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Up by the river 

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Pueblo experienced slow, steady decline for decades, but city leaders and artists are working to transform it. How are they doing so far?

click to enlarge Barbara Gibson

Barbara Gibson of the west side is a teacher

What comes to mind when you think of Pueblo? Riverwalk, and a place to buy marijuana.

Has your perception of Pueblo changed over the years? I used to think of it as mostly an industrial city, but lately it has a lot of cool cafés, coffee shops and musicians at [the Arkansas] Riverwalk. It's happenin' more in Pueblo, maybe, than in Colorado Springs. I'm thinking about moving there.

What's the key to a bright future for southern Colorado? A little less me-me-me and a little more open-mindedness and acceptance of diversity.

click to enlarge Joe Kozak

Joe Kozak of the west side is a garden-center supervisor

What comes to mind when you think of Pueblo? Riverwalk and the state fair.

Why did you go to Pueblo last time you were there? I was part of a fiber optics construction job at the Pueblo sheriff's office.

What's been your primary perception of Pueblo over the years? Growing up, I saw it as a hot, steel-making city and the home of the state mental institute.

What does Pueblo have going for it that other places don't? Pueblo Reservoir during the summer, for one.

click to enlarge Beverly Goodwin

Beverly Goodwin of the UCCS neighborhood works in film

What comes to mind when you think of Pueblo? Chile, restaurants, Hispanic culture.

Has your perception of Pueblo changed over the years? It was really depressed for a while, but they've beautified downtown, and tax windfalls from marijuana sales are revitalizing it.

What's Pueblo have going for it that other places don't? The state fair.

What's key to a bright future for southern Colorado? Recruitment of good health-care providers able to cater to our graying population.

click to enlarge Dan Watson

Dan Watson of Palmer Lake is in medicine

When you think of Pueblo, what comes to mind? Green chilies.

Has your perception of Pueblo changed over time? It used to be pretty limited, but they've boosted their economy though sales tax breaks that brought in corporations, and they added Riverwalk, which supports the arts.

What's key to a bright future in southern Colorado? Become a bee-keeper, like me. The world needs more honeybees.

  • Pueblo's city leaders and artists are working to transform their hometown.

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