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Luke Travins doesn’t much like the proposed public improvement fee that Mayor Lionel Rivera has been peddling to downtown establishments during the last several weeks.

The voluntary 1 percent fee, which bars and restaurants would collect from patrons to help finance the U.S. Olympic Committee’s new headquarters building, has serious structural problems, said Travins, who is part-owner and regional manager of Concept Restaurants, which owns Jose Muldoon’s, MacKenzie’s Chophouse and The Ritz Grill in downtown.

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A proposal to phase out the state’s 133-year-old business personal property tax has died at the hands of its sponsor.The Senate assigned the bill to its Appropriations Committee yesterday, something supporters thought would end the measure. But, the committee gutted the bill leaving it a vague representation of its former self. So, the bill’s sponsor,… Continue Reading Business Personal Property Tax bill dies, study takes its place

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A bill that would require drivers to use handsfree phone devices while talking on cell phones is headed to the Senate for a vote.The Senate Appropriations Committee approved House Bill 1094 with a 6-4 vote today. State corrections and transportation workers were excluded so the state won’t have to spend an estimated $83,000 to outfit… Continue Reading Handsfree cell phone bill now awaiting Senate vote

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Sen. Arlen Specter switching from GOP to Dems

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WASHINGTON (AP) – Veteran Republican Sen. Arlen Specter disclosed plans Tuesday to switch parties, a move intended to boost his chances of winning re-election next year that will also push Democrats closer to a 60-vote filibuster-resistant majority.”I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans,” Specter said in a statement posted… Continue Reading Sen. Arlen Specter switching from GOP to Dems

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WASHINGTON (AP) – Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. will need to raise more capital if they can’t convince regulators that “stress test” results were mistaken, according to two people familiar with the matter.The banks are hard at work preparing their appeals, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because everyone involved… Continue Reading BofA, Citigroup need more capital after stress test

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Flu scare hasn’t hit Colorado Springs

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While health officials worldwide are mobilizing to respond to the spread of swine flu, people in Colorado Springs seem to be taking the news in stride. The city’s two hospitals are not seeing increased emergency room visits, with people asking for swine flu tests. And the public health system seems to be holding up under… Continue Reading Flu scare hasn’t hit Colorado Springs

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Obama plan would lower second-mortgage bills

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The Obama administration is expected to announce today that it is expanding its plan to stem the housing crisis by offering mortgage lenders incentives to lower borrowers’ bills on second mortgages.\ During the housing boom, lenders readily gave out “piggyback” second loans that allowed consumers to make small down payments or avoid… Continue Reading Obama plan would lower second-mortgage bills

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Mayor Lionel Rivera was pounding the pavement last week, soliciting support for a 1 percent public improvement fee that would be collected by the Downtown Metro District on downtown restaurant and bar sales. Revenue generated by the fee would be used to secure a $1 million loan from the Colorado Office of Economic Development to… Continue Reading Mayor peddling new fee to salvage USOC deal

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Ent awards YES grants

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Ent Federal Credit Union has awarded $45,000 in Youth Endowment Series program grants to 17 local nonprofit organizations. Fifty-four organizations applied for the grants. Among other criteria, the applications were evaluated according to their general benefit to the community and potential ability to use the grant to obtain additional funds and community support. Since the… Continue Reading Ent awards YES grants

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There’s hope on the horizon for the home building industry. National Association of Home Builders April Housing Market Index data, released April 24, suggests that the new home market may be at or near the bottom. The HMI, which measures builder confidence in the single-family housing market, jumped five points in April, the largest one-month… Continue Reading Housing market index: activity at or near bottom

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