Guest Columns

EWEGEN: MIKE STRANG'S LEGACY IS A LONG ONE

R.I.P. for a 'little country boy from Princeton'

The Colorado Statesman

Former State and U.S. Rep. Mike Strang — a “little country boy from Princeton” who helped transform Coloradans’ attitudes toward their land and legacy — died Sunday at his home in Carbondale at the age of 84.

Strang, a Republican, introduced an unsuccessful bill in the Colorado legislature in the 1970s to legalize marijuana, according to the Associated Press. Four decades later, Colorado voters caught up with him by becoming, along with Washington state, one of just two states legalizing recreational use of the drug.

SMITH: HE WAS FUN TO BE AROUND…

Mike Strang remembered by his colleagues

The Colorado Statesman

He was one of the few cowboys who could sit on a horse and roll a cigarette with one hand and also with a match light the cigarette all with one hand,” said former Sen. Tillie Bishop from Grand Junction in a phone message about the death of his colleague, Mike Strang.

HUDSON: CAREER AMBASSADOR PICKERING A NATIONAL TREASURE

Our options: choose to negotiate a nuclear deal now, or fight an Iranian war later

The Colorado Statesman

World Denver is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to connecting Denver with the world by fostering timely discussions of world affairs. Last Monday night, together with the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver, World Denver co-hosted a talk by Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Dr. Jim Walsh of Massachusetts Institute of Technology Securities Studies Program at the Brown Palace fresh from their Denver Post commentary (1/12/14) “A Delicate Dance with Iran.” Their op-ed strongly admonished the U. S.

DORE: MY TAKE ON THE 2014 STATE OF THE STATE

Judging from experience, there is a lot more non-sense than common sense with Hickenlooper

The Colorado Statesman

On Jan. 9, Governor Hickenlooper addressed a joint session of Colorado’s General Assembly to present the State of the State. As with many speeches, filled with platitudes and praise, it was short on substance. Contrary to my experience during the 2013 legislative session, where rural issues were forgotten and Republican bills were killed, the governor spoke about a new era of bipartisanship and a renewed focus on rural Colorado. I would like to take a moment and discuss my concerns with his speech.

HUDSON: A REAL MOVER FOR TRANSPORTATION IN THE STATE

The Jack McCroskey(s) I like to remember

The Colorado Statesman

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself;
I am large — I contain multitudes.

Walt Whitman

SMITH: HE WAS A FEISTY LEGISLATOR

Jack McCroskey was a true fighter and deeply committed to his causes

The Colorado Statesman

I was saddened to read of Jack McCroskey’s death because he was a fighter, deeply committed to his causes. I knew him during the first four legislative sessions he served (1975 to 1978) when two issues were key. The first was a strong severance tax that would bring us in line with other mineral producing states like Wyoming and Montana. The second was Jack’s goal of doing away with the sales tax on food. He quickly developed the slogan, “Tax minerals, not milk” and posed for my camera in one of his odd looking jackets.

SALAZAR: UNPREDICTABLE CONDITIONS CAN RAISE HAVOC

Mother Nature delivers statewide challenges to Colorado’s agricultural scene

The Colorado Statesman

What’s the weather going to be like today? For most of us the answer may mean putting on a jacket, grabbing an umbrella, or bundling up the kids for the school bus stop. But for a farmer and rancher, the answer can have a significant impact on their very economic well-being.

HUDSON: HE EARNED YOUR RESPECT, IF NOT YOUR AFFECTION

Ken Gordon’s pleas on behalf of the better angels of our nature will be sorely missed

The Colorado Statesman

Thirty years ago, after I departed the Legislature, I allowed myself to be recruited as a candidate for Democratic Party Chair of Denver County. This didn’t have so much to do with my intimate involvement in party politics, but because two young candidates and personal friends, Wellington Webb and Federico Peña, were running for Mayor. The party machinery had been in the grip of Tooley or McNichols supporters for nearly two decades and both insurgent candidates were interested in a dispassionate and neutral hand at the helm of Democratic Party affairs.

SMITH: A MAN BEFORE HIS TIME

Lauen’s efforts to reform prison sentences in Colorado ended up being right after all

The Colorado Statesman

Roger Lauen was a man before his time. Back in the 70s he was one of the few to stand up against the growing movement to pass harsher sentencing laws, build more prisons and expand Colorado’s prison population which had increased ten-fold from about 2,000 prisoners to over 20,000. Those were the years of “getting tough to get elected.”

HUDSON: A CHANGE IN CLIMATE OR A CHANGE IN DIRECTION?

Pumping liquid sunshine from Colorado’s 200 million year-old carbon capture reservoir

Denver’s Davis Graham & Stubbs law firm holds monthly energy policy seminars for those willing to crawl out of bed in the early hours of the morning. Last week’s discussion of “President Obama’s Climate Action Plan” drew a crowd of a hundred or so. The breakfast bar included healthy yogurt berry smoothies with granola and the usual high carb pastries. With this crowd, the donuts disappeared first, amidst grumbling about the lukewarm coffee.