The Pueblo ChieftainJune 1, 20171min240

We were thrilled to hear the news this past weekend that the events center at the Colorado State Fairgrounds still will carry the name of Southwest Motors, at least through 2022.

Friday, Fair General Manager Sarah Cummings announced a new partnership with Mike and Randi Zavislan, owners of the well-known car dealership, that will see Southwest Motors remain the event center’s naming sponsor for the next five years.

And the Zavislans sweetened the deal.

Read more at The Pueblo Chieftain.



The Pueblo ChieftainMay 30, 20171min230

Colorado needs a workable plan to invest in a better state highway and local transportation system than we have now. Current conditions are intolerable.

All of us are adversely affected by inadequate roadways that cannot carry the ever-increasing traffic, particularly between Colorado Springs and the Denver metro area.

Interstate 25 woes will only get worse as the population spreads south to Pueblo and beyond — almost forgotten areas already crying out for improved highway and street surfaces as part of a modern statewide transportation network.



The Pueblo ChieftainMay 28, 20171min220

Colorado needs a workable plan to invest in a better state highway and local transportation system than we have now. Current conditions are intolerable.

All of us are adversely affected by inadequate roadways that cannot carry the ever-increasing traffic, particularly between Colorado Springs and the Denver metro area.

Interstate 25 woes will only get worse as the population spreads south to Pueblo and beyond — almost forgotten areas already crying out for improved highway and street surfaces as part of a modern statewide transportation network.

Read more at The Pueblo Chieftain.



The Pueblo ChieftainMay 25, 20171min200

Colorado continues to rank among the top states in the nation for jobs, but the growth rate is slowing, according to Ryan Gedney, senior economist for the state labor department. “When we get to unemployment rates this low, it’s natural that you can’t sustain the growth rate that you had,” he saidAs reported recently, Pueblo’s unemployment rate in April hit 3.7 percent — the first time our rate has been below 4 percent since 2000.

On the surface, that appears to be fantastic news. And it is. But the rate is like a glass half full.

Statewide, Colorado’s rapid job growth since the recession showed more signs of leveling off and average wage growth remained weak, according to the preliminary April jobs data released by the state Department of Labor.

Read more at The Pueblo Chieftain.



The Pueblo ChieftainMay 24, 20172min230

The city of Pueblo is smart to have a lobbying presence in Washington, D.C., yet we question the $9,400 cost of sending as many as five members of the City Council to the nation’s capital last week. Why not rotate the trip annually to include one or two members? Then all seven members eventually could gain the experience but at lower total cost to local taxpayers.

That said, City Council still should look favorably upon renewing the contract of Kogovsek & Associates, the longtime professional lobbying firm founded by the late Ray Kogovsek, himself a former congressman from Pueblo who died on April 30. In his absence, the firm now is in the able hands of his longtime partner, Christine Arbogast.

The lobbyists’ $32,300 annual cost seems justified, given the millions of dollars at stake whenever Congress and a multitude of federal agencies make decisions affecting our city. The contract pays for itself and then some if the city prevails on the federal government on just one or two things every year or so.

Read more at The Pueblo Chieftain.



The Pueblo ChieftainMay 22, 20171min220

Whew!

After months and months of meetings and disagreements, confusion and all sorts of other issues, Pueblo’s plan to use state funds to improve the Historic Riverwalk of Pueblo has been approved.

The state Economic Development Commission on Thursday unanimously approved Pueblo’s plan. To put it simply, it is fantastic news for our community!

The 11-member commission, meeting in Denver on Thursday, noted the success of recent talks between Pueblo leaders and state Office of Economic Development Commission to clarify and finalize the plans.

Read more at The Pueblo Chieftain.



The Pueblo ChieftainMay 20, 20171min150

They were beautiful sights, long lines of people waiting for the new Dick’s Sporting Goods and Ulta Beauty stores to open recently.

It was exciting to see two upscale retailers open in Pueblo within the last few weeks. And it was wonderful to see Puebloans greet the stores so enthusiastically.

But those are just two of the success stories to tell about Pueblo’s retail environment and how it’s grown rapidly in the past year.

Now comes the most important part: Keeping those businesses here and attracting more. That’s where all of us come in.

Read more at the Pueblo Chieftain



The Pueblo ChieftainMay 18, 20171min240

They were beautiful sights, long lines of people waiting for the new Dick’s Sporting Goods and Ulta Beauty stores to open recently.

It was exciting to see two upscale retailers open in Pueblo within the last few weeks. And it was wonderful to see Puebloans greet the stores so enthusiastically.

But those are just two of the success stories to tell about Pueblo’s retail environment and how it’s grown rapidly in the past year. Other entries to Pueblo’s market: Cavenders Western wear store at Pueblo Crossing. Maurices relocation on North Elizabeth. Big R’s store in Pueblo West. AAA Super Buffet, which opened last month in the former Country Buffet building near the Pueblo Mall.

Read more at The Pueblo Chieftain.



The Pueblo ChieftainMay 17, 20171min210

We think R. Kenneth O’Neal is an excellent addition to the Pueblo City Schools board.

O’Neal was appointed by the board last week to fill a vacant seat. He is a decorated Army veteran, an accomplished nurse and educator, and a member of the Pillars of Unity community advocacy group.

O’Neal took the oath of office before friends, colleagues and D60 administrators and staff.

“The kids are important, the school systems are important and they’re doing good things,” O’Neal said following the brief ceremony. “And I’m glad to be a part of a system that’s moving in the right direction.

Read more at The Pueblo Chieftain.



The Pueblo ChieftainMay 16, 20171min200

Colorado taxpayers dodged a bullet this past legislative session when a proposed half-cent state sales tax hike was rejected.

House Bill 1242 would have increased state sales taxes by $568 million in the first full year (fiscal 2018-19). The Senate Finance Committee voted 3-2 to kill the bill on April 25, even though it had the support of Senate President Kevin Grantham, R-Canon City.

HB1242 was designed, in part, to finance $3.5 billion in transportation bonds over 30 years to be repaid in annual installments — $100 million in the half of a fiscal year starting July 1, 2017, rising to $202 million or more a year starting in 2018-19.

Read more at The Pueblo Chieftain.