Guest Columns

HARVEY: ONLY REAL FIX FOR OBAMACARE IS TO REPEAL IT

Obamacare train wreck hits Colorado, consumer casualties continue to pile up

The Colorado Statesman

On Nov. 6, the Colorado Division of Insurance announced that 249,199 Coloradans have had their health insurance policies cancelled by companies seeking to comply with the federal health reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.

What the public does not yet fully understand is that these cancellations are not a glitch or a hiccup in the design of a web page. Massive policy cancellations were built into the PPACA from the beginning, and we were warned about it early and often.

HUDSON: INJUSTICE PREVAILS

Criminal penalties stacked against the poor

The Colorado Statesman

Several weeks ago Michelle Alexander, author of the bestselling examination of our exploding African-American prison population in The New Jim Crow, spoke at the Turnhalle on the Auraria campus. Her appearance drew a standing room only, turn away crowd. A civil rights attorney in California, where she graduated from Stanford, and today a law school faculty member at Ohio State, Alexander began her research on American prison populations more than a decade ago. When her book first appeared in 2010 it drew modest critical acclaim, but little public attention. Yet, once it was released in paperback last year, it has enjoyed 35 weeks on the New York Times bestseller index and turned its author into a celebrity.

SMITH: COUNTRIES CLOSE TO BORDER CONTINUE TO DESTABILIZE

Honduran elections provide opportunity to forge America’s strategy in Latin America

The Colorado Statesman

Honduras is a tiny Central American country of eight million people but its Nov. 24 presidential elections offer some important lessons about our role in Latin America, the impact of drugs and violence, and the factors that make a country viable.

Although the conservative candidate, Juan Orlando Hernandez has been declared the winner, it’s hard to say whether we should send congratulations or condolences because Xiomara Castro, the second place candidate, is crying fraud; she and her husband, the constantly disruptive former President Mel Zelaya have already started street protests.

MARES: COLORADO STILL HAS A LONG WAY TO GO

Updating Colorado’s civil commitment laws is an important, and long overdue, step

The Colorado Statesman

One of the many valuable things about an organization as long-lived and venerable as Mental Health America of Colorado is the historical and often personal context we bring to discussions on a wide range of issues. Our perspective is not just a sterile record of laws and budgets, but the living history of people who have worked together for 60 years to transform our state for the better.

GIBSON: IMPROVEMENTS SHOULD BE MADE

Hancock’s administration is sadly lacking

Contributing Columnist

Editor’s Note: This column has been updated to correct inaccuracies in the first version that ran.

On the morning of Friday, Nov. 8, former Denver City Councilwoman Susan Barnes-Gelt, who writes a monthly opinion column for The Denver Post, braved a chilly, early morning start to address the Downtown Democratic Forum. A major player in city affairs for more than three decades, serving in the Peña administration and as an at-large City Council member from 1995-2003, Barnes-Gelt offered her assessment of Mayor Michael Hancock’s performance at the halfway mark of his first term.

HUDSON: FORMER AP REPORTER WILL BE MISSED

Carl Hilliard personified the Western ethic of unwavering personal integrity in his life

The Colorado Statesman

Carl Hilliard’s first cousin serves as the associate pastor of the Longmont United Methodist Church. She opened the storied journalist’s memorial service with the observation that it was indeed ironic this event was being held in a church — an institution for which Hilliard apparently harbored substantial skepticism. Born in 1937 in Gebo, Wyo., a transient oil drilling camp near Thermopolis, Carl attended the University of Montana before launching a journalism career that ended with 32 years as a reporter for the Associated Press covering the Colorado Legislature from 1968 through 1999.

SMITH: INSPIRATION FOR THE AGES

My brief, but memorable, experience seeing JFK

The Colorado Statesman

It’s November 22, 2013 and I’m staring at an odd shaped black and white photograph, a photograph I haven’t looked at in years and wasn’t aware I still had. It’s four feet long and 10 inches high and says, “President John F. Kennedy reviews his guard of honor, the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort. Bragg, NC, October 12, 1961.” A long panorama, it depicts the whole 82nd in formation on the runway at Pope Field. In the foreground parallel to the viewing stand where the big brass are gathered is a white convertible — maybe a Chevrolet but I can’t really tell. I can see the helmets of two soldiers.

KING: SPECTER OF A CATASTROPHIC WILDFIRE IS REAL

“The Wildfire Games” needs a different ending

The Colorado Statesman

My friends and family who have enjoyed the hit movie “The Hunger Games” have no idea how close that fiction is to reality every wildfire season here in Colorado. In the federal version of the movie, “The Wildfire Games,” our communities are thrust into the same deadly contest every year, and left with the barest resources to save their homes from burning to the ground.

HUDSON: ARE YOU READY FOR THE FUTURE?

Everyone’s focused on taking back America — but what about taking us ahead?

The Colorado Statesman

Last week the Conference on World Affairs in Boulder brought Hedrick Smith to campus as part of University of Colorado’s Athaneum lecture series. Wearing a tailored grey tweed jacket, Smith cut a suave and dapper figure despite his 80 years. He has enjoyed a frequently honored journalistic career — a pair of Pulitzers during his quarter century with the New York Times (1962-88) and several Emmys for his 50 documentaries produced at PBS.

SMITH: A MAN WORTH KNOWING

Carl Hilliard (and his sense of humor) will be missed

The Colorado Statesman

It hurts to read of the passing of Carl Hilliard. He was a fine reporter — always fair, thorough and objective. He also had a great sense of humor. I was the subject of one of his jokes many years ago.