Clara McKenna 
Member since Dec 15, 2011

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Re: “City Councilor: It's not honest to say Air Force Academy area is "blighted"

Jackie, on this one, you're dead wrong. When I was involved in rebranding the Stratton Home some years ago, I had the rare opportunity to work through the archives and send the material on early days to various museums. I've written and published on everything from corporate structure in the city to education systems. I have a long history with special events, including managing national trade and marketing promotions, and I know what I know. Go back and look at some of the old Gazette Telegraph Progress editions and get a real picture of how this town ebbs and flows.

I repeat: tourism is a fallback position in the community and always has been. That's OK but it's not a rabbit out of the hat. The city is spending far too much money on tax incentives and "iffy" business proposals in the name of growth. Look at the sporting goods deal that was not closely examined and had to be withdrawn.

The "if you build it, they will come" stuff worked briefly in the post-Civil War period of expansionism. There are a lot of ghost towns between the 1860s and now that bought into that idea and failed.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Clara McKenna on 06/25/2019 at 3:22 PM

Re: “City Councilor: It's not honest to say Air Force Academy area is "blighted"

All this proves is that a city never leaves its founding reasons, no matter how inane. Colorado Springs was founded as a resort town and every time it lacks direction and is in the hands of a growth lobby, it reverts to those roots.

In reality, tourism has never sustained the town. Gold ore processing and shipping and the Mining Exchange kept it going during the early years. When the mines closed, the town was almost shuttered until the push came in WWII to make Camp Carson into the permanent Fort Carson. IT jobs here are based primarily on government contracts. Military retirees will be here as long as services are available. The use of the blighted statute on the north end of town became popular when previous Councils were attempting to protect a Powers connection to the interstate.

Maybe it's time to recognize the need for a measured step forward, rather than running hither and yon. "Blessed are those giants who go in circles, for they shall be called Big Wheels."

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Clara McKenna on 06/25/2019 at 9:47 AM

Re: “A neighborhood says it’s barely tolerating the constant buzzing from a Bitcoin mining operation

City government seems to have gone schizophrenic. On one hand, it wants to turn a large part of the area near the mountains into a tourist zone with museums and redevelopment of the south Nevada-Cascade corridor. the Drake power plant is seen as an environmental hazard.

Further north and close to the mountains in a "bitcoin mining" operation, large fans discharge not only noise but heat into the environment -- a double dose of environmental pollution for an attempt at universal currency that sounds like the thinking of a bad James Bond villain. It may well eat up all the environmental advancement that is supposed to come from closing Drake.

Meanwhile back at the City Council ranch, the focus is on allowing chickens, baby goats and what is in effect tenement housing in the neighborhoods that sustain the city. My friends in the IT business tell me they have to "mine" for jobs that are largely goverment contracts when the old contracts run out but the Mayor thinks he can find 3-4,000 jobs like that a month for people whose primary interest seems to be bike lanes. Any energy saved from bike lanes is eaten up by the bitcoin heat and noise output.

Major developers play the city like a violin when it comes to construction while individual homeowners are supposed to tolerate sober houses, granny flats, Airbnb, Craigslist and anything else that will destroy neighborhoods if they don't have HOAs. HOAs cover rules cities are supposed to have in place to create safe, good neighborhoods.

It sounds like a job for whatever the current antipsychotic of choice is. It all makes no sense.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Clara McKenna on 05/30/2019 at 9:27 AM

Re: “University of Colorado names president

Almost a million dollars annually, not to mention benefits, to run a publicly funded institution? That reminds me of the story about the politician who came to town to do good and did right well.

Posted by Clara McKenna on 05/08/2019 at 11:32 PM

Re: “Voters to choose from 11 at-large City candidates, four mayoral contenders

Colorado Springs has not had a non-partisan mayor since Bob Isaac was popularly elected with the exception of Mary Lou Makepeace, who came to the job with a strong background from serving in numerous civic organizations.

The reasons for it date back to a balanced council in the 1970s which voted for a moratorium on gas taps because of overreaching growth in the city. A number of developers went bankrupt and "somebody" decided that to forestall that happening again, council needed to be developer friendly.

Moving away from a non-partisan city manager to a partisan mayor in charge of administration was the final step in that process.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Clara McKenna on 03/24/2019 at 2:00 PM

Re: “Local firm had high levels of chromium in discharge water

Qualtek needs to have a referral system in place for sensitive phone calls. When the person at the front desk hung up on the reporter, the reporter simply stated the facts. She didn't engage in speculation and when she did get new information, published it quickly. It's not as if Qualtek didn't know the violation had happened. The company was simply unprepared for transparency.

Posted by Clara McKenna on 02/04/2019 at 5:08 PM

Re: “Reader: The gentrification blues

The homeless will be homeless. There will always be a part of the population that is marginalized. That is not romanticism, that is reality. All of this gentrification that is causing movement on South Nevada and the adjacent areas is simply moving the marginalized to other parts of town. It's not solving the problem because we don't really know what the problem is.

As for addiction, there are probably as many if not more of the privileged who are addicted to marijuana, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs as there are among the homeless. There is no call for those with means to accept "services." Same with the mentally ill, whatever that means. I do feel that in many cases, pets provide meaning to people and we need to find a way to provide for basic needs without depriving people of that emotional support.

We don't know much about the issue because it changes form. We just know it makes us nervous. Something about "there but for the grace of God go I?"

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Clara McKenna on 12/24/2018 at 11:08 AM

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