Archive for November, 2007

Some might call it a bit of political one-upmanship, but I have to commend Boulder’s Jared Polis for a brave decision to travel to Iraq and check out the war that he strongly opposes.

Polis, running for Colorado’s 2nd Congressional seat, is both blogging about his trip at Polis for Congress Web site, then he’ll have a live conference call this Friday, with plans for town hall meetings on his return, with one planned for Wednesday, Nov. 28, at Boulder’s Dairy Center.

Polis, who is gay, talks openly on his Web site about how he was warned about the danger of traveling in Iraq, where gay and lesbian Iraqis already have been killed. He also writes about how several safehouses for gay and lesbian Iraqis have been attacked and several have had to close. More information on that is found at another blog, by an organization supporting gay rights in Iraq.

Polis, in his first posting from Amman, Jordan, says he is looking at some of the NGOs, or nonprofit organizations, that seem to be getting things accomplished better in Iraq than government entities. He’s traveling to Iraq with a representation of the United Way, and I will be interested to see which organizations he finds are doing good jobs there.

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Many Boulder businesses lost a trusted friend and adviser on Nov. 11, and I lost one of my closest friends.

Eric “Rick” Simons, 52, a CPA and owner of Rick Simons & Associates, died in a white-water rafting accident on the Cangrejal River in Honduras. He was touring Nicaragua and Honduras with several friends. A worldwide traveler, Rick had been touring different spots around the world every November. In 2000, I was part of the gang that visited Cuba, and the year before, Jamaica. Despite an invite each year to amazing places like New Zealand, Peru, Vietnam, Cambodia and other spots, I had been unable to break away from increasingly busy year-ends at my company, the Boulder County Business Report.

Family and friends buried Rick yesterday here in Boulder, after a memorial service at Har HaShem congregation, where Rick was a member.

Since it took several days to deal with the embassy and make arrangements to return Rick back to Colorado, some of the first news about the accident came on a Honduras-based blog, La Gringa’s Blogicito.

Interesting, when you are desperate for news on an accident like this in a developing country, one of the first reports comes from a blog, again proving the global communication power of bloggers. I appreciated La Gringa’s post, and the comments that corrected some of the facts, including that Rick was from Boulder, Colorado, not Colorado, Illinois. Is there such a place?

One of the most recent posts there is from Rick Posnick, a Boulder dentist who traveled every year with Rick, and was also flipped out of the raft as the guide missed a turn and took them all straight into a Class V rapid, already swollen by recent heavy rains.

Both close friends and family described how Rick was a true wanderlust at his service, always seeking another adventure. And they described how he always treated his business clients fairly, giving them one-on-one personal service that’s so hard to find these days. Rick, in fact, connected me and my business partners when we purchased the Business Report in 1989, and he has kept us in line with our taxes ever since.

I’m trying to write my blog posts shorter, not easy to do when trying to describe how much I’ll miss Rick. I’ll write more in my next Editor’s Column at www.bcbr.com. I wrote the column, sitting alone in a Chicago hotel room, unable to sleep last Sunday night after receiving a call about the accident.

Categories : Current Affairs
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