, reserving judgment on his potential Kool-Aid consumption. However, when Mauck was appointed commissioner after Dale’s exit and the county Democratic Party said it made sense because we wouldn’t have to spend more money to train a new commissioner, it became apparent Tim was a regular at the Kool-Aid dispenser. Shucks, with all that back-slapping going on, he might just need a chiropractor day-to-day.
It is now so very obvious that Mauck, if elected, will serve as O’Malley’s errand boy. With an O’Malley-Mauck regime, we can expect the destruction of both Floyd Hill and St. Mary’s over the next two years. Under the repressive force of an O’Malley-Mauck regime, there will be no checks and balances. The follies listed above will be magnified to such an extent that our remaining county funds will evaporate into thin air.
So even though I am a dyed-in-the-wool liberal, I will be voting for Republican candidate Mark Kline this November. Mark not only knows and understands the very real problems we face in an unchecked O’Malley regime, he has already served and triumphed on the front lines in stopping the O’Malley agenda of greed and excess in St. Mary’s.
If you desire a limited county government that does not solely represent the interests of the real estate and construction industries, then the choice is clear. Vote for Mark Kline. If you want for it to be business as usual, then by all means, vote for Tim Mauck.
David Stahl
Idaho Springs

Hickenlooper the best
choice for governor

After reviewing the Community Voices articles on Sept. 15 by Steve Schultz, Clear Creek Republican Party, and on Oct. 6 by Randy Wheelock, Clear Creek Democratic Party, and the partisan letters by Marion Anderson and Grace Todd on Oct. 13, my reaction was: So??  
I found no innovation or substance beyond what they copied from their respective partisan handbooks. Ms. Anderson called them “play books.” I saw no independent thinking for solving the problems that Clear Creek County and Colorado face now and in the future. I saw no mention of Ballot Issue 3A, which is really important for Clear Creek County. The articles and letters were all political pablum.
One assertion by Marion Anderson calls for a reality check: Tom Tancredo for governor. “He speaks knowledgeably about the issues. …  Tom will stand up for what best serves all the people of Colorado.” Oh really??
Tom Tancredo has been a clown ever since he entered Colorado politics. His greatest skill and foremost goal is calling attention to . . . Tom Tancredo. He supports Amendment 60 and Proposition 101, which is additional proof that Tancredo is not familiar with business, economics and economic development and is definitely not qualified to be governor of Colorado.  
We need a governor with science, entrepreneurial, successful business and successful public leadership experience to create and inspire innovation-based economic development that can pull Colorado out of this structural recession.
Only John Hickenlooper has that experience. The partisan Republicans and conservatives must step down from their pedestals and think independently for 30 seconds. Remembering that the election is for governor of Colorado, they will surely conclude that voting for Hickenlooper is the compelling intelligent choice.
Reality check: If you like 60, 61 and 101 and the economic abyss they would create for Colorado, you’ll love Tom Tancredo! Otherwise, think independently for 30 seconds.
Jim Leonard

Vote for Graber for county treasurer
Considering Liz Graber and Irene Kincaid: If the qualifications were more or less equal, would you vote for a DMV persona or would you rather deal with someone who likes people and can understand the stress the taxpayer is subjected to — and shows it?
Liz doesn’t feel that hiding in the back office makes for a pleasant experience for the citizens that have to dig into their pockets. Liz feels that being pleasant doesn’t cost any more than just putting in your time and enduring interruptions. Liz doesn’t like, need or espouse the old political adage: “If you can’t beat ‘em with bucks, then baffle them with bull crap.”
Dave Thomas
Fall River Road

Residents should make wishes known regarding I-70
For too long the good citizens of Clear Creek County have allowed a small handful of individuals to speak for them in regard to the I-70 issue. Yet, without the benefit of a countywide vote on the matter, how can these self-anointed spokespeople claim — honestly — that they represent the “consensus viewpoint” of the county?
Is it truly the “consensus viewpoint” of Clear Creek County residents to continue pursuing the delusional pipe-dream of a high-speed rail/monorail system, as these spokespeople suggest? Or is it, instead, to avoid a massive road-widening project that would shred through the county and forever destroy its quality of life?
Make no mistake about it, over the next few years there will be considerable pressure to simply widen the highway, regardless of the consequences for Clear Creek County. This pressure will intensify dramatically if there’s no longer a ski train to Winter Park and the highway becomes further clogged with people now driving to get there and back.
Also, many powerful entities will be pushing for a road project simply because they’ll be in line to reap substantial financial benefits from the huge spending program involved. I can assure you these self-interested entities are not the least bit concerned about the prospects of a high-speed rail/monorail system because they know the possibility of passing the massive tax increase necessary to pay for it is minuscule.
Hopefully, Clear Creek County residents will soon realize their predicament and start speaking for themselves, rather than allowing others to do it for them.
Ken Katt

Thanks to EMS
More accustomed to providing emergency care to others, my family recently found itself on the receiving end of Clear Creek County’s emergency care systems.
Everything turned out OK, and we wanted to extend our thanks to the men and women who helped us in our time of need.
When my wife called 911, her call was redirected from Georgetown to Evergreen Fire Rescue for Emergency Medical Dispatching, a service provided by EFR to its customers and, through good fortune, to the rest of Clear Creek County, too.
Vanessa Johns, a relatively new EFR dispatcher, was awesome.  We later learned ours was her first solo EMD call, but we couldn’t tell. She kept both of us calm and watching our daughter for signs of change for the 25 minutes between the start of the call and the arrival of the ambulance.
Clear Creek EMS Paramedic Tom Rhodes and EMTs Chris Romano and Adam Thomas also earned our thanks. They provided exceptional care for our daughter and us from the time of their arrival until they delivered mom and patient to The Children’s Hospital.
Thanks to those four professionals, a scary incident evolved into a positive outcome.
With appreciation,
Einar Jensen
Alice/St. Mary’s

Defending the beauty around I-70
Regarding Vox Pop from Ken Katt on Oct. 13:
Just how much has been spent on “studies” to solve the intermountain I-70 Corridor? Probably “gazillions.” My suggestion, Mr. Katt, take 9 south to 285 east, you will end up in your backyard. Book a room, leave later, take a plane.
Routes through the mountains were not intended to be “autobahns.” We have an attractive nuisance and will fight to defend the beauty. Do you suggest we blast all of the lumps and tunnels which appear to be in your way?
Buddie Mees
Idaho Springs

Thanks for paving Mill Creek Road
On behalf of all the residents of Mill Creek Park and others who live on Mill Creek Road, I want to thank the Clear Creek County Road and Bridges Department for our beautiful new paving. Though it only extends to the entrance to our private community, travel to I-70 is now pleasant as well as being safer.
No more dodging holes and broken asphalt. The work was contracted out to a private paving company, chosen after bids. The Road and Bridges Department made an excellent choice: the work was done so quickly and efficiently, we were hardly inconvenienced.
The credit for the improved drainage system that should keep mud off of the road goes to the county engineers. Thanks to all the people, included tax payers, who made this improvement possible.
Jean Lones

Improvements making Georgetown even better
What a glorious day indeed, temperatures in the 60s, bright blue skies and a gentle breeze. The fall colors in town are just now flowing into their peak, looking toward the south, into the sun a little, you’ll be amazed at the warm golden glow of the aspen or narrow leaf cottonwood, wouldn’t want to judge that beauty contest. 
If you’re lucky enough to find a spot that has some overgrown grasses weaving in the breeze, or drooping  over to touch the water’s edge, just sit or stand for a moment and be thankful.
I’ve been walking down to Werlin Park, probably better known at the ball field, to watch the construction of the stone retaining wall.  The old wooden wall was becoming hazardous.
Now thanks to a joint effort by the town and county, it’s getting some well needed and attractive work. It seems like a wonderful skill to place such large boulders with such finesse and coordination. The backhoe appears to be an extension of the operator’s arms. You need a good eye for that kind of work.
I’ve been watching the other very important construction project from the little footbridge over the creek, near the County Annex. What’s known as the Gateway Project is ready for paving tomorrow, according to Hizzoner, Tom Benhoff, whom I run into on my walk. I’m sure it hasn’t moved fast enough for our merchants along Argentine  Street, but it will tremendously improve the entry way into our town.
In the past I’ve felt the area south of the visitor center was lacking a certain continuity with the attractiveness of the rest of Georgetown. Now we’ll even have a lighted walkway and landscaping,  though we’ll have to wait till next spring to see it in its final glory.
     It would sure be nice if we could find a way to improve the area behind the businesses along Argentine, alongside our beautiful Clear Creek. Georgetown has sort of failed to maximize the benefit of having the creek run through town, unlike just about every other community in the country, we don’t have a creek side walkway. It could happen with the County Greenway project. Here’s hoping we can all find a way to support it.
The other good news for Georgetown will be the completion of the Guanella Pass Scenic Byway. We drive these byways at every chance, like lots of other folks, and Guanella will be a jewel of the Colorado system. Not only the scenic beauty but the many benefits to the watershed make this a project we can all be proud of.  I guess it’s scheduled for completion in the Spring as well, barring any other geological interruption.
There are lots of things to be optimistic about around here. Did you hear that the Red Ram is reopening? Dang, if we could get a little par-three golf course put in, maybe down by the lagoon, and a nice pool hall, I’d never have to leave town. Here’s hoping for the best for our little town. 
Ernie Dunn

In last week’s opinion section, Dave Wohlers wrote a letter to the editor as a private citizen and not as the chief of police for Idaho Springs. This was the newspaper’s error.