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The official celebration of the sesquicentennial of the founding of Colorado City during 1859 came and went without much fuss. Thanks to scores of neighborhood volunteers, a monument was erected, ice cream was eaten and the band played on. It was as homey and unpretentious as Colorado City itself, once the sort-of state capital, now… Continue Reading Perhaps it’s best we didn’t celebrate our barbaric past

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Got $300,000 sitting around to invest in downtown real estate? Like fine old historic properties? How about the long-vacant downtown Chicago post office, once the world’s largest such facility? As the New York Times reported on Tuesday, it’ll be going up for auction on Aug. 27, and the minimum bid is $300,000. The building, constructed… Continue Reading Nice to see a bit of optimism being thrown around

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Who’s the smartest guy on the block? Not Bill Gates — Microsoft is the past, not the future. Not Warren Buffett — he managed to lose plenty during the world financial meltdown, even though he knew it was coming. Not Nobel laureate/New York Times columnist Paul Krugman — he writes eloquently and convincingly, but he’s… Continue Reading Better start practicing that ‘bouncing dead cats’ thing

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Talking with a prominent local developer at last week’s “Best of” party at the Garden of the Gods Club, the discussion turned (surprise!) to the rules and regulations which govern the creation of new developments, be they 10 acres or 10,000. The developer — let’s call him Mr. Smith — shook his head in amused… Continue Reading Maybe it’s time to loose the chains that bind development

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“I wonder about you sometimes, Henry. You may fold under questioning.” — Joe Pesci to Ray Liotta in “Goodfellas,” 1990. Enduring myth: by consolidating city/county governments, we’ll get cheaper, more efficient service delivery.  As taxpayers, we’ll save — as residents, we’ll gain!  Everyone wins, except the greedy, dog-in-the-manger politicians and bureaucrats who have stalled such… Continue Reading Merging city and county might not be the brightest idea

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In a lengthy article in the New Yorker earlier this month, Dr. Atul Gawande pondered a single, simple health care question. Why, he wondered, is McAllen, Texas, one of the most expensive health-care markets in the country? “Only Miami — which has much higher labor and living costs — spends more per person on health… Continue Reading Firefighter model worth considering in health care debate

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Historically, local recessions have been times of ferment and change in Colorado Springs. During the 1970s, business and political leaders focused on economic development and created the Economic Development Council. One of the first such organizations in the United States, the EDC was amazingly successful in recruiting companies and creating primary jobs. The EDC’s success… Continue Reading Time for some serious Springs re-branding efforts

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July 1 marks the 146th anniversary of one of the most significant battles in American history, one which dominated our national consciousness for many decades. Yet the anniversary will pass unmarked, and many remember the battle only for the speech that it inspired. The Battle of Gettysburg, which was fought July 1-3, 1863, marked the… Continue Reading As generations change, so does historical relevance

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We seem to be in the midst of one of our periodic funks — when we worry about our so-called leadership class. “Alas and alack!” we complain. “We have no leadership!! Where are the great, visionary leaders who will lift us from the slough of despond to the shining heights of optimism — and how… Continue Reading Our so-called city leaders aren’t even faking it that well

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How can the city be rescued from its current funding crisis, which will almost certainly worsen during the coming months and years? In considering the problem, city residents seem to fall into several, sometimes overlapping, categories. There is no problem – the city is run by sleepy, incompetent bureaucrats who throw money around with obscene… Continue Reading City likely can’t fix economic troubles by relying on kindness of voters

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