OFF LIMITS

Home improvement: Back when voters passed Amendment 1, elected officials across Colorado were wringing their hands and moaning that such tax limitations would put the state in dire peril. So far, of course, Colorado's managed to survive--although numerous government entities, including RTD and the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, are putting measures on the November ballot in hopes that the electorate will let them keep their surplus monies.

But the fact that Colorado is still here is not why Douglas Bruce, the father of Amendment 1, says he's owed an apology. He's more concerned with the perceived injustices dispensed by Colorado's capital city and its journalists than with the state at large. As exhibit A, Bruce offers an August 24 letter to U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch from Denver assistant city attorney John Poley, responding (on behalf of Denver Manager of Public Safety Fidel "Butch" Montoya) to Bruce's charge that Denver lost the records of his August 1993 trial. That's the one in which a jury found Bruce guilty of failing to make required repairs to one of his Denver properties and Judge Andrew Armatas sentenced Bruce to jail time, a fine and community service. Bruce appealed the case to Matsch's court, charging, among other things, that the city had destroyed important records. And in his letter, Poley admits that the Denver County Court transcriber's office destroyed the tapes of that 1993 trial. But the office automatically does so a year after the tapes have been filed, he says, unless someone makes a request for transcripts. And Bruce missed the deadline. "Mr. Bruce failed to take the proper action and make a deposit for transcripts," Poley adds. "And because of that, they were merely recycled as a matter of course well after the date that the transcripts would have been due."

Conspiracy or coincidence? Decide when the city and Bruce meet again in Matsch's courtroom come November.

The big chill: By now, Denver Zoo officials probably have the champagne on ice for the big Klondike and Snow bon voyage party--corks to be popped after the overhyped polar bears depart for Florida. But in the meantime, the zoo's publicity department is doing its best to make sure Colorado forgets those cute, telegenic cubs. When a caller requests publicity shots, the zoo now offers only photographs of the bears in their current, awkward adolescent phase. Still, it won't be possible for zoo director Clayton Freiheit and company to forget the bears entirely: Last week the Mayor's Commission on Art, Culture and Film voted to accept a giant sculpture of Klondike and Snow--to be placed at the Denver Zoo.

LoDo lowdown: Lower downtown is hot--and so is the hotline spreading word of supposed developments in the area. One resident of a warehouse at 18th and Blake streets, deep in the heart of Arnold Schwarzenegger territory, ventured down into his basement a few weeks ago and found someone measuring it--purportedly to determine if cars could be parked there. Tired of the endless rumor mill, including all the talk that the Terminator is bringing Planet Hollywood, Niketown and probably the Vatican to the area, he decided to start a rumor of his own: that Merv Griffin was angling to bring a limited-stakes gambling casino to LoDo. He told exactly one person, then sat back. Two weeks later the rumor had gone full circle. The beleaguered LoDo resident received a call from the manager of Schwarzenegger's LoDo properties.

Had he heard that Merv might be coming?
Bet on it.

 
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