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OFF LIMITS

In living color: If the new Rocky Mountain Magazine recalls the go-go early Eighties, the new Colorado magazine echoes the early Sixties--blocky type, "colorful" slogan, lace-up ski boots and all. But at least publisher Merrill Hastings is cribbing from himself: He founded the original Colorado in 1964, then went on to start Skiing magazine. Hastings sold Colorado, along with Colorado Business, to publishing magnate Bob Tisch in 1977--which, Hastings says, if nothing else earned him the epitaph, "Here lies the only man who got paid by Bob Tisch in full." To do so, though, Hastings had to sue the controversial publisher, who later went bankrupt--leaving many Colorado creditors in the lurch--and was last sighted running a tanning magazine in Phoenix.

Hastings reacquired the Colorado title this winter for a mere ten bucks. "A good name is part of the franchise," he says. "When you say `Colorado' and you're in New York or L.A., the lights go on. It's the centerpiece of the West." The centerpiece of Hastings's summer issue--"the largest rollout of any locally edited magazine in Colorado history"--consists of upbeat, if retro, stories about the Colorado Trail (another Hastings brainchild), ghost towns and gunfighters.

Former governor Richard Lamm was originally scheduled to provide the closing piece. But the lament he penned, titled "Requiem for a State," was so glum that Hastings says he canned it, using an essay by Montana author Jim Robbins instead.

Walk, don't rerun: Guess we'll have to wait for the summer repeats of Court TV to catch Denver prosecutor Craig Silverman's imitations of John Wayne, Groucho Marx and Charlie Chaplin. The chief deputy district attorney invoked the walks of all three when quizzing a witness in the Tom Hollar murder trial about one suspect's unusual gait. Unfortunately, Court TV only caught Silverman's Wayne mimicry from behind, which failed to give the national viewing audience a feel for just how convincing it was. Inside the courtroom, Silverman says, the walk went over so well that someone shouted "That's John Wayne!" before the witness had a chance to make an ID. Howdy, pilgrim.

Silverman was also the fellow responsible for calling Channel 7 reporter Jane Hampden to the stand as a rebuttal witness to testify about her July '93 interview with Delores Mercado, the ultimately unbelievable alibi of Steve Harrington. But despite being ordered by Denver District Judge Paul Markson to turn over the outtakes of that interview (and contrary to what you may have read here last week), Channel 7 refused to surrender the unedited tape--much of which wound up being shown on that night's newscast, anyway.

Taken to task: The Rocky Mountain News's official Task Force on Women should give the paper credit for picking up outspoken writer Molly Ivins. (The Denver Post, which isn't exactly brimming with female columnists, either, dropped Ivins earlier this spring.) But the News loses points for its June 12 magazine cover story on Colorado Expressions publisher Terry Vitale--who had just devoted a page in her magazine to party pix from the fiftieth birthday bash of News editor Jay Ambrose. You scratch my book, I'll scratch yours...

 
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