Kathy Heicher's blog

I pledge allegiance … to some guy’s t-shirt

A few days ago, along with about 500 other people, I said the Pledge of Allegiance to some guy’s t-shirt. It was not gesture of disrespect. Rather, it was a gesture of resourcefulness and for some in the audience, a necessary show of patriotism...

Our love-hate relationship with government

Usually, I don’t pay close attention to television while I’m on the exercise bike.  But a  news story televised early one morning last week caught my interest.   It was the report of the California guy who is so upset over government involvement in health care reform that he was making some pretty nasty phone threats to Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.  ...

Congress and the precinct caucus

What a difference two years make.   When Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were battling for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, a standing-room only record crowd of about 500 Democrats turned out for precinct caucus night at the county courthouse. It has never happened before, and likely will never happen again.  ...

Big box loses … by a nose

In Eagle’s 110-year history, the highest voter turnout ever was the 2008 Town Board election, when just over 800 voters turned out. That record was broken yesterday, when a whopping 2,194 voters cast votes in the big box store referendum. This was a traditional-style small town election. There were no voting machines, no computers, and no hanging chads. The ballot was simple: Voters simply used a pen to place an “X” in the box indicating whether they want a big box store development to proceed or note. The exhausted election clerks hand-counted the ballots until 3:45 a.m....

‘All politics is local’ … and sometimes absurd

The late Speaker of the House Thomas P. (Tip) O’Neill Jr. famously observed, “All politics is local.” True. And in a small, rapidly changing boomtown community, all politics also tend to be personal, sometimes absurd, and occasionally a bit nasty. Twelve days out from the Jan. 5 big box store referendum, we’re seeing all of those campaign traits as the battle heats up. Via dueling newspaper columns, and whispers in coffee shops and bars, the Town Board members from either camp are putting forth their arguments while questioning the judgment and integrity of their opposite-voting cohorts....

The big box battle is on

Forget Congress battling over the health care bill. Afghanistan? It is on our radar, but we’ll focus on it after Jan. 5. The big box battle is on in Eagle, and the local political machines are humming, nonstop. The question of whether or not Eagle should welcome a big box store “lifestyle center” (developer talk for “shopping mall”) will be put to local voters in the form of a referendum vote the first Tuesday in January....

Domino effect

When my kids were young, they loved a book titled “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.”  It was a cute little story, about the consequences of a single action. (If you give the mouse a cookie, it needs a glass of milk to go with it. The mouse spills the milk, so you need a mop and bucket to clean up the mess … ) It was a little kid’s story of the domino effect. The ongoing recession is having a similar domino affect on our little mountain community. Over 700 property owners failed to pay their taxes this year. Collectively, they owe the county over $6 million....

Do the math on health care reform

I have a math question to pose for all those congressmen and senators who cannot seem to find common ground on health care reform. It is a word problem — the kind you used to hate back in high school algebra class. Here it is: I’m 59-years-old. My plan was to semi-retire, working part-time as a newspaper reporter, for at least another half-dozen years. That got derailed in April, when the newspaper company laid me off. Subsequently, my income has decreased by about 95 percent. My husband, 61, is retired from his state job, but works part-time for the town of Eagle....

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

You lie! While driving through Utah on a vacation last week, my husband and I were startled to see those two words, complete with the exclamation point, carefully woven with fluorescent ribbon into wire fences on over several highway bridges. Granted, Utah isn’t exactly an Obama state. But still, somebody was enough of a fan of rude political behavior to claim that public property to endorse the rudeness of that South Carolina congressman. There’s a difference between political passion and outright rudeness....

Those lazy, hazy (health care debate) days of summer

As far as summers go, this has been a great one. One of the advantages of being laid-off of work is the extra recreation time. I’ve spent the summer the way Colorado mountain people do: hiking, fishing, camping, floating the river, mushroom-hunting forays, and wildflower photography trips. And on every outing, the topic of health care has cropped up. While hiking up a trail that eventually yielded a spectacular view of the Mount of the Holy Cross, a doctor’s wife talked about the health care system....