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OFF LIMITS

History in the taking: Remember when the Denver Urban Renewal Authority declared much of lower downtown "blighted" just two short years ago? For that matter, remember when "historic" LoDo actually looked historic, rather than like a brick version of Glendale circa 1977, with a big mess of bars and, well, more bars? (For evidence, check out last Friday's USA Today, which devoted a page to the joys of traveling to Denver--and drinking at LoDo brewpubs.)

Now even Historic Denver Inc. is moving out, a victim of rising rents in the Market Center at 17th and Market streets, a building originally rehabbed by the infamous Alan Reiver and currently owned by Dana Crawford, who almost saved Larimer Square thirty years ago and is one of the reasons there's anything old left in the area at all. HD director Kathleen Brooker is philosophical about the nonprofit's move out of LoDo and up the street into the Women's Bank building. "We've been on a thirty-day lease," Brooker says. "Rents went up 300 percent."

And the rest is history.

Drive, he said: At a press conference last week, Denver auditor candidate Jack McCroskey heatedly denied accusations that he'd been abusive toward employees of the Regional Transportation District after he was bounced from the RTD board in the 1992 election. McCroskey said the charges, leveled by former RTD chairman Ken Hotard and current boardmember Bob Tonsing, were "outlandish" and "a total fabrication."

But RTD documents released by Tonsing and Hotard show McCroskey did harbor deep resentment toward certain individuals at the agency. In a handwritten October 1993 letter, for instance, McCroskey (who considers himself the father of light rail in Denver) told RTD staffer Mark Imhoff, charged with constructing the agency's light-rail system, that "you will be...stealing from me whenever you take for yourself even the slightest credit for the creative and conceptual development" of the light-rail line. Imhoff's contribution to the system, McCroskey continued, "was no more than that of a connect-the-dots bureaucrat and chauffeur."

Also released were a number of internal RTD memoranda regarding phone calls by McCroskey to agency staffers in 1993 and 1994. One, written by Imhoff last April, alleged that McCroskey called Imhoff a "motherfucking lying rat fink." Another, by RTD board secretary Connie Morrill, alleged that McCroskey had called her "a terrible person" and referred to former RTD general manager Peter Cipolla as "a liar, a thief and a son of a bitch." In yet another, RTD secretary Gladys Miller claimed McCroskey phoned her, began "raving" and demanded that Miller tell Imhoff "to quit telling GD lies about him."

The media is the message: Denver officials have finally figured out how to stop KUSA's Paula Woodward from broadcasting all those embarrassing reports about civic screwups. Last year the city tried but failed to subpoena the tapes she used for her expose on public-works loafers. So this year, the Denver Election Commission is apparently going to save a step and try to toss her directly in jail by filing criminal charges against the reporter for registering to vote under a false name for last week's sweeps series...No wonder President Bill Clinton is irate over all that ugly talk on radio! The Friday before Earth Day, Rush Limbaugh had quite the yukfest over Larimer Square's plans for a perfectly harmless, if ludicrous, "All Species Parade."

And which are you, Rush?

 
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