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Entries posted by john.hazlehurst

Do whatever it takes for our arts superstar

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So here it is at last, the grand opening of the resplendent new addition to the Fine Arts Center. It’s a triumph for and a tribute to our community. We all owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the foundations, businesses and individuals whose generous contributions made this day possible.
But it’s obvious that we owe much to one man, FAC President and CEO Michael De Marsche. Without his leadership, it’s reasonable to assume that the arts community would still be mired in pointless infighting, that no plan would have been conceived, that no project would have been launched. Continue Reading Do whatever it takes for our arts superstar

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Way back in the early 70′s, when I was pretending to be an investment banker in New York, I met with a delegation of Native Americans who were concerned about plans to construct a massive coal-fired generating plant on tribal lands. In heart-rending detail, they told me how disruptive this would be to their way… Continue Reading Whatever Rupert Wants, Rupert Gets

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Is innumeracy (i.e., mathematical and/or arithmetical ignorance/incompetence) a problem among the political class? You’d certainly think so, given an article in this morning’s Denver Post questioning the financial assumptions of a couple of state legislators re revenue from gas wells on the Roan plateau in western Colorado. Here’s an excerpt: “A proposal by statehouse Republicans… Continue Reading Politicians and Numbers

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Parking lots stark reminder of lost history

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If you want an easy visual lesson about the economic impact of historic preservation, I’d suggest three Saturday afternoon strolls.
Stroll No. 1: Start at Bancroft Park, in historic Old Colorado City. Walk west on the north side of the street to 27th Street, cross Colorado Avenue and walk back on the south side of the street. Continue Reading Parking lots stark reminder of lost history

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A problem that isn’t going away

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El Paso County’s budget is full of strange abbreviations such as “2008 one-time MAFR,” figures that don’t seem to quite add up, multiple sources of funding, mandated and discretionary expenditures and bewildering pie charts.
As County Commissioner Jim Bensberg said, not wholly in jest, “Sometimes I think that they — the bean counters — go out of their way to make sure that mere mortals like you and me can’t understand it.” Continue Reading A problem that isn’t going away

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The Detroit News had an interesting article this morning about the much-quoted foreclosure stats published by Realtytrac. Here’s an excerpt. “Two years ago, when RealtyTrac Inc. started releasing monthly foreclosure numbers, it filled an information void and became the self-appointed record keeper for the nation’s ugly spike in mortgage defaults. Those numbers have been widely… Continue Reading Foreclosures: Now you see ‘em, now you don’t

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Bloomberg has an interesting article today on the (apparently) impending real estate disaster in Miami. Here’s an excerpt: “In the middle of the biggest glut of condominiums in more than 30 years, Miami developers keep on building. The oversupply will force prices down as much as 30 percent, the worst decline since the 1970s, and… Continue Reading Miami Condominium Glut

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‘Big 3’ not what they used to be

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Many years ago, the cover of Fortune magazine bore a haunting photograph of a brilliantly lit, deserted automobile showroom, taken late at night.
On the showroom floor was a small, inventively styled foreign car that had quietly established a substantial presence in the American market. Beneath the photograph, deliberately styled after Edward Hopper’s painting of Depression-era New York City, “Nighthawks,” was the simple legend: “While Detroit Slept.” Continue Reading ‘Big 3’ not what they used to be

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Sorry Hank, but I’ve problems of my own

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Remember Pogo Possum, the swamp-dwelling protagonist of the eponymous comic strip? I never paid much attention to the strip, even as a comics-loving kid.
But I do remember Pogo’s famous remark: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”
That sweet little epigram was a sly rephrasing of an equally well-known wartime dispatch sent in 1813 from Oliver Hazard Perry to William Henry Harrison, saying that “We have met the enemy, and they are ours.” Continue Reading Sorry Hank, but I’ve problems of my own

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Our often-embattled congressman, Doug Lamborn, has apparently chosen to be the spear-carrier for bills which have little chance of passing, but are sure to infuriate the newly ascendant Democrats. His most recent bill, which would have stripped all funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting follwed a similar bill aimed at the National Endowment for… Continue Reading Lamborn strategy all wrong?

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