Guest Columns

Getting down with down-filled puffy coats

The Colorado Statesman

If there is one winter trend that has swept the country by storm from Manhattan fashionistas to Southern Cal beach bunnies, it is the puffy coat. I don’t mean the older version “Michelin Man” puffy coats. Those coats were so swollen with duck down feathers that wearers waddled instead of walked. And forget about wearing one on a plane. You’d need to buy the coat its own seat. No, what I’m talking about are the new thin, trim, stylish versions that come in a host of vibrant colors: hot pinks, blues, greens and purples along with good old dependable black.

TEEGARDEN: REMEMBRANCES OF LINCOLN ON THE OCCASION OF HIS BIRTHDAY

One more tough choice under pressure for President Abraham Lincoln

GUEST COLUMNIST

February 7, 1862 was the originally scheduled execution date for Nathaniel Gordon, a convicted trans-Atlantic slave trader. However, Gordon, the scion of a respectable Presbyterian family from Portland, Maine, had good reason to believe that neither his death sentence nor any other severe punishment would actually be carried out.

TEEGARDEN: PRESIDENT'S GENERAL WAR ORDER NO. 1

Abraham Lincoln takes charge and orders his generals to fight!

Contributing Columnist

It was 150 years ago, on January 27, 1862, that President Abraham Lincoln issued a somewhat extraordinary directive, titled “President’s General War Order No. 1.” Lincoln’s Order stemmed from both his boiling frustration with the inaction of his top generals and from his own recognition of the strategic opportunity for coordinated and simultaneous action among the Union’s various military forces.

HARLAN: AMERICANS ELECT IS ON THE BALLOT IN COLORADO

Americans Elect are ready to crash the party

GUEST COLUMNIST

What if talk about challenging the status quo was more than talk and the November election saw three presidential contenders running neck and neck? That was the prime question when Americans Elect (AE) held its Regional Delegate Leaders Conference (the first of six) in Omaha. Three dozen people (some committed, some skeptical, all curious) met to plan how to upend the presidential nominating process and take the White House.

CML: 2012 STATE OF OUR CITIES & TOWNS SURVEY

Challenges lie ahead for municipal infrastructure

GUEST COLUMNISTS

You see it every day. Exposed rebar underneath a concrete bridge. Alligator cracking in the street ahead. The water or sewer line break underneath the road that is blocked forcing a detour on your drive home. These are all visible evidence that Colorado cities and towns are struggling to find the dollars needed to maintain the infrastructure that keeps our society functioning.

Stylin’ at Citizen of the West

GUEST COLUMNIST

Lynne Cheney, former Second Lady of the United States, was first in the hearts of National Western Scholarship Trust supporters as she was honored as the 2012 Citizen of the West at a celebratory dinner Jan. 9 on the grounds of Denver’s annual western extravaganza. Her husband Dick Cheney, former vice president, had already been bestowed the honor in 1992. The award is given annually to a person or couple who represents the spirit and values of the West’s heritage. Monies raised at the dinner will fund about 750 scholarships for students studying agriculture at schools in Colorado and Wyoming.

HILLMAN: RAPPAPORT'S RULING READS LIKE A BRIEF FOR THE PLAINTIFFS

‘Rationality’ eludes judge in school funding case

GUEST COLUMNIST

When Gov. John Hickenlooper announced that the state will appeal a Denver court’s ruling that the state inadequately funds education, he acknowledged what Judge Sheila Rappaport — and previously the Colorado Supreme Court — would not: money is a finite resource, even when it’s spent on worthy causes and when it’s spent by government.

SUGDEN: GET READY FOR NEW SYSTEM IN 2014

Health Insurance Exchanges are the future

GUEST COLUMNIST

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) promises to revolutionize the health insurance marketplace. A component of this revolution is the creation of Health Insurance Exchanges, online portals where consumers will shop for and enroll in coverage. Exchanges hope to assist 32 million consumers in finding affordable health plans. They will direct those eligible for Medicaid to that program and will deliver premium subsidies and tax credits to those who qualify.

TEEGARDEN: AND A LIST OF RECOMMENDED AUTHORS AND BOOKS

A New Years’ Eve Civil War battle

Contributing Columnist

First, following is a brief description of a very bloody and inconclusive battle (technically counted as a Union victory) known as the Battle of Stones River or Murfreesboro. Second, I’ve provided a list of my own favorite Civil War historians/non-fiction writers and some suggested (very readable, not dry and boring) books related to the Civil War and its place in our national psyche.

TEEGARDEN: THE CIVIL WAR "YEAR-END WRAP-UP"

The holiday seasons during the Civil War years were predictably somber

GUEST COLUMNIST

December is the traditional time for overall “year in review” wrap up stories. So here’s an attempt to summarize the years of the Civil War. The following is admittedly far too superficial for any historian or amateur student of that period, but will hopefully give more general readers a glimpse of the painful annual retrospectives families were somberly reflecting upon during the holiday seasons of 1860-1865.