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Rob Douglas

Stories by Rob

Rob Douglas: Monkey see, monkey do

One arena of government groupthink that has received far too little attention is the use of taxpayer funds to incentivize corporations to create or maintain operations in the jurisdiction providing the incentive.

Rob Douglas: Time for clarity regarding infrastructure expenses

Are the residents of Steamboat being presented with a straightforward, complete and timely picture of what future infrastructure expenses they will be asked to shoulder?

Rob Douglas: Barkey, Wiggins, Rae and 64

Last week’s decision by Colorado voters to legalize the recreational use of marijuana has triggered an avalanche of local, state and national reaction.

Rob Douglas: Mary Jane and the Republican Party

On Tuesday night, it’s a safe bet more than a few card-carrying members of the Grand Old Party sought tearful solace in the company of Jim Beam, Jack Daniels and Johnnie Walker.

Rob Douglas: Are we not better than this?

What are we to make of a society that stands mute while unborn children who test positive for undesired mental or physical conditions are at risk of being aborted by their parents?

Rob Douglas: Yampa Street deal unfair to citizens

It’s unconscionable to spend millions of dollars on extravagant new police headquarters when those funds could be used to prevent the need for property owners to pay for storm water infrastructure.

Rob Douglas: Roberts needed to go

This week, a desire by a majority of the City Council to fire City Manager Jon Roberts culminated with Roberts resigning. Truth be told, it was time for Roberts to go.

Rob Douglas: There's no free money

This week, while watching residents plead for the continuation of the Yellow Line as a “free” bus service, a variation of the adage “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” kept coming to mind.

Rob Douglas: People before buildings

The Steamboat Springs City Council should cast its eyes on the news release announcing TIC’s departure from Steamboat Springs. Specifically, they should examine TIC’s logo.

Rob Douglas: ‘Dealin’s done’

Steve Hofman and the other members of his Sleeping Giant Group might want to wander down to All That Jazz and pick up a copy of Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler.”

Rob Douglas: Hickenlooper, kids and marijuana

On Wednesday, Gov. John Hickenlooper jumped into the fray over Amendment 64, which would legalize the commercial sale and adult possession of as much as 1 ounce of marijuana.

Rob Douglas: Comment out of bounds

While not-so-thinly veiled threats like Kevin Nerney's against elected officials trying to deal with difficult budgets are on the rise across the country, they have no place in Steamboat Springs.

Rob Douglas: Casino falls short on public policy

Before getting mired in arguments about gambling per se, the proposed casino should be evaluated on the basis of whether it meets the public policy goals at the heart of Indian gaming laws.

Rob Douglas: A serious debate for serious times

Tuesday’s edition of the Steamboat Today contained the commentary “An unserious man” by New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. The piece was Krugman’s latest effort to discredit vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s ideas about how to confront our nation’s economic woes.

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Rob Douglas: Should ‘ignorant’ people vote?

Should citizens have to pass a test to demonstrate a requisite level of political and civic knowledge before voting?

Rob Douglas: Will Roberts rise to Magill's challenge?

This week’s failed attempt to fire Steamboat Springs City Manager Jon Roberts revealed a deep split within the council regarding Roberts’ job performance.

Rob Douglas: We must work it out

Arguably, a byproduct of increased bicycle tourism has been an increase in the number of potentially dangerous interactions between bicyclists and motorists.

Rob Douglas: Aurora and concealed handguns

The right to carry a concealed handgun brings the responsibility to train in the proper use and handling of that deadly weapon.

Rob Douglas: 'Polish the gem'

Before funding new improvements and amenities, the city needs to fund repairs and maintenance for existing improvements and amenities.

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Rob Douglas: County right on oil well

By refusing to kowtow Tuesday night to a heavy-handed attempt by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to have water-quality monitoring requirements dropped from an oil well permit for Quicksilver Resources, the Routt County Board of Commissioners exemplified how government closest to the people governs best.

Rob Douglas: Lessons from city pay fiasco

On Tuesday, three groups exited Citizens Hall with a bad taste in their mouths after the Steamboat Springs City Council appropriately denied raises for city employees until the council can review employee compensation in the context of all city expenditures and revenue during the 2013 budget process this fall.

Rob Douglas: 'Fairness' and city staff pay

For too many years, as different members shuffled in and out, the Steamboat Springs City Council ignored an obvious fact: The spending binges would have to end.

Rob Douglas: City staff costs jump

If you were listening closely Tuesday, you heard alarm bells emanating from Citizens Hall in Steamboat Springs, triggered by a report presented to the City Council showing that city employee costs may soon consume more than 90 cents of every sales tax dollar collected by the city.

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Rob Douglas: Gambling with our image

Do residents of Northwest Colorado want the first image greeting visitors as they land in Hayden to be one of a business based on the vice of separating fools from their money?

Rob Douglas: Casino raises questions

The image of Steamboat Springs and the surrounding Yampa Valley is that of a family friendly, Western ranching community that is home to one of the world’s premier activities. Will gambling be added to that image?

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Rob Douglas: Politics in Yampa Valley

On Tuesday, national news became local and local news became national when Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney landed in the fossil fuel-endowed Yampa Valley to engage President Barack Obama in the national debate about America’s energy future.

Rob Douglas: The decline of patriotism

If you’re looking for a flag-waving commentary about the U.S. Armed Forces as we honor our war dead this Memorial Day, you’ve come to the wrong column. It is time to challenge the decline of American patriotism.

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Rob Douglas: The blame game of politics

It’s an axiom of American politics that our political parties, candidates and elected officials attempt to divert the attention of the electorate away from their own record or platform by slinging mud at their opponents.

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Rob Douglas: Has America grown comfortably numb?

If America is to remain an economically vibrant world leader, we must not become numb to our economic reality.

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Rob Douglas: Our national cancer is growing

While many factors contribute to the declining economic health of our country, the largest contributors are our burgeoning federal retirement and health care entitlement programs.

Rob Douglas: Falling prey to the United Nations?

The Obama administration is not moving fast enough to thwart a threat, and the American people seem tragically unaware of a pending loss of freedom and security.

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Rob Douglas: The right thing to do

Sometimes easy decisions are difficult. Today's column is my last. Starting Sept. 12, I will launch a radio show discussing national politics. My co-host will be Cari Hermacinski. The show will initially air Saturday mornings on KBCR 1230 AM from 8 to 10 a.m.

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Rob Douglas: Health care responsibility reform

The health care reform debate - pitting President Barack Obama and liberal Democrats on one side against Republicans and conservative Democrats on the other - is wildly misnamed.

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Rob Douglas: Bear killing appears senseless

According to the Steamboat Pilot & Today, at about 10 p.m. July 20, Towny Anderson heard a gunshot. Anderson looked out his window and saw a slain bear lying on the ground next to an overturned garbage can. Anderson didn't see who shot the bear.

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Rob Douglas: Automatic annexation votes would be unwise

Amendment to Home Rule Charter unnecessary

Most Tuesday evenings, the 7 p.m. public comment period during Steamboat Springs City Council meetings passes with little consequence. Often, no one steps to the podium to address the council. This week, Steve Aigner provided a notable exception.

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Rob Douglas: Justice delayed is justice denied

The expression "justice delayed is justice denied" is a cliche, but it's nonetheless proving true with the glacial pace of the prosecution of Eduardo and David Capote for their suspected roles in the death of Richard Lopez.

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Rob Douglas: Goodbye, 'quaint little ski town'

On the timeline of our lives, we tend to mark events that signal significant turning points. For residents of the Yampa Valley, Tuesday presented one of those moments when Steamboat Springs officially ceased to exist as a quaint little ski town.

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Rob Douglas: What would the founders think?

This Fourth of July, consider the freedoms we are surrendering to the federal government and what our founding fathers would think if they could see their nation now.

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Rob Douglas: Social media and the 'Angel of Iran'

Revolution does that to me. The pro-democracy Iranian Revolution - fueled by outrage about the sham re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as dictated by Iran's "supreme leader" Ayatollah Ali Khamenei - captured my attention.

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Rob Douglas: 1 developer stands up to naysayers

Lately, given the economic headwinds and increased sniping from those seeking to derail any construction, I find myself pulling for the development community to succeed against the odds.

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Rob Douglas: Small hole causes larger concern

When financial times get tight, citizens rightly expect their government to carefully manage every penny. Sometimes, even a hole in a freshly paved road raises questions. That was the case this week concerning a hole in the middle of a street in Steamboat Springs.

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Rob Douglas: Supreme consequences

Throughout the run-up to last year's presidential election, there was little attention paid outside of legal circles to whom candidate Barack Obama might select to sit on the Supreme Court if given the opportunity.

Rob Douglas: Vigilant press improves government

By defending the rights of the citizens of Steamboat Springs to be informed about what members of a previous Steamboat Springs School Board were illegally discussing in secret in January 2007, the Steamboat Pilot & Today upheld the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in the manner envisioned by the founders of our country.

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Rob Douglas: Addition by subtraction

Two days ago, the Colorado Legislature called it a wrap for 2009. Unfortunately, as our lawmakers packed their bags and headed home, they left my fantasy unfulfilled for yet another year. I dream of a day when elected officials will remove laws from the books instead of adding them.

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Rob Douglas: Wanted: 1 objective assessment

Independent expert needs to look at Sheriff's Office funding

Camouflaged by the personality conflicts between the Routt County Commissioners and Sheriff Gary Wall is a question that deserves an answer. Is the Sheriff's Office adequately funded to protect Routt County? The commissioners say it is. The sheriff disagrees.

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Rob Douglas: Practicing gutter politics

By threatening the health care benefits of county employees in a transparent attempt to gain political leverage against Sheriff Gary Wall, the Routt County Board of Commissioners is practicing gutter politics.

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Rob Douglas: It's time to question everything

In a recent column examining the Routt County Board of Commissioners' April Fools' Day decision to cut county employees' pay by 10 percent, I questioned why we need full-time commissioners.

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Rob Douglas: Atira's call to Quinn raises thorny issues

The Atira Group - developers of Ski Time Square, Edgemont and Thunderhead - acted inappropriately by contacting Steamboat Springs City Councilman Jon Quinn at a critical moment in the council's review of Thunderhead.

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Rob Douglas: Why no manslaughter charge?

The question being asked throughout the Yampa Valley this week is: Why wasn't Eduardo Capote Jr. charged with manslaughter, instead of assault, for his role in the death of Sgt. 1st Class Richard Lopez?

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Rob Douglas: Obama wisely performs an about-face

As a young boy in the 1960s, I learned to ride horses on the Hancock farm in rural New Jersey. Our family's friendship with the Hancocks resulted in my first meaningful exposure to the Vietnam War when their youngest son, John, was drafted.