From another historic fire to nasty local politics, the year made news

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Once again in June, our area made national headlines when the Black Forest fire erupted, killing two people and destroying nearly 500 homes.

Once again in June, our area made national headlines when the Black Forest fire erupted, killing two people and destroying nearly 500 homes.

We’re a business publication, one that is by definition nonpartisan, so in normal times we’d be a lot more concerned with business and industry than politics and government.

But these are not normal times. City government, whether functioning well or not, commands attention. As we struggle to recover from the recession, decisions taken by Mayor Steve Bach and City Council can have a disproportionate effect on the local business climate, and profoundly affect businesses large and small.

As we look back over 52 weeks worth of columns, stories and editorials, the amount of time devoted to city government is remarkable.

That’s just the tip of 2013’s iceberg, though, as the Colorado Springs Business Journal staff spent considerable time this month digging back through the entire year. Each writer focused on different coverage areas, from banking and finance to commercial and residential real estate, tourism, education, defense, technology, small business, downtown and more.

Our format for this year-ending package, dominating the final CSBJ issue of 2013, is simple: We picked out news stories, features and columns from each of those areas, put together packages of excerpts, and merged them into a full-blown recap of the past 12 months.

Through it all, several themes emerged. For example, the local economy continued crawling toward stability even after the Black Forest fire, showing positive trends in both the commercial and residential real estate and potential for sustained job growth. The aerospace and defense sectors are at a crossroads, with potential for experimentation and revitalization as well the uncertain effect that further sequestration and possible personnel reductions may have on local military outfits.

The package, starting on page 10, might not cover every single story from the local business scene in 2013. But it’s a generous sampling, and this issue also includes an editorial and other columns that add to the perspective.

The content was produced by everyone who worked on the CSBJ staff during the year, including some no longer with us. The list of contributors: John Hazlehurst, Cameron Moix, Marija Vader, Rebecca Tonn, Amy Gillentine, Monica Mendoza, Amanda Miller and Ralph Routon.

And with that, let’s move on to 2014.