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“Messieurs, Mesdames, faites vos jeux. Les Jeux sont faits. Rien ne va plus.” — Croupier in Monte Carlo, c. 1907 It’s difficult to imagine that any sane person would sit down and read the recently-released Powers Corridor Environmental Assessment for pleasure. It’s a quintessential government document; prepared by planners, engineers and bureaucrats to be read… Continue Reading The $720 million question: Is a Powers freeway needed?

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Let us consider the following press release from state Treasurer Cary Kennedy concerning the Public Employees Retirement Association, the state pension plan. “It is wrong for PERA to pay out bonuses to employees on the one hand, and on the other, ask retirees to give up cost of living increases in years when the market… Continue Reading Someone’s going to have to pay in the PERA scenario

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It was hard not to feel sorry for the politicians, former politicians, wannabe politicians and hopeful candidates sweltering in the sun’s merciless glare last Thursday. There they were on the lawn of the county courthouse, uncomfortably besuited, declaring their fealty to GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis. Speeches were made and applauded, endorsements were announced, press… Continue Reading Time to take the partisanship out of law enforcement

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Let’s see whether I understand this. We have a city-owned municipal utility which has invested billions of in the construction of systems which divert, store, transport and distribute water from many sources to Colorado Springs. We have one of the greatest park systems of any city in America, including landscaped medians, neighborhood parks, major parks,… Continue Reading Greater accountability needed at Colo. Sprgs. Utilities

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What do you do when you run out of gas in the middle of the desert? You could be out of luck, especially if you’re out of cell-phone range. With a bit of fortune, a kindly motorist will stop, give you a lift to the next gas station, and you’ll find your way back to… Continue Reading After all these years, still pining for critical mass

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For financially challenged homeowners on the west side, April is the kindest month. Winter is for gas bills, summer is for water bills. April, May, September and October give brief respite from the unrelenting demands of Colorado Springs Utilities. Last winter was expensive. Ours is a drafty 1898 Victorian house, which seems to shrug off… Continue Reading Loving his lawn and garden while bracing for the bill

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More than 50 years ago I took off for Mexico with my best buddy for a summer’s worth of adventure. Light-hearted, naïve teenagers in a 1943 war surplus Jeep that lacked both a top and a windshield, we left Colorado Springs in June of ‘57 and headed south. After three days (the Jeep’s top speed… Continue Reading Colorado Springs: Much more liberal than we let on

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“Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” — Dr. Samuel Johnson The corollary to Dr. Johnson’s oft-quoted maxim may be that, absent such knowledge, one’s mind is regrettably dispersed — so here’s a week’s worth of unrelated but interesting stuff. Forty-two… Continue Reading On preserving the past, newspapers and strong mayors

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Imagine you’re a private in the military. You’re one of nine soldiers in your infantry squad, led by a sergeant. You’re in some godforsaken part of an unfortunate Middle Eastern country, trying your best to control an Al Qaeda-based insurgency. Rank doesn’t matter. You endure the same dangers, eat the same food, and look out… Continue Reading Do we want a ‘strong mayor,’ second-class council?

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A “Black Swan” event, according to Nassim Taleb’s popular 2007 book, has three attributes. “First, it is an outlier,” Taleb wrote, “as it lies outside the realm of regular expectations, because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility. Second, it carries an extreme impact. Third, in spite of its outlier status, human… Continue Reading Southern Delivery System: A billion-dollar gambit

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