BARBWIRE BOB – Ramblin’ around the corral with Bob Sweeney

Friday evening family members met for dinner, and the younger ones selected the “Lazy Dog” restaurant in Southland Mall for the destination.  I have a family of “dog lovers” and this restaurant allows dogs to dine with customers on the patio.  Now, no dogs were present from my family members, but I heard from a grandson “Well I could have brought “Buddy.”

Having never been to the Lazy Dog before a huge restaurant building and a spacious parking lot filled to capacity with vehicles at 7 p.m.  Happy hour ends at 6 p.m. so we were catching some of the late Friday afternooners enjoying some attractive specials.

Lazy Dog sells six-packs of their home brewed beer along with meals and they have a special promotion offering meal discounts if you buy their many brewed beers.

I would guess that there were at least 300 diners in the massive main floor with our group seated on the dog friendly patio.  Service was good and the food was excellent.  This is a well-designed and managed restaurant operation with moderate prices.  Governor candidate, founder of “Camp Bow Wow,” Heidi Ganahl would love this place.

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This week’s Villager has the statewide Colorado Constitutional Amendments that will be on the ballot come November 2.  These questions appear to have considerable support.  Along with these state questions we have a county ballot  issue 1A that is not a new tax increase, but continues the current ¼ of 1 percent sales tax for parks and recreation fairly distributed across the county. With burgeoning population growth, we need these trails and parks more than ever.

(See editorial opinion on ballot issues.)

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On the local scenes we have spirited city council elections ongoing in most of the county cities.  If you want to support a candidate, or candidates, we have advertising for sale.  If you want to address certain issues  just write a letter to the editor at no charge. In past years we’ve allowed candidate “shout outs” in letter form, but this year we received too many to publish. 

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There is considerable interest in the Cherry Creek Schools district  and Littleton school board elections.  Now is the time to examine local school management and policies.   We have enjoyed excellent schools in both districts for decades and it is a top priority to keep our schools in step with parents, teachers, and administrators working together.

The growing concerns  across the nation evokes major local interest about curriculum being taught in classrooms.  Who decides what; parents, teachers, and/or administrators?  Widening diversity also seems to be of major concern.  It is not business as usual regarding our local schools. 

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I hope that you are enjoying Mike Mazenko’s articles on education. He is a skillful writer and an excellent English teacher in the Cherry Creek school system.  He wrote last week about the size of school districts; he would prefer smaller districts.  I politely disagree and have felt for years that we have too many school districts across the state.  Colorado has 178 districts piled on top of each other with varying administrative staffs in each district.  Here in Arapahoe County we have seven school districts that include Cherry Creek, Littleton, Sheridan, Englewood, Aurora, Byers, and Deer Trail. Parental control is  very important but so are rising taxes largely going to fund school district costs.  I would favor fewer school districts and administrators with more pay going to classroom teachers.  Long past time to examine the state’s school districts and the associated costs of operating all of these districts.  We  could consolidate them into the new nine congressional districts or even the new legislative districts of common interest and racial diversity.  Bottom line we need to get the best bang for the buck for taxpayers and students.  Let’s pay teachers more and reduce the administrative overheads.

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With all of the Federal funding underway and projected, I see NO need for any local governing body to be raising sales taxes at this time.