Manitou race proves politics can be decent

*Note: This essay was published in the Colorado Springs Gazette print edition on November 3, 2017. It can also be found online here.

We’re now repeatedly reminded that Americans are intensely divided: a recent poll found “seven in 10 Americans say the nation’s political divisions are at least as big as during the Vietnam War” and a writer recently opined that too many believe “politics needs to be weaponized to be enjoyed.”

Not in Manitou Springs. You may not have heard, but there’s a tight race for mayor. Incumbent Mayor Nicole Nicoletta, elected in 2015 to a two-year term, seeks another on Tuesday against a challenge from long-time resident and retired lawyer Ken Jaray. Continue reading “Manitou race proves politics can be decent”

Grateful for those in public safety and service

*Note: This essay was published in the Colorado Springs Gazette print edition on October 16, 2017. It can also be found online here.

While wearing my military uniform, I often hear a distant, direct, “thank you for your service.” It’s always appreciated, but, during a painfully long week, containing the aftermath of the tragedy in Las Vegas, wildfires tearing across California, and a personal emergency closer to home (not to mention the immense recoveries in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico) – it’s high time that someone in the military paid forward that common compliment. To all those involved in our nation’s public safety and service, please accept a full-throated, deeply heartfelt, “thank you for your service.” Continue reading “Grateful for those in public safety and service”

Keeping Manitou weird

*Note: This essay was published in the Colorado Springs Gazette print edition on August 6, 2017. It can also be found online here.

America is an angry place these days. Politics burn hot on both ends; cable news stokes the fire. Families choose sides, dividing the closest bonds. Arguments abound, and at times, that spirit of animosity can just be too much.

Which is what makes Manitou Springs so different, so distinct – so weird. While most think it’s the pot or the art, or maybe even that residents call each other “Manitoids” – what really sets Manitou apart is an uncommon neighborliness, connectedness, and kindness.

Continue reading “Keeping Manitou weird”