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OFF LIMITS

Fly-by-night operation: Bad enough that four Denver City Council members--Cathy Reynolds, Tim Sandos, Joyce Foster and president Debbie Ortega--got caught accepting a city concessionaire's overnight junket, but to the Broncos-Buffalo game? The only thing more embarrassing than Denver's performance on the football field is Denver's performance on its new airfield--but then, the councilmembers had been driven to Buffalo from Toronto, where they were attending a major airport conference. Sitting in a private box far from hometown critics probably seemed like a treat. Unfortunately, on this outing, CA One Services--the former Concession Air, which runs the restaurants at Stapleton and is signed on for five more at DIA--was in the driver's seat.

Caught by TV cameras as they returned to town, several of the councilmembers said they planned to reimburse CA One. They also plan to resurrect the long-ignored proposal for a new city ethics policy, brokered by the same retired Colorado Supreme Court justice, William Neighbors, who got the city and BAE talking again last month. City council will hold a public hearing on the ethics issue October 10; the public already has made its feelings on the Broncos pretty plain.

Who's on First? The U.S. Supreme Court is about to take on the case of Michael Lebron, the New York artist first mentioned here in January 1993 when Amtrak refused to let him hang a piece about Coors on the 103-foot "Spectacular" billboard at Penn Station. Lebron's proposed slogan: "Is it the right's beer now?" Amtrak stopped Lebron in his tracks three days before his two-month, $37,000 contract was supposed to start, claiming that Amtrak policies prohi-bited political ads. But at the time, Lebron pointed out, Amtrak had already accepted ads for the Plain Truth, a publication with a clear political bent (and it isn't to the left). "This isn't about Coors," said Lebron. "It's about the law and money and power in America."

And now it's about how the reconstituted court regards the First Amendment.

Is it the right's paper now? Meanwhile, the Rocky Mountain News has introduced a peculiar new slogan, calling itself the "right" paper. But for a publication dedicated to exploring its treatment of women--both in and outside of the newsroom--it may have made a wrong move with Gene Amole's recent column telling "incest survivor" Marilyn Van Derbur Atler to "get a life." The former Miss America's husband, Larry Atler, is head of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce--and a member of the News's Task Force on Women.

More interesting reading is the 9News Extra, recently delivered to a mailbox near you. The glossy, ad-jammed magazine profiles several of the station's anchors (Ed Sardella "is a proficient, serious journalist," says co-anchor Adele Arakawa. "I like that"), announces a prize to win two Continental Airline tickets (there's a treat!) and includes a survey ("9News is listening") that Adele and Ed urge viewers to fill out. At the end of the six questions about "anchor presentation," reporting, weather and community involvement, viewers are asked: "What is most important to you in a local newscast?"

Sadly, no bonus points for the answer "local news."
Which is not, apparently, the first thing on the mind of competitors at Channels 4 and 7, either. The long-rumored switch of network affiliates--which has 7 going to NBC and 4 going to CBS--could mean trouble for the relatively heavily staffed news department at KCNC, since CBS has a lot of daytime programming that could cut into 4's news block--and staff.

Save a couple of those Continental tickets.

 
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