“The world is looking to us, the United States of America, to come together and save these people.”
These words were spoken last week with the greatest of sincerity by our commander in chief, assuring us, along with the rest of the world, that once again Americans can be counted on to help solve the world’s biggest issues of the day.Learn more »
The Nov. 4 general election is less than two months from now, and we are busy preparing the ballot and testing the voting equipment. This year’s ballot will ask voters to choose between candidates in federal races for the U.S. House and Senate. Statewide races include governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer and Colorado House and Senate. County offices up for election are Commissioner District 2, Commissioner District 3, sheriff, clerk & recorder, treasurer, assessor, surveyor and coroner. Town of Avon voters will choose four members to serve on their Town Council. The towns of Red Cliff and Basalt both have several questions. There will also be several statewide amendments and propositions.
This election will be a mail ballot election, and ballots will be mailed automatically to all registered active voters at their mailing address on record. If an alternate address should be used, please contact the Clerk & Recorder election department as soon as possible because by law, ballots cannot be forwarded. Ballots will be mailed on Oct. 15.Learn more »
Critics mistakenly assumed President Obama was caught flat-footed when the Islamic State militants, also known as ISIS or ISIL, blitzkrieged unchecked across Syria and northern Iraq. Caricaturing the president as a bumbler in Middle East foreign policy, they said he admitted as much in late August. President Obama then declared that the U.S. would ramp up a military response to the Islamic State’s attacks but had to wait because “we don’t have a strategy yet.”
Now, it’s clear why the president didn’t plunge ahead militarily against the Islamic State jihadists. He wanted to form an Arab coalition to fight its common enemy—the Islamic State. Moreover, the president agreed with House Speaker John Boehner’s (R., Ohio), caution in an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt. Although the president possesses power on his own to order airstrikes in Iraq, “it’s questionable whether he has the authority to do this in Syria,” said Boehner.Learn more »
Over the past decade and with the support of the Edwards community, Eagle County and the Colorado Department of Transportation have made great strides toward improving vehicular and pedestrian access along the Edwards Spur Road. Phase I of a multi-year project included four roundabouts between Berry Creek Road and Miller Ranch Road. The results have provided a successful and sorely needed solution to traffic flow in the area, but there is more work to be done.
The effort to improve access in and out of Edwards began in earnest in 2003, when Eagle County entered into an agreement with the Department of Transportation to design improvements to the Edwards Spur Road, naming it the Edwards Interchange Upgrade Project. In 2004, a conceptual layout was developed and the project was divided into two phases, with Phase I encompassing the area just south of the Interstate 70 interchange to Miller Ranch Road and Phase II stretching from Miller Ranch Road to U.S. Highway 6.Learn more »
The piles have grown piles, the plate loaded to spilling, the workday packed to the point a black hole might become a real possibility.
It’s always busy around here, one of the great charms of a career in news media, which tends to attract crazy ADD types who thrive on dealing with way too much all the time.Learn more »
Eagle County Schools is an organization with a longstanding commitment and a lot of experience with teacher leadership. Specifically, over a decade ago Eagle County Schools began implementing a system to create leadership roles for talented teachers. These positions, called mentor and master teachers, came with added work days and responsibilities as well as meaningful pay bumps.
When the system was first implemented, it followed in the footsteps of a growing national program called the Teacher Advancement Program, or TAP. Here, much of the attention (and initial resistance) focused on the system’s performance-based compensation and evaluation approaches.Learn more »
Given the state of the world right now, we could all use a bit of good news, and there’s some wonderful news right here in our little valley.
The folks backing the Castle Peak Senior Care Community a few days ago announced they’d hit their fundraising goal of $4.4 million. That helps clear the way for construction to start this year on a senior care facility in Eagle, near Brush Creek Elementary School.Learn more »
Pinky: “Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?”
The Brain: “The same thing we do every night, Pinky — try to take over the world!”Learn more »
Highway 131 out of Wolcott rose north, twisted, then sank and there it was, the Colorado River, slipping through the valley like Father Time, silvery with sun twinkle and quiet as forgotten memories until I dropped the window and the babble and gush and chill rushed in.
I eased my pickup truck over the bridge then turned right, slowly crunching down the dirt road once home to State Bridge Lodge. The old structure was long gone now, burned down nearly a decade prior by forces undetermined, foul play suspected.Learn more »
James Madison believed congressional leaders’ most significant trip forced them to meet each other halfway. The Constitution’s architect framed the founding document so that mutual concessions resolved political debate. Former President Bill Clinton sounded Madisonian when he recently said, “If you read the Constitution, it ought to be subtitled, ‘Let’s make a deal.’”
In contrast, Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz (R-Texas) rejects going down the road of compromise. He tells congressional leaders to take a hike if they dare bend principles around public policy that works for both sides of the aisle. Cruz rarely stops at verbal yellow lights, which signal to proceed with caution. He acts as if he seldom needs to stop haranguing or listen to opponents and catch up with new insights. He sounds like Sen. Jesse Helms (R-North Carolina) did in the 1970s, barring fresh views from disturbing their pre-conceived notions.Learn more »
I am happy to announce that the hard work of over 500 grass roots volunteers across the state along with some paid circulators have been successful in placing GMO labeling on the ballot in Colorado this fall as Proposition 105.
It was at times a difficult task collecting signatures as our petitioners, exhibiting their First Amendment constitutional rights, were often asked or told to leave festivals, farmers markets, concerts and other events around the state by event organizers, local government officials and local law enforcement authorities.Learn more »
What comes to mind when you think about Eagle County? Many tend to think of our community — and more specifically, the Vail Valley — as a destination resort, but that perception has changed since I arrived here in 1990. More and more people fall in love with the mountains and want to live here permanently. I think that’s a good thing — but we must now offer people something that allows them to stay.
Eagle County offers remarkable opportunities to live a well balanced life that includes hiking, biking, fishing, skiing and numerous other physical activities. We also have a thriving cultural community that celebrates the creativity of local residents. People here are in tune with nature and understand how mind, body and spirit are connected to health and wellness.Learn more »
Bob Beauprez won the show handily. No debate there.
Quip. Meat of the question. Quip. Delivered with the punch of complete certainty, in short sentences. Blue suit, red tie. No wasted movement.Learn more »
I start getting the chills around this time every year. Part of it is due to the seasons’ transition; another element is also due to the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. I was in the Washington, D.C., area during the event. It’s a day I’ll never forget. I will probably reflect where the world is and the status of the al-Qaida and jihadist movement around this time every year for the rest of my life — 2014 is no different.
The period between Sept. 11, 2013, and Sept. 11, 2014, was a transition period for al-Qaida, its affiliates, and the jihadist movement.Learn more »
Got a quick Hit or Miss about issues, decisions or goings-on in the valley? Send yours to firstname.lastname@example.org to be included.
HIT: To the short, sweet leaf season. And then, and then, the season that attracted so many to begin with …Learn more »
Fueled by federal grant money and state policy, education systems across the United States (including Colorado) are engaged in a large-scale effort to dramatically improve the quality of teachers and principals through evaluations.
These evaluations go where no school system has gone before in that they require the use of student outcomes (in many cases, standardized test scores) to be heavily weighted in the overall merit rating.Learn more »
Calling the police has usually never been a positive thing for me. The first time I was assaulted on the job happened nearly five years ago in Utah. I had been incapacitated by my attacker and was fortunate to have a well-trained staff that knew how to respond to the emergency. The local police department responded quickly, for which I was grateful. Associating the police with this particular event still raises my heart rate every time I see an officer. I was grateful, but also scared. That fear and memory of violence from this event and others largely caused me to avoid the police for several years. I know they are on my side, but it was the association with the event that made me cautious.
In fact, until I moved to the valley, I viewed the police with what I considered to be a healthy suspicion of authority. I, like many of us, had heard exaggerated stories of inappropriate policing and use of power. I had decided that I would only have necessary contact with the police as a result.Learn more »
We’ve been watching with somewhat detached interest the legal wrangling between Vail Resorts and Powdr Corp. over the fate of the ski area in Park City, Utah. But if your interests lie in that part of the Beehive State, then your interest, and concern, is very real.
The Associated Press reports that a Utah judge last week ruled that Powdr, which operates Park City Mountain Resort, must pay Vail Resorts a $17.5 million bond to continue to operate this winter. Vail Resorts holds a lease on virtually all of Park City’s skiable terrain.Learn more »
Vail did “it” first.
The year was 1995, if I remember correctly.Learn more »
Since our nation’s birth, Americans have debated what’s the right balance of citizens’ rights, states’ roles and the federal government’s responsibilities.
How does the federal government work for the common good without overreaching? President Ronald Reagan answered that “government is the problem.” A majority of the Greatest Generation, however, depended on government to lift them out of the Great Depression. Led by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, they believed capable government functions like grease on a car’s gears. It makes the motor of progress hum by filling human needs. Government is part of the solution, claimed FDR.Learn more »
It was a very cold, winter night in downtown Boston. It was 20 degrees out, to be exact, with the wind gusting about 20 miles an hour when I slipped and almost fell on the icy sidewalk. Years of experience showing my ski films in this part of the country had me prepared for the auditorium probably not even being half-full on such a miserable night as this, but much to my surprise, the high school auditorium was standing room only because of the hard work of my sponsor and his ski pupils.
He was running a ski program out of downtown Boston in a really tough part of town and most of the students were from single-parent homes. He had been able to scavenge, beg or borrow used or obsolete rental ski equipment from several of the ski shops in Boston. Armed with skis, boots and poles, he was then able to promote the use of several vans from a local automobile agency and an airport service company. Armed with such equipment and the cooperation of a small local rope tow hill, he could offer a rope tow ticket, a hot dog, a Coca-Cola and transportation to and from the ski area for $5. He was introducing inner city kids from very poor families to the greatest freedom sport in the world!Learn more »
Retirement has crept on cat’s feet, the faintest mist, into the conversation with my college classmates, and with it consideration of aging, mortality and youth.
Yes, youth. We’re firmly ensconced in the baby boomer breakaway generation that frankly none before and none after have quite emulated. X and Y and whatever comes next have progressed by degrees, shades really, along a path this generation broke.Learn more »
Not too long ago I found myself in the fortunate position to purchase a home in Eagle. Priced at around $215,000, I think it is still one of the few homes that has appeared on the market under $250,000 in the past six months or so. That’s a whole other problem, but without revisiting that topic, I’d like to talk about the great changes that have occurred in my life since becoming a homeowner.
You see, I instantly knew that I had too much home to be there by myself. I opted to put up a few Craigslist ads, send out my networking feelers, and in less than a week, I had my other two bedrooms rented — rented, by the way, at rates that I paid nearly eight years ago for an 800-square-foot apartment in another state. Though I somehow managed to kill my yard during the first two weeks of May (always water profusely after you fertilize), I’m grateful for my roomies, and more than simply because they are kind enough to cover my mortgage.Learn more »
The recently released Transitional Colorado Assessment Program results landed across the state with a soft thud. While there were occasional bright spots, overall scores were flat or down in most subjects and grades. Even among charter schools, the ballyhooed darlings of the reform movement, results leaned toward disappointing, accented by wild fluctuation.
Reactions from pundits, state leaders and the Denver Post ranged from somber to puzzled, but ideas about next steps quickly emerged: Stay the course or even accelerate the hyper-accountability (more tests and punishments) and market-based reforms (more privatization) that have brought national attention to Colorado’s reform efforts.Learn more »
Buckle your seat belts and keep the channel-changer handy — election season begins in earnest this week.
Colorado has a handful of statewide races this year, including competitive contests for governor and the U.S. Senate. The Denver TV signals, already seemingly full of ads on one side or another of these races, will be positively choked with political ads during the next two months.Learn more »
What’s the difference between ISIS, al-Qaida, Hamas, Boko Haram, Muslim extremists, Christian extremists, religious extremists of all flavors and terrorists?
Spelling.Learn more »
1. When reheating leftovers in the microwave space out a circle in the middle, it will heat up much more evenly.
2. Use a squeeze-ketchup bottle top (preferably a clean one) with your Shop-Vac to clean your keyboard, phone, microphone or other nook on an electronic device.Learn more »
Ironic that the higher the stock market soars, the more critics blame President Obama for a sluggish economy. The president counters, pointing to an overall fiscal trajectory on the right track. Factories reeling from the Great Recession now fill orders at a record clip. Apartments are hard to find. Office vacancies are rare. Unemployment continues to fall. Wall Street no longer sputters like a locked-up car motor damaged irreparably. Our nation has survived the 2008 financial crisis of the Bush II presidency.
Financier Roger Altman sides with President Obama against his critics. Seven years after the Great Recession, the national mood is still more sullen than sunny about the economy, Altman admits. General financial trends, however, are very encouraging, reports this former deputy secretary of the treasury during the Clinton presidency.Learn more »
One of the more curious holidays we celebrate in our country has to be Labor Day. It just hangs in there while other holidays search for identity or are continually fighting controversy.
For example, Columbus Day is nothing like Labor Day.Learn more »
Editor’s note: This is the second of two columns on wilderness to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.
Learn more »