It's the economy, stupid.
While chairmen of the Big Three auto-makers jetted by private plane to Washington, D.C., looking for a handout last week, hundreds of out-of-work Coloradans lined up before each prospective employer at job fairs across the state last Thursday. And on Saturday, 40,000 people descended on a Weld County field to glean the last of a harvest. Which all explains why Colorado Senate President Peter Groff and Speaker-designee Terrance Carroll aren't waiting for the next legislative session to take action. Their new Committee on Job Creation and Economic Growth will hold its first meeting today from 10 a.m.-noon at the State Capitol (www.ColoradoHouse.org).
Shortly thereafter, Denver mayor John Hickenlooper gets into the action.
At 12:30 p.m., Hickenlooper and Denver Public Schools Superintendent Michael Bennet will be at West High to announce a revitalization effort for the Lincoln/La Alma neighborhood, the Denver Scholarship Foundation Future Center. And at tonight's Denver City Council meeting, councilmembers will consider an additional $2.9 million contract for Seedco Financial Services, which uses federal money from the city to attract private investors for community development projects. Seedco has been working with the Office of Economic Development, which last Monday released a draft action plan for how the city will administer the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program; read the draft at www.milehigh.com, and send any comments to email@example.com by November 30. A million here, a million there -- pretty soon you're talking real money.
Speaking of counts, the final November 4 election tallies from all Colorado counties are due at the Secretary of State's office today -- even as a task force appointed by Governor Bill Ritter sifts through the twenty applications received for the replacement of Secretary of State Mike Coffman, who's moving to Congress and Tom Tancredo's seat come January.
Meanwhile, as the clock ticks down to November 28, Black Friday -- historically the biggest shopping day of the year -- approaches, retail outlets are gearing up. And hoping they'll need to. At 11:30 p.m. today, Santa will rappel down the "Denver" sign at the Denver Pavilions, 500 16th Street, to open the holiday shopping season. At 5:30 p.m. on Friday, November 28, Dinger-Claus will be at the other end of downtown, a special guest at the Downtown Denver Grand Illumination at Union Station. That's the same day that Buy Local Week kicks off, with the Mile High Business Alliance urging Denver residents to buy locally this year. At the very least, buy.
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But since this is Colorado, we'll always have characters for comic relief. At noon today, Eric Scott of Denver-Based Jet. P.I., will attempt to travel 1,500 feet across the Royal Gorge using nothing but a hydrogen-peroxide-powered jet pack. And tomorrow, Christine Szele, one of our frequently drunk fliers, will plead guilty to the shenanigans that forced Jet Blue to make an unexpected landing in Denver this summer.
Requiring fliers to make unplanned shopping stops at DIA: That's one way to keep the economy up. -- Patricia Calhoun