Opinion | Colorado Springs Gazette

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  • GUEST COLUMN: Keep public notices in the public

    Since statehood, Colorado citizens have relied on legal (or public) notice advertising in newspapers throughout the state to be informed of important governmental actions. State agencies, counties, municipalities and special districts post their legal notices in community newspapers. Publication of these notices in newspapers provides a...

  • Use of marijuana expands across all the age groups

    With expansion of marijuana into the medical and now recreational arena, marijuana use has become more prevalent across all age groups. Recent data shows treatment for marijuana dependency in the state of Colorado for those 12-19 years old comprises more than 35 percent of age groups while for alcohol is less than 3 percent for all age groups...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Ballot Question 1B: A dishonest tax increase

    El Paso County Ballot question 1B is nothing more than a dishonest attempt to fool voters. Its shameful deception rises to the level of the misleading term-limits language of a few years ago. If you remember the term limits language that implied that a "yes" vote "limited" terms when it actually extended them, then question 1B this year might...

  • FAGIN: Religious Right on wrong side of history

    How many times have you heard the world is going to hell in a handbasket? That if this or that activity continues unabated, society as we know it will be gravely imperiled? You're not alone. Knee-jerk reactionaries have been with us throughout history. Unfortunately for them, their track record is lousy. It has been over three years, for...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Are we crazy about our kids? Launching the Colorado Paradigm

    Together with United Ways across Colorado, a consortium of Colorado leaders and educators who believe in the critical importance of early learning are using an important and provocative television broadcast to launch a movement. "Are We Crazy About Our Kids?" is a part of a broader documentary series about early childhood education planned to...

  • Just the facts: Countering misinformation on the stormwater plan

    As co-chairs of a two-year, citizen-
led process that proposed a solution to our community's flooding and stormwater issues, it's important to us that citizens get the facts about how the task force's proposal works. Unfortunately, misinformation about our proposal is being spread around. Let's clear a few things up: Fee or tax? According to...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Christians should carefully examine climate change claims

    How should the Christian confront climate change? The White House has an answer. Secretary of State John Kerry says Christianity compels him to fight climate change by curbing fossil fuel usage and limiting carbon dioxide emissions. This view is overly simplistic. The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, an evangelical Christian...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Response to Sen. Cadman's op-ed: There's a lot more to the story

    Sen. Bill Cadman, in a Colorado Springs Gazette op/ed, went to great lengths to paint a gloom and doom portrait, calling the state of Colorado's economic recovery "lackluster" and "tepid." He downplayed a 5.1 percent unemployment rate (the lowest since September 2008), as well as the fact that Colorado has added 236,100 jobs since the depths of...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Feminist leader confronts Sen. Udall

    "No one should come between a woman and her doctor." I agreed with Sen. Mark Udall when he uttered these words in his recent debate with Cory Gardner. But they don't square with the senator's decisive vote for Obamacare. As the executive director of the Colorado Women's Alliance, I have spent the last year talking with and listening to...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Time for new ideas to diversify America's pastime

    Major League Baseball posted its 11th consecutive year of record industry revenues with an all-time high exceeding $8 billion in 2013. And now some within the game believe that MLB will reach $10 billion in 2014. Truly amazing for a sport that some regard as archaic and no longer America's pastime. In truth, MLB's attendance this year will...

  • GUEST COLUMN: A combined effort to prevent child abuse and neglect fatalities

    In 2012, Congress and the president authorized the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities. Its mission is to study the issues related to abuse and neglect and develop a national strategy and set of recommendations that can bring about immediate change. Through the commission, we have a national dialogue that is raising...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Response to Gazette editorial

    The state of politics is pretty horrible these days. Campaigns are run by unknown and unaccountable interest groups due to Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United deciding that corporations are people and money is speech. The result - television and radio advertisements, mailboxes stuffed with mail and phone calls that candidates legally...

  • FAGIN: Crony capitalism or the free market? Congress must decide

    The good news: A crony organization promoting massive corporate welfare was scheduled to die this week. The bad news: Congress raised its zombie-like corpse back from the dead. Yes, the Export-Import Bank is still with us, staggering over the streets of international commerce and moaning "LOANS, LOANS!" to any foreign customers within earshot....

  • GUEST COLUMN: Retail pot outlets in Manitou undermine its small-town charm

    When Howard and I moved to Manitou Springs in 1966 with our two children, we fell in love with the community and knew it was where we wanted to raise our family and probably spend the rest of our lives. Though it was part of a growing metropolitan area, Manitou had a laid-back, small-town charm and a family-friendly atmosphere, all nestled up...

  • GUEST COLUMN: A more Christian conversation about Islam

    In recent months, public dialogue in the United States around Islam and the Muslim community has become increasingly tense. Extreme voices, claiming to represent primarily those of Christian faith, have proclaimed false and prejudicial conspiracy theories as fact: that Islam is an enemy to the United States, that all Muslims are secretly (or...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Are you really pro-choice?

    Democrats seem intent on making this election about choice. What else explains the barrage of ads in the Colorado U.S. Senate race with the false narrative that a woman's right to get a legal abortion is in jeopardy? Since the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade has "survived" the pro-life presidencies of Ronald Reagan, George H....

  • GUEST COLUMN: Silent impact of domestic violence on children

    Did Ray & Janay Rice grow up living with domestic violence? My name is Brian F. Martin, and I grew up living with domestic violence. What, exactly though, does this mean? In my instance, this means I grew up in a home where my mother's boyfriend physically and nonphysically abused her. At times, I was subject to this abuse as well,...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Numbers tell story of Colorado's lackluster jobs recovery

    More than five years after the end of the Great Recession in June of 2009, Colorado still has unemployment 47 percent higher than before the recession. But that's not the worst of the bad news. Colorado also has 159,982 missing jobs, and part-time jobs have replaced full-time employment for many thousands of Colorado families. It's no...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Sector partnerships ensure a stronger Colorado workforce

    "Sector partnerships" is a term you'll be hearing more frequently in the months ahead. Business leaders are joining together with the Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC) and local partners to develop sector partnerships across the state. Sector partnerships are a highly effective and efficient way to ensure that Colorado workers will...

  • GUEST COLUMN: School board supports fiscally responsible issues

    On Aug. 18, the Falcon School District 49 Board of Education passed a $107.4 million bond and mill levy override for voters to consider in November. 3A and 3B address our district's greatest needs to ensure our students receive an excellent education that will prepare them for college and the jobs for the future. As elected school board...

  • GUEST COLUMN: The high cost of an anti-energy president

    We live in extraordinary times. The amazing technological innovations of America's scientists, researchers, engineers and leading minds have made available to us the technology to free America from dependence on volatile and foreign sources of energy. Yet, everywhere you turn, energy costs are up on everything from home energy bills to prices...

  • FAGIN: Putin wages covert wars abroad to increase popularity at home

    Ukraine's parliament has voted to give the Donbass, its Russian-backed war-weary eastern region, special autonomy and status. In return, Ukraine has signed the long-delayed political and trade pact with the European Union, and at least for now Russia has withdrawn most of its troops from the Ukraine. Troops that Russia insisted were never there...

  • GUEST COLUMN: U.S. Air Force Academy: A call to the future

    The U.S. Air Force Academy celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, coinciding with the 67th anniversary of the Air Force. It's remarkable to think how quickly the academy was established after the Air Force's founding. In less than a decade, Air Force leaders, with the support of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, recognized the importance of a...

  • GUEST COLUMN: We should vote to pay for parks again

    There probably won't be any television ads or slick political mailers about issue 1A this fall; it isn't a top of the ticket race between two political powerhouses or a particularly hot-button issue. Nevertheless, local voters will decide a critical question on this year's ballot: Should El Paso County retain a $2 million TABOR surplus to fund...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Getting the stormwater agreement right

    I recently attended Mayor Steve Bach's press update, which focused principally on our pressing stormwater situation. Before that event, and based on the dysfunction at City Hall, I didn't have a very high opinion of our mayor (he actually snubbed me when I tried to shake his hand after a City Council meeting last year). But that recent press...

  • GUEST COLUMN: The mishandling of the 2014 National Household Survey on Drug Use and Health

    It felt a bit like being invited to a christening, but: no baby. Sept. 4 saw the annual release of the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), produced by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) 
and used as one basis for the strategic goal of drug use by the president's Office of National Drug Control...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Region must address stormwater responsibilities

    Last week, an extraordinary thing happened in El Paso County. Citizens, working alongside their locally elected officials, local government staff members, business leaders, military representatives, nonprofit representatives and more, brought to fruition a collaborative proposal to tackle our region's long-standing, complex flooding and...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Let's try local solutions for Jones Park

    Imagine you had a prized piece of real estate - a home, a cabin, a lakeside lot - you were forced to part with but still wanted protected, cared-for and put to good future use. Would you in good conscience sell or give that property to a lousy landlord like Uncle Sam, who's well-known for mismanaging the vast lands in his overstuffed inventory?...

  • FAGIN: "Why doesn't the government undo something?"

    How many times have you heard somebody say, "Why doesn't the government do something?" Even if you don't say it that often, you've probably thought it. It's a natural reaction nowadays, whenever something goes wrong. I'd like to propose a different rallying cry. The next time you hear a bit of depressing economic news, or a societal trend...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Business Alliance working to keep Springs' military presence

    Thank you to all in the community who responded so quickly and strongly to the Keep Carson Strong campaign. With the involvement of many, we were able to distribute over 9,000 postcards with 3,700 being signed and returned to us and many more being mailed directly in. Many people sent in their own letter or email, all wanting to have their...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Loveland's fracking vote not just a local matter

    Residents of Loveland recently voted against a citywide ban on the energy extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing or "fracking." Far from being a local matter, their decision to reject the two-year drilling moratorium could have dramatic consequences for millions of Americans. As a result of techniques like fracking, the energy...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Israel has the right to protect its people

    I am the Israeli "emissary" for JEWISHcolorado, an organization working to build and sustain Jewish life in Colorado, Israel and around the world. Before coming to Denver, I lived on the Israeli border of Gaza, raising my three children under constant rocket attacks, for six years. Rather than raise my kids to hate those across the border, I...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Greater domestic oil production would solve U.S. energy needs

    Anyone who thinks that our domestic policy and foreign policy are two separate realms need look no further than the current conflict between Ukraine and Russia to realize we live in a very small world. Just last Friday U.S. crude futures jumped more than a dollar a barrel, directly responding to Ukrainian forces engaging a Russian armored car...

  • Long-term strategies help keep military in cities that prize it

    I am waiting for the proverbial "Just kidding" from one or more of our community's leaders. The article on the front of last Wednesday's Gazette - "Springs Leaders Rally For Carson" (Aug. 20) - has to be a spoof. There is no way anyone with business acumen would believe that a postcard and letter-writing campaign could have any serious impact...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Optics ugly, but officers deserve their protection

    Optics is a word you hear a lot these days. One could say, "looks like," but that would not sound nearly as cool as optics. Consider the optics of law enforcement looking like our armed forces; so-called militarization of our police. This is getting a lot of attention because of the breathless news coverage of the protests and rioting in...

  • GUEST COLUMN: New methods to consume alcohol open danger door

    The latest craze to hit Colorado is powdered or vaporized alcohol. Teens are experimenting with alcohol in gas and solid forms at increased levels. Denver Health Medical Center reports having treated over 24 patients recently who have gotten sick after inhaling alcohol vapors or ingesting solid alcohol. "Vaping" is a process where alcohol...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Colorado Springs gets high marks in business friendliness

    Colorado Springs is known for many things - the natural beauty of the nearby mountains and the pleasant atmosphere of downtown have made it the number one city in America across many different surveys. But another superlative now can be added to that list: Colorado Springs has been named the most friendly city in America for small businesses....

  • EDITORIAL: Community Health Centers vital to care, services across state

    For the past 49 years, Colorado's Community Health Centers have provided a backbone of health services across our state. With a commitment to prevention and quality, Colorado CHCs are the health care home for one in eight Coloradans. But a projected 
70 percent cut in federal grant funding, a loss of at least $50 million to Colorado Community...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Governor seems beholden to Washington operatives

    Last year, Gov. John Hickenlooper, a geologist by trade, famously took a swig of fracking fluid to reassure the public that natural gas production is safe. His recent political maneuvering on hydraulic fracturing initiatives, wavering on the Keystone XL pipeline and his support for costly renewable energy mandates has some asking if he's more...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Declining highway fatalities not a gauge of pot's impact

    In the Washington Post ("Since Marijuana Legalization in Colorado, Highway Fatalities at Near-Historic Lows" Aug. 5), Radley Balko looks at preliminary data from Colorado since 2001 and draws two conclusions: Traffic fatalities for the months from January to July of 2014 fall below "historic highs" for those months counted since 2001; and...

  • GUEST COLUMN: State's millennials can't 'opt out' of the future

    As a member of the "millennial" generation living, working and starting a family in Colorado, I care about our state's health. Good health is valuable to each of us personally, and the health of our population is essential to Colorado's strength and resiliency. Everyone should have equal opportunity to be healthy. For the last eight years,...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Quality child care at a price parents can afford

    With all the recent talk about ways to attract young families and good jobs to Colorado Springs, I have often wondered why there has not been a serious effort by local leaders to address work/family issues, including the availability of quality child care at a price parents can afford to pay. A top quality early childhood system would make...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Health care wrestling with Obamacare's red tape, regulations

    I can't judge the Affordable Care Act by the headlines - they change on a daily basis. But I can judge it from my perspective as a Colorado doctor. That diagnosis isn't good: At my practice, I've found that the ACA disrupts the doctor-patient relationship by drowning us both in paperwork. In less than three years, Obamacare has created more...

  • GUEST COLUMN: A total lack of public safety policy insight

    Michael Merrifield's recent guest editorial in The Gazette was incredibly disappointing to read. While I applaud his recognition that Michael Bloomberg's "No Roads" comment about Colorado Springs was "tasteless", Merrifield's lack of understanding of the underlying issue and his willingness to buy into Bloomberg's vision for gun control in...

  • GUEST COLUMN: We need giant reform to keep inversions from hurting economy

    In her 1989 tax evasion trial, Leona Helmsley reportedly said: "We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes." U.S. multinational corporations have adopted this anthem, inventing increasingly creative ways to avoid paying taxes. The latest dodge is called "inversion."  A large U.S. multinational company merges with a smaller company...

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