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OFF LIMITS

Things to do in Denver when you're read: If you're Ken Hamblin, try the decaf. The normally mellow Sunday segment of the Today Show was quite an eye-opener September 4 when Hamblin, live from KCNC in Denver, took aim at three guests in the New York studio who were discussing racism and the thirtieth anniversary of 1964's Freedom Summer. Hamblin's trademark fedora and riffs on "quota blacks" apparently surprised host Mike Schneider, who tried to moderate a discussion that quickly accelerated beyond moderation and ended with Hamblin accusing Barney Frank of a "cheap shot" when the congressman made a crack about talkative talk-show hosts. (Hamblin may not appear on NBC again anytime soon, but look for him in an upcoming People magazine, courtesy local correspondent Vickie Bane.)

If you're on the Denver Post copy desk, buy an atlas. Last week the paper twice corrected geographical errors on two maps: First it misplaced Minnesota, and then it lost Ohio...But then, the Rocky Mountain News couldn't find Nigeria.

And if you're on the News's Task Force on Women, you might want to take a quick glance at another local publication--the Denver Business Journal's new "Who's Who in Denver Business," which drops the town's muckety-mucks into such categories as High Tech & Telecommunications, Health Care, Banking & Finance and, new this year, Women in Business and Minorities in Business (which essentially means that Linda Alvarado, president of Alvarado Construction and a co-owner of the Colorado Rockies, was cross-referenced three times). Hey, any problem with simply considering women and minorities an intrinsic part of the regular sections? Bonus points to Dana Crawford, who made the cut in the Commercial Real Estate category but, as the guide notes, "declined to participate" in the women-only section.

Think big: A regional "who's who"--no stinting on women, but not many minorities in evidence--gathered last weekend in Colorado Springs for the first annual Western Rendezvous, a think-tank-type event inspired by the noted Renaissance Weekend, the New Year's bash that attracts such luminaries as President Bill Clinton to the South Carolina coast for lots of blabbing and networking. The inaugural Western Rendezvous was originally set for Labor Day weekend 1993, then canceled when time ran short and response was less than overwhelming. However, this year's forum--which included such speakers as former Governor Richard Lamm (one of the event's hosts), former Secretary of the Interior James Watt and University of Colorado historian Patricia Limerick--had no trouble drawing a crowd (at $250 per, not including hotel).

But next year may be, well, another year. The founders of the real Renaissance Weekend recently announced their plans to hold a second annual conclave--over Labor Day, in Aspen.

That, in turn, could run into renaissance man John Denver's annual Windstar colloquium. These days, though, Denver has bigger things to worry about; last month he was picked up in Aspen after running his Porsche into a tree, a year to the day from his arrest for drunk driving.

Moral: Don't think and drive.

You can run, but you can't hide: Ex-con Marion Barry is on the comeback trail, leading the pack in his attempts to regain his job as mayor of Washington, D.C. But last week D.C. cops put the brakes on Barry, at least temporarily, by clamping the Denver boot (our town's most notorious export, not including Ken Hamblin) on his car, which was parked illegally in front of the Washington Post.

 
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