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Entries posted by john.hazlehurst

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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Paying a price for squeezing government

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All through the 1990s, the Colorado Springs economy boomed, as did Denver’s, as did the nation’s. But, like a man starving in the midst of plenty, city government couldn’t benefit from the boom — the Bruce amendments simply deprived it of the resources needed to cope with growth. Urgently needed reconstructive work was postponed, and decaying infrastructure was patched, rather than replaced. Continue Reading Paying a price for squeezing government

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The City of Colorado Springs intends to establish a “Solicitation Exclusion Zone,” which would include most of downtown, according to Police Commander Kurt Pillard, who heads the Gold Hill Division, which includes downtown.
Pillard said that individuals who have been convicted of aggressive panhandling will be barred from the zone for a year. Such individuals, once identified, would be subject to immediate arrest if found within the boundaries of the zone. Continue Reading Springs considering ‘solicitation exclusion zone’

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CVB adapting to change

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For 15 years, Terry Sullivan worked to bring Colorado Springs a convention center that, in his opinion, the city desperately needed.
But, in a stunning defeat for proponents, voters approved a ballot initiative in 2004 that barred the city from using tax money to plan such a facility. At first dismayed, the longtime CEO of Experience Colorado Springs at Pikes Peak, the convention and visitors bureau, says that he has accepted the results of the vote, and has moved on. Continue Reading CVB adapting to change

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Springs a couple ‘tiers’ from the top

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Experience Colorado Springs at Pikes Peak, the convention and visitors bureau, is hardly unique. More than 450 cities in the United States have similar organizations, as do hundreds of cities abroad.
Almost all are funded by hotel lodging taxes, and all compete for the same pool of business and leisure travelers. Continue Reading Springs a couple ‘tiers’ from the top

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Hopefully Lamborn knows his business

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“I’ll tell you, Rivera’s the big loser here … Tomorrow morning, the sharks are gonna be circling — (Jerry) Heimlicher, (Larry) Small, (Scott) Hente; any one of ’em could beat him next April. He shoulda stayed out of the race.”
-Seasoned Political Observer Continue Reading Hopefully Lamborn knows his business

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Feral men, urban blight, trading spaces

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Wandering through downtown the other day, I was struck by the strange disconnect between what our businessmen, politicians and downtown promoters say as opposed to what they actually do.
What they say: we want a vibrant, vital, robust (see how well I’ve absorbed their buzzwords) downtown, with a stimulating mix of retail, restaurants and bars, residences, offices, art galleries, theaters, restored historic buildings … a festive mix of everything that anyone might want. And what do we have? Continue Reading Feral men, urban blight, trading spaces

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