OFF LIMITS

Law and disorder: State legislators are already peeved at having to find $400,000 in a tight, tight budget to fund Attorney General Gale Norton's new "death squad" for pushing the prosecution of death penalty cases. Adding to their irritation is the fact that Norton broke her budget by about that amount when she promised additional, unscheduled salary increases to lawyers on her staff.

Although the Joint Budget Committee put the kibosh on those pay hikes, Norton's budget still doesn't add up. With just two and a half months to go until Colorado's fiscal year ends on June 30, the AG's interoffice billings have fallen way behind. (Although state agencies are invoiced for work done by the AG's office, it's all supposed to come out in the fiscal wash.) To make sure her office can account for itself come July 1, last month Norton asked lawyers to donate extra time on top of their normal duties--between 130 and 160 unpaid overtime hours, depending on who's doing the whining.

Just call them the "debt squad."

A hole in one: And then, of course, lawmakers are still trying to squeeze some semblance of a tourism budget out of this year's legislative session. But no matter what shape the industry bailout takes, it will come too late to save the state's face--or at least its place in "Places to Play 1994-95," a supplement to Golf Digest. After extolling golf courses across the country, the publication lists contact numbers for every state in the union but Colorado, whose entry is followed by this sorry admission: "No State Tourism Board. Call area Chamber of Commerce." Couldn't Colorado at least have offered up its economic development office? The Denver Convention and Visitor's Bureau? Or as a last resort, why not the number of Doug Bruce, the tourism tax's leading opponent?

More tourists could be left up in the air May 15, if the recent pronouncement by a US Air pilot indicates anything more than that he failed arithmetic. While circling near Stapleton last Monday, the pilot told passengers to take a look down at the new Denver airport--"which will be opening in sixty to ninety days." Mayday! Murder, Ink: After six years as "the arts alternative," Icon ends publication this month--laid to rest by its own editor/publisher, Ted Pinkowitz. He's going to devote himself full-time to the other arts paper he's been editing, Colorado Arts, a publication of the Colorado Federation of the Arts--itself an offshoot of the state arts agency. Another publication--this one definitely prints uncharming--is hitting select mailboxes around town. Named Wham!--for "Women Haters of America, Mobilize!" the first issue comes complete with a letter from the suspiciously named Dick Hertz and includes such observations as "We hate every bone in a woman's body, except our own."

And that's one of the more tasteful items.
The contact listed on the four-page flier leads to an East Colfax post office box. The content could lead to trouble with the U.S. Postal Service, which has already received complaints from unwary, unappreciative recipients.

 
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