William Guman & Associates, Ltd., a long-time Colorado Springs based landscape architecture and land planning firm, has been selected by the Veteran’s Administration as project landscape architect to develop construction documents for the long awaited National Cemetery to be constructed in El Paso County. Guman is part of the AES Group team that was awarded the primary contract to plan and design the cemetery. AES Group, Inc. is a certified service disabled veteran owned small business (SDVOSB) with primary offices in Parker, CO. Land planning for the new cemetery will be handled by The L.A. Group, PC, Saratoga Springs, NY, which has planned more than forty national cemeteries throughout the country.
Bill Guman, a licensed landscape architect, is pleased that there will be local representation on the National Cemetery’s consulting team hired by the VA.
“We think it was a wise decision for the VA to retain the services of prime consultants who are familiar with the unique requirements of our area,” said Guman. Design criteria for which the VA expressed much concern included long-term sustainability of the cemetery’s landscape. “The VA recognized that this region does not have the water resources that many other national cemeteries have to help keep them green for much of the year,” Guman said. He acknowledged that it will be challenging to design a drought tolerant landscape for the cemetery that is still attractive and in keeping with the National Cemetery Administration’s (NCA) design guidelines.
“There is an expectation for a national cemetery to always appear lush and manicured,” said Guman. “But Southern Colorado is a high plains desert and is obviously different than Arlington, Virginia” he added.
“The design team will be looking at xeric landscape alternatives that require far less water and care than acres of bluegrass lawn found in most national cemeteries.”
The El Paso County National Cemetery master plan will provide for up to for 125,000 grave sites across the 375 acre Rolling Hills Ranch property the VA purchased earlier this year. Schematic documents for approximately 50 acres of the property are being planned to support 10 year burial projections (approximately 15,300 gravesites) for the Phase 1 build out. The project will include pre-placed crypts, columbarium niches and in-ground cremains pre-placed urn crypts. The completed design will include a main entrance area, roadways, irrigation, utilities, landscaping, signage, committal service shelters, memorial walls, combined public information center and administration building, maintenance building complex, honor guard building, parking, public restrooms and temporary structures necessary to operationally support an early construction turnover of a limited number of gravesites. The VA’s estimated cost of construction for this project is between $28 million and $50 million dollars.
The project will be designed to LEED silver certified standards and meet all Federal Energy and Sustainability mandates. Planning and design of the new National Cemetery is anticipated to commence in December, with construction scheduled to begin in late 2015. Early turnover scheduling for Phase 1 should allow interments at the cemetery to commence in 2017. The National Cemetery’s Rolling Hills Ranch site is located on Drennan Road, approximately one-quarter mile east of Peterson Air Force Base and Marksheffel Road.
Mill Outlet Fabric Shop Keeps Springs In Stitches for 50 YearsIn the half-century since it first opened in 1965, many things have changed at Mill Outlet Fabric Shop. One thing that hasn't changed is that they still have the largest selection of fabric in southern Colorado. But they have had to adapt from a time when they first opened in the mid 60’s and sewing was booming in America. At that time, women spent record amounts on sewing, including fabric, patterns, notions and sewing machines.
Although the numbers of people sewing clothes for themselves have declined in the last 50 years since they first opened, there has been a boom in people quilting, home decorating and “do it yourselfers” buying fabric.
DIY trends like upcycling old furniture keeps people buying fabric, as people spend time repairing and reupholstering quality-made used furniture. Quilting continues to grow in popularity with over 12.5 million American households reporting an active quilter, spending over $2.25 billion on fabric and supplies.
Enthusiasm for fabric has allowed Mill Outlet to continue to flourish even in an era of big box stores and online shopping.
“Because of our size, we have been able to stay true to what we are: ‘a Fabric Shop’. While the big fabric chains move away carrying fabric for sewers and chase every crafting fad that comes along, we continue to find quality fabric that people that sew are searching for,” said store owner, Johann Kuehn.
This week marks Mill Outlet’s 50th anniversary and the store is having the biggest sale in its history, including daily giveaways and special prizes for shoppers.
“The move to online shopping has affected us a bit the last 10-15 years,” said Beate Dietrich, the stores General Manager. “But the reality is that people shopping for fabric want to touch and feel the fabric they are purchasing.”
“If someone is going to take the time to make something themselves, they want to start with quality fabric,” added Dietrich.
Even the store's central location near Fillmore and Prospect is a symbol for how much things have changed in the last 50 years. “For 50 years we have been telling customers who call we are located next to the ‘North End Post Office’," said Kuehn. “The reality is that 50 years ago this was the north end.”
A quick drive (or Google search) around the surrounding neighborhoods shows the effect Mill Outlet has had by being anchored down in the same location for five decades. There are a dozen upholsterers, interior decorators, sewing rooms and other fabric related businesses within a half mile radius of their location at 2906 N. Prospect.
“We’ve been doing business with them for over 20 years,” said Phillip Bodjanac, owner of European Upholstery located just a few blocks away on El Paso. “They are very convenient and a pleasure to work with”
###Mill Outlet Fabric Shop is located in prides itself on bringing the best, service, fabric & supplies to sewers, upholsters and weekend project warriors in the rocky mountain west. In business for over 50 years at the same location at 2906 N. Prospect, Colorado Springs.
A total of 4,397,292 passengers traveled though DIA in December 2014, bringing the year’s total passenger traffic to 53,472,514 – an increase of 1.7 percent over the 52,556,359 passengers who used the airport in 2013. The previous record for the airport was set in 2012, with 53,156,278 passengers.
Additionally, DIA set six monthly records for passenger traffic in 2014: January, February, April, May, September and October.
DIA also set new records for international passenger traffic in 2014, with a total of 2,208,209 international passengers. The previous all-time high for international traffic in Denver was set in 2008 with 2,200,036 passengers. Overall international passenger traffic at DIA increased 12 percent over 2013, and December 2014 marked the 32nd consecutive month of international passenger growth at DIA.
DIA served an all-time high of 191 destinations around the world during 2014, surpassing the 187 destinations served during 2013. New air service in 2014 included nonstop service to Panama City, Panama, as well as Guadalajara and Chihuahua, Mexico.
“Ending the year with record-breaking passenger traffic demonstrates the continued strength of the Denver market for air travel,” said Denver International Airport CEO Kim Day. “DIA has the third-largest domestic network for flights, and has seen sustained growth in international passenger traffic that has been bolstered by new service to destinations around the globe such as Tokyo and Panama City. We will continue to build on this momentum as we work to add new destinations, better customer amenities and services that ensures Denver International Airport’s place on the world map.”
Mail, freight and express cargo operations saw 51,112,206 pounds of cargo in December 2014, an 11.2-percent increase compared to the same month last year. In 2014, 519,434,240 pounds of cargo were handled at DIA, up 4.1 percent from 498,938,408 pounds of cargo handled during 2013.
Since the City is graciously giving us this Saturday FREE parking, and Sunday is always FREE, Richard and Patricia decided to add four days as a gift to all our valued Downtown patrons! Friday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday(Christmas Eve), Richard, the meter Elf, will be plugging meters for people up and down “300” block of Tejon St.
If “Richard the Parking Elf“ didn’t catch you outside, and you need meter money, just ask for it in the Bookstore/Gift Store or Toy Store.
Daniels Fund approves $1.25 million UCCS ethics grant
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The board of directors for Denver-based Daniels Fund recently approved $11 million to continue the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative including a program at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.
In announcing its decision Dec. 8, the Daniels Fund said its board evaluated the success of the five-year pilot program at eight universities and opted to increase the number of participants and the number of students reached.
UCCS is part of an original eight-university consortium that in 2010 launched an ethics program designed to strengthen the teaching of principle-based ethics in the college, on the campus and in the community. The initiative reflected the late Bill Daniels’ personal commitment to ethics and integrity. At UCCS, the initiative is led by Tracy Gonzalez-Padron, associate professor, College of Business, and Liz Moore, coordinator, College of Business.
“I am pleased the Daniels Fund will continue to support our efforts to create a more ethical environment on campus and in the community,” Venkat Reddy, dean, College of Business, said. “We have demonstrated our ability to make a difference as well as the need for continued work in this important area.”
For UCCS, the renewal will mean an additional $1.25 million over the next five years to fund the objectives set out in the grant proposal that include community outreach efforts.
In its report to Daniels, the UCCS College of Business cited as its successes the integration of ethics discussions into existing courses in business, philosophy, nursing, communications, education, psychology, engineering, criminal justice and public administration. Additionally, ethics-specific courses were developed for undergraduate and graduate business students and ethic modules for Gateway Program Seminars. Fourteen faculty members were selected as campus Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative fellows and several competitions and seminars and workshops were sponsored with heavy community business leader involvement. The initiative also sponsored several high-profile speakers who visited campus.
Other schools that will continue in the initiative are Colorado State University College of Business, New Mexico State University College of Business, University of Denver–Daniels College of Business, University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management, University of Northern Colorado Monfort College of Business, University of Utah–David Eccles School of Business and University of Wyoming College of Business.
New schools include Colorado Mesa University Department of Business, University of Colorado Denver Business School, and University of Colorado Law School.
Executive leaders from all members of the Ethics Consortium work collaboratively to share expertise and resources.
Bill Daniels, a pioneer in cable television, established the Daniels Fund to extend his legacy of giving far beyond his lifetime. The Daniels Fund operates the Daniels Fund Scholarship Program, the Daniels Fund Grants Program, and the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. For more information, visit www.DanielsFund.org
The University of Colorado Colorado Springs, located on Austin Bluffs Parkway in Colorado Springs, is one of the fastest growing universities in Colorado. The university offers 37 bachelor’s degrees, 19 master’s and five doctoral degrees. UCCS enrolls about 11,000 students on campus annually and another 2,000 in online programs. For more information, visit www.uccs.edu .
I wanted to follow up and leave you with information on how local residents can apply for these 300 open positions, many of which are leadership roles:The entire news release is as follows:
· Open interviews (walk-ins) are held daily from 9:00am – 3:00pm and Wednesdays from 12:00pm – 7:00pm
· Apply in person at 5725 Mark Dabling Blvd., Ste 200 or online at www.firstsourcecareers.com
Firstsource Solutions, Ltd. announced its call center in Colorado Springs will be hiring 300 new customer care representatives by the end of January 2015 to handle work for a new client in the healthcare space.
“We are making significant investments in the region and hiring at a rapid pace to support our growth plans,” said Michael Roy, Vice President at Firstsource. “This is just the beginning for us as we continue to expand and grow our client service capabilities. We look forward to filling these roles with talented professionals in the Colorado Springs market.”
Firstsource will also be adding leadership roles such as team managers, human resources, recruiting, facilities, IT and trainers to assist in managing its growth plans. Firstsource expects more business to be placed in the Colorado Springs office over the next year.
Firstsource employs over 27,000 worldwide at 48 centers in the U.S., United Kingdom, India, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, serving more than 100 clients in the banking, insurance, healthcare, media and telecommunications industries, including 21 companies in the Fortune 500.
Firstsource (NSE: FSL, BSE: 532809, Reuters: FISO.BO, Bloomberg: FSOL@IN) is a leading global provider of customized Business Process Management (BPM) services to the Healthcare, Telecom & Media and Banking & Financial Services industries. The company’s clients include Fortune 500, FTSE 100 & Nifty 50 companies. Firstsource has a “rightshore” delivery model with operations in India, Ireland, Philippines, Sri Lanka, UK and U.S. (www.firstsource.com).
IRS Guidance Coming for Practitioners Preparing Returns for Marijuana Retailers
BNA Daily Tax Report by Casey Wooten
November 20, 2014
Tax preparers whose clients include marijuana retailers will get some guidance in early 2015 on how to perform due diligence and stay on the right side of the law, an official from the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility said.
It's important for the OPR to make a statement on ethical practices for preparers in the growing number of states where marijuana is legal, OPR Director Karen Hawkins said Nov. 19 at a public meeting of the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council.
“I'm going to stay away from the controlled substances issue and focus on what the tax courts have said, so cost of goods sold is in play, but anything else that's in play is going to depend on whether it's part of the trade or business of cultivating or sale, or whether it's a subsidiary trade or business that just happens to have a connection,”Hawkins told Bloomberg BNA.
Tax Compliance Headache.
In recent years, states such as Colorado and Washington have legalized recreational marijuana use, while California, Washington, D.C., and others have either decriminalized it or decided to allow it for medical use. Marijuana sales are still illegal under federal law, however.
Because of federal anti-money laundering rules, banks are reluctant to service marijuana retailers, who in turn must operate their businesses mostly in cash. This can create a headache from a tax compliance perspective, making it difficult for businesses to use government services such as the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.
In July, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) wrote to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, asking him to stop the agency from penalizing marijuana businesses from paying their employees' withholding taxes in cash (135 DTR G-3, 7/15/14).
Much like banks, practitioners are concerned that preparing returns for marijuana growers could lead to legal trouble, Janeen Ryan, a member of the advisory council, said.
“We were approached by people that are professionals and 230 legacy preparers and they said ‘we are concerned to even do their returns,”'said Ryan, who helped write the annual advisory report section on marijuana retailers.
The IRS can't change Tax Code Section 280E, which prevents deductions or credits for expenses if a business is involved in the trafficking of controlled substances; that change requires congressional action.
Until then, marijuana retailers are only able to deduct for the cost of goods sold, Ryan said.
But the agency can issue a clarification that preparers' practices won't be affected.
In their report, members of the advisory panel suggested that the IRS publish guidance clarifying that a tax professional won't be considered unethical, targeted for audit or considered in violation of Circular 230 rules solely for preparing a return for a marijuana business.
Hawkins said there are court cases defining what kind of deductions marijuana retailers can take that will help her shape the guidance on this issue.
She referred to a 2007 case, Californians Helping to Alleviate Medical Problems Inc. v. Commissioner, in which the U.S. Tax Court ruled that Section 280E didn't prevent a California organization providing medial marijuana from deducting expenses related to a separate part of the businesses (94 DTR K-1, 5/16/07).
“Within those parameters what we would essentially be saying to the preparers in those states is that you've got some hard conversations to have with your clients about what goes on to the tax return, but as long as you are adhering to what the tax law says about treatment, you're going to be within the confines of what Circular 230 expects of your due diligence,” Hawkins said.
To view a complete list of all articles relating to OPR visit OPR Press at www.irs.gov.
DENVER — The Center for Western Priorities (CWP) released a series of animated maps today that show, for the first time, the tremendous pace and scale of Colorado’s oil and gas drilling boom as it progresses in and around communities across the state.
Using publicly-available data from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, CWP mapped and created animated GIFs of every oil and gas well drilled near the key population centers of Greeley (displayed below), Rifle, and Durango between 1990 and 2013. In total, almost 28,000 wells have been drilled over the last twenty-four years around these three communities.
“The scale of recent drilling around Colorado’s population centers is striking. We need to balance the economic impacts of the oil and gas boom with the quality of life needs of Colorado’s local communities,” said Greg Zimmerman, Policy Director at CWP.
Zimmerman also pointed to the relevance of these data and visualizations given the current task force process underway in Colorado: “Governor Hickenlooper’s Oil and Gas Task Force has a real opportunity over the coming months to design recommendations and policies that strike a balance between energy development and the health and welfare of Coloradans. As the energy boom continues to spread into populated areas, we need assurances that communities have a seat at the table and that their very real concerns don’t fall on deaf ears,” said Zimmerman.
The Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance (Business Alliance) announced today that Mr. Joe Raso has tendered his resignation as the organization's President & Chief Executive Officer.
The Executive Committee has appointed Board member Mr. Toby Gannett to temporarily serve as the Board-designated leader of the Business Alliance until an interim President and CEO are identified. Joe is committed to assuring a smooth and seamless leadership transition.
It is with regret that we accept Joe's resignation. He has succeeded in positioning the organization for the next chapter of growth and we understand his desire to now pursue a new challenge that best makes use of his skills and expertise.
This is a pivital point in the organization as we move into our next phase of growth. Along with the Board leadership, we have determined the end of the year an appropriate time to transition the President & CEO position while our new Board members and Chair are beginning their terms.
The Board will seek the best qualified candidate to fill the President & CEO position, as it did when Joe was hired. However, it is our preference that both the interim and permanent candidate have extensive local experience and a strong community bond to take on the critical local issues we now face. We will look to the membership and the community to help us identify qualified potential candidates.
Joe was hired as President & CEO in March 2012 to lead the Business Alliance, created from the merger of what was then the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and the Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corporation and to navigate the transition stage of the organization's history. He possessed the exact skills and expertise we needed two and a half years ago, having led turn-arounds for several unique business development organizations. In the Business Alliance, Joe has strategically built a new business development organization and created a platform for economic growth in the Pikes Peak region. He has expertly led the Business Alliance and the community in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurship, public policy, workforce development, and the retention and recruitment of base sector business.
The Business Alliance will continue to move forward implementing our five-year strategic business plan and will keep in place the governance structure that Joe and the staff, working alongside the Board, have developed. Joe has worked tirelessly to help us successfully develop the focal points of our mission in the areas of business development, defense development, community development/legislative affairs, and branding/communications/public relations. He has exceeded the goals we established for him and for the organization; he has provided us a compass for reaching new heights.
We now face numerous community issues that didn't exist two years ago, such as the City for Champions project, the Stormwater Initiative, the local political structure, defense industry sequestration, and local impacts of a potential military Base Realignment And Closure (BRAC)/downsizing.
Joe has built a solid foundation for us to now bring more community involvement around the organization for facing these critical issues by supporting, nurturing and taking the Business Alliance to the next level of innovation and vibrancy.
"It is with a great deal of pride in the stellar organization we have created together, coupled with a heavy heart because I will no longer be working with the volunteers, professional staff, and Member Investors as I transition my energy to other opportunities in community and business development," said Joe. "I am proud of our accomplishments over the past 30 months. Together, we have successfully undergone a transformation, having built a new organization that is poised to meet the challenges of the future."
"I am sincerely grateful for the support the staff and I have received from the Board of Directors, our Member Investors and community supporters. My hope and desire is that the Pikes Peak region will work to continue breaking down silos across major institutions that support economic growth - education, government, business, arts and culture, military, and non-profits," said Joe. "If this can be done in a way that supports and empowers young-minded talent, then the future of the region will be very bright indeed."
On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance, we ask for the continued support of our Member Investors and supporters as we move into the next phase of growth as an organization and economic vitality as a community. We thank Joe for everything he helped us accomplish during the pivotal initial development phase of the Business Alliance. The organization and our community are solidly positioned for the truly great things we know are ahead as we work to realize our full economic potential.
Chair, Board of Directors
Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance