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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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Ever visit a Kum & Go? They’re to convenience stores what Costco is to retailers. They’re big, efficient and customer friendly. Pumps are widely separated and easy to access. The stores are spacious and welcoming, offering fresh pizza and pastries, and many locally sourced products. The privately owned Midwestern chain has entered the Colorado Springs… Continue Reading Old Colorado City braces for Kum & Go’s large invasion

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Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s 1969 description of the five stages of grieving still resonates. Once again, we’ve seen our friends and neighbors stricken by sudden tragedy, and forced to negotiate all five stages in a few days. Imagine yourself in their place — could this be you? Denial. It can’t be happening again! Last year’s fire was… Continue Reading No easy solutions for using planes to fight fires

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In baseball, three strikes and you’re out. In football, four downs and you give up the ball. As an elected official, you never know how many chances you’ll have to make a difference during your term in office. The remaining undeveloped 18,000 acres of Banning Lewis Ranch once again are officially on the market, presenting… Continue Reading Some tough options remain for Banning Lewis Ranch

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