I guess it was inevitable. Governor Hickenlooper is adopting Obama's Communist concept of "distributing the wealth." Those of us 65 years and older who have lived in their homes for at least 10 years will again qualify for a property tax exemption, but it is obvious from news reports that the underlying hope is that significant funding for "several services aiding the elderly" will result from seniors who qualify, but don't take the exemption.
His announcement of restoring the property tax exemption under the "Older Coloradan Program" prompted responses by AARP and other senior groups that they "hope to persuade richer seniors to not take the exemption by telling them money that they don't claim for themselves will go to more needy seniors, rather than back to the state's general fund."
I have always been for "needy causes," but contingent on these causes being funded appropriately. I don't know under this new bill, signed by Hickenlooper on May 22, whether or not I "qualify" as a "rich senior," but I do know that this is not the American way.
Before asking us "older Coloradans" to make yet another sacrifice, why not raise the necessary funding simply by eliminating all the fraud in our welfare programs? That's the American way.
If you notice more people with cameras around their necks and big sunglasses on, that's because the Rifle Area Chamber of Commerce has launched a coordinated marketing effort to bring more tourists to the Rifle area.
For the last several years, the chamber has been awarded funds from the city's visitor improvement fund to promote Rifle to audiences outside the local area. The fund comes from a bed tax on all hotels within city limits.
The chamber has built a strong regional marketing campaign that utilizes brilliant photography of our local attractions to create interest in our area. Ads have been placed in many regional hunting and fishing publications that encourage readers to fish, hunt, climb or just play and stay in Rifle.
The chamber has also gone head first into the world of social media marketing with a chamber member business, Lewis Marketing, LLC. The Visit Rifle Facebook page already has over 1,000 fans in its first nine weeks of existence.
Rifle Gap, Rifle Falls and Harvey Gap State Parks are the primary bait for interested travelers. Rifle Mountain Park is being used to attract more rock climbers. Anglers will also find Rifle to be a hospitable place to hone their skills, with many rivers and creeks, along with the reservoirs, all within a short distance.
So, if you see a few more folks walking around town, on the golf course or crowding up the rivers, just tip your hat, say "hello" and remember they come to visit where we get to live every day.
Look for members of the Rifle chamber board on Channel 2's "Colorado's Best" on Thursday, May 31 at 9 a.m., promoting our town to the Front Range. Then look for a television ad campaign on Fox31 this summer.
I urge you to vote for Kristen Bertuglia for the Holy Cross Energy board.
By now, you have received your ballot in the mail. While the urge to toss it in the garbage may be great, think again. Your vote absolutely counts in this small election and a vote for Kristen Bertuglia will ensure we have a progressive candidate voted onto the board.
Kristen and I work together, and I can vouch for her hard work, perseverance and intelligence. She works on a wide variety of projects in environmental sustainability and makes sure each project runs smoothly and efficiently.
I have personally witnessed her commitment to sustainability in the town of Vail and throughout the region, as Kristen and her husband, Steve, work countless volunteer hours on the Vail Community Garden, clean-up days and many other projects to help our community.
Kristen will help Holy Cross Energy move towards more alternative energy options, which, in my opinion, will ultimately help bring down energy costs and, hopefully, increase the dividends we just received in the mail.
You can make a difference by voting Kristen Bertuglia.