<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - opinion]]> http://gazette.com/rss/opinion Sat, 27 May 2017 00:14:43 -0600 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[GUEST COLUMN: Chairman Ajit Pai is draining the FCC swamp]]> http://gazette.com/guest-column-chairman-ajit-pai-is-draining-the-fcc-swamp/article/1603921?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/guest-column-chairman-ajit-pai-is-draining-the-fcc-swamp/article/1603921?custom_click=rss

If you're wondering where the Washington, D.C., swamp is being drained as promised, look no further than the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and intrepid new Chairman Ajit Pai.

For eight long years, the Obama administration circumvented our deliberative democratic process to impose laws via administrative fiat and his infamous "pen and phone."

And no agency illustrated that malfeasance more than the FCC, where former Chairman Tom Wheeler rammed through partisan policies and midnight regulations of dubious legality, often suffering the wrath of an unamused judicial branch for its shenanigans.



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Fri, 26 May 2017 09:47:40 -0600
<![CDATA[COLUMN: Public pipeline maps are a bad idea]]> http://gazette.com/column-public-pipeline-maps-are-a-bad-idea/article/1603920?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/column-public-pipeline-maps-are-a-bad-idea/article/1603920?custom_click=rss

A 30-inch natural gas pipeline exploded in the Crestmoor neighborhood of San Bruno, Calif., on September 9, 2010.

The explosion killed eight people and destroyed or damaged more than 38 homes. The pipeline, built in 1954, was found to be defective because of poor construction and faulty welds.

A single-family home exploded in Firestone on April 17, after natural gas leaked into the basement from a nearby gas well flow line that had not been shut off and properly capped. The explosion killed two and severely injured another. Fault has not been fully assessed, but it appears the gas company and subdivision developer may be jointly responsible.

At play are two issues. The first is construction safety standards for new



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Fri, 26 May 2017 09:45:06 -0600
<![CDATA[GUEST COLUMN: Colorado legislators found creative ways to notch wins]]> http://gazette.com/guest-column-colorado-legislators-found-creative-ways-to-notch-wins/article/1603845?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/guest-column-colorado-legislators-found-creative-ways-to-notch-wins/article/1603845?custom_click=rss My takeaway, looking back on the first half of the 71st meeting of the Colorado General Assembly, is that a political deadlock doesn't have to mean gridlock if lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are given the freedom to lead, to improvise and to collaborate on creative solutions.

Although the Republican-controlled Senate and Democrat-controlled House hit no grand slams during the session, we also didn't strike out on the goals we set for ourselves on opening day. Our successes came as a result of singles, doubles and the occasional triple - and a willingness to keep slugging on causes that at times seemed lost.

The people of Colorado came away with a win as a result.



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Fri, 26 May 2017 09:43:14 -0600
<![CDATA[GUEST COLUMN: Let's not let vaping addict another generation]]> http://gazette.com/guest-column-lets-not-let-vaping-addict-another-generation/article/1603757?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/guest-column-lets-not-let-vaping-addict-another-generation/article/1603757?custom_click=rss

The use of e-cigarettes - or vaping - is skyrocketing in Colorado despite a lack of public information about the ingredients in these products or their effect on people's health. With so little evidence available, consumers should hold off on vaping until more is known.

But people are not holding off. Widespread marketing to young people - and the unproven notion that e-cigarettes are not harmful - has led to increasing sales. More young people are now vaping than smoking.

According to the 2015 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, cigarette smoking among high school students reached an all-time low of 8.6 percent, while e-cigarette use climbed to 26 percent. The proportion of adults in Colorado who have ever used e-cigarettes



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Fri, 26 May 2017 09:35:45 -0600
<![CDATA[EDITORIAL: Activists target 'Big Wind' in war against energy]]> http://gazette.com/editorial-activists-target-big-wind-in-war-against-energy/article/1603847?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/editorial-activists-target-big-wind-in-war-against-energy/article/1603847?custom_click=rss

A Washington headline Wednesday asks "Is 'Big Wind' making people sick?"

"Everyone would be well served if Colorado led the way on the study of health impacts of commercial scale wind projects," the article states, explaining Colorado's aggressive embrace of wind turbines.

We know only this: The war on energy will not end. No new form of power goes unpunished. When new energy succeeds, it becomes a big new target.

That's why they say "big wind," as activists tilt at windmills.

Early in their crusade against crude and coal, environmentalists demanded more natural gas. Few document this history better than Boulder Weekly editor and environmental author Joel Dyer, who opposes natural gas.



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Thu, 25 May 2017 18:42:48 -0600
<![CDATA[LETTERS: Justice doesn't end at cell door; Dobson's influence still felt]]> http://gazette.com/letters-justice-doesnt-end-at-cell-door-dobsons-influence-still-felt/article/1603846?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/letters-justice-doesnt-end-at-cell-door-dobsons-influence-still-felt/article/1603846?custom_click=rss

Justice doesn't end at cell door

Thank God for the writing of The Gazette. Their front page expose, "Jail care provider under fire," Sunday, May 21, made me proud to live in Colorado.

One of the benefits of journalism, to the people, is that the writing can expose injustice to the light. Justice is served to the public, when people are incarcerated, but the responsibility to their fellow human beings, by our justice system, does not end there. The welfare of those behind bars, now becomes, for those who work in the Corrections system, their utmost responsibility. Just because a person is labeled a 'criminal', does not make them devoid in their need for humane treatment, or compassionate care.



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Thu, 25 May 2017 09:05:13 -0600
<![CDATA[LETTERS: Offensive theater production at Colorado Springs school; founders rolling in their graves]]> http://gazette.com/letters-offensive-theater-production-at-colorado-springs-school-founders-rolling-in-their-graves/article/1603671?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/letters-offensive-theater-production-at-colorado-springs-school-founders-rolling-in-their-graves/article/1603671?custom_click=rss

Cyberschool experience exceptional

Over the four years that I have been a student at Colorado Connections Academy, I have had a variety of teachers in a variety of classes. Most of my teachers have been here in Colorado, but I have also been lucky to have had a few from out of state. The one thing that they all have in common is that they all genuinely care for their students.

From answering webmails quickly, to returning phone calls, to encouraging comments on assignment feedbacks, I have felt that they are invested in not only me, but my academic career. Thanks for always answering my questions, explaining things I didn't always understand and being my champions. My teachers all have a great sense of humor. I have seen



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Wed, 24 May 2017 12:29:39 -0600
<![CDATA[EDITORIAL: Winning in politics, one base hit at a time]]> http://gazette.com/editorial-winning-in-politics-one-base-hit-at-a-time/article/1603758?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/editorial-winning-in-politics-one-base-hit-at-a-time/article/1603758?custom_click=rss

Pessimists on the right and left decry Colorado's 2017 legislative session as a loser. Neither team scored home runs.

To optimists and realists, the endgame looks pretty good.

In the not-so-distant past, divided governments achieved positive outcomes. Each party was humble to the cumulative value of minor progress in pursuit of long-term gain.

For this reason, Democratic President Bill Clinton and Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich compromised to balance the budget and pass welfare reform. Republican President Ronald Reagan and Democratic House Speaker Tip O'Neill achieved bipartisan outcomes by rationally accepting partial victories. Democrats won innings, Republicans won innings, and the crowd was served.



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Wed, 24 May 2017 06:39:18 -0600
<![CDATA[LETTERS: Alternative DUI patrols; news media has changed]]> http://gazette.com/letters-alternative-dui-patrols-news-media-has-changed/article/1603759?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/letters-alternative-dui-patrols-news-media-has-changed/article/1603759?custom_click=rss

Alternative DUI patrols effective

It's estimated that about 40 million people will be traveling this Memorial Day weekend to reach their vacation destinations or backyard barbecues - the highest number of travelers in 12 years. But congested highways won't be the only thing aggravating drivers. Police across the country will once again be relying on sobriety checkpoints to catch drunken drivers.

While we all want drunks off the road, checkpoints are ineffective and a poor use of traffic safety resources. For example, a sobriety checkpoint in California this month stopped over 1,500 drivers, but only made one DUI arrest. And another in Ohio caught zero. These low success rates are unfortunately a common occurrence across the



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Wed, 24 May 2017 06:20:41 -0600
<![CDATA[EDITORIAL: Pot demonstrators lose right to party]]> http://gazette.com/editorial-pot-demonstrators-lose-right-to-party/article/1603672?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/editorial-pot-demonstrators-lose-right-to-party/article/1603672?custom_click=rss

Goodbye and good riddance to the annual 4-20 pot party in downtown Denver. City and county officials shut it down for at least the next three years, showing authorities throughout the country they need not tolerate mass displays of mayhem wrapped in the First Amendment.

This year's pot party, as in the past, was a disgrace. Eight food vendors operated without licenses. A mob broke down a fence and laughed about it. Activists parked cars on sidewalks. Grown men urinated on trees. Noise forced nearby offices to close. A cloud of marijuana smoke wafted through downtown for all to inhale.

"We have courtrooms that can't even work because you can't hear the parties," said Denver District Court administrator Kelly Boe, as quoted in

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]]> Tue, 23 May 2017 04:05:07 -0600 <![CDATA[GUEST COLUMN: Monitoring for invisible dangers]]> http://gazette.com/guest-column-monitoring-for-invisible-dangers/article/1603604?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/guest-column-monitoring-for-invisible-dangers/article/1603604?custom_click=rss

As communities across the country work to cut their emissions and ensure they are safe from environmental accidents, accurate testing of our air quality becomes critically important. That's where my team comes in: we use our single-engine Mooney aircraft to measure air samples and test for greenhouse gases. In a catastrophic event like the Aliso Canyon methane leak or the BP oil spill, small aircraft become indispensable to a rapid response.

Government agencies, scientists, and nonprofit organizations contract us to fly over oil and gas fields analyzing air samples for greenhouse gases and atmospheric data. I've done projects over the Julesburg Basin in Colorado, the Barnett Basin and Eagle Ford in Texas, even the Bakken Fields in



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Mon, 22 May 2017 07:46:24 -0600
<![CDATA[GUEST COLUMN: In support of transparency and due process]]> http://gazette.com/guest-column-in-support-of-transparency-and-due-process/article/1603504?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/guest-column-in-support-of-transparency-and-due-process/article/1603504?custom_click=rss

A strong bipartisan majority of Colorado legislators came together during the 2017 legislative session to pass HB 1313 - Civil Forfeiture Reform.

The bill, which adds necessary transparency and due process protections to the asset forfeiture practices of Colorado law enforcement, passed out of both chambers by a combined 81-19 vote and is awaiting signature by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

As two of the bill's prime sponsors, Sen. Tim Neville (R-Littleton) and I support HB 1313 and urge the governor to respect the will of more than three-fourths of the Legislature by signing it into law.



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Mon, 22 May 2017 07:45:05 -0600
<![CDATA[GUEST COLUMN: Raising awareness on mental health needs]]> http://gazette.com/guest-column-raising-awareness-on-mental-health-needs/article/1603505?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/guest-column-raising-awareness-on-mental-health-needs/article/1603505?custom_click=rss

May is Mental Health Awareness Month across our country. Believe it or not, one in four Americans experiences a diagnosable mental illness each year. That's someone in your office, your neighborhood, and, perhaps, your family. While we have come a long way to ensure that those 25 percent have accessible care, much still stands to be gained . and much could easily be lost if we do not continue to stand up for ourselves, our neighbors and our friends and family members.

Right now, our national lawmakers are deliberating on legislation and considering amendments that could alter the health care landscape. Regardless of the outcome of the American Health Care Act Bill, or future iterations, access to affordable mental health care



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Mon, 22 May 2017 07:43:53 -0600
<![CDATA[Addressing income inequality]]> http://gazette.com/addressing-income-inequality/article/1603606?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/addressing-income-inequality/article/1603606?custom_click=rss Melissa Marts

Guest opinion

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The Women's Resource Agency has been empowering women and teen girls to self-sufficiency and economic independence since 1977 and it is just as true today as it was in the late 70's that women, especially single moms, are in need of support to find employment that pays the way.

We serve over 1,100 women annually through our Citadel Mall boutique and offices and find that the majority of our women, although grateful for work, are sadly getting paid between $9-$13/hour.

For a single parent with a preschooler and school age child, The Colorado Center on Law and Policy says the self-sufficiency wages for El Paso County is $51,699 ($24.80/hr).

We see the problem of low pay and

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]]> Mon, 22 May 2017 04:05:07 -0600 <![CDATA[Clarifications on quarry issues]]> http://gazette.com/clarifications-on-quarry-issues/article/1603605?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/clarifications-on-quarry-issues/article/1603605?custom_click=rss Thomas Fellows

Guest opinion

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Scott Weiser ("Quarry battle reveals resident's hypocrisy") has a weak understanding of facts, property rights and hypocrisy.

Property rights are not absolute. They are subject to regulatory approval by various levels of government, in this case the state of Colorado and eventually El Paso County. Until approvals are received, there are no rights to mine gravel.

If a heavy industrial user wishes to locate in an established residential neighborhood, residents are entitled and even encouraged to express their concerns and objections. Southwest Highway 115 is such a residential neighborhood, albeit a rural residential neighborhood.

Weiser states that the State Land Board

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