One of the best parts of writing this column is finding random tidbits of information that lend insight into our city, state and country in pretty interesting ways. For instance, we have a fun number below that seems to be a positive side effect of our country imprisoning more people than any other developed country in the world. We also have some numbers involving two trails in our city — one is incredibly popular, one isn’t (yet) —and how adequate funding really impacts our access to trails. Pay attention to the utilities tidbit below. It reflects an issue that is more prevalent than you would think — the public’s right to information regarding publicly funded enterprises in the city. Enjoy!
The distance of the new trail along Sand Creek near Platte Avenue. The trail is specifically designed for fat bike riding and comes about as the result of a stormwater mitigation project in the area. The city hopes to use such projects as a way to increase multi-use trail development while simultaneously addressing infrastructure issues. I’m looking forward to really getting to know more of the sweet trails in the city, one half mile at a time. [Colorado Springs Business Journal]
The amount in attorneys fees that Colorado Springs Utilities is seeking against Monument based attorney Leslie Weise who is attempting to get an emissions report released by the utility. Ms. Weise was mistakenly sent a copy of the emissions report last month, which is currently under seal by the court. She returned the report to the court, without making copies, but acknowledged to the Gazette that the report showed violations in SO2 emissions. Ms. Weise is now seeking an order from the court that would allow the report to be released to the public. Utilities responded by seeking sanctions and attorney fees. Because really, does the public really need to know WHAT IS IN THE AIR THAT WE BREATHE AROUND THE COAL POWER PLANT IN THE MIDDLE OF OUR DOWNTOWN THAT IS FUNDED BY OUR TAX DOLLARS? [The Gazette]
The cost of the latest repair and upgrade to the infamous Manitou Springs Incline, which will be open again by the time you read this. The trail, located in Manitou but managed by the City of Colorado Springs, has undergone a series of renovations in an effort to ensure that it doesn’t wash down the mountain the next time a major flooding event occurs. The money came from a combination of state grants, government funding and private donations. We will now commence the social media barrage of whining about how much parking costs near the Incline. Because as we all know, when hiking a 1 mile long, 2000 foot gain “extreme” hike that requires a pretty decent level of fitness, you should definitely park as close as possible. [The Colorado Springs Independent]
The amount the beer industries in Oregon, Washington and Colorado are underperforming when compared to the overall US beer market. As you may have noticed, these three states have all legalized recreational marijuana. The numbers seem to prove that Mondays in the office with that creepy guy Jon from accounting doesn’t make your Mondays any less shitty, it just means that you are more likely to smoke pot to deal with it. Also, less calories! Wins all around. [The Denver Post]
The amount of total healthcare spending in the United States in 2015. The experts would call that a “fuck ton” of money. Overall, the United States spends more on health care than any other country in the world, but is ranked 37th in health care quality by the World Health Organization. We are slightly above Cuba (39th) and below Costa Rica (36th). The show covered some of the reasons our healthcare system is so incredibly expensive. But don’t worry, now that President-elect Trump is heading into office we are sure to be presented with a comprehensive, coherent plan to turn our healthcare system around. Just like he proved with Trump University, Trump Taj Mahal, Trump steaks………shit. [The Denver Post]
The percent decrease in serial killers in the US in the last three decades. That’s right, serial killers. As in Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy. The country may be absolutely fucking terrible for healthcare but we kick ass at keeping us safe from serial killers. Victory! The number comes from a study of over 3,000 cases involving serial killers dating back to the 1900s. The study’s authors attribute the drastic reduction to longer prison sentences and repeat offender laws such as “three strikes” laws. Some of the same things that make our prison population gigantic are also keeping us safe from serial killers. Hoozah! Peak serial killer in our country? The 80s. Of course. [Vox.com]
Colorado Springs by the Numbers is
a blantant rip off inspired by FiveThirtyEight.com’s excellent Significant Digits column. Make sure to check it out and send us any numbers that you find interesting at firstname.lastname@example.org.