Ted Rayburn

I was struck recently by a Wall Street Journal online opinion column by Ben Sasse, junior U.S. senator from Nebraska and a historian and ex-college president. While the column (which he based on a speech he gave to Colorado's Steamboat Institute) eventually veered more into other areas, his lead-in was about how America is undergoing what is probably the "largest economic disruption in recorded human history." Sasse's column referred to societies evolving from hunter-gatherers to farmers to factory workers to - whatever we are now: "Sometimes we call it the information-technology economy, the knowledge economy, the service economy, the digital economy. Sociologists call it the 'postindustrial' economy, which is another way of

Is there anything more frustrating, for more people, than air travel? The issues that erupted in the past month with major carriers stranded hundreds of thousands of passengers around the country. The computer outage at Southwest Airlines in July caused cancellation of more than 2,000 flights and cost the company an estimated $54 million, The Dallas Morning News reports. We have yet to know the cost of last week's similar but unrelated disruption at Delta, but it had resulted in more than 2,100 cancellations and thousands more flight delays as of Thursday. Add to that the growing customer anger over confusing luggage fees and security restrictions, and it's enough to make many people say they'll never fly again.

Almost every week, there is news of another large building development in or near Colorado Springs. Last week, it was the 240-unit Copper Ridge Apartments project on the northeast edge of the city. The week before that, plans for four new freestanding Starbucks in central and northern Colorado Springs and a massive, upscale development of new homes on the former Shamrock Ranch. The list goes on. The kid in me revels in all the construction activity. The grownup wonders how much of it is built to be sustainable - homes and factories and offices designed or retrofitted to use less energy and water and contribute to a healthy environment. The green-building movement in the U.S. has been going strong for at least a

One of the surest signs a city is succeeding is the vitality of its downtown. It doesn't matter whether the biggest or most profitable businesses are in the city core, but it does matter that business and city officials are united in supporting the downtown area's prosperity. I have been pleased to see that while downtown Colorado Springs has its challenges, it is on the right track, thanks especially to some great organizations working on its behalf. And I expect that they understand they could have a long road ahead. I look to the example I know best, the city of Nashville. As long ago as the 1940s, Nashville was experiencing suburban sprawl.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about peer cities and what they tell us about our own community.Business and governmental leaders in Colorado Springs have an informal set of communities they look to for good ideas - from Boulder to Albuquerque, Omaha to Austin. Such comparisons yield useful information when looking to fix a city's traffic, infrastructure and other needs, and I'm glad to see Springs leaders taking this path.This is a popular practice among progressive-minded cities, and it can yield excellent results.It is much better than dwelling on negative comparisons.I have witnessed this when living in other cities, and it's not pretty.

It has been gratifying to hear from so many readers and members of the Colorado Springs business community since this column began a month ago. And the best part of it is that virtually everyone had something to say more than a simple thumbs-up or thumbs-down. The comments have been informative, thought-provoking and entertaining, and that tells me a lot about this city's can-do, always engaged mindset.Here's one example that I found fascinating and, as a newcomer to the state and the city, very helpful. Tom Binnings, senior partner at Summit Economics LLC, emailed this observation:"One intriguing aspect of El Paso County is that we consistently grow each decade by approximately 100,000 people.

Moving to Colorado Springs late in 2015 has prompted me to review the whole of 2015 for the city, and it's remarkable how the data reveal the presence of big trends in the economy and in the business community. A good example of this is Colorado Springs' real estate. Had I been living here the entire time, I might have noticed only that home prices were on a strong upward trajectory - 6 percent in the first quarter of 2015 and 4.9 percent April through June. Good news for sellers, but challenging for potential buyers? Perhaps. But the rate of growth in prices has been the slowest of any metropolitan area in the state, and the median home price in the Springs, $220,100 in the first quarter, compares with $338,100 in Denver

This column is about energy. Not the kind that heats and lights your home or powers your car, although that's not out of place on these pages. It's about energy of mind and of purpose. I touched on this in my previous column (Dec. 20) in finding the Colorado Springs business community to be vibrant and hard-working, but there is more to be said. The reason that I am so bullish on this city's business community is its overall energy and enthusiasm. Numerous studies of the U.S. economy cite the fact that when industries simply do things the way they have always done, they decline, rather than grow or stay in place. The technology revolution of the past 30 years, along with increased competition from emerging foreign

Colorado Springs and surrounding communities are changing fast - so much so that it is somewhat puzzling for a newcomer like me to hear some residents talk about the Springs as a place stuck in the past. That contrast was on display at the Regional Business Alliance gala in November. Leaders in the local business community addressed the crowd, clearly eager to dispel notions of this being a second- or third-tier city. The examples that they cited of developments in our business community are, indeed, exciting. And the stories that Gazette business reporters are finding every week bear this out. It's true that some longtime large employers have been bought or are being absorbed into other companies. Whole business sectors are

A Woodland Park man who had been told to stay out of the securities and mortgage business was sent to jail Tuesday for violating court orders, according to the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies. Richard Roop was sentenced to 60 days in jail for contempt of court by Denver District Court Judge Michael Martinez. State Securities Commissioner Gerald Rome filed a motion Oct. 22 accusing Roop of contempt. Roop has not been licensed to sell or recommend securities since his mortgage broker-dealer license was suspended in 2012 after he refused to provide records or appear at a hearing before the Colorado Securities Board, officials said Tuesday.

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