Off Limits

Big deal: Since the Colorado Springs Gazette dropped the Telegraph from its name and soon after pulled out of the Colorado Press Association, the organization has scrambled to fill the over 100,000-circulation category in its annual contest. Years ago, Westword was allowed to compete with the dailies in that slot; after the Rocky Mountain News complained, Westword was sent back to a weeklies-only category (those with circulation over 4,000). As a result, today the big-paper category is an exclusive club with just two members: the News and the Denver Post. To mix things up a bit, the CPA recently approached Denver's dailies and asked about letting Westword back into the competition. Their responses?

From Post editor Dennis Britton: "The Denver Post would not agree to including Westword into the Class 6 circulation class in the Colorado Press Association's annual contest. The category should remain for paid daily publications over 100,000 or be eliminated entirely."

From News publisher Larry Strutton: "The Rocky Mountain News remains opposed to allowing weeklies or dailies to cross over into the others' categories. We feel strongly that daily journalists face time and deadline constraints that weekly journalists do not. Furthermore, in the case of Westword, the role of that publication is far different from the role of any daily newspaper."

Gee, Larry, tell us about the time constraints on that recent "special report" on the "Are They Innocent?" Ramseys.

The dog days of summer: In the August 18 issue, Post readers were treated to the tale of Duke, a dog suffering from "separation anxiety" that needed therapy, acupuncture, medication and behavior modification to cope with the tension caused by divorcing owners. But it appears the cure may not have taken.

The same day Duke appeared in the Post, he was taken to Cosmo's, the local dog-biscuit bakery, for some congratulatory biscuits. Cosmo, a cat, has ruled the roost at the eponymously named store for several years, without any problems from visiting canines.

Until Duke. Upon entering the store, the dog may have suffered some kind of relapse--that diagnosis will have to be made by qualified pet therapists. What we do know is that Duke grabbed the cat in his jaws and shook violently.

Owner (of both Cosmos) Laurin Wiltgen rushed her cat to the Alameda East Veterinary Hospital--where a camera crew from Emergency Vets, the ER-style show that airs on the cable channel Animal Planet, just happened to be filming. So the crew filmed the vets (animal doc cum stand-up comic Kevin Fitzgerald leaves George Clooney in the dust) working on Cosmo and may even expand the story to look into Duke's deep psychological problems.

"Cosmo is recovering," says Post reporter Michelle Dally Johnston, whose story on Duke neglected to note that she happens to be the dog's owner. "I'm not sure I will."

Turn, turn, turn: Less than two years ago, former RTD boardmember Jack McCroskey took aim at new board chairman Ben Klein, the only politician in Colorado who's been certified sane (a condition for Klein getting back his license to practice law after pleading guilty to tax evasion twenty years ago). Klein was "the most hypocritical man I know," McCroskey told a Westword reporter in December 1995.

But by last Friday, McCroskey--who's now back on the board--was back on the bus, singing Klein's praises in a letter to the News. "The Rocky Mountain News is a little like life itself," McCroskey wrote. "Sooner or later it beats up on everybody, The Good, The Bad, and The Once Bad who are trying very hard to do Good today." And the latter would be Klein, who "gets worse press today for doing what's right than he got years ago for transgressions that have long since been fully redeemed."

Win some, lose some: For the first time, the image of the Heisman Trophy has been leased to a beer company--the Coors Brewing Company, which is running a "Name the Heisman Trophy Winner" contest. Hey, how about Silver Bullets? Because at the same time the brewer hooked up with college football's most prestigious event, it also dumped its sponsorship of the nation's only barnstorming all-female baseball team.

 
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