Guest Columns

TEEGARDEN: 150 YEARS AGO THIS MONTH…

May 10, 1863 — A turning point of the Civil War

Contributing Columnist

I’m in search of a bright line answer here: Was there an actual date which we can consider the turning point of the Civil War?

Two years ago, in April 2011, America kicked off its so-called Sesquicentennial recollection of the American Civil War, which technically began on April 12, 1861, with the Confederate artillery attack on the Fort Sumter, a federal island fortress in the Charleston, SC harbor. While writing a number of columns for The Colorado Statesman in recognition of this 150th anniversary of that period of U.S. history, I’ve subscribed to the obvious acknowledgement that 1863 was a singularly important year in our history — consider just the following list, which is by no means complete:

HUDSON: THE MATH ISN’T SO SIMPLE

Question: When is a legislative expenditure not a TABOR expenditure? Read on...

Contributing Columnist

Supporters of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) amendment would like Colorado taxpayers to believe it provides a simple braking mechanism on increases in state and local spending. And, for a few years in the mid-‘90s it probably did just that — slow the rate of growth in these governmental budgets. But it didn’t take long for the finaglers (think lobbyists, tax lawyers, JBC members, OSPB staff and the half dozen other legislators who actually understand how the long bill works) to begin constructing TABOR escape hatches for their favored initiatives.

RILEY-CHETWYND: WATER MANAGEMENT BEGINS AT LOCAL LEVEL

Denver Botanic Gardens’ commitment to sustainability, water conservation is solid

GUEST COLUMNIST

With outdoor water use accounting for more than half of Denver’s water consumption, water-efficient gardening can help conserve this precious resource. Denver Botanic Gardens identified sustainability as a core value with this in mind — educating our community on how to design and maintain a beautiful garden with plants that are appropriate for a semi-arid climate. From the way we irrigate to the plants we feature in our gardens, we try to set an example of good water management.

COLEMAN: WE HELP COLORADANS LEARN TO 'SPEAK FLUENT WATER'

Water has statewide, national, implications

GUEST COLUMNIST

Everyone makes choices about water. Whether it’s on a large scale, making policy decisions for the town, state or country; or in the privacy of the home — in Colorado, water is a complex and scarce but essential resource. It’s particularly important to make informed decisions.

STYLE MATTERS

Hair today....

Contributing Columnist

SMITH: ADAMS COUNTY POL WAS A SOFTIE AT HEART

Eldon Cooper was a tough, hard driving legislator

Contributing Columnist

“I just shook hands with a good man,” a patient named George says, pointing to Eldon Cooper. It was May, 2012 and we were at the Colorado State Veteran’s Home in Aurora. Even though Eldon was in a wheelchair then, he would visit once or twice every week, bringing friendship to older veterans, many of whom were totally alone. His second visit that day was to Ed Gatewood, 92 years old. When Eldon said something about how you can die at any minute, Ed responded by saying, “You’re too ornery to go early.”

HUDSON: VITAL BRICKS IN THE WALL OF COLORADO’S ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE

Regional cooperation is forcing a paradigm shift in the way we govern in Colorado

Contributing Columnist

Denver residents no longer need to padlock their liquor cabinets and hide away their daughters when the Legislature arrives in town. The legal protection that Colorado voters learned about last session, when state Rep. Laura Bradford was released after a suspected DUI stop by Denver police officers, wasn’t established to forestall partisan kidnappings — it was authorized to insure quorums weren’t threatened by multiple incarcerations in the Denver County jail.

SMITH: IN THE COMPANY OF TWO GREAT WORLD LEADERS

My memorable evening with Maggie & Ron

Contributing Columnist

“Let’s go talk to Margaret Thatcher,” my brother-in-law, Phelps Anderson said. He was the Republican National Committeeman for New Mexico and we were at the annual Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) dinner in London where both Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were to be the speakers. His father, Robert O. Anderson was the Chairman of ARCO; thus our invitation. It was the early ‘90s, both Reagan and Thatcher were out of office and, therefore, free to talk openly.

MEIS: NATURAL TREASURES LIE BENEATH THE GROUND AS WELL AS ABOVE

Mesa County’s Energy Master Plan protects environment, promotes economic well-being

GUEST COLUMNIST

The natural beauty of Western Colorado is unique. It offers an unequaled experience for visitors and locals alike.

Another treasure lies beneath the surface of this diverse and rugged region. The natural resources of coal, oil shale, and natural gas, offer strength to the economic vitality of the area. Energy development in Mesa County, Colorado has the potential to enrich, stabilize, and diversify the regional economy in countless ways.

HUDSON: RUMMAGING THROUGH THE NATIONAL MEDICINE CABINET

The perfect prescription for health care reform may make us really feel sick

Contributing Columnist

The occasional bleating noises that have emerged from the offices of health care providers since the 2009 adoption of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are about to swell into a full-throated chorus of high decibel wailings and lamentations. Within a few weeks insurors will be filing their premium schedules with state Insurance Commissions for the medical plans they are required to offer on health care exchanges. These insurors will no longer be allowed to exclude pre-existing conditions, establish annual or lifetime benefit limits, nor can they require co-pays for many preventive procedures.