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Thursday, August 20,2015

Wanted: Fifty Boulder voters who think local government matters

By Joel Dyer
There is an election deadline rapidly approaching and the majority of potential city-council candidates for Boulder could use your help. At 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 24, any person running for a city council seat who doesn’t have 25 legal signatures on their “petition of nomination” gets punted to the curb and will not have their names on the ballot for this November’s election. No big deal, right? I mean, how hard can it be to walk around with a clipboard and get 25 registered voters — including friends, family and coworkers — to sign their name to your petition?
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Thursday, August 13,2015

Celebrating a quarter century of fun and music at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival

By Joel Dyer
It’s hard to believe that the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival is celebrating its 25th year on Friday, August 14. I know I should be happy for the nice people at Planet Bluegrass. After all, they started this celebration of great music and songwriting from scratch and have now grown it into one of the nation’s most beloved festivals.
Thursday, July 30,2015

Council is listening, but to whom?

By Joel Dyer
At this point, I actually feel a bit sorry for the members of Boulder’s City Council. In the last few months they have managed to anger just about everyone for one reason or another. Whether its development or rightsizing, municipalization miscues, nutty decisions on historical preservation or their continued support for the city’s discriminatory policies aimed at pushing the homeless out of sight, pretty much everyone has expressed some level of displeasure with this crew. And while the community’s grumblings spring from a variety of issues, the central complaint is nearly always the same: “this Council just doesn’t listen.”
Thursday, July 16,2015

Canary of the West

By Joel Dyer
Out here in the West, the sage-grouse is our canary and its well-documented demise is a warning that we better act fast if our beloved way of life is to avoid the same fate.
Thursday, July 2,2015

The state of hate and the impotency and consequences of fighting over the Confederate flag

By Joel Dyer
On June 27, 30-yearold educator and activist Bree Newsome climbed the three-story-high flagpole in front of the South Carolina statehouse in Columbia and pulled down the Confederate battle flag. Her climb was necessitated by the fact the flag was more or less permanently attached to the poll where it flew 24 hours a day with no way of being lowered or flown at half-mast. Until that moment, a piece of cloth with some symbol of the Confederacy had been flying continuously at the South Carolina capitol since 1961.
Thursday, May 7,2015

Smart Track? We’re not that stupid

By Joel Dyer
What does Smart Track have in common with the Brooklyn Bridge? They both get sold to suckers. First off, I apologize for writing this column. I really do. I feel guilty because writing this insinuates that I think there are people out there capable of reading this paper, voting or even reciting most of the alphabet who don’t already know that Smart Track and Fast Track are really the same thing.
Thursday, April 30,2015

Development reality check

By Joel Dyer
I can’t remember how many times I’ve started off a column or news story with my favorite Harry S. Truman quote, but it’s happened a lot. There is just something about the short memory of Boulder County politicians and some residents that seems to keep it relevant.
Thursday, April 23,2015

black holes

Can conflict reporting survive the digital age?

By Joel Dyer
On April 2, four members of the Somali-based terrorist group al-Shaba stormed the campus of Garissa University in Northern Kenya. By the end of the ensuing standoff with Kenyan authorities, 147 people were dead and another 79 wounded. But why was the university attacked?
Thursday, April 2,2015

It’s past time for Polis to decide on fast track for TPP

By Joel Dyer
Some people just can’t make up their minds. Where should I eat? Blue or red? The Voice or Dancing with the Stars? Obviously, indecision on the part of most people doesn’t have much significance for the rest of us, but that’s not true of everyone. When Congressman Jared Polis is indecisive, you better take cover. History tells us bad things happen when he struggles to make a decision on something until the last minute.
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Thursday, February 12,2015

Putting down another piece in the Jorma Kaukonen puzzle

By Joel Dyer
If you think of Jorma Kaukonen’s career as a jigsaw puzzle, the whole thing sort of makes sense. It began as a pile of disjointed pieces containing just a hint or color of things to come. Each day, each year, each decade the puzzle becomes more complete. Every new piece is connected to an older one while always expanding the emerging picture of the artist. Today we see an impressive, though still progressing, image of a musician that has been 50 years in the making.