Opinion

Who’s A Racist?

Oct 28, 2014

I can’t remember a time when the terms “racist” or “racism” were used with the abandon that now infects our political discourse.  These are hateful words - akin to the worst racial slurs bigots apply to others.  Yet some partisans apply the term to anyone who disagrees with the current Administration’s policies or who calls for voter identification requirements.

Who and What To Believe?

Jan 8, 2014

I spend a lot of time trying to keep myself informed about current political affairs, but it often seems to be a futile effort.  The same subject can be reported with wildly divergent information in competing publications.  What is the poor reader to do?  And how is the public to make any sense of this?

A Different View of the Constitution

Dec 20, 2013

I was listening the other day to the Diane Rehm Show on Aspen Public Radio.  It was the Friday news round-up and the conversation included, as it often has over the last three months, the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act.  I was startled to hear one of the listeners who called into the show assert that the reelection of President Obama in 2012 meant that there could be no questioning of the ACA by any other branch of government, particularly by the majority Republican House of Representatives.  The President had won, this was his signature piece of legislation and that was that

A key rationale for conservation is protecting wildlife from the impacts of people. Some of those impacts are obvious, like cutting down trees or building a parking lot over a wetland. Some though are harder to understand or see, literally. A recent study from Boise State University caught my attention. In it researchers created a phantom ‘road’ along a mountainside in Idaho by attaching speakers to trees and playing the sounds of a hi-way into an otherwise pristine forest. 

The New Health Care Reality

Nov 26, 2013

About three years ago, a relative of mine went to the emergency room at Aspen Valley Hospital with stroke-like symptoms.  He did not have health insurance because of a pre-existing condition and he did not have the ability to pay for emergency health care, but the hospital treated him nevertheless.  Following a battery of tests, he was discharged from the hospital with a hefty bill.  The hospital gave him three choices:  pay the bill immediately in a lump sum and get a 20% discount; pay the face amount of the bill in installments over a period of a year; or declare himself a charity case a

Why did the ballot measures fail?

Nov 8, 2013

Traveling throughout the Roaring Fork Valley in the days leading up to the November 5 election, I was impressed by the slick signs trumpeting two of this year’s ballot issues in Pitkin County: “Vote YES on Amendment 66” and “Vote YES on Questions 4C and 4D.”  Amendment 66 was, of course, the statewide financing proposal for public education that would have raised the income tax rate for all Coloradans, by 8% for those making $75,000 or less a year and by 27% for people making above that amount.  Questions 4C and 4D were about a new recreation center in the mid-valley Crown Mountain Park and

Will Roush

You might remember back in February when citizens packed the town hall in Carbondale to ask the BLM to let the gas leases in the Thompson Divide* naturally expire at the end of their ten-year terms. Unfortunately, the BLM suspended the leases, allowing the gas companies more time to attempt drilling in the Thompson Divide. On the positive side though the BLM also acknowledged that most of those leases were issued illegally and without proper environmental review or roadless-area protections and so they committed to doing an environmental review of the illegal leases.

Mick Ireland on Amendment 66 and education funding

Sep 20, 2013

Mick Ireland on Amendment 66 and education funding.

Mick Ireland on the division between the “haves” and “have nots”.

Mick Ireland on the love of spandex and lycra fashions.

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