Friday, September 1, 2006

Working safely

Labor Day celebrates the American worker, but each year, nearly 70,000 American workers die preventable deaths.

165 Americans die each day from occuational diseases

18 American die each day from work-related injuries

4.3 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses were reported in private industry in 2004

249,000 newly reported cases of occupational illnesses in 2004

1.3 million Americans annually recuperating from work-related illnesses or injuries

7 days average time away from work to recuperate

$170 billion is spent annually on costs associated with
occupational illnesses and injuries

$40 billion is paid annually by employers and insurers in worker's compensation benefits

Source: American Insutrial Hygiene Association

Passports soon to become a must for international travel in 2007

Area residents who plan to travel internationally by air or sea during 2007 are being advised by local tourism offices to apply now for a passport if they don’t already possess a valid one.

That’s because on Dec. 31, federal law will require all individuals, regardless of national origin, to possess valid passports if traveling internationally by air or sea, including to and from destinations where drivers’ licenses and birth certificates had previously been sufficient. Those destinations include Bermuda, Canada, Mexico, Panama and the Caribbean. Passports will be required for all forms of international travel, including over land, beginning on Dec. 31, 2007.

For information on passport applications, visit the State Department’s Web site at or contact Colorado Springs’s Carlson Wagonlit Travel at (719) 597-0004 or online at

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Medicare drug plan satisfaction ratings

The latest Kaiser Family Foundation tracking survey finds that more than eight in 10 seniors who are enrolled in a Medicare drug plan are satisfied with their plan, although almost two in 10 say they encountered a major problem in using it.

The survey of 1,585 seniors, including 623 who are enrolled in a Medicare Part D drug plan, captures seniors' experiences with the new drug benefit, as well as their overall views of the benefit, their knowledge about key features and the priority seniors give the drug law as a voting issue.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Time to make your Edible Arrangements

Colorado Springs natives Jeffrey and Courtney Thornton have just opened a franchise operation for Edible Arrangements on the north side of town, specializing in creating fruit designs filled with fresh, hand-sculpted fruit including strawberries, pineapple, grapes, oranges, cantaloupe and honeydew. A nationwide chain with more than 500 outlets, Edible Arrangements had sales of $25.8 million in 2005. Stores in business for at least 12 months averaged $453,825 in sales revenue based on arrangements that range in price from $32 to $200. The Thorntons' store is at 1234 E. Woodmen Road, suite 110, just west of Academy Boulevard.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

GattiTown ... we're still on the outskirts

The Mr. Gatti's pizza chain is trying to enliven its brand with a new GattiTown model it is testing in Frisco, Texas. Described as "Chuck E. Cheese on steroids," it is 40,000 square feet of pizza, pasta, video games, carnival rides, bumper cars and big screen TVs. A corporate executive mentioned Colorado Springs as just the sort of place where GattiTown might work to a Dallas Morning News reporter. But Mr. Gatti's CFO Steve Burt said there is "nothing concrete" yet about making any move into the Colorado market. Burt said the reference to Colorado Springs in the Morning News story by Jim McBride of the parent company Blue Sage Capital LP "probably came up because it is a market we have talked about as attractive."

Monday, August 28, 2006

Springs rates as state's top overnight pleasure destination

Colorado Springs continues to be a huge draw for in-state tourism, according to a survey of the Centennial State's most popular attractions developed by Longwoods International. The Springs was No. 1 on the list of overnight pleasure trips -- just ahead of Boulder and Estes Park -- with Pikes Peak fourth, Garden of the Gods tied for eighth and Manitou Springs 17th. The Denver metro area's top three attractions all have more to do with shopping than any real sightseeing with the Lodo Historic District followed by the 16th Street Mall, Outlets at Castle Rock, Cherry Creek Shopping Center and Colorado Mills Shopping Mall. The Denver Zoo is sixth in the metro area.

Best cars for teens

With the teens back in school, many are starting to drive. If you have a teen in that boat, Consumer Reports,, just released its list of "recommended cars for teenage drivers."

Safety was a top deciding factor, followed by reliability.

Here are the top 11 (yes, 11, not 10):

Ford Focus (2002 or later, except two-door models)
Honda Accord EX (1998 or later)
Honda Civic EX
Mazda Protege ES (1999-2003)
Nissan Altima 2.5 S (2003 or later)
Subaru Forester 2.5X
Toyota Camry XLE
Toyota Camry LE
Toyota Corolla LE (1999 or later)
Toyota Rav4 (2001 or later)

Area 51 moving to a new area

The former location of the Independent Records & Video Annex at 3031 E. Platte Ave. -- across the street from the site of the current Annex -- has been leased to Area 51 tatoo parlor. Area 51 will make the move from its location at Flintridge and Academy later this year according to Independent Records co-owner (and leasor) Lewis Lambert.