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The city’s Lodging and Automobile Rental Tax fund has been on the books since 1980, supported by a 2-percent tax on hotel rooms and a 1-percent levy on automobile rentals in Colorado Springs. The purpose of the LART tax, according to the city’s 2013 budget, is “to attract visitors and enhance the economy of the… Continue Reading Business Alliance angles for a bigger chunk of LART

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It might be a good thing if I were as bad at forecasting disasters as at predicting election results. Only two of my six picks in this year’s City Council election races managed to get elected, but unfortunately I’m batting a thousand on Flood and Fire (no predictions yet regarding the other two horsemen, Famine… Continue Reading Surely the region grasps stormwater message now

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“We can so do this!” said Amanda Miller last Saturday as we waited to start the Copper Triangle, a 78-mile bike ride through the mountains. We’d be riding from Copper Mountain resort up Fremont Pass and down to Leadville on Colorado 91, up U.S. 24 to Tennessee Pass, Battle Mountain and Minturn, then the long… Continue Reading Events, and participation, may be our real future

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Two generations ago, Jane Jacobs published “Cities and the Wealth of Nations,” amplifying and refining ideas that she had suggested a few years earlier in “The Death and Life of Great American Cities.” Jacobs was an urbanist in an era when middle-class Americans shunned cities in favor of the suburbs — the land of low… Continue Reading Perhaps it’s our city’s turn to break down some barriers

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Which Colorado Springs mayor should history hold responsible for the tradition of annual “State of the City” speeches? “De mortuis nihil nisi bonum” — of the dead speak only good, so let’s leave it alone. Suffice it to say that our dreary ritual, pretentiously borrowed from the president’s constitutionally mandated State of the Union speech,… Continue Reading What Bach will say, and what he’ll be thinking

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Yesterday upon the stair I met a man who wasn’t there He wasn’t there again today Oh, how I wish he’d go away — William Hughes Mearns, 1899   At Monday’s meeting of the Pikes Peak Regional Stormwater Task Force, “the man who wasn’t there” dominated the meeting. City Councilmembers Jan Martin, Val Snider and… Continue Reading Stormwater solution should be obvious, but …

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In a recent email, Broadmoor CEO Steve Bartolin commented on a blog which suggested that a revived downtown would benefit mightily from a convention center. Bartolin sponsored a successful initiative some years ago that forbids the city from funding plans for such a facility. He still thinks it’s a bad idea, and makes a compelling… Continue Reading Steve Bartolin, convention centers and railroads

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Austin, Portland, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Charlotte — now those are some wholesome, prosperous, family-friendly cities. During the past several years, Colorado Springs community leaders have visited all five. The goal: to learn, imitate and replicate. We want a new template, synergistic and outside the box, one that is sustainable, community-based, action-oriented, job-creating, attractive to young… Continue Reading Different kind of urban renewal – in Las Vegas

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Unlike most men of his generation, my father was an accomplished cook. He was particularly proud of his rice pudding, which contained many ingredients, and demanded extensive and careful preparation. On one occasion, long celebrated in family lore, he removed a perfect rice pudding from the oven only to discover that he had omitted a… Continue Reading It’s our own damn fault

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Do you have a major civic initiative tucked away in a drawer somewhere? Would you like to roll it out and get Springs residents so excited about it that they’ll fund it with their tax dollars? The template is simple. You gather a group of core supporters who share your enthusiasm for the project. You… Continue Reading Questions equal to dreams in City for Champions plan

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