Off Limits

Chairman of the bored: The Rocky Mountain News's front page now screams that the paper was "judged Colorado's best newspaper for the third straight year." But that was before Bill Johnson's column last Sunday, a lame diatribe about society's "lame excuses" that apparently was written without so much as a phone call--or a check of the paper's own library. "The runner-up award," Johnson wrote, "goes to Dana Garner, 42, of Highlands Ranch, and the lame excuse she gave the cops early last week when she was cited for spitting in a neighbor's face."

Admittedly, Garner's excuse--"self-protection"--was lame, but perhaps there was an explanation behind it. As Johnson failed to mention, two years ago, Garner was shot in the head by her estranged husband, who'd been stalking her for months. He then turned the gun on himself. Doctors said it was a miracle that Garner lived, but she hasn't made a full recovery, and the bullet is still lodged at the base of her skull. Johnson could have learned all that if he'd read Westword's April 3, 1997, story on Garner--or even checked with the News reporter who covered the Highlands Ranch incident. But then, Big Bill's not particularly interested in domestic violence matters unless they're his own. The columnist still has a case pending in Boulder District Court involving a domestic-violence incident with his ex-wife.

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