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We could definitely use a youth infusion

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The American West.
What do those words evoke? The last frontier? Wide open spaces (with “room to make big mistakes,” as the Dixie Chicks so memorably put it)? Outdoors in the mountains, skiing, fishing, hiking, climbing, trail running?
Or maybe opportunity? New subdivisions sprouting on barren tracts of prairie? Jobs, businesses, entrepreneurs? A great place to work, play, raise your kids, enjoy the good life? Continue Reading We could definitely use a youth infusion

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Considering the monopoly of the Ivy elite

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These folks have ruled their markets for decades — for more than a century, by some accounts. The product they sell is in many ways indistinguishable from similar products marketed by hundreds, even thousands, of competitors. But, by restricting access to their products and by sophisticated pricing strategies, they’ve created an enormous demand reservoir. Continue Reading Considering the monopoly of the Ivy elite

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The days of locally owned long gone

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We all know this particular story — globalization, the world is flat, everything has changed, the new paradigm, fast-cycle technology — whatever you want to call it.
The details might be complex, but the story’s simple. If you have a job, own a business or participate in any way in the economy (this means everybody but a few Ted Kaczynskis out in the woods, as long as they don’t need supplies for letter bombs), you’d best be paying attention. Continue Reading The days of locally owned long gone

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Seem like we’re getting our ‘fair’ share?

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You’d think we’d be drowning in lavishly funded projects of dubious national benefit, wouldn’t you? After all, we’re a staunchly Republican city, represented for more than 20 years by a Republican congressman, with at least one, and often two, Republican senators from Colorado. Continue Reading Seem like we’re getting our ‘fair’ share?

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Tone of Powell’s letter: just the right tint

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With an eloquence foreign to modern Americans, poetic, inspirational and deeply moving, MacArthur recalls the sacrifices of generations past, and calls upon his listeners to live by the noble principles for which so many had given their lives. Continue Reading Tone of Powell’s letter: just the right tint

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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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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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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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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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