Guest Columns

FOWLER: ALL ABOARD!

Let’s get back on the track with the Southwest Chief and economic development

GUEST COLUMNIST

AMTRAK has operated two trains through Colorado since Congress excused the national railroads from hauling people and assigned the job to that ongressionally chartered corporation. Most Denver folks are aware of the famous California Zephyr, making two stops a day at the soon to be re-opened Union Station on the way to San Francisco from Chicago.

HOTLINE STEERING COMMITTEE: KEEPING KIDS SAFE

Child abuse reporting system will ensure that no child’s cries for help go unheard

GUEST COLUMNISTS

Over the last two years Colorado’s child welfare system has undergone a swift transformation under Gov. John Hickenlooper’s child welfare plan “Keeping Kids Safe and Families Healthy.” There is improved training for caseworkers, new prevention programs throughout the state and implementation of best practices to more effectively respond to family needs. But every tragic child death because of abuse or neglect magnifies the necessity of creating a statewide hotline to report child maltreatment.

HUDSON: WE’RE TALKING ABOUT U.S. 36 AGAIN

Colorado’s taste of Arab Spring organizing remains more than a little bit troubling

The Colorado Statesman

There was considerable smug self-congratulation reported by the commentariat during the Arab Spring uprisings across the Middle East as organizers relying on social media and the Internet turned out first thousands and then tens of thousands of protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and elsewhere across Tunisia, Libya and Syria. Geeks and politicos found it just the most wonderful thing imaginable that democratic aspirations were flowering with an assist from broadband technology. Really, how very, very clever of us!

HUDSON: HICKENLOOPER NEEDN’T WORRY ABOUT THESE FOUR

The Republican junior varsity candidates for governor appear to be revolving

The Colorado Statesman

The Denver Post conducted the second Republican gubernatorial debate of the 2014 campaign this week. Absent were alpha dogs Tom Tancredo and Secretary of State Scott Gessler. Two new candidates have joined the field since last year, businessman Jason Clark, and Steve House, Adams County Republican chair. At the December debate at a local television station, not a single candidate was willing to fully embrace the theory of evolution through natural selection. Nonetheless, these B team candidates proved that their positions have been evolving during the interim.

VANDE KROL: BRIDGES OVER LEGALLY TROUBLED WATERS

TABOR Foundation files appeal in Colorado Bridge Enterprise lawsuit

GUEST COLUMNIST

There have been violations of basic common sense and principles of good government,” said TABOR Foundation Chairman Penn Pfiffner. “The concept and construct of this dishonest and devious scheme must not stand.”

A Colorado organization has filed an appeal to overturn a Denver District Court finding about the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR). The TABOR Foundation, whose mission includes protecting the constitutional amendment that was initiated by the people, believes the trial court erred in finding that the State of Colorado’s Bridge Enterprise conforms to TABOR.

HUDSON: TOPIC IS EXACTING A TOLL ON EVERYONE

What (or who) is driving all the panic about alleged privatization of U.S. 36 in Boulder?

Contributing Columnist

The Drive SunShine Institute convened an emergency public meeting on the afternoon of Jan. 31 at the Alfalfa’s community room in Boulder. The alleged public emergency was an imminent privatization of U.S. 36 by the Colorado Department of Transportation’s High Performance Transportation Enterprise, which is about to conclude a widely publicized two year solicitation process for a Public Private Partnership to extend RTD’s busway and high occupancy toll lanes from Interlocken on into Boulder. This contract will also lease existing HOV lanes on I-25 from downtown Denver that connect to U.S. 36.

SHOEMAKER: EDUCATION USED TO BE AFFORDABLE

Why has tuition tripled since I graduated from CU?

GUEST COLUMNIST

Colorado’s state legislature has good news for in-state students in proposed Senate Bill 14-001, but it’s not good enough. If this proposal for $100 million in new higher education funding becomes law, the steep downward slide of state support will turn back upward, at least for the next year, and tuition increases will be frozen at 6 percent for two years. However, The Colorado Statesman has it right in its Jan. 31 edition: $100 million is “only a beginning.” As a candidate for the University of Colorado Board of Regents (CD-2) in the November election, I support this proposal.

HUDSON: THOSE AT THE FRINGES OF OUR SOCIETY BEWARE

For discussion this week: Venial sins, petty offenses and the art of the blind eye

The Colorado Statesman

Both the clergy and the courts acknowledge there are transgressions so minor that no number of them will extend our sojourn in purgatory or add to earned prison time. For these misdemeanors there are no “three strike” rules. Little white lies and photo radar tickets are all of a kind — sufficient to outrage the Puritan moralists in our midst, but unlikely to inflict lasting harm beyond that brief flash of shamed conscience. But, what of offenses we witness and choose to ignore? More to the point, what is our responsibility in a democracy when the villain is government itself?

CML: 2014 STATE OF OUR CITIES AND TOWNS

Heard on the street: funding for local transit projects remains budgetary challenge

By Marc Williams and Sam Mamet

We walk, bike, drive, ride the bus, and sometimes skateboard on our streets, and unless there’s a pothole ahead, we don’t give it much thought. Our street structure is society’s circulatory system and it’s time we looked at its medical chart. Frostbite? Pavement decay? Internal injuries? There are always problems that need attention. Street maintenance and construction are primary services provided by Colorado’s municipalities. There are nearly 16,000 miles of city streets in Colorado — 25 percent more than just a decade ago.

MARES: TAKING CHARGE OF HEALTH CARE REFORM

ACA expands consumer protections of the Mental Health Parity and Addictions Equity Act

GUEST COLUMNIST

The recent political strife and grandstanding around the Affordable Care Act has largely ignored the issue at the heart of the law: the health and health care of Americans. Every news story that mentions health care reform becomes a possible talking point in a political debate, but those debates rarely rise to the level of finding health policy solutions.