I have eaten many times at Zane's Steakhouse (and their predecessor -- Mason Jar -- still same owners, just a new name) and I have NEVER gotten sick. They have great steaks and they are the best in the state at fried chicken. You will not be disappointed.
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If the City Utilities gives water to the Broadmoor so wealthy people can use it for recreation while we the people have not been allowed into the south slope assets for five decades, and those assets are owned by the people, then all of the senior management of the CS Utilities should be fired.
The United States has tried to control the use and sale of marijuana since about 1913. The first law was originally passed in El Paso, TX as racial prejudice against Mexican immigrants.
Like the laws against illegal immigrants, this law has been the biggest failure in the history of law enforcement. It is easy to go buy "grass" anytime in all parts of Colorado Springs, or Colorado, or anywhere in the United States. You can do it now. Colorado College and Palmer High School are both popular places to get the stuff. A major marijuana farm was discovered during the waldo canyon fire. It is everywhere. (Incidentally, you can also hire some illegal mexican immigrants any day of the week. It is also easy. Just pour some concrete. They will be there, and if you don't hire them, you won't get the concrete done.)
Over one hundred years of law enforcement on marijuana has failed. When we passed the Prohibition Laws, we created the environment that allowed the Mafia to flourish in the United States. The marijuana laws are now creating the Mexican Drug Cartel. It would be refreshing if our "stupid Political Leaders" would grow up, legalize this stuff, and get the hell out of the way.
We learned to legalize booze because there was no choice. There are now a number of legal businesses supplying the booze in the United States. (This includes Colorado's flourishing beer industry.) If our stupid leaders would wake up, we could have equally successful businesses who pay taxes for selling Marijuana. But, No! We would rather be stupid and send millions to Mexico. And spend millions more trying to arrest a tidal wave.
All political leaders and all law enforcement leaders need to admit reality.
Continuing to try to enforce laws against marijuana is just stupid.
PS. I am 67 years old and I don't use marijuana, I don't use booze, and I don't drink beer. But I know people are going to do all of that. Legalize it and make a profit.
TABOR simply requires an affirmative vote of the people before the government is allowed to raise taxes. I consider this to be a completely reasonable, necessary, and absolutely brilliant law, given the arrogant attitude of government these days. Yes, Doug Bruce is eccentric, but so are a whole lot of government programs. And cities that refuse to disclose the true cost of all funding necessary to reach their goals may be committing a crime.
We are overrun with small groups of citizens (like city council) who routinely think their idea is the only good one for the city. The sad reality is their ideas are usually for a select few, like the richest corporations, or the richest individuals of the area. And "leaders" always think their idea is so good that it is worthy of a subsidy of money taken away from other taxpayers, who clearly have lousy ideas for their money. Getting a vote on such ideas is always so inconvenient, and budgets are such a pain in the assets.
Colorado Springs has repeatedly funded projects that clearly benefit only narrow interest groups, such as the Broadmoor Hotel, downtown landowners, or even joggers and bikers. Most city residents will never get any measurable benefit from these projects, and these subsides almost never work. That means we get to pay for them over and over, again and again, while they continue to not work, over and over again. Wasn't it just last week that the Olympic Bicycle team decided to move to Mesa, AZ? Right after we agreed to subsidize their fancy downtown building? Hm. Not working again.
Government representatives (like Mr. Hazlehurst was years ago) regularly believe that unlimited taxes are the path to the Nirvana that all their pet projects promise, while skirting the intent of the voting requirement. I think you should start believing in the tooth fairy before he taxes your dentures.
The Federal Government, many States, and more than a few cities, are now heading into a long term financial hell of bankruptcies and collapsing revenue as they learn that their ideas didn't work, and aren't going work, and subsidizing runaway government pensions is a financial liability that will bite hard on everybody.
Thus we, the voters who didn't get to vote, we get stuck with an international airport 80 miles from a Real Airport (we have no chance of winning the state championship on this) or we get street design from Mars (as influenced by those City street design experts -- the North End Homeowners Assn) which design has now literally strangled the downtown with the lack of arterial traffic support. And all the while, we have a city ready to do more.
Being a city with REAL low taxes and REAL low utility rates strikes me as a winning tactic in the war of winning new residents. Incidentally, if the pensions are so reasonable, then you will have no problem publishing a complete list of them as full disclosure in the newspaper. The street riots that will follow such disclosure will make great news.
Your data on CSUtilities is drastically incorrect. First we will discuss rates, but you need to understand the difference between a rate and your utility bill.
Colorado Springs currently has the highest rate charged for water of any utility west of the Mississippi River. This is in spite of the fact that the trans mountain water diversion projects have been paid for for many years. When it rains or snows in the mountains, God does not send CS Utilities a bill for the water. They get it for free. All the benefits of that are retained in CS Utilities and used for salaries and posh retirements.
The rates charged for electric and gas are very similar to or higher than the rates charged all across the United States. CS Utilities simply does not have some magical negotiation powers that are better than other utilities.
The reason your utility bill is about 25% lower than other locales is caused by geography. This city sits at a higher altitude than most other cities. That combined with the tall range of mountains on the west side of the city gives you a significant advantages over Pueblo, Denver, or most other cities.
Because the air is lighter, the heat transfer from your house into the air is slower than the same process in lower cities. A great advantage in the winter. In addition, the radiation of heat into the cool evening air in the summertime is wonderful compared to cities like Chicago. This lowers your electric bill compared to cities where the heat is captured and held in the air around your house. On top of that, the shadows from the mountains that fall across the west side also lowers your electric cooling bills far more than in cities that have no shade.
Just remember OldCrank, God gave Colorado Springs these advantages for everybody to enjoy. The management team at the CS Utilities had absolutely nothing to do with this advantage, but they like to take credit for it.
In reference to coal costs, the gigantic discoveries of overwhelming supplies of natural gas in the United States may destroy the coal industry, particularly for lower grades of coal. Current costs per BTU favor natural gas by about 50%. In addition, the CSUtilities has to maintain a large number of coal train cars to haul the coal. Returning those empty cars to the coal mines is an expense not duplicated in the natural gas system. Natural Gas is simply more efficient than coal for the production of electricity.
If the Sky Sox Stadium is moved to downtown, what will be the effect on the Powers Blvd business complex? The retail businesses in that area (Walmart, Target, Lowes, many restaurants, movie theaters, etc., etc.) represent sales tax revenue to the city that is about 40 times larger than the sales tax that is presently collected downtown.
Walmart is the largest private employer in the city. Target and Lowes are also very significant contributors to city employment and tax revenues. These businesses deserve full recognition of their contributions. Downtown is really represented by about six politically connected landowners who are pushing for government subsidies for their bad land purchases. Government subsidies have been used downtown for over fifty years. Any good conservative knows government subsidies don't work. And they won't work this time either.
Similar reasoning applies to the silly attempts to move the Air Force Academy visitors center to downtown. Why not put a visitors center for Yellowstone National Park in the Antler's hotel complex? Answer -- People go to the Air Force Academy because that is where they want to be. The same applies to Yellowstone National Park. So the downtown businesses need to find a way to make people want to go there. Free internet cafes? Free wi-fi? How about free parking? Vastly improved street networks? There are many opportunities, but subsidizing losing businesses won't make them successful.
Detroit has a MAJOR league baseball stadium. It sure worked great for them.
1. For more than fifty years, Colorado Springs and El Paso County officials have collected substantial fees on all building projects in this county. The fees were supposed to fund the building of bridges and for drainage. Actually, the funds collected were diverted into extra salaries, pensions, and bonuses. Blaming this on TABOR is irresponsible and naive. The greed of the government employees and their runaway pension plans are most of the cause. Double taxation is the result.
The primary cause of growth here has been the growth of the government war machine. Maybe they ought to pay for their impact.
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