PEOPLE & PLACES

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Best Way to Discourage Californians From Coming to Colorado
First stop: Colorado Springs

Before being handed the keys to their new twelve-bedroom tri-levels in Highlands Ranch, Golden State initiates will be required to spend a week of altitude adjustment in lovely Colorado Springs. Included on the welcome wagon tour: square-dancing practice at the Focus on the Family Reeducation Camp, tickets to the studio audience of Chuck Baker's radio talk show, a gun-safety lecture from Eugene Baylis and free Colorado Militia T-shirts for the kids. While in town, they'll also visit the new Francisco Martin Duran Center for Political Studies. Don't let the bunker door hit you on the way out.

Readers' choice: Bad weather

Best Use for Stapleton
Plutonium storage
Now that Rocky Flats is shut down, all that damn plutonium is a real hindrance to real estate development at the foot of the mountains. Stapleton's already next to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, and it's got plenty of underground tanks just right for storing radioactive plumes. Load 'em up with leftover yellowcake and kiss that pesky gasoline smell goodbye.

Readers' choice: A racetrack

Best Local Politician
Paul Weissmann
Colorado Senate

When the Colorado Rockies pushed a bill providing a six-month jail sentence for anyone caught smuggling booze into Coors Field, Weissmann, the official legislator of the fan and a bartender at the Blue Parrot in Louisville, countered with an amendment that would have allowed members of the public to bring in their own alcoholic beverages should the Rockies charge more than $2.50 a cup for beer. "When you look at a keg costing Joe Six-Pack $44 or so, and you look at them reaping about $600 in sales out of one keg, you don't have to be a math major to know they're making more than a little bit of profit," said Weissmann. To nobody's surprise, the measure was tossed in the late innings. But Weissmann, who made waves this year by refusing to wear a suit on the Senate floor, is determined to keep swinging. Next year the bartender known for his drink called the "Drain Pipe Baby Drop-Off" plans a run for the U.S. Senate.

Readers' choice: Wellington Webb

Best Conspiracy Theorist
Stew Webb
Webb, founder of the group Guardians of American Liberties and regular revealer of shocking government misbehavior on talk radio, this year disclosed the real reason for all those cost overruns at DIA: A giant underground concentration camp built beneath the new airport runways to house all the patriotic Coloradans who may dare to defy the New World Order. City officials denied it--of course.

Best Speed Trap
Pena Boulevard
You're running late for a flight. That immaculate ten-mile stretch of divided highway beckons like the quarter-mile at Bandimere. You gun it. But look, behind the signpost up ahead--it's one of Denver's finest, who just clocked you doing 75 in a 55-mile-per-hour zone. Kiss those nonrefundable tickets goodbye, sucker. You've just entered the Feddie zone.

Best Concourse at DIA
Concourse A
Right now, five little airlines serve lonely Concourse A--the not-so-heavy-hitters at GP Express, Mexicana, America West, Frontier and everybody's favorite skeleton crew, Continental, for whom this gleaming new 22-gate structure was built to begin with. The Big A is the first stop on the train, you never have to wait in line for cinnamon rolls, and there's plenty of open space for playing Frisbee in the halls. Now all you have to do is figure out where the hell you can fly on GP Express.

Best O.J. Commentator
Dan Caplis
KTLK-AM/760

Dan Caplis does more than just take a stab at O.J. coverage. A practicing attorney himself--with a charm quotient that could curl Marcia Clark's toes--he has a way of finding small bits of meaning in the aberrant case's legal lollapaloozas. Caplis is among the few over-the-air Simpsonites to hold out the possibility--just the possibility, Edna from Aurora--that O.J. didn't do it. And for a man who inhabits the body of both a lawyer and a talk-show host, he's almost frighteningly polite. Give that man a Bronco!

Best Local Appearance by an O.J. Witness
Kato Kaelin
When he appeared in Denver April 14, mere days after leaving the stand, the sheen was not yet off Kato Kaelin's celebrity. What was most impressive about his stint on the KBPI-FM morning show, an autograph-signing session at an area mall and a brief appearance at a KBPI anniversary event held at Mammoth Events Center was the way Kaelin managed to hold everyone's rapt attention even though a handler accompanying him made sure that he said absolutely nothing of interest about anything. That's show biz.

Best Local Exploitation of the O.J. Trial
Brad Markussen
Markussen owns Cal-Trak Inc., a Broomfield company that distributes and manufactures ergonomically correct chairs. And what better place to show off the merchandise than the O.J. circus? None--which is why Markussen offered to donate a "Body Bilt" chair, complete with an "X-tension arm," to the stenographer jotting down every pearl of wisdom uttered by F. Lee Bailey, Marcia Clark and Judge Lance Ito. Even better, Markussen was seen wheeling the chair into the Los Angeles courtroom by the viewers of Entertainment Tonight. Who no doubt have already ordered "Body Bilt" chairs of their very own.

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