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Off Limits

Broadcast snooze: Although Channel 9 canceled the showing of another TV movie, Atomic Train, last week to spare the delicate sensibilities of Denverites who, after the Columbine tragedy, might have been further traumatized to see their town blow up real good on network TV, it turns out we didn't miss much. In fact, Seattle residents are probably crying in their cappuccinos right now, since the area obliterated by a contraband Russkie bomb looked all lush and suspiciously like the Pacific Northwest (the Formerly Total Tower at Six Flags Over What Was Once Elitch's is not exactly the Space Needle). Still, there were a few ironies that only hometown folks could love. For example, looters found a treasure trove of worthy items at downtown department stores--yeah, right. And supposed Denver cop (loved that khaki uniform and leather topcoat) Esai Morales got to defuse a hostage situation at the Jefferson County courthouse--not the real building, but a little too close to Columbine for comfort.

Morales was most recently seen allegedly in these parts playing former Denver mayor Federico Pena in the made-for-TV weeper about runner/wife Ellen Hart Pena's eating disorders. At least this time he got to hold guns rather than heads. Meanwhile, Rob Lowe soldiered on to the promised land: Kansas.

And in Arkansas, horse owner John Ed Anthony was allowed to change the name of his three-year-old filly, Columbine Is Sad, in deference to the victims. The jockey club in Lexington, Kentucky, which registers the names of racing thoroughbreds, rarely allows them to be changed because of the potential for fraud--but club officials made an exception for this exceptional situation. The horse, which was originally named after the song "Columbine Is Sad," will now be called Dake.

Riding bareback: The aforementioned Mrs. Pena got a little face time--or back time--last week when she and Feddy showed up on the DIA tarmac to welcome Bill and Hillary Clinton to Denver.

While no photos were taken of the president hugging fresh-faced and vulnerable young ladies at any of the Columbine-related activities, an Associated Press photographer captured him tightly gripping the former First Lady of Denver, who was wearing a revealing little tank top despite the brisk weather that day. The photo, which graced page A-15 of the Washington Post, shows Clinton's hand firmly pressed against Pena's partially bare back. At least she wasn't wearing a beret.

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