Category Archives: General

The Americhick Blog authors Molly Vogt and Kim Monson are radio show hosts at 1690 KDMT Denver’s Money Talk Radio. Their show “Heart of the Matter” distinguishes Right vs Wrong, not Right vs Left.

A Thank You from a Client

A recent guest on our radio show, Mark, sent us a kind note thanking us for our efforts.

It reads:

“Thank you for letting me share my story! I am looking forward to reading the book you gave me. The opportunity to talk about our school [meant] the [world] to us. I wish you two the best of luck in finding new stories with the community.”

Best regards,

Mark”

Keep Our Neighborhood Library

When I was a child, I loved to read. I traveled with Nellie Bly, learned courage from Booker T. Washington and solved mysteries with Nancy Drew. I rode my bike to the library and spent hours there.

Our library was a “Carnegie” library, one of 2,509 libraries worldwide funded by Andrew Carnegie’s philanthropy. Carnegie, a self-made businessman and one of the wealthiest 19th-century Americans, was born in Scotland. At age 13 he moved to America. As a young boy, working long hours, earning $1.20 a week, he had no access to education. A retired merchant, Colonel Anderson, started a small library of 400 books with his personal collection. On Saturday afternoons, Anderson lent books to local children. This is how Carnegie educated himself.

Carnegie believed that building libraries was the most productive use of his wealth. He wanted to provide opportunity to young people who “who have good within them and ability and ambition to develop it.” Carnegie believed that libraries added to the meritocratic nature of America … anyone with the desire to learn could educate themselves and be successful like he had been.

While Carnegie’s story exemplifies the value of local libraries for the soul, here are some pragmatic points that you should consider.

First, a walkable library creates intrinsic value for a community. You need look no further than the numbers to understand “vintage” Lone Tree’s value of our library. According to the Douglas County Library Building Development Plan, annual circulation of Lone Tree’s 10,000-square-foot library is 800,000. Comparatively, Highlands Ranch’s library is 42,000 square feet with an annual circulation of 1.7 million. In order to achieve that same ROI (return on investment), Highlands Ranch would need to have circulation numbers in the range of 3.36 million a 97 percent increase. Why change something that is working well?

The director of operations of one of our premier preschools confirmed their little ones walk to the library at least twice a week during the summer. She said walking trips would no longer be organized if they have to cross Lincoln. Bottom line, these young children will no longer have access to a local, community library.

A successful local real-estate broker confirmed that buyers value walkable, community parks, schools and libraries. When asked if buyers value a community center as much as a library, his response was “no.” At the end of the day, a local, community library adds value to your property.

Keeping the Lone Tree Library and building a library in RidgeGate are not mutually exclusive. We can do both, and as a taxpayer it should not cost you any additional money.

  • According to the Douglas County assessor’s website, the library receives 4.07 mills on all taxable property in Douglas County, which raised $18.5 million for libraries last year.
  • RidgeGate’s new development increases Douglas County’s taxable assessed valuation, significantly growing tax revenue without a cost to current residents. This creates an automatic raise for schools, libraries, roads and bridges.
  • Currently 3.8 percent of Douglas County residents live in Lone Tree, while Lone Tree accounts for 9.85 percent of the county’s assessed valuation. Continued growth in assessed valuation will contribute to maintaining the quality of life throughout all of our communities.
    New development plus the generous donation of land by RidgeGate’s developer certainly warrants a library in RidgeGate. But not at the expense of other residents.

Closing Lone Tree’s library and opening a community center is not a net zero for you as a resident. It will cost you money. The number bantered around is $1.5 million. Currently, the mills you pay to the library district, pay for your library services. If the city buys the building, the funds come directly from our budget. Additionally, the cost of maintaining and staffing the building will become an ongoing expense of our city.

If you value your local, walkable library, here are your action steps.

  • Email your elected city government representatives.
  • Attend the city council meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at Civic Center, 8527 Lone Tree Parkway, voicing your support for both the “vintage” Lone Tree library and a library in RidgeGate.
  • Lastly, encourage your neighbors, friends and family to take action as well.
    Kim Monson is the city councilwoman representing Lone Tree’s District 2.

This article was originally posted as a Guest Column on the Lone Tree Voice

“Finding Hope Again”

Hello and welcome to Monson’s Musings. Kim Monson’s weekly topic blog.

How is it, that in America today, programs that rhetorically promote “hope” really take it away?  And, how can we, as Americans, let this continue?

Last Sunday, on our radio show “Heart of the Matter,” my fellow Americhick, Molly Vogt, and I talked about “Empowering Promoting the General Welfare.”  “Promote the General Welfare” is one of the six things in the Preamble of The U.S. Constitution that “We the People” entrust to government.

The term “General Welfare” has been hijacked by professional politicians and bureaucrats to support their taxation, spending and consolidation of power.  They care not about the individual, the poor nor the down-trodden.

Per John Eastman from a Claremont Institute paper dated March 27, 2014, “For the first eighty-five years of our nation’s history, under both the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution, the language of “general welfare” was viewed as a limitation on the powers of Congress, not as a grant of plenary power.”

On Sunday, we interviewed a friend of ours who grew up in really tough circumstances.  He postulated that people on welfare do not really want to be there, however, they have no hope nor belief that there is any way out.

How can this be in America, the land of opportunity?  How can we, as a nation spend over a trillion dollars on education and have any child think that their only hope is a government program, hand-out or subsidy?  Why is each student not taught that they are an individual, who is special, treasured, valued?

How can we spend another half trillion dollars on welfare programs that take away the dignity and satisfaction of working to take care of oneself?  Taking a hand-out when one is able to work degrades one’s soul.  This has got to stop!

Many of the bureaucrats and politicians who promote these programs are padding their pockets and consolidating power for their own benefit.  Others think they are protecting the poor.  They do not see the poor child languishing in underperforming schools, the young adult incurring student debt for a no-nothing degree nor the dependent citizen who cannot even fathom a way out of poverty.

I do not believe for one minute that this is how it has to be.  We are letting our fellow Americans down and we are abdicating our responsibility to empower the American Ideal in each individual.  It is nuts to imply that, fill in the blank with the flavor of the day identifier, i.e. black, gay, woman, etc., that we, as an individuals, cannot go after your hopes and dreams.

Our friend did not come to know his true value because of some government program.  He stepped out of the cycle of dependency and dis-belief in himself because of three individuals, a Young Life leader and two teachers.  These people knew he was more than even he believed he could be.

This is the story of America, the idea that each individual is unique and treasured, and given the opportunity to do so, we can be all that we can hope to be.  We as Americans, must no longer support government programs that take away hope.  We must work together to “Empower the Hope of America,” for the general welfare of each individual.

What Defines Us

It’s a new day, a new year, Congress is convening and legislatures are meeting throughout the country. As these new legislative sessions begin and as an elected official myself, I’ve been thinking a lot about what government is supposed to do. I’m realizing that what describe us: man,woman, black, Hispanic, Asian, white, gay, straight, rich, poor, democrat or republican, etc., is not what defines us. What defines us and what brings us together is what iswritten on our hearts.

The True American heart believes that all individuals are Created equal and that each individual has Rights, not guarantees, to Life, Liberty and thepursuit of Happiness. In order to achieve these three outcomes, “We the People” entrust six things to government to focus on:

  • Form a more perfect Union
  • Establish Justice (True Justice does not show partiality)
  • Insure domestic Tranquility
  • Provide for the common defense
  • Promote the general Welfare (General not partial)
  • Secure the Blessings of Liberty for ourselves and our Posterity

That’s it. Simple. Three outcomes and six marching orders. These are the guiding lights for each elected official, whether man, woman, black, Hispanic, Asian, white, gay, straight, rich, poor, democrat or republican, etc. Each decision that elected officials make must stand this test. If it doesn’t, the solution must be found amidst “We the People,” not government. Deep down, the American heart knows this to be True. This is what defines us…what is written on our hearts.

Disarming A Woman Is A War On That Woman

To look a woman in the eye and tell her that her personal judgment during the heat of a threat of rape or attack can not be “trusted” so she should not be “allowed” the opportunity to protect herself in the face of such threat is demeaning, offensive, sexist and flat out wrong.

This week Colorado Representative Joe Salazar, in defending a bill taking away a woman’s right to defend herself on a school campus, HB13-1226, and suggesting ridiculous options to protection like “safe boxes, vomiting and urinating on the attacker”, attacked all women.

I understand Rep. Salazar has 2 daughters.  I wonder if he has instructed them to ignore their instincts of sexual or deadly threat from an attacker and refrain from fighting back to save their own lives? Has he also told daddy’s little girls that rather than physically fighting for their lives they should try to vomit or urinate on themselves with the hope of “grossing out” such a “dignified member of society” so that he change his mind, release her throat, untie her and let her run free?

Being an Army veteran, husband and father of girls, I would think a man like Representative Salazar would know that the best and only deterrence to a brutal attack by a monster of a man made on a young woman would be for her to be armed and trained to protect herself at any time, in any place.

Disarming a woman is a war on that woman.  Shame on you who seek to render her defenseless.  Rep. Salazar and Speaker Ferrandino owe women in Colorado and all of America an apology.

A Few Thoughts Before The Election-From A Polish Girl

Came to this beautiful country 20 years ago and…fell in love with its people, ideas, way of life and… landscapes. Today I call it home, my home, proudly. I came legally and obtaining my US citizen status was source of pride. It was also a choice I made, I did not have to stay here for political or economic reasons-I stayed because I discovered freedom here for the first time. They thought me that FREEDOM is simply ability to choose and first time in my life I had choices, many of them!
Forgive me that I am so fascinated by politics and feel that before election -to make right choice -we shall engage, I know its very unpopular those days, I know. I am glad people express views on internet, exchange of information makes us stronger-especially in era of one sided media. I enjoy good political discussion and diffrent views, but no matter how hard I try it is very hard to me to understand people who would fallow socialistic (lefties) ideas which are beautiful at its core- but do not work (always destroy society and an individual) Bernie was great- but his ideas will never work.

Talks, arguments from both-left and right sides- hopefully let me understand WHY people choose one system or the other? Unfortunately-very often, I am not getting any answers, I see blind followers. I am getting ready for this election- I am researching, reading and watching and making my small discoveries: Hillary is not a good human being-to say very delicately, she is a unmoral lair, not a leader, obsess with power. Guess what- years ago- I considered voting for her-but did my research and what I see is simply terrifying. She is not in jail for one reason- system is corrupt on the higher level. At this point- I do not know if our votes even matter, I do not know -maybe it is all already set up by the worlds elites, I do not even know if I will vote this year. What I see- is incredible corruption, lies and diffrent standards applied to ordinary men who try to live with honesty and hard work and to our lying leaders who put money in their own pockets (with an exception of few senators) and that breaks my heart-because I remember diffrent America, very diffrent and wonder would we ever go back to its glory and freedom or will slavery continue to progress? And there is Trump, “the clown an idiot” (called by media desperately trying to shape our opinion ) ,but….a millioner. As to the Trump- the only hope is that he is NOT the part of the establishment and hopefully will repeat Reagan’s legacy in this country. My research continues and if my conclusion will be- he is- I will change my political views before November- and for the first time in my life here-will NOT vote, which again-breaks my heart, breaks me as a person, mother and an American.If you know me-you know how dear freedom and liberty is to me, and when its gone- America and its dream will be gone as well and new era of totalitarianism and government control will rise.

By: Dorie Lisowska