Sad But True

And God said Ha! (Can you blame Him?)

 Welcome to Colorado -- Now Go Home
At the beginning of 1999, the state began replacing its fading purple-and-orange "Welcome to Colorado: Mountains and Much More!" border signs, which had been criticized as "too California." For $133,000, the signs were replaced with brand-new "nostalgic" brown highway signs with jagged edges -- replicas of those the state had used from 1950 through 1990, when they were replaced by the purple-and-orange welcomes.

More Faded Glory
In July, one year after 51,000 "Glory Bear" Beanie Babies were given out at the 1998 All-Star game at Coors Field, the bears -- which experts had predicted would be worth $1,000 six months after the game -- were selling in newspaper classifieds for only $20 apiece.

Priorities
In January, Denver District Judge Morris Hoffman postponed jury selection in a civil sexual-harassment case against Denver Bronco Tyrone Braxton. The trial had been scheduled to begin the Monday after the Super Bowl, but Hoffman moved it to Tuesday, speculating that a Broncos win and the subsequent celebratory hysteria near the City and County Building would be too distracting and "incompatible with conducting a trial involving a team member." (A jury subsequently cleared Braxton of all charges.)

Patrick Merewether

Say What?
"I used to be able to eat the entire football team under the table."
-- Annabel Bowlen, in a January 31 interview with the Rocky Mountain News

"It's a curved, sensuous line that flows around the building."
-- new Broncos stadium architect Curt Fentress, describing the proposed structure's "skin"

"Those jobs taught my kids more than my husband and I could ever teach them."
-- state senator Marilyn Musgrave during a debate about raising the minimum wage, as she revealed that her kids had worked minimum-wage jobs at a pizza parlor and at a meatpacking plant "with blood on the floors"

"Corporate America has been like a stray dog, pooping in our yards and running off."
-- Shattuck neighbor Catherine Sandy, testifying at an EPA hearing

"You can't blame my committee for the deaths of those three little girls."
-- state senator MaryAnne Tebedo, chair of a legislative committee that voted to end CBI background checks on gun buyers, after Castle Rock resident Simon Gonzales was able to purchase a gun (despite a restraining order against him) and just hours later use it to kill his three daughters

"I think we need to draw the line at the schoolyard gate."
-- Governor Bill Owens, discussing a proposed concealed-carry gun bill in March

"Gangs have a positive side."

"Realistically speaking, gangs don't get so violent that they use bombs and complex guns against an entire school...Maybe if we educate students and parents about the positive aspects of gangs, we could learn something from them."

"In reality, we need to realize that gangs can be positive and that maybe inner-city kids do appreciate life more than people think."
-- Andrew Algiene, Erik Avila and Pedro Pasillas, sophomores in Denver West High School's multicultural literature class, in letters published in the Denver Post under the heading "After Columbine"

"I know what people are considering -- did [Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold] come to the Hell House, and is this the reason that they did this? That's ridiculous...If they have been here, God would have had an opportunity to touch their lives. If they had been here, Columbine would not have happened."
-- Abundant Life Christian Center associate pastor Keenan Roberts, commenting in June about a scene at the previous Halloween's "Hell House" in which an Internet-addicted, trench-coat-wearing teenage fan of Marilyn Manson shoots his ex-girlfriend in a crowded school cafeteria

"I'm going to work harder for the legalization of marijuana, because if kids had access to soft drugs they'd be less stressed out."
-- security guard Bill Whitfield, in a News section on what people learned from Columbine

"The obsessive emphasis on skill acquisition, academic standards and competitive grade attainment seems to mirror the misplaced values of our community."
-- Jefferson County school psychologist Mark McGrath, in a News "Speakout" column in May

"She was a female Jesse Ventura long before Jesse Ventura hit the limelight."
-- Sam Riddle, describing Colorado Secretary of State Vikki Buckley

"He's a grown man, and oftentimes I have no idea where he goes or what he does."
-- Denver County Court Judge Claudia Jordan, describing her relationship with housemate Sam Riddle

"There's been a lot of rhetoric and water under the dam."
-- Will Perkins, former director of Colorado for Family Values, announcing his bid for mayor of Colorado Springs last spring

"If I lose my life, I can live with that."
-- Ax murderer William "Cody" Neal, at his death-penalty hearing in September

"I brainwashed myself to be a Brady. There are so many metaphors for life in the Bradys. When Greg got his own room, that's a big one. Because he fought so hard to get that room, then found out it wasn't all it was cracked up to be, which is kind of a metaphor for life. I want things so bad, then when I finally get them, they're not that great."
-- Arlo White, 28, in line at Virgin Megastore to meet Barry Williams, aka Greg Brady, in October

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