BARBWIRE BOB – 9-14-23


The record breakings summer rains have given rise to wonderful foliage  for the beautiful metro trees.  Years from now the inner circles that detect tree growth will have record rings on growth.  What concerns me now is if we have an early snowfall, and with the summer moisture, the heavy leaf growth and soft summer branches are in great jeopardy.  I guess that is Mother Nature’s way of trimming trees but way too brutal on trees and shrubs. Pray for late snow.


My trail was a busy one this week.  I attended the monthly meeting of the Arapahoe Republican Club with the featured speaker, Centennial Mayor Stephanie Piko.  She is an excellent mayor and leads her city very well.  It is commendable that many of her councilmembers show up at events.  Sometimes, all of them, and that shows leadership and harmony, leading to sound government.  Remember, in public service that we can disagree, without being disagreeable.  

The mayor, wearing a gorgeous pair of high heels, walked the talk.

Her message was a warning about the governor and Legislature coming after local control on zoning and land usage.  This is a fight over local zoning control by cities or statewide land use being  governed by the state.  Most of the challenge is about affordable housing and allowing multiple or cheap housing in present city and county neighborhoods.  

I asked the mayor to write a guest column on the challenges and she said she would.  Piko has a possible bright future in the Republican party when she finishes her term as mayor.  The challenge is there are so few opportunities to extend effective leadership that the mayor exhibits.  Maybe as county commissioner following  Nancy Sharpe’s great leadership.  Maybe a state or national position, but Democrats have a very firm grasp on Colorado political positions exhibited in the last election, trouncing  of the GOP candidates by large margins. 

My goal is good government by effective political leadership by members of either party or unaffiliated leaders.  I would give credit to Governor Polis for his success in bringing  early education to all  children so they can be enrolled in preschool that previously only wealthier children could afford to attend.  The wrinkles will be worked out with funding the program and all children will be able to attend pre-school and start learning at an early age.  My tip to parents with younger children, mute the TV and make them read the closed captions.  This is a great way to enhance reading skills.

I also hand it to Gov. Polis, our two Senators, Bennet, and Hickenlooper, and all the Colorado Representatives, GOP, and Dems, on returning the new Space Force to Colorado Springs where it belongs.  That was a major victory for Colorado and a major defeat for Alabama.  (Wait until our CU Buffaloes lick the Alabama Crimson Tide on the gridiron later this year.)

Our award-winning senior reporter Freda Miklin is writing a bi-partisan analysis of the ballot issue on Tabor. Miklin is a former Greenwood Council member and worked as a certified public accountant in Chicago and Denver city administrations;  Miklin understands accounting and finance along with being a former elected city official.  This taxation issue is complicated, and the result is whether the state will keep tax windfalls from rising property tax revenues or continue to refund the excess money to Colorado taxpayers.  My guess is that HH will go down in flames, but it is early, and anything can happen.  I believe in the old saying “Voters vote their pocketbooks.”


I spent last Saturday morning at the Denver Lions Savio complex, attending the annual meeting of the Denver Lions Club officers, conducted by new President Sally Hooks.  The annual session sets the stage for the upcoming year.  The major project for the Denver Lions is gathering and recycling used eyeglasses.  

Denver Lions have purchased from the Sterling Lions Club their eyeglass recycling equipment and can now clean and measure eye glass frames and lenses in house for exporting to foreign countries. 

A team of Den Lion members have traveled, at their own expense, to many remote areas in Mongolia, Ethiopia,  Mexico and Latin America, taking glasses to bring vision to sight-impaired impoverished people.  I’m told that people walk miles to receive these glasses. The Lions team members are volunteers, and the glasses are given by these trained teams free of charge.  Thousands of recycled glasses are being put to excellent use and the Lions need assistance in the gathering and recycling process.  If you have some old glasses, donate them to the Lions.  Even better,  join the club and experience the adventure of taking them to a foreign country with a Lion team.  Volunteers express that this is a life-changing experience.  More information: Denver Lions Club: 1375 Grant St., Denver, Co. 80203/  Ph: 303-504-6293. Email: //Website: www.Denver


Following the morning meeting with the Lions I raced to the American Legion Post No.1, to watch the second half of the CU Buffalo game where the Buffs tromped the Nebraska Cornhuskers.  What a victory for CU students, alumni, and all football fans.  I’m a CSU graduate and I fear the Rams are in for a tough challenge this coming Saturday at Folsom Field in Boulder with another 10 a.m. kickoff.


The day ended at the 18th Annual TAPS Colorado Celebrity Classic.

TAPS was founded in 1994 to create a loving and supportive family for those grieving a military death.  

450 attendees enjoyed an Epicurean catered menu with silk napkins and barbecued beef brisket.  Larry DiPasquale, owner, was walking the floor making sure that his awesome staff were serving hot food and pouring complimentary beverages.  They were, and the event went off very well.  Superstar Gary Morris brought tears to my eyes with his two songs to start the evening, especially “Wind Beneath my Wings.”

Highlight of the evening was the honoring of Bo and Lynne Cottrell, who have dedicated 18 years of unwavering service to the organization.  They are retiring from the leadership role they have performed so well. 

As the program relates from TAPS Founder Bonnie Carroll, … “Bo and Lynne, you are beacons of hope, guiding the way for those who are lost in the darkness of grief.  Your legacy  is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the boundless capacity of compassion.  As you step back, your light continues to shine, inspiring us all to  serve, support and uplift one another.  The world is forever changed through your loving care, and the military survivors of Colorado will forever hold you in their hearts.” 

Kudos to the program committee that kept the evening lively and  a  special tribute to auctioneer Eric Goodman who coached every dollar out of the very generous audience with the silent auction and paddle contributions, breaking all previous records in donations. Well done by the TAP attendees.

We don’t say this anymore, “But a good time was had by all.”