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Comment Archives: stories: Columns: City Sage

Re: “Saved by the billionaire

First, a definition of Deus ex Machina: "a god (aka savior) introduced by means of a crane in ancient Greek and Roman drama to decide the final outcome." Hollywood is no stranger to this inept plot gimmick to save the day. I'd say this is similar to "helicopter parents" who hover overhead in a protective fashion.

Like many billionaires, Mr. Anschutz has his nice toys; his peers buy pro sports teams, such as Dan "Boy Wonder" Snyder of the Washington Redskins or the late George Steinbrenner with the NY Yankees. Mr. Anschutz has the Broadmoor, some notable entertainment firms and, oddly enough, our local daily paper with its creepy lunatic fringe editorials.

Forgive us for wondering why Mr. Anschutz saved the Gazette, even though it's a local rag with few redeeming qualities and few good reporters. I'm sure there's a monetary motive so I'll hazard a guess that he seeks to be a booster for the city to help his hotel, he seeks to limit negative news about himself, his hotel and his city, as well as using the paper to control the local dialog and influence local politics.

Foul billionaires like the Koch Bros are seeking to buy major big city dailies so they can pursue turning the USA into a paradise as envisioned by the execrable John Birch Society; I wonder what future Mr. Anschutz wishes for our humble burg and our Koch-funded Mayor who's hard at work throwing public employees, PERA, city utilities and all that good and holy under the greed bus as he obeys the dictates of unelected billionaires who seek to destroy government as we know it.

12 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by OldCrank on 04/02/2014 at 9:48 AM

Re: “Dissection of a dead end

Duncan Bremer...his brother RAPED AND PILLAGED Iraq, looking for WMD...I don't think a Bremer could assess anything fairly.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by carolyncathey on 03/25/2014 at 4:25 AM

Re: “C4C: Extreme measures

I just implied to Ralph that his tone has changed enough that he is getting some kickbacks but it sounds like you, John, can be had for drink or two. You do have a reputation of being a big spender in the bars where the ladies go after work. The rest of us have to stay home as the fear of the DUI Nazis has been pounded into our heads so much we are house-bound. Is it okay if I have a cigarette?
The Prince of Darkness, Bach, needs more goofy dust...

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Robert Wyman on 03/22/2014 at 2:44 AM

Re: “C4C: Extreme measures

"City tax dollars shouldn't be used to build ANY of these projects." That's obvious to the majority of COS taxpayers. Why isn't it obvious to our BETTERS? Why don't THEY understand that OUR tax dollars are earmarked for potholes, parks, roads, infrastructure, etc, and is not to be squandered building stadiums? Why do THEY want to force US to pay for THEIR dream? Now that govt has found a clever new way of taxing the citizens without our approval, they're going to build what THEY want and make US pay for it. THEY tell US that the stadium will be free. That tourists will pay for it. Do THEY believe this baloney they tell US? Are the smarty pants laughing at gullible US as they sip their martinis and draw up the contracts that will stick US with 30 years of debt?

Email our BETTERS: allcouncil@springsgov.com
County commissioners: dennishisey@elpasoco.com, darrylglenn@elpasoco.com, amylathen@elpasoco.com, sallieclark@elpasoco.com, peggylittleton@elpasoco.com

14 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by curious on 03/14/2014 at 4:24 PM

Re: “C4C: Extreme measures

City tax dollars shouldn't be used to build ANY of these projects. All the city should do is facilitate zoning, urban renewal agreements, etc., in order to allow private entities an opportunity to build them. If these private groups choose not to build, then we will know C4C was not an economically sound proposal.

19 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by ConcernedCitizen on 03/14/2014 at 11:47 AM

Re: “C4C: Extreme measures

Well lets see the USOC is building the museum with private money the Mayor and the so called power players are wanting a "Hall of Fame". UCCS is building a nursing school with private money they want a sports hospital. AFA has a visitor center they pay for on the land people go to to see the school they want one in the city. We want jobs they want to sell land that they bought after they ran off companies that provided jobs. We want our Utility to provide they want to tear it down and throw away an investment that has not even got going yet so they can unload it to a private utility company so you cant see it from "Bach Central" That used to be industrial. The 120 mil. is tax money generated by these venues so its not really money that is already in a bank somewhere but PROJECTED money. Wonder why we wont vote for it? Wonder why we back those that are elected to look after us? Recall of King may be paid for but watch out it still takes votes and it looks like voters dont want this project.

19 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rocky Smith on 03/14/2014 at 8:34 AM

Re: “C4C: Extreme measures

I would have said, "They are going to save the state $120 million!" Forcing taxpayers in Limon, Grand Junction, or Aurora to contribute to these ill-conceived, cronyistic boondoggles makes even less sense than forcing us to pay for them. Just because it is someone else's money doesn't make it okay to squander it, on the contrary one would hope we would hold ourselves to a higher standard when allocating others' resources.

20 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Joel Brand on 03/14/2014 at 8:09 AM

Re: “C4C: Extreme measures

This is one piece of work here. Filled with distractions and direct misleading tactics, this “article” is just another drink of the C4C Kool-Aid. The negative publicity of which you speak has not been present anywhere. You were at the city council meetings weren’t you, (as was your mysterious friend no doubt.) The reason the supporters were so heavily outnumbered by those against C4C is because they refused to drink the Kool-Aid. Even the singing ones had more substance in their arguments than any of the supporters. These folks that spoke against C4C made very poignant statements that were the product of thought and research, The supporters…nothing but the same old tired Kool-Aid; we didn’t even get a new flavor.

26 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Timothy Gore on 03/13/2014 at 10:01 PM

Re: “C4C: Extreme measures

Everyone take a deep breath and step back to see what John actually said.
1. Desperate people will buy drinks for CSBJ journalists.
2. When desperate people drink they threaten
3. When they threaten, it is always with something they cannot deliver
4. Then, they switch to the Gazette.

The key to this puzzle is that he offered no new information, did not use any data and talked personalities not issues. He has never admitted that he knows he does not have all the information to make an informed decision. He also did not mention nor blame any of the County Commissioners. On Tues., the commissioners not only guaranteed a third party financial audit but also another legal audit. Commissioner Glenn, a lawyer, was present during the issues involving the requirement for a citizen vote on a convention center. The City Attorney gave her opinion that it did not require a vote, but did not list any legal references. Because the C4C application clearly indicates the stadium will be used for other purposes besides sports, it is not just a sports complex. I see a legal challenge in the city’s future. The city should expect a few of them. A smart move would have been to suggest a compromise. In return for support of the AFA, UCCS and USOC museum we would be offered a vote on the stadium and garage. This way the applicant would ‘have to’ be transparent with the attendance numbers. Until then, pundits like John will throw fear and loathing in all directions. After all, no one really understands, do you? The next round is on John!

32 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by wpmurrayIII on 03/13/2014 at 9:03 PM

Re: “C4C: Extreme measures

The reason C4C is going to fail is not because of City Council. The reason this is going to fail is because people don't trust the mayor. Plain and simple.

41 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Brian McCarrie on 03/13/2014 at 7:40 PM

Re: “C4C: Extreme measures

Could you possibly be more condescending to those who disagree with you, Mr. Hazlehurst? Do you seriously think that the dream of most CS residents is to line the pockets of yet more developers and their cronies so they can sip martinis at The Famous with people who call themselves journalists? UCCS is not going to leave town over this, USAFA is not going to leave town. You know who does leave this town? People who want to live in a city that isn't dominated by the religious right and retired military who could care less about schools and parks and public transportation. I find myself siding on this with people I would never think of voting for because at least they seem to want to listen to those of us down here among the plebes who are just smart enough to see a boondoggle when it waves its Broadmoor polished tail at us.

48 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by DIna Wood on 03/13/2014 at 3:22 PM

Re: “C4C: Extreme measures

The state would, in the best case, provide $120 million. The Office of Economic Development and International Trade states specifically that revenues are not guaranteed and that there may be one or more years where the revenues would not be paid. If the state's full $120 million were realized, according to the City for Champions application, the amount would pay for 19% of the project costs--a "twenty percent off coupon" from the state. Much of the rest would come from City and County incremental tax financing, collecting a portion of city and county sales tax from 90% of City cash registers for the next 30 years to pay for the project--diverting revenues from the general fund that pays for public safety, roads, infrastructure and stormwater needs. As a reminder the "Enids" described as ignorant and miserly are the people who will be receiving that bill for the next 30 years and know a lot more than the author gives them credit for.

41 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Joel Miller on 03/13/2014 at 1:53 PM

Re: “C4C: Extreme measures

John ~ While you dine at the Famous with the connected and famous, the rest of us are looking at the numbers and documents that were submitted to the EDC and eating our lunches from home at our desk. History of sports stadiums around the country tells us to be careful. Over-inflated numbers of attendance by soccer fans based on median attendance around the country in the existing league from a yet completely formed team tells us to be careful. While many fall into bankruptcy and rely on city coffers to pay the bills, I find all this rah-rahing about how much we need this stadium to keep USOC here in the Springs to be very disconcerting, considering how much we've already committed to them. UCCS has already stated that they will be building the Sports Medicine Complex ANYWAY. And their representative at the town hall meeting I attended alluded to those figures for the stadium being looked at carefully to determine whether it was viable or not, too. I don't think anyone is more supportive of the need to make our Downtown healthy and viable than I am, but to suggest that without the stadium we will lose USOC is just plain wrong and irresponsible.

Our city needs a green, sustainable growth energy plan, more open space, green parks for the people, great public transportation, uncontaminated waterways, a plan to address our failing infrastructure and storm water issues, a healthy, a viable small business friendly Downtown, more light manufacturing spaces, a concerted effort to overcome the reliance on the military-industrial complex, an effort to change the image of us being a conservative religious right-wing population, great schools and educational opportunities, a viable effort to combat homelessness by building a center for them and more housing. Those are the plans that will attract new companies and jobs to our city. Not, a "build it and they will come" stadium with usage only 6 months out of the year and no information about who will own it, run it and pay the bills. Transparency is key. Let them SELL us the idea and if it's viable, they have nothing to fear from a vote from the people rather than relying on "A-List Players" to tell us what we need or want or what we should pay for.

I support our members of City Council that are doing their jobs and researching the facts, as I would urge all citizens to do. EDC monies are OUR dollars. Urban Renewal monies are OUR dollars. Sales Tax Revenues are OUR dollars. We should have a say in how they are used.

53 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by rainydays on 03/13/2014 at 10:22 AM

Re: “C4C: Extreme measures

Joel Miller's facebook page says that King refused to sign a letter to the EDC that Miller and 3 other council members signed. Has King refused to sign because he's being intimidated by the INSIDERS threat of a recall election? Ask King. kcking@springsgov.com

More at https://www.facebook.com/JoelMillerColorad…

21 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by curious on 03/12/2014 at 9:39 PM

Re: “C4C: Extreme measures

"A-list" INSIDERS want to force C4C onto an unwilling citizenry and so they're going to spend big dollars to recall "vulnerable" city council president Keith King in order to change the council vote to 5-4 in favor of C4C. What is it about building this "visionary" stadium that so excites the insiders that they will do whatever it takes to get rid of a council member who stands in their way? Does corrupt "money rules" Chicago-style politics exist in sleepy little ol' conservative COS?

Throw away $120M? The fact is that $120M, receivable from the state over 30 years, is a highly inflated number. Denver's EDC analyst said $53M was more realistic, but probably also too optimistic. More importantly, why divert future sales tax revenue from essential city/county services to pay off debt on a stadium? And why should we OUTSIDERS pay for a stadium the INSIDERS want but which they won't pay for? LET THE OUTSIDERS DECIDE IF WE WANT A STADIUM. LET THE PEOPLE VOTE.

EMAIL: allcouncil@springsgov.com
County commissioners: dennishisey@elpasoco.com, darrylglenn@elpasoco.com, amylathen@elpasoco.com, sallieclark@elpasoco.com, peggylittleton@elpasoco.com

26 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by curious on 03/12/2014 at 9:00 PM

Re: “C4C: Extreme measures

"... killing the projects would send the city into a long downward spiral ... "

All due respect but that spiral started years ago when the chip fab plants shut down and left town. That spiral is hard to reverse when buffoons like Dobson, Haggard, etc, have made our town unlovable to corporations seeking a home for their enterprises.

One look at our crumbling infrastructure caused by TABOR's stranglehold on our governments is enough to send businessmen laughing all the way to Boulder or Denver .... or Texas.

The monied and connected class will force C4C on us, but it won't save this city, only be a white elephant to worsen that spiral.

42 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by OldCrank on 03/12/2014 at 5:00 PM

Re: “C4C: Extreme measures

The olympic museum, the UCCS medical center and the airforce visitor center are at least possible benefits to the city but the stadium is clearly not needed and a waste. Any recall effort will be viewed as a vote on the C4C project itself and citizens will vote for anyone who agrees to oppose this silliness.

39 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Frank Pado on 03/12/2014 at 4:30 PM

Re: “C4C: Extreme measures

Another parking garage...that is all our city has downtown is parking garages and meter maids!

But bottom line, when I dream...I never never have dreamed of an Olympic Museum, or a UCCS infirmary, or a sports stadium, or a visitors center downtown...just is not a dream, thought, or vision I have ever had.

And I sure don't want to have my money go to those dreams instead of the ones I do have.

21 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by TejonTech on 03/12/2014 at 2:38 PM

Re: “Udall steps gingerly

I met that Owen Hill fellow when he was running for SD 10. I'm a registered Democrat and would consider a vote for him if he could bring new industry to the Springs.

The military industrial complex is going to be under constant budget pressure for the next 10 years. We need software technology jobs where health conscious professionals are attracted to the area to enjoy our region.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Solar Sam on 03/07/2014 at 6:23 AM

Re: “To caucus or not to caucus

Thanks very mucyh for writing about what, in my opinion, is our wonderful grassroots system, the best chance the common person has for serving in elected public office.

I'm going to post a link to this from our Colorado Caucus News site, and perhaps that will bring readers here who will share an alternative point of view, your readers could go to our site to see articles from around the state that speak well of it. http://Facebook.com/ColoradoCaucusNews

There is a website with more information http://www.COCaucus.org, very rough, a labor of love from someone who has seen the system at it's best and who has high hopes the bright young people who will be going to their first or second caucus next Tuesday will learn the tricks necessary for it to become a megaphone, the last, best hope to fight back against the forces that would prefer we all just give them our proxy. Please share it with your friends who might be interested in taking a turn at the plate.

Posted by John S Wren on 02/26/2014 at 9:11 PM

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