New Year off to a fast start

Cross Currents: A column by Bill Christopher
Posted 2/11/20

It’s not quite Valentine’s Day, 2020, but it seems like a lot has come and gone already in less than 45 days. For example, Americans have gone through a bitter, testy, partisan impeachment …

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New Year off to a fast start

Posted

It’s not quite Valentine’s Day, 2020, but it seems like a lot has come and gone already in less than 45 days.

For example, Americans have gone through a bitter, testy, partisan impeachment hearing of the President of the United States of America. The ensuing trial in the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate concluded in a very partisan acquittal decision.

After 50 years, the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl with second half heroics from quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The outbreak of the Coronavirus which started in China has spread like a strong wind out of the east which will likely result in a pandemic. The Iowa Democratic presidential caucus was an embarrassing, computer software hot mess. The final voting results are yet to be determined at the time I’m writing this column. President Trump’s State of the Union speech and reactions by Democrats clearly showed how divided Congress and the Nation are. Internationally, after numerous fits and starts, the Brits achieved Brexit for better or worse (I think worse).

State and local activity just as busy

Closer to home, the Westminster City Council is considering some City Charter Amendments, which if approved by a majority of the Council, will be decided at the polls by the voters in November. One of the potential amendments would change how council candidates are elected (not at-large which is the current requirement). Water rate increases for 2021 and 2022 are under discussion in Westminster. More apartment developments are in the que for city council consideration.

The State Legislature is talking about ways to help rural school districts attract more teachers as well as raise schoolteachers’ salaries. Furthermore, the death penalty is on the chopping block here in Colorado. The C.U. Buffs are having one of their best basketball seasons ever while the Nuggets and Avalanche are doing quite well. And let’s not forget the annual Stock Show attracted record-breaking crowds.

Impeachment trial fallout
and lack of top Dem candidate

Needless to say, the first month-and-a-half of 2020 has been loaded with a variety of highs and lows from emotional, political, physical and intellectual perspectives. Will the Senate Republicans refusal to allow new testimony or new documents during the Trump impeachment trial influence voters in November? I think so; it will especially resonant with unaffiliated voters.

Will the Democrats find a viable candidate for President in the Super Tuesday and other state primaries? Finding the right electable candidate clearly is up for grabs in my opinion. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren scarce me to death with all their socialist giveaways. Joe Biden carries too much baggage. Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg don’t have the necessary oomph.

That leaves Michael Bennet, Michael Bloomberg plus some other stragglers. Our Senator Bennet should have dropped out of the race months ago. I like what Bloomberg is saying and he has the horsepower to get the job done. If Democrats are smart, they will warm up to him.

You’re invited to free breakfast
with CASA speakers

Here’s a good way to start your Valentine’s Day. Come join other interested individuals for a free breakfast on Feb. 14th at the Marriott Westminster and learn about the great work which CASA of Adams and Broomfield Counties is doing for abused and neglected children.

Check-in is 7:30 a.m. with a one-hour program from 8-9 a.m.

CASA has had great success in serving children and youth in need for many years and is the literal voice in court for more than 500 youth. However, there is still much work to be done with another 1,100 abused/neglected kids in Adams and Broomfield Counties who do not have a Court Appointed Special Advocate to nurture them and speak up for them in the judicial system. Why not start your day with heart-warming real-life stories of how CASA’s have made a true difference in children’s lives?

Working on a potential
archival community center

It’s been quite slow coming out of the blocks, but Westminster’s city administration is moving ahead on the possibility of an archival community center.

Recently, staff sent consultant’s reports on the viability of establishing such a center with the city working closely with a variety of potential partners to city council. The center, which would be open to the public, would be responsible for preserving and maintaining historical documents pertaining to Westminster.

Community partners such as the Westminster Historical Society, school districts, Hyland Hills Parks and Recreation District, Community Reach, Pillar of Fire, Westminster service clubs, churches and others would have the opportunity to share their important documents, photographs, maps and the like at the center. The public would be able to access such documents for research, history buffs, student assignments and general browsing. It would provide the community partners with professionally trained archivists to catalog, preserve and handle their documents in a permanent, climate-controlled facility. The Parks, Recreation and Libraries Department should be rolling out the initial steps of the plan soon.

Point in time homeless count

On the evening of January 27, the City of Westminster hosted its annual “Point in Time” headcount of homeless people in the area. The City’s Swim and Fitness Center at 76th Avenue and Irving Street was a beehive of activity. Flyers, word of mouth and other means of communications had gone out earlier to attract homeless individuals to the event. My wife Ann and I volunteered to assist that evening and were amazed at the number of resources present for the event. A complimentary hot meal was catered by Gourmet Kitchen, Tri-County Health provided free inoculations, local hairstylists provided free haircuts, hot showers were available at the center and Growing Home staff conducted surveys to document the headcount. Clothing, coats, blankets, sleeping bags, shoes and food items were made available to those who wanted them. A total of 21 individuals attended the event.

Bill Christopher is a former Westminster city manager and RTD board member. His opinions are not necessarily those of Colorado Community Media.

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