Good for you Ralph
That's great news Ralph, good for you!
Mark Twain said it first: "An expert is an ordinary fellow from another town". We have many talented and accomplished architects, engineers, planners, landscape architects and contractors in Colorado Springs. Think local.
Mike Callicrate of Ranch Foods Direct is investing in downtown. But the city is not being helpful. Callicrate purchased property and bought a two story building on Wahsatch Avenue, formerly owned by the Colorado Springs Gazette, in order to expand business and make his products more accessible to the retail public. He was going to open up in March 2014, but the date was moved to late July because he's waiting on permits. The city needs to facilitate the red-tape process by reducing regulations. Private enterprise - those entrepreneurs who build what the people want without taxpayer dollars and govt "partnership" - can revitalize the urban renewal area south of downtown. Callicrate says, "I want to see downtown become a place where people live, I want to see a lot more residential downtown and we're going to be there to feed them." That's what the vast majority of COS residents want. An urban neighborhood. Not a stadium.
Ralph, I used to respect your voice and opinion but as of late you've been nothing more than a voice for the cronies. I won't go so far as to say you sold out because I'm sure you have logical and substantiated reasons for your "business" and economic perspective...RIGHT? I'd LOVE to hear your analysis and please use actual facts and metrics not "hopes and dreams".
Has anyone asked or looked elsewhere for COS "vision" or shall we just change the name of the City to Nor'Wood? I'm not against anyone making money, sustainable growth and making COS a national or even global iconic city but when we keep going to the same ol' well we will get the same ol' water. Not a single "outside" consultant really is because they are being paid. The CSBJ should try looking up the term "perverse incentive" and maybe write something that doesn't sound like you have Pom Poms in hand.
What happened to authentic journalism? What happened to REAL community engagement and leadership? You "clique" people just want us to be quiet and just let you all do whatever you want because you "know best" and we are just too negative and dumb to understand. Yet, most of us that oppose much of the crony directives being flung around are HIGHLY educated and experienced beyond those in the "clique". Maybe you all should drop some of the hubris and start leading the right way. Maybe through genuine care and love of COS and REAL leadership we would realize some community initiatives we could all get behind and that creates a win-win for everyone. The short term and self serving style of leadership we have in COS needs to stop.
Geez Ralph did you buy a used car from that guy too? Colorado Springs is going to get a hosing from the mayor and his pals and you cannot see it coming. "City for Champions"?! City for Chumps is more like it. The city gets revenue from sales tax but people with very little cash don't buy much. Colorado Springs does everything it can to stunt growth. We need businesses but all the fees one needs to start a business not to mention the hoops one must jump through, it is just not an option. No smoking and the "heat is on" crackdown has bars and taverns closing at 11 PM. It is no secret DUI arrests are nothing more than a money maker for the court and police. They spend the money on weaponry to further intimidate the very people they are supposed to serve. Except, somehow Tejon St downtown is afforded a free pass to play host to the younger set with an alcohol-drenched wonderland. So know the fox is guarding the hen house and our intrepid news writers who were sounding off suddenly sound like they are being paid off...
As I read this article I was a bit stirred to think of world-class architecture in this city. That's when I realized that I don't oppose C4C, except for the use of public monies to enrich private concerns (and the possible use of emanate domain to steal private property). Still waiting to find out who will actually own the properties that our taxes create.
We should be impressed, even wowed? Ralph, evidently you have not had your quality time with timeshare salesman. You start out like the country bumkin rather than the professional journalist we have come to respect. “The request sounded innocent enough”,…..specifically the monstrous project surrounding Denver's new Union Station. Then you refer to a free breakfast, organized, bought and paid for by Chris Jenkins, president of Nor'wood Development Group. You call him an energetic leader in a crusade? He pays to bring in an architectural firm with noted credentials and they proceed to stroke our ego by saying "You are blessed with an incredible, spectacular city," Takacs said. "I won't pretend to tell you what you should or shouldn't do. We are starting a dialogue with your city to map out a strategy and projects around the Southwest Downtown Development District. We want to create something even beyond your wildest dreams."
At this point, SOM has no direct involvement in City for Champions. There is an obvious, clue here. Another hint: That construction would form the nucleus for an ambitious commercial, residential and transportation-linked development put together by private developers, led by Nor'wood.
Did they happen to mention that they do not build around stadiums? Historically, stadiums and their accompanying 1500 space parking garages are not conducive to commercial, residential and transportation-linked development. They state categorically they are urbanists! "a pedestrian-friendly urban neighborhood," not stadium construction.
“For each project we start by defining the challenges and opportunities unique to the place, culture and context." Another hint: "You need strong gateways here," referring mainly to Interstate 25. We are currently $13 million shy of what we need for the Cimmaron interchange.
Then you finish with an old African saying by the dung beetle “Roll that all together, and you can't help but dream about what comes next”.
so an architecture and engineering firm thinks us spending a lot of money for their services is a good idea... who would of thunk??
SOM thinks it can do for COS what they're presently doing for Denver. SOM thinks all COS needs is a world-class design firm, such as themselves, an ambitious developer, such as Nor'wood, a piece of land, such as owned by Jenkins, and $600M in sales tax dollars from the citizens of COS to build a stadium, the catalyst that will transform our dinky downtown into an economic juggernaut. I think this vision of greatness is achievable . . . WHEN . . . the state capitol, the Broncos, DIA, Union Station, a light-rail system, the Michael Graves designed Central Library, IKEA, and Trader Joes move from Denver to COS. Once we have those anchors, nothing can stop COS from becoming bigger and better than Denver and Oklahoma City combined.
"Think about the fact that Skidmore, Owings & Merrill would not waste its time or roll the dice with its global reputation except for a chance to make Colorado Springs a centerpiece for how to shape a mid-sized American city of tomorrow." So we should be impressed that a huge firm famous for skyscrapers wants to reshape our downtown while profiting the developers who control the city?
Revealing article and interesting comments thus far. The article (and comments) reveal statistics that get a few interpretations from one of the higher ed leaders, from the columnist, and now from the comment givers. Numbers don't lie, but they can certainly be interpreted in different ways. So, whose interpretation of the supposed causes/effects BEHIND these stats are we to believe?
I teach at a local college; my wife teaches at a local elem school...you can imagine the discussions WE have about these same issues and stats because of the real, live students we face everyday that make up these NUMBERS. The article is only beginning to scratch the surface and I appreciate Bolton's observations to help wake us up to some possible causes.
Now, let's go deeper.
Don't we need some critical thinking skills to find our way through? And with only 4 comments after two weeks, it seems like our motivation is a bit low as well. Critical thinking skills and Motivation -- might these be additional factors needed in the conversation? ...and within our schools AND families as well?
"...the percentage of K-12 students that go on to attend college has actually INCREASED over the last 10 years." According to the article, however, "...more and more high school graduates are not equipped for college," requiring them to take (and pay for) remediation courses. So, the increase in college enrollment over the last ten years does not reflect an improvement in K-12 education.
Before you put too much emphasis on the meaning of these statistics you should do a little research. If you had, you'd know that the percentage of K-12 students that go on to attend college has actually INCREASED over the last 10 years.
Another glowing success for TABOR, intent upon destroying our society.
Rock on there, Ralph! And I really admire your being so public about it as I know that adds a sense of accountability! Best wishes to you!
You beat me to your last line. Dieting is not "for 18 or 24 months". When it's a serious diet, it is forever. I think about how little time (one year after high school) it took to gain 15 pounds and about 3 years after that to hit my highest weight. And now, some 45 years after I have pretty much maintained my current and too-much weight, I realize getting back somewhere in the galaxy of my lower weight is going to take the rest of my life. You are an inspiration to me, but I probably am not going to get as low as I'd like. However, I can nip off a pound or so every now and then and hope that near-stability will be a sign of progress.
Good for you Ralph and thanks for sharing. Wish you the best with your plan; sounds like you're on track.
Indeed, those of us who are old enough do not remember, and those who are too young do not appreciate the climate of the times. Southern segregationists despised President Kennedy for championing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, jr., and for characterizing integration as a moral issue. A protester at the Dallas airport that day carried a sign that read, "Help Kennedy stamp out democracy!"
Great read, Ralph!
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