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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirJuly 20, 20173min500

This just in from the Secretary of State’s Office: Colorado’s economy continues to surge. Not really news, you say? And not necessarily good news, either, given how real estate prices and rents also keep soaring. OK, but unemployment is at historic lows, too. So, a strong economy is a mixed bag.

In any event, don’t blame the messenger: Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams. His office announced today that new business entity filings and existing entity renewals with the office’s business division rose in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year. There was a slight dip in both measures from the first quarter this year.

Williams, quoted in a press statement, said:

“New entity filings continue an upward trajectory, which is good news for our state …. There are now nearly 650,000 business entities in good standing filed with our office.”

The data from Williams’s office is tracked and analyzed by the Business Research Division at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder, which regularly compiles the data in its Quarterly Business & Economic Indicators Report, also on file at the Secretary of State’s Office.

Also quoted in the press release is Richard Wobbekind, director of the Business Research Division:

“At this time the national economy appears poised to continue the third longest expansion in U.S. history …. We see few warning signs that could derail this trajectory over the next year. Colorado’s economy is still holding strong.”


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Ernest LuningErnest LuningJune 27, 20173min1820

State Sen. Stephen Fenberg and Lindsay Urban, both of Boulder, were married on Saturday, June 26, in an outdoor ceremony at River Bend in Lyons. The ceremony was officiated by Sheila Malcolm, spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Ami, a Jewish congregation in Boulder. The bride is the daughter of Andy Urban and Robin Bass of Newton, Massachusetts. The groom is the son of Bill and Harriet Fenberg of Dayton, Ohio.



Mary MacCarthyMay 25, 20172min852

Graduation — it’s an event as American as apple pie.

And graduate Abdulsalam Hindawi looked just as American as the thousands of other students decked out in caps and gowns at the University of Colorado Boulder this month.

But his back-story is far from typical.

Hindawi is an asylum-seeker from Syria, who — despite the challenges of having fled his war-torn homeland — managed to achieve what fewer than 1 in 10 Americans have achieved: he earned a master’s degree.

The focus of Hindawi’s research might not surprise you:  Refugee Studies.

“I feel like I’m looking at my own past, but with an academic lens,” he said in his speech to his fellow graduates.

Hindawi fled Syria when the war broke out six years ago, spending time in Turkey before applying to and getting accepted to the graduate program at CU.

His mother still lives in Aleppo – the city that’s become synonymous with the civil war that’s estimated to have killed close to half a million people.

Degree in hand, but tough road ahead

Hindawi expresses gratitude towards his academic advisor, Dr. Jennifer Fluri

Hindawi had a smile on his face throughout graduation day, but his arduous journey is not over. He has his advanced degree in hand, but the documents he really needs — citizenship papers — have not yet been granted.

His speech, however, didn’t focus on his plight as a Syrian asylum-seeker under an administration that’s not friendly towards Syrians or towards refugees.

Instead, Hindawi took to the podium to celebrate the value of a liberal arts education, saying the study of  topics like geography can help to bridge the political gaps that divide human beings: “We learned that knowledge isn’t only about books, it’s the knowledge of ourselves and each other as individuals, without discrimination.”