<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - opinion]]> http://gazette.com/rss/opinion Sat, 18 Apr 2015 13:21:18 -0600 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[Let council members tour city departments]]> By name newspaper - http://gazette.com/let-council-members-tour-city-departments/article/1549897?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/let-council-members-tour-city-departments/article/1549897?custom_click=rss

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 job. Should serving in an elected office be any different?

With the April 7 municipal elections behind us, our new City Council members will be sworn in on Tuesday in the historic Colorado Springs City Auditorium.

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]]> 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 job. Should serving in an elected office be any different?

With the April 7 municipal elections behind us, our new City Council members will be sworn in on Tuesday in the historic Colorado Springs City Auditorium.]]> Sat, 18 Apr 2015 04:15:07 -0600 <![CDATA[LETTERS:]]> Letters http://gazette.com/letters/article/1549896?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/letters/article/1549896?custom_click=rss

Genuinely see the homeless

When I read about the "It's OK to Say No" anti-panhandling campaign, my first response was to weep. I agree with the compassionate goal to shift money to nonprofits and decrease problems caused by giving money. However, I thought of a man who'd muttered his request for money to me, and then couldn't look up, his face filled with shame. The implication that panhandlers will become increasingly physically aggressive, like wild animals exposed to human food, is disturbing and dehumanizing. Some panhandlers may be aggressive, but this is true of segments of any population.

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]]> Genuinely see the homeless

When I read about the "It's OK to Say No" anti-panhandling campaign, my first response was to weep. I agree with the compassionate goal to shift money to nonprofits and decrease problems caused by giving money. However, I thought of a man who'd muttered his request for money to me, and then couldn't look up, his face filled with shame. The implication that panhandlers will become increasingly physically aggressive, like wild animals exposed to human food, is disturbing and dehumanizing. Some panhandlers may be aggressive, but this is true of segments of any population.]]> Sat, 18 Apr 2015 04:15:04 -0600 <![CDATA[EDITORIAL: Advance from fast food to earn a better wage]]> The Gazette editorial http://gazette.com/editorial-advance-from-fast-food-to-earn-a-better-wage/article/1549783?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/editorial-advance-from-fast-food-to-earn-a-better-wage/article/1549783?custom_click=rss

Fast food workers rallied throughout the country Wednesday to demand wages of $15 an hour - more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25. A demand for tax breaks would have make more sense.

Reporters interviewed wage protesters and relayed the hardships endured by Americans cooking and serving cheap food in return for meager pay.

"It's hard to provide for my daughters with $8.75 (an hour)," said Jumal Tarver, a 36-year-old McDonald's worker in Manhattan, N.Y.

Of course it is difficult to live on $8.75 an hour in 2015. It is natural to sympathize with anyone trying to do so. But waiving a magic wand to roughly double fast food wages would come at a high cost to society.



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]]>
Fast food workers rallied throughout the country Wednesday to demand wages of $15 an hour - more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25. A demand for tax breaks would have make more sense.

Reporters interviewed wage protesters and relayed the hardships endured by Americans cooking and serving cheap food in return for meager pay.

"It's hard to provide for my daughters with $8.75 (an hour)," said Jumal Tarver, a 36-year-old McDonald's worker in Manhattan, N.Y.

Of course it is difficult to live on $8.75 an hour in 2015. It is natural to sympathize with anyone trying to do so. But waiving a magic wand to roughly double fast food wages would come at a high cost to society.

]]>
Fri, 17 Apr 2015 17:50:48 -0600
<![CDATA[LETTERS: Response from local police; opposition to new stables]]> Letters http://gazette.com/letters-response-from-local-police-opposition-to-new-stables/article/1549852?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/letters-response-from-local-police-opposition-to-new-stables/article/1549852?custom_click=rss

Response from local police force

It seems our local police force has moved from the everyday donut shop to the high end Starbucks. I took this photo on my way to 24 hour fitness April 2, 2:24 p.m. I counted five police cars and one community service car at the Starbucks located on North Academy. A couple of police officers were sitting outside on the patio enjoying their refreshments. It was quite evident that they were not responding to an incident. I realize they are entitled to a break, but why is it when you need a police officer to respond to a local theft or vandalism, you have to wait two or three hours.

This event brings me back to several months ago when we had vandals break the windows of our church.

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]]> Response from local police force

It seems our local police force has moved from the everyday donut shop to the high end Starbucks. I took this photo on my way to 24 hour fitness April 2, 2:24 p.m. I counted five police cars and one community service car at the Starbucks located on North Academy. A couple of police officers were sitting outside on the patio enjoying their refreshments. It was quite evident that they were not responding to an incident. I realize they are entitled to a break, but why is it when you need a police officer to respond to a local theft or vandalism, you have to wait two or three hours.

This event brings me back to several months ago when we had vandals break the windows of our church.]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 04:26:13 -0600 <![CDATA[GUEST COLUMN: Tax Freedom Day getting farther away]]> Andy Koenig http://gazette.com/guest-column-tax-freedom-day-getting-farther-away/article/1549846?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/guest-column-tax-freedom-day-getting-farther-away/article/1549846?custom_click=rss

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 nothing worth celebrating when it comes to Colorado's and America's tax burden. It takes you more than 110 days this year before the money you earn is truly yours. That's roughly a third of your income every year that never makes it into your pocket. In fact, you're likely spending more on taxes than you will on food, clothing, and housing - combined.

It could be worse. It could also

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]]> 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 nothing worth celebrating when it comes to Colorado's and America's tax burden. It takes you more than 110 days this year before the money you earn is truly yours. That's roughly a third of your income every year that never makes it into your pocket. In fact, you're likely spending more on taxes than you will on food, clothing, and housing - combined.

It could be worse. It could also]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 04:25:34 -0600 <![CDATA[Civil justice system is making progress]]> Rebecca Love Kourlis http://gazette.com/civil-justice-system-is-making-progress/article/1549782?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/civil-justice-system-is-making-progress/article/1549782?custom_click=rss

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 - often with little attention to the facts or the law, but rather on the basis of who blinks first. The parties who can afford it often escape into alternative dispute resolution systems where they can control the pace and, to some extent, the process. The civil jury trial is all but gone, and the development of appellate case law arising out of trial court decisions in civil cases is waning.

Read more on Colorado Springs Gazette


]]> 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 - often with little attention to the facts or the law, but rather on the basis of who blinks first. The parties who can afford it often escape into alternative dispute resolution systems where they can control the pace and, to some extent, the process. The civil jury trial is all but gone, and the development of appellate case law arising out of trial court decisions in civil cases is waning.]]> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 04:10:06 -0600 <![CDATA[LETTERS: Youth needs to get in the game; go back to the table]]> Letters http://gazette.com/letters-youth-needs-to-get-in-the-game-go-back-to-the-table/article/1549721?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/letters-youth-needs-to-get-in-the-game-go-back-to-the-table/article/1549721?custom_click=rss

Young people need to get in game

In response to last week's article on the younger generation not voting in the city elections: I wonder how many of the younger population have a subscription to the newspaper or read the newspaper? They have so much access to other types of media.

Politics is a dirty ballgame. The older generation sees voting as an obligation, a civic duty, a responsibility. Maybe the younger generation is too self-absorbed and instead of "We the People" it has become "I the Selfie". Or could be, the younger generation is just disillusioned with politics because they have seen so many politicians promise things and never follow through.

Read more on Colorado Springs Gazette


]]> Young people need to get in game

In response to last week's article on the younger generation not voting in the city elections: I wonder how many of the younger population have a subscription to the newspaper or read the newspaper? They have so much access to other types of media.

Politics is a dirty ballgame. The older generation sees voting as an obligation, a civic duty, a responsibility. Maybe the younger generation is too self-absorbed and instead of "We the People" it has become "I the Selfie". Or could be, the younger generation is just disillusioned with politics because they have seen so many politicians promise things and never follow through.]]> Wed, 15 Apr 2015 04:10:19 -0600 <![CDATA[EDITORIAL: Group harms gun rights]]> The gazette editorial http://gazette.com/editorial-group-harms-gun-rights/article/1549663?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/editorial-group-harms-gun-rights/article/1549663?custom_click=rss

Forget Michael Bloomberg, Gov. John Hickenlooper and legislative Democrats for now. The bigger threat to gun rights in Colorado is Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, headed by political operative Dudley Brown.

The organization raises money billing itself as more pro-gun than the NRA. It is notorious for launching primary challenges against pro-gun conservatives, replacing them with ineffective activists who reject incremental victories and the art of compromise. The organization clings to unattainable aspirations of all-or-nothing victories. It is the group that nearly sabotaged the recall against former Senate President John Morse, architect of three gun laws Democrats enacted in 2013 at a high political price.



Read more on Colorado Springs Gazette


]]>
Forget Michael Bloomberg, Gov. John Hickenlooper and legislative Democrats for now. The bigger threat to gun rights in Colorado is Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, headed by political operative Dudley Brown.

The organization raises money billing itself as more pro-gun than the NRA. It is notorious for launching primary challenges against pro-gun conservatives, replacing them with ineffective activists who reject incremental victories and the art of compromise. The organization clings to unattainable aspirations of all-or-nothing victories. It is the group that nearly sabotaged the recall against former Senate President John Morse, architect of three gun laws Democrats enacted in 2013 at a high political price.

]]>
Tue, 14 Apr 2015 13:17:41 -0600
<![CDATA[GUEST COLUMN: Let vets take charge of their health care]]> Paul Prentice http://gazette.com/guest-column-let-vets-take-charge-of-their-health-care/article/1549664?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/guest-column-let-vets-take-charge-of-their-health-care/article/1549664?custom_click=rss

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 for qualified veterans, and rightfully so. Yet must that be provided by a government monopoly?

Imagine if the original GI Bill that provided educational benefits to WWII veterans, could only be used at a government-owned and operated college built exclusively for veterans. Rather, veterans had access to what was essentially a privatized subsidy system, wherein they were provided a tuition



Read more on Colorado Springs Gazette


]]>
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 for qualified veterans, and rightfully so. Yet must that be provided by a government monopoly?

Imagine if the original GI Bill that provided educational benefits to WWII veterans, could only be used at a government-owned and operated college built exclusively for veterans. Rather, veterans had access to what was essentially a privatized subsidy system, wherein they were provided a tuition

]]>
Tue, 14 Apr 2015 12:38:33 -0600
<![CDATA[LETTERS: Younger city council; the easy way out]]> Letters http://gazette.com/letters-younger-city-council-the-easy-way-out/article/1549657?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/letters-younger-city-council-the-easy-way-out/article/1549657?custom_click=rss Creative minds, creaky joints

What's this community coming to? One group says, "why are we electing only old white guys." Another group wonders why, "the young guys don't quit complaining and start working to help make this a better place to live."

Colorado Springs is made up of a broad base of young people and an equal number of more mature and retired people - men and women. Its going to take people in every category to tackle the tasks that lie ahead.

Some say "because of a only modest remuneration for serving on council; only those with the right employment status can take so much time away from the supporting of a family. Old retired people are more likely to have the time and resources to tackle such an endeavor.

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]]> Creative minds, creaky joints

What's this community coming to? One group says, "why are we electing only old white guys." Another group wonders why, "the young guys don't quit complaining and start working to help make this a better place to live."

Colorado Springs is made up of a broad base of young people and an equal number of more mature and retired people - men and women. Its going to take people in every category to tackle the tasks that lie ahead.

Some say "because of a only modest remuneration for serving on council; only those with the right employment status can take so much time away from the supporting of a family. Old retired people are more likely to have the time and resources to tackle such an endeavor.]]> Tue, 14 Apr 2015 04:10:17 -0600 <![CDATA[Fox and Friends: 'Clearing The Haze' interview with Gazette Editorial Page Editor Wayne Laugesen]]> The Gazette http://gazette.com/fox-and-friends-clearing-the-haze-interview-with-gazette-editorial-page-editor-wayne-laugesen/article/1549600?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/fox-and-friends-clearing-the-haze-interview-with-gazette-editorial-page-editor-wayne-laugesen/article/1549600?custom_click=rss

Gazette Editorial Page Editor Wayne Laugesen discussed The Gazette's "Clearing The Haze" series on Fox News Channel Monday.

Here is a replay of Laugesen's apperance.

For the series, click here.



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]]>
Gazette Editorial Page Editor Wayne Laugesen discussed The Gazette's "Clearing The Haze" series on Fox News Channel Monday.

Here is a replay of Laugesen's apperance.

For the series, click here.

]]>
Mon, 13 Apr 2015 12:51:41 -0600
<![CDATA[GUEST OPINION: A question for mayoral candidates]]> Gregory Olinyk http://gazette.com/guest-opinion-a-question-for-mayoral-candidates/article/1549593?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/guest-opinion-a-question-for-mayoral-candidates/article/1549593?custom_click=rss

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 that fact that the current criteria for a council seat to run this multibillion dollar city operation is free time & independent income.

Our council is being asked to work 40-50 hours per week to govern a $250 million city budget plus a debt-ridden, $1.08 billion dollar, Colorado Springs Utilities operation.

Read more on Colorado Springs Gazette


]]> 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 that fact that the current criteria for a council seat to run this multibillion dollar city operation is free time & independent income.

Our council is being asked to work 40-50 hours per week to govern a $250 million city budget plus a debt-ridden, $1.08 billion dollar, Colorado Springs Utilities operation.]]> Mon, 13 Apr 2015 04:11:31 -0600 <![CDATA[LETTERS: News spun to the left; programs such as this]]> Letters http://gazette.com/letters-news-spun-to-the-left-programs-such-as-this/article/1549592?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/letters-news-spun-to-the-left-programs-such-as-this/article/1549592?custom_click=rss News spun to the left

So surprising, when I go into my Hotmail account, that email from folks such as Ben Carson, Rick Santorum, anything tea party or patriotic related, anything conservative or Republican in other words, ends up in my "junk" mailbox. but never anything on that opposite side; you know the left, those folks who want to protect your right to knowledge (not!). And when I exit my email, I'm taken to their MSN.com site where there are such important headlines as, "7-Eleven bring your own cup day", "Hollywood's hottest redheads", "8 awesome thrift store items people often miss", "9 things you never knew about pasta", "Why I wear the same thing to work every day", "These photos of babies underwater will leave you

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]]> News spun to the left

So surprising, when I go into my Hotmail account, that email from folks such as Ben Carson, Rick Santorum, anything tea party or patriotic related, anything conservative or Republican in other words, ends up in my "junk" mailbox. but never anything on that opposite side; you know the left, those folks who want to protect your right to knowledge (not!). And when I exit my email, I'm taken to their MSN.com site where there are such important headlines as, "7-Eleven bring your own cup day", "Hollywood's hottest redheads", "8 awesome thrift store items people often miss", "9 things you never knew about pasta", "Why I wear the same thing to work every day", "These photos of babies underwater will leave you]]> Mon, 13 Apr 2015 04:11:30 -0600 <![CDATA[EDITORIAL: To fix marijuana problems, start by stopping explosions]]> The Gazette editorial http://gazette.com/editorial-to-fix-marijuana-problems-start-by-stopping-explosions/article/1549539?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/editorial-to-fix-marijuana-problems-start-by-stopping-explosions/article/1549539?custom_click=rss

Among the unintended consequences of Amendment 64 - the law that legalized production, sale, use and distribution of commercialized recreational pot - is the matter of homes burning and exploding because of hash oil production. Since legalization began, law enforcement has seen a tripling of hash-oil related structure fires and explosions.

The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area reports 30 people were injured last year in 32 explosions involving hash oil production. It's a dangerous dilemma that seriously undermines well-intentioned beliefs that legalization would enhance public safety.

On this topic, people who favor and oppose legalization should agree: Hash oil explosions must stop.



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]]>
Among the unintended consequences of Amendment 64 - the law that legalized production, sale, use and distribution of commercialized recreational pot - is the matter of homes burning and exploding because of hash oil production. Since legalization began, law enforcement has seen a tripling of hash-oil related structure fires and explosions.

The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area reports 30 people were injured last year in 32 explosions involving hash oil production. It's a dangerous dilemma that seriously undermines well-intentioned beliefs that legalization would enhance public safety.

On this topic, people who favor and oppose legalization should agree: Hash oil explosions must stop.

]]>
Sun, 12 Apr 2015 08:27:50 -0600
<![CDATA[GUEST COLUMN: Federal power over public land should be restored to the people]]> Ken Buck http://gazette.com/guest-column-federal-power-over-public-land-should-be-restored-to-the-people/article/1549537?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/guest-column-federal-power-over-public-land-should-be-restored-to-the-people/article/1549537?custom_click=rss

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 ungoverned area to loot and destroy natural and man-made treasures. It was necessary for Congress to yield power to the president so that he could quickly protect federal interests.

Congress has failed to revise the archaic laws that remain on the books designed to deal with issues from a bygone era. The Antiquities Act of 1906 is a prime example.

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]]> 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 ungoverned area to loot and destroy natural and man-made treasures. It was necessary for Congress to yield power to the president so that he could quickly protect federal interests.

Congress has failed to revise the archaic laws that remain on the books designed to deal with issues from a bygone era. The Antiquities Act of 1906 is a prime example.]]> Sun, 12 Apr 2015 04:20:31 -0600