<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - opinion]]> http://gazette.com/rss/opinion Mon, 16 Jan 2017 23:50:30 -0700 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[State's mental health system must improve]]> http://gazette.com/states-mental-health-system-must-improve/article/1594399?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/states-mental-health-system-must-improve/article/1594399?custom_click=rss

What can we agree on?

That's a question worth asking, as a new herd of lawmakers gather in Denver and Washington. Last year's elections probably convinced many Americans that the answer is "almost nothing at all."

Not so fast.

While the presidential race proved to be one of the most divisive in recent memory, a few signs of consensus emerged in Colorado. The subject: Mental health.

In August, our nonpartisan organization asked every candidate for the Colorado General Assembly where they stood on the prevention and treatment of mental health and substance use disorders. Nearly 50 percent of the candidates - a mix of Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Independents - responded.

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Mon, 16 Jan 2017 12:28:59 -0700
<![CDATA[EDITORIAL: Only Trump can end Russia controversy]]> http://gazette.com/editorial-only-trump-can-end-russia-controversy/article/1594336?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/editorial-only-trump-can-end-russia-controversy/article/1594336?custom_click=rss

President-elect Donald Trump was correct to criticize the website BuzzFeed for violating journalistic standards in publishing an unverified, salacious and at times provably false memo. But he goes further and seems to chastise anyone who asks about his views of, or ties to, Russia.

While some charges against Trump relating to Russia have been proven bogus, others are plausible enough to have piqued the interest of intelligence agencies, law enforcement and Republican senators. Trump and his team cannot wave all questions away as "speculation" and "unverifiable." Those are the arguments of a defendant in a court of law, and they do not remove the cloud of suspicion in the court of public opinion.

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Mon, 16 Jan 2017 07:40:03 -0700
<![CDATA[LETTERS: King's message still relevant; a lot of traffic issues]]> http://gazette.com/letters-kings-message-still-relevant-a-lot-of-traffic-issues/article/1594454?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/letters-kings-message-still-relevant-a-lot-of-traffic-issues/article/1594454?custom_click=rss

King's message still relevant

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference was organized in 1957 by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to bring a coordinated effort to a growing civil rights movement. The organization now consists of chapters and affiliates in the United States and world, including South Africa and Haiti.

On Dec. 10, 1964, in Oslo, Sweden, Dr. King accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of a movement that recognized nonviolence as the answer to the political and moral questions of our time - mainly the need to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression.


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]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 04:05:04 -0700 <![CDATA[EDITORIAL: Black Americans take culture to higher ground]]> http://gazette.com/editorial-black-americans-take-culture-to-higher-ground/article/1594407?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/editorial-black-americans-take-culture-to-higher-ground/article/1594407?custom_click=rss

Anyone hoping to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture during this week's inauguration in Washington may be disappointed.

The newest of the Smithsonian family of museums opened on the federal mall in September. It is such a hit, day-of tickets sell out within minutes of going on sale at 6:30 a.m. each day. Those who aren't among the lucky few can get in line Feb. 1 to buy passes - for May.

Nearly 1 million visitors have toured the museum in its first three months, and there's a reason for it. African-Americans have had a profound influence, in every facet of life, on what the United States has become.

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Sun, 15 Jan 2017 11:11:39 -0700
<![CDATA[GUEST COLUMN: Opportunity to shed small town label]]> http://gazette.com/guest-column-opportunity-to-shed-small-town-label/article/1594398?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/guest-column-opportunity-to-shed-small-town-label/article/1594398?custom_click=rss

I am writing regarding your report about Colorado Springs Utilities' abuse of a "whistleblower," attorney Leslie Weise ("Monument attorney facing jail in Drake emissions dispute to learn fate next month": Jan. 6, 2017).

For the past two years, Weise has been fighting to obtain air quality records about Colorado Springs Utilities' Martin Drake coal plant located on the edge of downtown. At virtually every turn, she has been stonewalled or outright refused data about a deadly cloud of literally tons of sulfur, mercury, arsenic and lead that is being breathed by all of us.

This is the same utility and City Council that made a "venture capital investment" on a questionable "new" air scrubbing technology that was supposed to cost

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]]> Sun, 15 Jan 2017 04:05:04 -0700 <![CDATA[GUEST COLUMN: New energy committee: Which way will Democrats go?]]> http://gazette.com/guest-column-new-energy-committee-which-way-will-democrats-go/article/1594255?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/guest-column-new-energy-committee-which-way-will-democrats-go/article/1594255?custom_click=rss

Energy policy and environmental regulation have been hot topics in Colorado politics for a long time. But as the Colorado state Legislature reconvenes this week, there's a new twist: A special committee devoted to energy and environmental issues in the Republican-run Senate.

The new committee turns the tables on Democrats, because they proposed the same idea just weeks before Election Day. Back then, Democrats expected to win full control of the state Legislature with the help of California billionaire Tom Steyer. Hillary Clinton was expected to win the White House.

The new committee would have pushed the anti-fossil fuel agenda of Steyer, Clinton and the outgoing Obama administration. But Clinton lost and the GOP maintained

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Fri, 13 Jan 2017 10:54:16 -0700
<![CDATA[EDITORIAL: Rep. Doug Lamborn takes on hateful painting in Congress]]> http://gazette.com/editorial-rep.-doug-lamborn-takes-on-hateful-painting-in-congress/article/1594256?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/editorial-rep.-doug-lamborn-takes-on-hateful-painting-in-congress/article/1594256?custom_click=rss

Americans have the right to portray police officers as "pigs." The First Amendment prohibits government from infringing on freedom of expression.

Taking full advantage of his right, a recent graduate of the prestigious Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School in St. Louis portrayed cops as swine in a painting of the Ferguson, Mo., unrest. The young man entered his painting in a congressional high school art contest, and the painting was selected among others for display on the walls of tunnels that connect the U.S. Capitol with congressional office buildings.

U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, found himself in the national spotlight this week as one of at least three Republicans who removed the painting from the wall

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Fri, 13 Jan 2017 09:22:36 -0700
<![CDATA[GUEST COLUMN: Betsy DeVos wrong for public education]]> http://gazette.com/guest-column-betsy-devos-wrong-for-public-education/article/1594105?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/guest-column-betsy-devos-wrong-for-public-education/article/1594105?custom_click=rss

When The Gazette called me out by name in their editorial endorsing Donald Trump's choice for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, I felt obliged to respond and explain why DeVos would be an unmitigated disaster for the future of public education.

Betsy DeVos has a vision for education filled with dangerous ideas. DeVos, who never attended a public school, claims to be in favor of school choice - giving parents the ability to choose a good school for their kids. However, in the quest for school choice, Colorado districts divert essential public tax dollars away from neighborhood schools, and also create a school system that is market-based and not in tune with the needs of students.

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Thu, 12 Jan 2017 09:56:30 -0700
<![CDATA[EDITORIAL: Governor backs off 'clean power' order]]> http://gazette.com/editorial-governor-backs-off-clean-power-order/article/1594204?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/editorial-governor-backs-off-clean-power-order/article/1594204?custom_click=rss

Coloradans who struggle to pay bills received good news Wednesday, when Gov. John Hickenlooper officially abandoned his plan to impose higher “clean power” mandates by executive order.
“I think the response — the pushback — from the executive order was so intense that the potential benefits were outweighed by the collateral damage,” Hickenlooper told reporters Tuesday night, in advance of the Colorado Legislature’s 2017 opening day.
Hickenlooper’s talk of higher energy standards by fiat came in August, six months after the Supreme Court of the United States put President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan on hold. The court, days before Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, ruled the plan posed “irreparable harm”

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Thu, 12 Jan 2017 08:25:55 -0700
<![CDATA[EDITORIAL: Legislature must fix transportation]]> http://gazette.com/editorial-legislature-must-fix-transportation/article/1594106?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/editorial-legislature-must-fix-transportation/article/1594106?custom_click=rss

The Colorado Legislature convenes Wednesday for its 2017 session, meaning the public will get racy news about the Hospital Provider Fee, the Construction Defects Law and something called "The Trump Effect."

As usual, legislators will balance environmental protection against the economic need to continue mining oil, gas and coal.

Early rumblings indicate legislators from both parties are ready to make transportation their top priority. Let's hope it is true.

For much of the past decade, the Legislature, Gov. John Hickenlooper and the Colorado Department of Transportation have allowed roads and bridges to deteriorate as population growth stresses the capacity of Interstate 25 and other major highways.

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Wed, 11 Jan 2017 09:36:08 -0700
<![CDATA[LETTERS: Bring on football and MMA; new salaries for commissioners]]> http://gazette.com/letters-bring-on-football-and-mma-new-salaries-for-commissioners/article/1594104?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/letters-bring-on-football-and-mma-new-salaries-for-commissioners/article/1594104?custom_click=rss

Bring on the football and MMA

At "The Golden Globes" Sunday night (Jan. 8), Meryl Streep actually threatened us (the audience) that if it were not for Hollywood actors " . you'll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts." Well as far as I'm concerned: bring on "The Ultimate Fighting Championship," "The College Football Playoff National Championship", and "Super Bowl LI"!

Charles M. Prignano

Colorado Springs

Holding officials accountable

I am not a member of any environmental activist group.

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Wed, 11 Jan 2017 07:52:26 -0700
<![CDATA[LETTERS: We can do better in Colorado Springs; near-death experience on I-25]]> http://gazette.com/letters-we-can-do-better-in-colorado-springs-near-death-experience-on-i-25/article/1594022?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/letters-we-can-do-better-in-colorado-springs-near-death-experience-on-i-25/article/1594022?custom_click=rss

We can do better than this

I was shocked and more importantly, disappointed to read the article by Kaitlin Durbin regarding the lack of adequate protective equipment for our police force. To read that our police force needs to depend on charity to obtain state of the art protective vests is unacceptable to me as a proud Colorado Springs resident and taxpayer.

No wonder the CSPD is having trouble retaining police officers. I'm not sure I can blame them for leaving a department that can't provide them with equipment that will help keep them safe. If we want to have a high quality police department, we need to provide them with the best equipment possible.

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Tue, 10 Jan 2017 10:54:52 -0700
<![CDATA[EDITORIAL: Stop punishing the innocent]]> http://gazette.com/editorial-stop-punishing-the-innocent/article/1594023?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/editorial-stop-punishing-the-innocent/article/1594023?custom_click=rss

Individuals are assumed innocent in the United States unless proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in court of law. Americans learn this in third grade, if not sooner.

In Colorado, we have a different standard. It is so indefensible, so contrary to American values, members of the Supreme Court of the United States laughed Monday as they tried to make sense of it while hearing arguments in Nelson v. Colorado.

At issue is Colorado's Exoneration Act, which the state uses to justify keeping penalties and fines paid by convicts who later have their convictions overturned. It empowers the state to keep fines unless and until someone proves innocence in a civil trial. No other state has a similar law or practice.

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Tue, 10 Jan 2017 10:15:58 -0700
<![CDATA[EDITORIAL: Colorado's dishonest health care exchange]]> http://gazette.com/editorial-colorados-dishonest-health-care-exchange/article/1593846?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/editorial-colorados-dishonest-health-care-exchange/article/1593846?custom_click=rss

Colorado's Obamacare exchange, Connect for Health Colorado, provides the latest example of government's inability to properly manage health care.

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Mon, 09 Jan 2017 12:50:06 -0700
<![CDATA[LETTERS: Utilities emissions questioned; scammed by big tobacco]]> http://gazette.com/letters-utilities-emissions-questioned-scammed-by-big-tobacco/article/1593951?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/letters-utilities-emissions-questioned-scammed-by-big-tobacco/article/1593951?custom_click=rss

Squeaky clean or squeaking by?

During the last utility board meeting, Colorado Springs Utility management gave a presentation to the board meant to keep them informed about the organization's attainment of emission standards. However, the data presented by Utilities' health and safety officer, Dave Padgett, directly contradicted what CEO Jerry Forte told the board. Forte claims that Utilities views air quality regulations as a minimum, and that his organization aims to exceed the requirements, emitting less sulfur dioxide (SO2, a lung-damaging gas) than is allowed by law. But Padgett's data showed that Utilities plans to barely squeak by, emitting 99.75 percent of the allowable 2,000 tons per year.

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]]> Mon, 09 Jan 2017 04:05:03 -0700