Off Limits

Down for the count: Who's ahead in the race for Hank Brown's Senate seat? Don't tune in Channel 7 to find out. KMGH-TV, which is owned by McGraw-Hill, paid a Washington, D.C.-based polling firm an estimated $8,000 to survey the crowded field, but the station has yet to broadcast the results.

Which are: The two leading Republicans--Attorney General Gale Norton and U.S. Representative Wayne Allard--are in a dead heat for the GOP nod (Bill Eggert rates 7 percent of the Republican vote; state senator and Monumental bore Charlie Duke wasn't included)Eand either one of the frontrunners could easily beat Tom Strickland come November.

Strickland leads the Democratic pack, with a ten-point margin over his nearest challenger, city councilwoman Ramona Martinez, with on-leave University of Colorado law school dean Gene Nichol another ten points behind that.

The firm of Mason Dixon/PMR released the results of the 825-voter, late-February poll on March 1, and they found their way onto a political news wire. But not on Channel 7 (or in the station's promotional partner paper, the Rocky Mountain News, for that matter). And they deserve to be aired, according to local pollster Floyd Ciruli. "Both the fact that Allard and Norton are head-to-head and the fact that they'd both beat Strickland is serious news," he says.

Or it would have been ten days ago, when the poll results were fresh. Scott Cross, the station's assistant news director, says he doesn't know why Channel 7 has delayed releasing the poll data. Conspiracy buffs should take note, however, that the station is in a state of flux. Melissa Klinzing will soon take over as Channel 7's news director, coming from a station in Oklahoma City. Her continued coverage of the bombing there earned Klinzing a regional Emmy--and the irritation of Channel 4 staffers, who'd hoped to get the award for their endless Klondike and Snow job.

X marks the Spot: The Oklahoma City bombing trial promises to draw almost as much attention as those damn polar bears, and media outlets aren't the only people anticipating a flood of business. At last week's meeting of the Trial Downtown Task Force, Bill Mosher, president of the Downtown Denver Partnership, noted that the trial would provide "opportunity" for assorted services, but added that the purpose of the group was "really about hospitality."

One spot may find itself less than welcome, however. The Spot, a hangout (6 p.m. until curfew) for local teens, currently occupies 5,000 square feet at 2019 Stout Street. That's "literally the closest building to the front door of the trial," says Dave Stalls, the Spot's founder, and lately people have been knocking on Stalls's door, hoping to rent the space during the trial. Coincidentally, the Spot's lease is up October 1. Although it took Stalls, a former manager with the Denver parks department, ten months to find the Spot's first home, he says he wouldn't blame his landlord for going for the big bucks. "The owners were the only people who'd even let us use their building," adds Stalls. "As soon as most owners found out we wanted their space for kids, they said no."

Stalls is currently scouting out new locations--and this search should be made easier by the Spot's year-and-a-half track record, including an award for good works announced by the Denver Partnership just last Thursday. Looking on the bright side, he's hoping to find space closer to the 16th Street Mall that might lend itself to more business-oriented projects for his young clientele. Besides, even if the Spot could stay at 20th and Stout, the area is destined for intense security, he says, and "the kids would never be able to get through.

 
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