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Entries posted by john.hazlehurst

The Fab Five

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Five Colorado Springs charitable foundations have moved into the historic Burgess house.
Located at 730 N. Nevada Ave., the building was recently purchased by the Pikes Peak Community Foundation and will also house the Bee Vradenburg Foundation, the Colorado Springs Community Foundation, the Pikes Peak Real Estate Foundation and the Pikes Peak Educational Foundation.
The three-story Victorian structure, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1884 by William Burgess, a prominent local merchant, and was home to the Burgess family for nearly 100 years. Continue Reading The Fab Five

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Common sense from an uncommon man

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Growing up in Colorado Springs in the 1950s, I dated a girl named Nancy Shoup.
Nancy’s dad, Merrill Shoup, the son of Gov. Oliver Shoup, was one of our small city’s leading businessmen. CEO and chairman of the Holly Sugar Corp., he served on half-a-dozen boards and was an ardent conservative, at a time when “conservative wasn’t cool.”
Mr. Shoup, who was fond of my parents and grandparents, took it upon himself to teach me about business, fearing that I’d become dangerously liberal. Continue Reading Common sense from an uncommon man

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Gambling: State only real winner

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In Colorado, gambling is big business.
During fiscal year 2006, which ended on June 30, Colorado casinos paid $106.1 million in state taxes on a record $765.4 million in adjusted gross proceeds, total revenue less player winnings.
Powerball, Lotto and scratch games generated $113.7 million last year. Continue Reading Gambling: State only real winner

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Watching politics apparently gone awry

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For sheer weirdness, it’s hard to imagine a Colorado political season as wacky as this one.
Consider the following:
The GOP nominated a respected, amiable two-term congressman, Bob Beauprez, as their gubernatorial candidate. Nothing in Beauprez’ history suggested that he’d be anything other than a competent contender. In fact, just a few months ago, the Democrats were in despair because popular Denver mayor, John Hickenlooper, had declined to run, ceding the nomination by default to the little-known Denver district attorney, Bill Ritter. Continue Reading Watching politics apparently gone awry

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Does downtown economy hinge on big crowds?

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Twenty-five years ago, as one downtown businessman pointed out recently, “you could have rolled a bowling ball down Tejon Street at 10 o’clock on Saturday night, and not hit a thing.”
But, as any downtown visitor can attest, things have changed.
Downtown is no longer just a place for specialty retail outlets and government offices, it’s the epicenter of Colorado Springs nightlife — which has recently sprung to the forefront because of an assault at one of the area’s trendiest nightclubs. Continue Reading Does downtown economy hinge on big crowds?

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Is state pension fund really ‘fixed?’

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During the last legislative session, lawmakers “fixed” the state’s Public Employees Retirement Association pension fund, principally by diverting 0.5 percent of employee raises to PERA for the next six years and introducing a “rule of 85” for retirement eligibility.
But an analysis of PERA’s finances indicates that its unfunded liability, far from decreasing in future years, could easily increase. And, questions exist concerning mortality assumptions by PERA’s actuaries and about PERA’s projected rates of return on its investment portfolio that raise red flags about the long-term solvency of the pension plan. Continue Reading Is state pension fund really ‘fixed?’

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Pension fund problems not limited to Colorado

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The battle to keep Colorado’s Public Employee Retirement Association pension fund solvent isn’t an isolated problem.
In common with other private and public pension plans, the fund’s ratio between active workers and retirees is one of the causes for concern. Continue Reading Pension fund problems not limited to Colorado

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Striping, playing nice and looking ahead

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Let us consider the delicious absurdity of the ongoing saga of … Tejon Street striping!
In case you’ve missed it, let me bring you up to date.
El Paso County, for reasons best known only to our august county commissioners, ripped down an unprepossessing office building on South Tejon and erected a parking garage on the site. Upon completion, the city re-striped the formerly four-lane street to two-lanes, and added bicycle lanes. Continue Reading Striping, playing nice and looking ahead

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The devil is in the details of the metrics

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“The kudos keep on coming!”
Such was the subscript of a giddy, triumphal e-mail from Dave White at the Greater Colorado Springs Economic Development Corp., giving your columnist (and hundreds of other recipients) the good news — Forbes magazine had just ranked Colorado fifth in business climate.
Coming on the heels of Money magazine’s No. 1 ranking of our fair city, that’s great news for the EDC folks. Continue Reading The devil is in the details of the metrics

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De Marsche debunks museum director image

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Art museums are often perceived as elitist guardians of high culture, or as forbiddingly didactic educational institutions or as contemptuous of the beliefs and values of the very visitors whom they seek to attract.
Not in Colorado Springs.
“For many museums, I think that’s in the past,” said Michael De Marsche, CEO of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. “I know that we’re completely focused on the quality of the experience that our members and visitors have — that they should expect and get the very best.” Continue Reading De Marsche debunks museum director image

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