TMJ Week of 11.29.16

“A Cripple Creek Christmas Carol” strikes gold with Yuletide audiences- By Bob Valade

New Minimum Wage Rules Expected to Impact Local Businesses -By Beth Dodd

Woodland Station Saga Lands in Court – BierWerks Owner Files Suit Against DDA – By Beth Dodd

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Woodland Park will host Olympic Gold Medalist Champion

The city of Woodland Park will host two-time Paralympic Gold Medalist Shawn Morelli on December 1 at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at 220 W. South Ave (right next to city hall). Morelli will be available for photos with her bicycles and gold medals. This will occur about a half-hour before the regularly scheduled…

Local Fire & EMS Agencies Confront Funding Hurdles – Departments Asked to Cover More Service Areas with Less Revenue – Bob Volpe

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The two main emergency service providers in the area, the Ute Pass Regional Ambulance District and Northeast Teller County Fire Protection District, are facing serious financial challenges with no immediate relief in sight. The lack of funding could result in higher home owner insurance rates and an increase in property taxes, or slower response times…

Oh The Trauma

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“…arguing that our endurance as a democratic republic is tied to the Electoral College would be tantamount to having claimed in 1915 that our stability was dependent on continuing to deny women the right to vote and to have state legislatures select U.S. Senators.” Rob Richie, Executive Director, FairVote – The Center for Voting &…

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Salute to American Veterans Rally finalized for 2017- Rick Langenberg

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The Salute to American Veterans Rally will be roaring into Cripple Creek in August for yet another year.
Only this time, the several day festival, dubbed as the biggest motorcycle procession in Colorado, and one of the state’s signature veteran-related rallies, may not feature as many additional events, such as the Vietnam War Memorial Wall. And the city and rally committee will look for ways to improve the event, which has gotten too stagnant, according to some critics. Others business operators have complained that it stifles commerce during a prime weekend.
Despite earlier funding concerns, Cripple Creek City Administrator Ray DuBois confirmed last week that a tentative agreement has been reached between the veterans rally committee and the city.
This agreement is part of a compromise, calling for the city to cut its sponsorship funding slightly and not to pick up the finances for certain additional costs. With this pact, the city will pay the promoters, ProPromotions, close to $40,000 for orchestrating the rally and will pay the costs for a stage. But the city will expect the promoters to bear the brunt of additional costs that the city has paid in the past, such as the Vietnam War Memorial Wall display and outdoor bathroom facilities and other accessory costs.
“They seemed to feel this was a fair compromise. They understand our situation,” said DuBois. “This is not a deal-killer,” added the administrator in discussing the latest compromise requiring the promoters to pay for more costs.
The deal isn’t quite finalized, as the city council won’t finalize its 2017 budget until early December.
But the announcement puts to bed any rumors about the rally leaving town. As part of its preliminary budget proposal for 2017, the city proposed a 60 percent cut in its sponsorship commitment for the Salute rally, which returned to Cripple Creek in 2010 after a several-year hiatus, when the event was held in Winter Park.
This potential cut sparked much outrage among rally committee leaders and from veterans and motorcycle organizations, who attended a recent council budget meeting to outline their concerns. Then, the rally promoters, Jim and Pam Wear of ProPromotions, met with the city council behind closed doors to reportedly discuss financial details associated with the rally. .
City elected leaders agreed with these pro-rally comments, but argued that it didn’t have the financial resources to continue financing the event the way it has in the past.
“This event is not cheap,” admitted DuBois. The city’s net annual costs exceeded $65,000, and that is just what the city invests into the festival. “It costs a lot more than that to put on the event,” added the Cripple Creek city administrator.

The event continues to spark much controversy.
In an earlier budget meeting, Cripple Creek Councilman Chris Hazlett, who owns Ralf’s Breakroom, noted that the rally is not supported by local residents and merchants and by casino operators. He questioned the validity of spending this much money for an event that many residents didn’t want.
However, other council members disagreed, but conceded that improvements are needed. Despite the problems associated with limiting access for local businesses and casinos, a few council members maintained the rally needs a fresher approach and possibly the event should occur at a different time of the year. Mayor Bruce Brown complained that the event has almost become just a one-day rally.
The Salute Committee leaders, though, have vowed to make changes.
With this announcement, it’s unsure how this will impact plans by the Downtown Development Authority Board in Woodland Park, who wanted to take over the event, or feature a similar veterans/motorcycle gathering at Woodland Station. The DDA board wants to transform Woodland Station, the site of the former Saddle Club and Bergstrom Arena, into a major evens hub. The Salute rally was cited as possibly a good event for the DDA to host.
According to the Salute’s website, the rally is on schedule to occur in Cripple Creek in August. This will mark the 25th running of the festival.