Monthly Archives: August 2005

More interesting numbers

Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, but recently reported numbers on the uninsured and the number of lobbyists per legislator in Colorado are certainly interesting:

  • The U.S. Census Bureau recently reported that number of Colorado residents without health insurance edged up to 767,000 people last year, or 17.1 percent of the state population – higher than the 15.7%national average.
  • Colorado has 11 lobbyists for every state legislator according to a report released by the Center for Public Integrity. With 1,054 lobbyists for the 100 legislators put Colorado in fourth place (and more than twice the national average) for the number of lobbyists per legislator. Only New York, Florida, and Illinois had higher ratios.

Housing 101

According to a recently released study by the Center for Housing Policy, the median price of a home in the U.S. increased from $186,000 to $225,000, or 20 percent. Meanwhile, wages for key community workers (elementary school teachers, police officers, nurses, retail salespersons and janitors) in the majority of cities nationwide remained flat.

The Center has set up an on-line seachable database of housing and wage info for metropolitan areas, so only Front Range communities are included from Colorado. For folks in Western Slope communities, the information is interesting nontheless.

Turns out that Pueblo is the only metro area on the Front Range where elementary school teachers and police offiers make enough (~$45,000) to afford the median priced home ($116,00). In Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins, Denver, and Boulder. Elementary teachers and police officers need to make $13,000 more in Colorado Springs and $44,000 more in Boulder to afford the median priced homes in those communities ($180,00 and $285,000 respectively). The situation is probably more dire in resort communities where median housing prices are in the $300K – $500K range.

There has been a lot of concern and frustration with the quality of education in the state. Seems that the problem may be more than what is happening in the schools.

When does the minority become the majority?

Recent census numbers show that minorities make up the majority of the population in Texas, Hawaii, New Mexico, and California. Is it an oxymoron to call have a minority majority?

Read more …

Is Western growth on a collision course with itself?

The Intermountain West is a hot commodity these days with projections for more people, more jobs, and more oil and gas development.

Much of the population influx throughout the Colorado resort regions will be driven not by tourism but by the pure nature of the area, according to speakers at a July conference in Keystone titled, “Visions, Vistas and Viewpoints: Imagining Our Mountain Communities in 2030.”

At the same time, some energy leaders believe there will need to 400,000 new natural-gas wells in the Rocky Mountain states during the next 15 years to meet projected demand.

The Western landscape is vast, but can it accomodate to such different development visions?