Friday, October 5, 2007

EDC celebrates more than technology

If you attend both the Celebrate Technology and the Excellence in Local Industry awards receptions, you will have one fewer event to attend this year.
That’s because both sets of awards will be presented at a single event this year, now set for Nov. 14 at The Broadmoor hotel. Both awards programs were put on by the Colorado Springs Economic Development Corp., which revived the technology awards in 2004.
“We saw lots of synergies between the two events, enough to combine the two,” said Kara Roberts, EDC’s vice president of local industry. “Any time you put on a first-class event like these, there is a considerable amount of work involved. This streamlines those efforts.”
The combined awards will be streamlined, eliminating Celebrate Technology awards for venture capital funds and narrowing the criteria to local entrants.
The technology awards will honor innovation and entrepreneurs, while the local industry awards honor companies who have stayed and become good corporate citizens in the Springs and those who have helped to improve the local business climate.
The combined awards ceremony also will allow all funds raised by sponsorships for Celebrate Technology to go for and expand $1,500 scholarships to students attending the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs College of Engineering and Applied Science, Roberts said.
For more information, go to

Group releases nonprofit compensation survey for Colorado

Young Life's president and chief executive is one of the highest paid nonprofit directors in Colorado, according to a new state survey by

Based on data from 990 tax forms, Young Life's CEO is compensated $258,638.

Other CEOs in the top five: National Endowment for Financial Education, $1.1 million; National Employment Law Institute, $452,114; Allosource, $353,038; and Philanthropy for Active Engagement, $245,975.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Architects to gather for design awards Nov. 30

A design awards gala for the American Institute of Architects' southern Colorado chapter will take place Nov. 30 at Colorado College's Bemis Hall, 920 N. Cascade Ave., in Colorado Springs. The event will include presentation of the AIA Colorado South 2007 design award winners by Patrick Gallagher of Washington D.C.-based Gallagher & Associates. Springs architect Morey Bean, 2007 president of AIA Colorado South, will emcee the evening, which will include dinner and live entertainment. More information: or Robin Hickey at 303.446.2266, ext. 21.

PENRAD Imaging gets new high-tech equipment

A faster CT scanner with two X-ray sources and two detectors has arrived at PENRAD Imaging.

It's the first CT 128 in Colorado, according to PENRAD officials, and it can scan patients in a few seconds, accommodat patients up to 485 pounds, delivers 50 percent less radiation and has twice the speed and resolution of a single-source scanner.

The equipment can be used for scanning the heart for cardiac disease and can be used on nearly any patient, including those with shortness of breath and irregular heart beat. It also requires no pre-medication.

It also is useful for neuro studies, pediatric patients, small bowel fluoroscopy and other applications.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

American Family offers free safety program for teen drivers

American Family Insurance's Teen Safe Driver Program is now available in eight states, including Colorado.

Produced in conjunction with DriveCam Inc., the year-long program helps young drivers learn the ropes and is free to American Family auto insurance customers who have a teen driver. Register at

Results from a pilot program in Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin show the program reduces risky driving behavior by 70 percent or more, said Jack Salzwedel, American Family's president and chief operating officer.

An in-vehicle video and audio camera captures risky driving behavior, such as swerving, hard braking, sudden acceleration and collisions. The unit wirelessly sends the images and sounds to an analysis center, where analysts review the problem, add coaching comments and assign a risk score. Parents and teens receive weekly status reports via e-mail and can view the video clips.

Colorado Housing and Finance Authority offers homebuyer education

Homebuyers, take note. The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) now offers the option of receiving education online at The online homebuyer education program is in addition to an online money management program ( for existing homeowners. In addition to the online program, the authority will continue to offer face-to-face homebuyer education classes throughout Colorado via its non-profit partners. For more than 30 years, CHFA has provided financing to qualified homebuyers statewide. Most CHFA customers are first-time buyers of low- to moderate incomes, and many are inexperienced in the home-buying process. “We believe that homebuyer education helps people make good decisions about buying a home,” said CHFA’s Home Finance Director Karen Harkin. “A well-informed consumer asks good questions and makes good decisions. Understanding the process empowers people to make smart financial decisions about what kind of loan makes sense for them and helps prevent some of the problems that we believe has exacerbated the current foreclosure situation. Sometimes they even make the decision that they are not ready yet for home ownership." The homebuyer education curriculum includes topics such as finding a real estate agent and reputable lender, how to live on a budget and home maintenance. CHFA offers homebuyer education classes in English and Spanish and will make arrangements for classes in other languages. Homebuyer education and money management classes are free of charge and are available even for buyers who don't obtain a CHFA loan. More information:, (303) 297-7376 or (800) 877-CHFA, ext. 376.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Colorado Kite & Ski moves

Colorado Kite & Ski has a new home. It moved recently from 2845 Ore Mill Drive to 2820 W. Colorado Ave. “I had zero walk-by traffic over there,” owner Stan Wolf said of the previous location. Colorado Kite & Ski started downtown; it moved to Ore Mill Drive in 2004.

Scrapbooking inn for sale

The Keepsake Inn, profiled in The Gazette in May, is for sale. But that doesn’t mean the owners have given up on the idea of an inn targeted toward scrapbookers.

“Putting the inn up for sale is a contingency plan for us,” one of the owners, Mary Ruden, said in an e-mail. The house in Manitou Springs was on the market for about a year before they bought it last fall and transformed it into the Keepsake Inn. “And we figure that it would take that long again to sell as a single-family residence and perhaps that long to sell as a business. In the meantime, we hope the things we continue to do to market the inn are hugely successful and that when we get an offer, we are no longer interested.”

Monday, October 1, 2007

Governor's mansion earns kudos for solar power

The Boettcher Mansion, home to Gov. Bill Ritter, in September made the “top 10” list of “most solar power-friendly governor’s mansions in the nation by

Built in 1908, the Boettcher Mansion near downtown Denver had two solar panel systems installed this year by Colorado companies.

Colorado ranked No. 6 on the top 10 list. Governor’s mansions in New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Arizona and Florida topped Colorado’s standing. Rounding out the remainder of the list were New Jersey, California, Hawaii and Nevada.

The new Web site, which offers tips for reducing greenhouse emissions, lowering energy costs and adopting clean energy solutions, also named the top 10 most wind-power friendly governor’s mansions.

Overhaul for BBB

The Better Business Bureau is changing the way it approves businesses by moving from a pass/fail system to a letter-grade system from A-F, the agency announced today. This would help consumers make a more educated decision on who to do business with while making businesses shape up more to earn a higher grade. As usual, input from consumers is a part of this grade so if you have a problem with a business be sure to report it to the BBB ( Also, BBB members will now be called "accredited" instead of members as part of the BBB's effort to look deeper into the operations, ethics and credibility of businesses. The letter grades are expected by the first of the year.

Today's news comes at the start of BBB Week, a proclamation made by Mayor Lionel Rivera.

SoleMates coming to an end

SoleMates, 125 1/2 N. Tejon St., is closing at the end of October. Frank and Ruby Maestas, who bought the downtown business a year ago, are closing for family reasons.

“My daughter has moved away, and she has my only two grandchildren,” Ruby Maestas said. She wants the freedom to travel and visit her grandchildren when she wants — and owning a business does not allow her that freedom, she said.

“We just decided that family comes first.”