Opinion | Colorado Springs Gazette

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  • GUEST COLUMN: The Road from Armenia to Auschwitz

    In an era that has benumbed us with accounts of mass murder, carpet bombings, killing fields and death camps we are hardly disposed to hear of still another horror. But hear we must. Let no genocide be forgotten. In 1915, the millennia-old Armenian people were systematically murdered by the Turks. The genocide of the Armenians rivals in scope...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Common Core actually increases local control

    As 21st century citizens, we are consumers of information. But are we critical and educated consumers? I would say not always. There is an uproar to rid Colorado of the Common Core State Standards, but many of those crying out have not taken the time to educate themselves on the history and implications of CCSS - many of those who oppose the...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Education goal should be less testing, better accountability

    This legislative session's monumental education debate has Colorado policymakers walking a dangerous tightrope. To benefit today's K-12 students, they must promote wise policy that does not lean too far in either direction. Vocal discontent with state tests has raised passions on all sides and touched on some very sensitive topics in...

  • GUEST COLUMN: A continuum of care through Memorial Hospital

    For more than a century, Memorial Hospital has been taking care of children and families in our community. That has not changed. For more than two years, care for pediatric patients has been delivered through collaboration between Memorial and Children's Hospital Colorado. Our partnership remains strong. On June 13, only the underlying...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Eradicating the Permanent Political Class

    We all know somebody who's part of the permanent political class - that group of individuals who've never done much except politics. Those who have been "on the public dime" for years. Politicos who've never made a payroll, had a boss threaten their job, or stared down fear because they had the guts to start a new venture.. Politicians who...

  • FAGIN: No place in military for an army of God

    This May, students at the Air Force Academy will complete a four year experience that puts any Ivy League school to shame. They will then raise their hands and say this: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Human trafficking bill too important to be stalled

    It's no secret that the Democratic Party is beholden to Planned Parenthood and the abortion lobby. But the recent efforts of some Democratic legislators to block a bill that would provide financial restitution to victims of human trafficking over abortion funding has ushered in an era of new extremes. While America is a two-party nation, one...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Local legislators work to bring balance to school testing

    Students, parents, teachers, and school administrators are fed up with the senseless overtesting driven by past bad decisions by Colorado legislators and education policymakers. We have introduced a bill in the Colorado House of Representatives (to be heard today) that will fix what is wrong with education testing and standards. Our approach...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Forests killed by the mountain pine beetle don't pose increased wildfire risk

    In the past decade, the mountain pine beetle has severely impacted pine forests across more than 50 million acres of western North America. In the aftermath of this epidemic is there a significant increase in wildfire threat? For many tasked with managing wildfires the answer is a resounding "yes." However, a recent research paper from a team...

  • Let council members tour city departments

    Any of us who have held a job in the private sector understand job training. It's a key part of transforming a person from an interviewee to an outstanding employee. From top-tier executives to those working their way up the ladder running retail counters and keeping offices clean, every employee in a business needs training to excel in their...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Tax Freedom Day getting farther away

    Colorado's real tax day isn't April 15th. It's April 25. On that day, the state's taxpayers have finally made enough money to pay their total tax burden for the year, according to the non-partisan Tax Foundation. Starting the next day, you actually get to keep the money you make. This holiday has been dubbed "Tax Freedom Day." But there's...

  • Civil justice system is making progress

    Lawyers and judges may have been the last to know, or maybe just the last to admit the truth. The American public is fed up with the civil justice system. It costs too much, is convoluted and agonizingly slow. In the end, it seems to be all about putting both parties in a posture where anything is better than forging ahead, and they settle -...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Let vets take charge of their health care

    Many horror stories have emerged over the past year regarding Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals and the shoddy care they sometimes provide. The system appears to be full of the type of fraud, waste, and abuse that is all-too-typical of centralized government programs. A lifetime of subsidized health care is an earned benefit from military service...

  • GUEST OPINION: A question for mayoral candidates

    A multipart question for our mayoral candidates. Your answer could change the course of our city for the positive. But first, some background about why this question is so important: Another election, another blown chance to bring young blood and real life to our City Council. With no judgment upon the good people in office, we need to face...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Federal power over public land should be restored to the people

    At the turn of the last century, Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma were territories of the United States with governors appointed by the president. Other Western states like Utah (1899), Wyoming (1890), Idaho (1890) and Montana (1889) recently joined the Union. A few unscrupulous individuals took advantage of the unsettled and largely...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau looking foward

    As the current board chair of the Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau, and a small-business owner whose lifeblood thrives on tourism, I have a very deep understanding of the importance this economic engine provides. Travel is vital, not only to the Pikes Peak region, but where I live and work in Fremont County. Running a whitewater...

  • FAGIN: "Sharing economy" made possible by the Internet

    Last weekend, Leslie and I engaged in a consensual act that involved my paying money to sleep in her bed. When it was over, we both felt satisfied. We didn't ask anybody's permission, and we shouldn't have to. We ask only that all you busybodies stay out of our private lives. I went to Boston last weekend, to spend Passover at my sister's....

  • GUEST OPINION: No regulation without representation

    It's always wise to be wary when Washington offers to do you a "favor." As with the money Washington sends our way, there's almost always strings attached or a trap door hidden somewhere. And so it is with the "favor" President Barack Obama did for states when he seeks to impose a national "Clean Power Plan" through an EPA regulatory change,...

  • GUEST COLUMN: School funding suffers from Obamacare

    Coloradans' eyes understandably pass over reports about legislators working on the annual state budget. After all, the "long bill" - so named because it spans nearly 500 pages - is a necessary but mind-numbing legislative drudgery, salted with indiscernible acronyms, and largely incomprehensible to anyone outside the state Capitol. To most...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Access to information helps parents make the best decisions for children

    You may have heard there is room for improvement when it comes to Colorado's vaccination rates, but a new law making this information available on request is an important and welcome development. House Bill 1288, passed last year, focuses on increasing transparency of immunization rate data of children in schools and child care facilities....

  • GUEST COLUMN: America's educational crisis

    April brings hope and fear to thousands of anxious teenagers. It is the month when many high school seniors receive acceptances and rejections from the colleges of their choice. But in the past decade, April has gained another distinction: It has also become the month when the public is bombarded by media stories about the difficulty of...

  • GUEST OPINION: City streets department addresses potholes, works to prevent new ones

    If you have read The Gazette's recent letters to the editor or overheard conversations at your local coffee shop, it seems as though everyone is talking about potholes. The poor conditions of our city's roadways are a major concern for us here at the City's Public Works Department as well. It's certainly not a new problem, but I would like to...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Public lands in Colorado are under attack

    As the founder and executive director of Environmental Learning for Kids, an environmental education nonprofit based in Denver, I've spent my career promoting the social value of our public lands and creating opportunities for young people to get out and explore the outdoors. National public lands are the backbone of our program; without these...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Nation can't afford another "popularity pick"

    Why Hillary? I find it troubling that Hillary Clinton is considered by many to be the presumptive favorite in the 2016 presidential election. Assuming we select individuals for that office based on significant accomplishments, demonstrated leadership, integrity, wisdom, statesmanship, etc. (the past two presidential elections not...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Salazar's bill silences meaningful conversations

    Native Americans have become the pawn in a high stakes chess match between politics and political correctness. A national spotlight will shine on Colorado's legislature as Rep. Joe Salazar's (D-Thornton) misguided bill, House Bill 15-1165, to ban Native American mascots in Colorado's public schools begins the journey toward state law. On the...

  • FAGIN: Ukraine endangered by tradition of corrupt government

    Things are a mess here in Ukraine, worse than any time since I started visiting my ancestral homeland five years ago. I had visited the Maidan a couple of years before the protests, the Crimea before the Russians took it over, and even interviewed Ukrainian high school students applying for admission at my alma mater. The situation here is very...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Family and Medical Leave Insurance is a solution for everyone

    The Gazette editorial "Paid leave mandate would kill jobs" is not only a gross mischaracterization of the reality facing low-wage workers, the piece is full of factual errors about the FAMLI Act (Family and Medical Leave Insurance) in Colorado and the movement for paid family leave across the country. Virtually all of us have a seriously ill...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Next steps for Colorado's water plan

    Last December, Coloradans got their first look at a draft of the Colorado Water Plan, which Gov. John Hickenlooper requested by executive order in May 2013. The draft plan represents the governor's proactive attempt to confront the state's growing water demands, which are compounded by climate variability, drought, multistate river compacts,...

  • Mayoral candidates' essays

    Tony Carpenter I, Tony Carpenter, have decided to run for the mayor of our beautiful city, Colorado Springs, because I have heard from the citizens that our government does not listen and I want to listen and act. I am a very hands-on person that does what I say I will do and hold others accountable for what they say they will do. I have made...

  • Teaching is hard work, but effort is worth it

    Five days a week, I load my backpack into my car and drive 25 minutes to Panorama Middle School. It's quiet when I get there, but I'm quickly greeted by the clamor of 500 students hustling to their lockers. My favorite part of the day is morning duty in the auditorium, where I sometimes feel like a celebrity, met by cries of "Miss Rodriguez,...

  • FAGIN: Rule of law at stake in King v. Burwell

    Hubris, exaggerated pride or confidence in one's actions, knows no political boundaries. Power breeds arrogance on both sides of the aisle. Last week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for a case that would have never existed but for the hubris of the left. The law is Obamacare. The case is King v. Burwell. About the only thing most...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Rallying around the Colorado Springs flag

    If one passes by at the right moment, one might catch a glimpse of a weather-worn banner waving outside a downtown Colorado Springs building; it's an obscure flag, a hexagon on a white field surrounded on three sides by Air Force blue: This is the flag of the great city of Colorado Springs. Although I was glad to see Colorado Springs mayoral...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Charitable giving

    We continue to receive good news about the economy. But one part of the story has not received the attention it deserves. That part is charitable giving. The year 2007 set a record high for contributions. But the recession brought the trend to a halt. In 2008, charitable giving experienced the largest decline in more than fifty years. But the...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Colorado legislature takes a stand for military voters

    Our country's military men and women serving overseas should have the same rights and privileges that we enjoy stateside. One of those fundamental rights is the right to vote in our republican system. A bill I'm sponsoring this year in the House of Representatives, HB 1130, ensures that military personnel serving overseas have access to ballots...

  • GUEST COLUMN: The state of Colorado's 5th Congressional District

    We stand poised to make incredible progress this year. Colorado Springs continues to rapidly expand in many areas. New defense companies are spinning off in our direction, new nonprofit organizations and churches are starting up, property groups are acquiring more land for business parks and major tourism projects, local hospitals, medical...

  • Empower patients to control health costs

    While you're reading this and sipping your morning coffee, a surgeon is cutting four holes in my abdomen. I'm lying unconscious on an operating table and paid $2,500 for the privilege. An outrage, you say? Hardly. I was happy to do it. I understand it's not fashionable nowadays for people to use their own money to pay for health care. This...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Rebranding: Positioning a conservative message for victory

    The facts are in and they are not pleasant to acknowledge or accept. Surveys, interviews and demographic trends show that the conservative message is not resonating broadly to the degree necessary for victory. Numerous groups have defected or remain unmotivated by conservatism today. Action is required! The brand has been diminished by a...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Easy access to entitlements undermines Americans' work ethic

    "Our greatest primary task is to put people to work." - Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933. Although sometimes considered the father of the American entitlement state, FDR understood that our sense of achievement and self-sufficiency comes from our work. Forty years later, another Democrat, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan likewise grasped the degrading...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Regulate marijuana candy for the kids

    As a newly sworn Republican state representative, I am surprised by strange alliances or conflicts on niche issues at the Capitol. Take the regulation of marijuana, for example. I didn't vote for Amendment 64, but it's in the State Constitution (for now), so I'll defend it until we awaken to repeal it. Yet I like this phrase: "Marijuana sold in...

  • GUEST COLUMN: Why a healthy food policy is essential

    Although we dearly love our cellphones and central air conditioning, there are actually very few things in this amazing world that we truly need to survive. These life-sustaining elements are the Great Trifecta of air, water and food. As we all know, policies ensuring the quantity and quality of our air and water are prolific, but not so well...

  • GUEST COLUMN: The CU-Boulder that might surprise you

    As I travel around Colorado talking with individuals and communities about the University of Colorado at Boulder, I always try to tell people one thing about CU-Boulder that will surprise them. As the state's flagship university, CU-Boulder is often in the news, and people generally know about our successes and shortfalls. I find, however, they...

  • FAGIN: President must admit the genie is out of the bottle

    I would rather live in a world where terrorists could kill my children than a world that thinks ignoring math will save them. Last month, President Barack Obama came out in favor of law enforcement having access to encrypted communications in smartphones, instant messaging applications and other digital communication devices. This awful idea...

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