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Xcel Energy’s June 27 letter to Colorado Springs Utilities will be a game-changer, regardless of its immediate outcome. In the letter, Xcel vice president for asset development Bryan Hassler proposed that Xcel and CSU enter into a nondisclosure agreement “with the specific intent of exploring over the next 60 days if there is a value… Continue Reading How should Council respond to Xcel? Listen, at least

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Urban renewal! It’s what we all want, isn’t it? Imagine new structures replacing blighted areas of southwest downtown, a gleaming new city arising from the abandoned buildings, potholed streets, cracked sidewalks and decaying warehouses of downtown’s forgotten zone. Aren’t you glad that the city, the state, the Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority and downtown property… Continue Reading Tejon’s energy shows how downtown can develop

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What can we do about income inequality? In a long piece in Politico, billionaire venture capitalist Tom Hanauer supports nearly doubling the national minimum wage to $15 an hour. Hanauer is seriously rich. He was the first non-family member to invest in Jeff Bezos’ tiny little online bookstore, and also founded an Internet marketing company… Continue Reading Want to be a congressional intern? Open your checkbook

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What does Mark Ferrandino most desire as he finishes up his final session as speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives? There are lots of potential answers, but one comes to mind: Ferrandino, a Denver Democrat, would like to figure out how to snatch back the $120 million in tax increment funding that the state… Continue Reading Legislative action brings out rest of C4C story

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Our elected leaders seem far more sensible and informed when they’re disagreeing via carefully reasoned emails than they do when posturing from the dais. For proof, consider this email chain, featuring Mayor Steve Bach, Councilor Don Knight, and Councilor Andy Pico. We start with Bach’s widely circulated email decrying the lack of net new jobs… Continue Reading Hazlehurst: Mayor, councilors show civility, logic

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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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“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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Council stays on track with NeuStream at Drake

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Following a long, contentious and apparently unadvertised public hearing, the Colorado Springs City Council, acting as the Utilities Board, declined Wednesday to revisit its July 18 decision to finish installation of the $130 million NeuStream pollution control system on the downtown Martin Drake Power Plant and defer any study of the plant’s future until 2013.… Continue Reading Council stays on track with NeuStream at Drake

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“Breakin’ rocks in the hot sun/I fought the law — and the law won.” — written by Sonny Curtis, performed by the Crickets, the Bobby Fuller Four, and the Clash. Ah, the good old days! When laws were laws, criminals were caught, and punishment was certain. Do we still fight the law? Or have the… Continue Reading Obeying laws today is knowing which ones to bend

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Last week’s media brouhaha over a nonexistent Steve Bach meltdown concerning Memorial Health System was mercifully short-lived. It endures only in the embarrassment of the perpetrators (a certain daily newspaper, unnamed to protect the guilty) and the greater embarrassment of those who were gulled by the scam (that would be yours truly). Thinking that Bach… Continue Reading Hazlehurst: Bach, Council must play together nicely

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