Felony DUI Bill a 2015 Colorado Commonsense Success Story?

Felony DUI Bill a 2015 Colorado Commonsense Success Story?

With a partisan split in the state legislature, Colorado won't see as many laws passed this year. For the most part, I count that as a positive occurrence. An important exception is House Bill 1043, brought forward by second-term Rep. Lori Saine (R-Firestone). HB 1043 would make it substantially easier for district attorneys to prosecute repeat DUI offenders with a felony offense. Earlier this month, the bill unanimously passed through the House Judiciary Committee. It must make a stop in the House Finance Committee before getting its first full floor hearing. As you can see in the graphic below, Colorado has one of the highest rates of DUI arrests per 10,000 residents. Would making the law somewhat tougher help? Fewer fatalities, one … [Read more...]

Independent Foreclosure Reviews May Offer Better Chance Second Time Around

Independent Foreclosure Reviews May Offer Better Chance Second Time Around

Going through a home foreclosure often can be a painful and difficult experience. I feel blessed to say my family has never had to go through the process, though it did happen to the previous owners of the house where we currently live. Foreclosure must be hard enough if the event happened as a result of one's own poor decision-making, or as a result of unexpected, unfortunate circumstances. But it has to be even worse if someone was harmed and removed from their residence because of errors made by the bank or other lender. Who is held responsible when such an injustice occurs? Congress stepped in to try to solve the problem, particularly for those adversely affected during the height of the economic downturn in 2009 and 2010. Yet … [Read more...]

Supreme Court Ruling Could Make Colorado a School Choice Destination

Supreme Court Ruling Could Make Colorado a School Choice Destination

Anticipation is building among school choice supporters for a Colorado court ruling that could create wide and deep ripples in the fabric of American K-12 education. On Dec. 10, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Taxpayers v. Douglas County Board of Education. The case’s third and decisive round of legal hearings will test whether an unprecedented local school choice program not only will survive, but also could multiply. The ruling could embolden other local Colorado boards of education to offer parents educational options outside the public system, and inspire policymakers hoping to expand choice in other states. …Read the rest of my article at Watchdog Arena…. … [Read more...]

Report Finds Denver’s ‘SchoolChoice’ System Improves Enrollment, More Focus Needed on Performance

Report Finds Denver’s ‘SchoolChoice’ System Improves Enrollment, More Focus Needed on Performance

Denver has made the process of choosing a school easier and more satisfying for many families. But a local advocacy group says the district needs to offer more quality schools for students to access. A new report released by the nonprofit citizens’ education reform group A+ Denver asks whether the Denver Public Schools’ (DPS) three-year-old universal enrollment system is working for families. The system has streamlined the application process to get into one of the district’s traditional neighborhood, magnet, or charter schools, and has matched large numbers with their stated preferences. …Read the rest of my article at Watchdog Arena…. … [Read more...]

Drive Safely on Winter Roads, and Be Thankful for Help If You’re Injured

Drive Safely on Winter Roads, and Be Thankful for Help If You’re Injured

The throes of winter are upon us. And even though we live in the beautiful state of Colorado, where regular appearances of the sun and some milder weather patterns spare us some of the worst prolonged weather patterns, we still have our share of days with less-than-ideal road conditions. That's when during my commute to and from Denver, or random errands, I stay vigilant for cars with Texas, California, and Florida license plates. Why? Odds are that the driver is less experienced in handling a vehicle on the snow or ice. Even so, despite your best skill at winter driving and awareness of those around you, sometimes an accident is unavoidable. A couple of years ago during a heavy snowfall on the Interstate, we got bumped into the concrete … [Read more...]

How to Train Your Politician: Conservative Ed Hanks Urges Intentional Voting

How to Train Your Politician: Conservative Ed Hanks Urges Intentional Voting

On December 20, 2014, I chatted by phone with Ed Hanks about his new book How to Train Your Politician: Intentional Voting as a Path to Tea Party and Constitutional Victory. Hanks, an acquaintance and Jefferson County conservative activist who has been one of Colorado's leading voices for Personhood, graciously shared a Kindle copy of his book for me to read prior our conversation. We talked in the wake of the lame-duck Congress passing the corporatists' dream bill, known as Cromnibus, fueling the fires of populist conservative discontent (including yours truly). A mounting frustration definitely brings a growing interest in the strategy Hanks endorses. Yet what I find most appealing about the book and its author is his historical … [Read more...]

Medical Malpractice Problems Still Exist, Call for Real Solutions

Medical Malpractice Problems Still Exist, Call for Real Solutions

No system is perfect. Even the relatively well-run U.S. health care system includes its share of practitioner error. In some instances, the results can be devastating. While the top-down, convoluted Obamacare model contains its own fundamental flaws and costly contradictions, that doesn't mean American health care status quo ante was anywhere close to ideal. As the infographic below (by School Matters.com) demonstrates, medical malpractice remains a real concern in the overall scope of our health care system. The call to repeal Obamacare carries with it a strong political appeal, for many reasons, but at best such a move brings us back to square one. We need to look at real solutions, and be willing to think outside the box, to help … [Read more...]

My 50 Favorite Christmas Songs: 2014 Edition

My 50 Favorite Christmas Songs: 2014 Edition

Two years ago I finally put together and posted the list of my 50 favorite Christmas (/Advent) songs. The list returned for 2013 -- with some changes and a couple additions. It's back again, with two more newcomers and some Top 10 adjustments. Last year's ranking is in parentheses, with additional explanation provided in only a few cases. For the first time, each and every entry is linked to a free online version that best captures the respective song's quality (or just was available and sounded interesting). Why this exercise -- beyond the all-too-human appeal of listmaking? The background explanation from the original 2012 post:...Coming up with the top 50 songs wasn't terribly difficult. I've identified roughly 375 different … [Read more...]

Election Day Is Nearly 3 Weeks Away… Must Mean It’s Time to Vote!

Election Day Is Nearly 3 Weeks Away… Must Mean It’s Time to Vote!

The mail-in ballot arrived at the humble homestead yesterday. My 2014 personal guide to the Colorado ballot is posted. Check it out. Remember... While you want to cast the most informed and thoughtful ballot you can, it's also vital to vote sooner rather than later. Electioneering communications quickly will stop, and campaigns can conserve scarce resources. … [Read more...]