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OFF LIMITS

Board stiff: Okay, so corporal punishment is out for kids--but what about for school-board members? When Denver Public Schools teacher Lynn Pohlod moved to Wyman Elementary this year, she was shocked at what she found. The school, located at 17th Avenue and Williams, has an extremely high student turnover, with many kids coming from nearby shelters. And that creates a "unique set of problems that's not really being addressed," the third-grade teacher says. "We do not have stability here. Their folks are trying to survive. We cannot give these kids everything they need." In fact, the school doesn't even have a nurse or counselor, just a half-time social worker.

On February 6 Pohlod wrote to each member of the Denver school board, inviting them to spend a day at Wyman and see conditions for themselves. So far, she's heard from precisely half of the board--despite having sent second and third reminders. Tom Mauro said he'd drop by, but has yet to set a date. Marcia Johnson recently sent a "nice" note, apologizing for the delay in her response. Getting an A for speed--if not deportment--was boardmember J.P. Hemming, who fired back on February 8: "You invited me to spend all day at Wyman `to get a clue.' I will not be able to accept your invitation. I have a job, i.e., `real world,' where I work 250 days a year (not 180 days). I believe I have a clue."

And now we have one about you, J.P.

Some came running: Oil maven Merle Chambers confirms that she is "seriously contemplating" throwing her well-plumed hat into the ring for the '96 Senate race, especially after receiving a personal call from President Bill Clinton encouraging her to do so. And Chambers, president and CEO of Axem Resources, Inc., will bring counsiderable fundraising ability to the fray. After all, Chambers and Swanee Hunt--the oil heiress who's now ambassador to Austria--hosted a million-dollar day for Hillary Clinton back in 1992.

In the meantime, other Dems are lining up for Hank Brown's ever-popular and soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat. The smart money says Tom Strickland will be the next to announce, which has big implications for who probably won't be announcing at all--namely Governor Roy Romer. Just follow the bouncing dollar sign: The key here is Norm Brownstein, fundraiser extraordinaire and friend of both Romer and Strickland. The next Senate campaign is expected to cost serious candidates upwards of $4 million, so keeping those campaign coffers full is essential. Sources in D.C. already have Brownstein lining up behind law partner Strickland, convincing evidence for those insiders that Romer has decided against the run once and for all. As for his own ambitions, the 42-year-old Strickland says he expects Brownstein "to be part of a broad-based fundraising effort"--if and when he announces, that is.

Fly bawl: With all the media hoopla over Coors Field, you could almost forget the overkill coverage of the new airport opening a month before. You could forget, that is, until you opened last Friday's Wall Street Journal and saw this eye-popping headline: "More Good Reasons Not to Fly Into Denver." Among the problems cited by reporter Bob Ortega (no relation to Denver City Council president Debbie): long waits for taxis at toll booths after even longer rides along Pena Boulevard; long hunts for available parking spaces; and long waits for space on the underground trains. "They're going to have to hire people to jam you on the subway cars, like in Tokyo," one traveler told the Journal. You can't buy publicity like that.

 
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