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"Well, you have to see my wife, she's a very classy lady. She's sitting there in all her glory when this lady hawks up one of the biggest goobers you've ever seen and spits it out the door."
-- RTD boardmember Dick Sargent, after a ride on the 16th Street Mall shuttle in November, shortly before he resigned from the board
"Are you supposed to drink it? Prairie Dog Blush. Do they sell much of this? I can imagine going home tonight and asking my wife, 'Would you like to join me for a little Prairie Dog Blush?'"
-- Governor Owens, upon receiving a bottle of Prairie Dog Blush wine from Representative Ken Kester of Las Animas after the prairie-dog relocation bill was signed into law
A Dog's Life
In October, Jeffco's Federal Correctional Institute gassed 20,000 prairie dogs on its 43-acre site. Abash Extermination Company owner Richard Johnson, who had been hired to get rid of the varmints, told a 9News reporter that prison officials may have feared an outbreak of the plague -- or that inmates would enlarge the prairie-dog tunnels and try to escape.
Animal-rights activists were outraged after discovering that Celestial Seasonings, the herbal- and specialty-tea maker committed to "truth, beauty and goodness," had poisoned prairie dogs on its Gunbarrel property in Boulder County. After a threatened boycott of Celestial Seasonings products, the company promised to stop killing the animals and to donate $50,000 to environmental organizations.
Eight days after the shootings at Columbine, Faye "Rae" Holt, the 34-year-old mother of a Pomona High School student, was accused of phoning in this bomb threat to the school: "There goes your students. There goes your school. This is not a joke." In July, Holt pleaded not guilty.
Theresa "Teri" Carlson, 39, was charged with "impersonating a public servant" after she allegedly posed as a victim's advocate after the Columbine massacre. (Carlson failed to show up for her July arraignment in Jefferson County Court.)
Deanne Felde, a 29-year-old Fort Collins woman who had worked as a locker-room volunteer at the World Cup championship game between the American and Chinese teams, showed up at a July 13 soccer game at Mile High Stadium wearing a World Cup jersey and player Brandi Chastain's medal; fans mistook her for Chastain teammate Kristine Lilly, and Felde obliged them by signing autographs and throwing World Cup T-shirts into the crowd. After soccer officials determined she wasn't Lilly, they asked her to return to her seat. "It's a big misunderstanding," Felde told a reporter. "I didn't misrepresent anyone. It's just a matter of circumstances."
Southwest Denver resident Melody Ramsey, who spent much of the year fighting the repeal of the residence requirement for city workers, in October tried to serve a legal notice on safety manager Butch Montoya and police chief Tom Sanchez. At police headquarters, she got into a fight with officer Larry Clay, who was manning the front desk. Ramsey claimed Clay swore at her and threatened to throw away her papers; Clay said Ramsey threw the papers at him. Either way, she wound up handcuffed and charged with disturbing the peace.
Most Colorful Candidate
The District 10 Denver City Council race heated up when openly gay candidate Kevin Shancady announced that he had previously held the office of Mr. Leather. A videotape left over from his Mr. Leather campaign showed Shancady being spanked and inserting a penile catheter -- but that didn't prevent police and real estate groups from endorsing him over sitting councilman Ed Thomas (who won re-election in May).
In September, the Colorado State Patrol announced it might issue tickets to "passive-aggressive" motorists driving slowly in the fast lane. But after many people mistakenly interpreted the announcement to mean they'd be cited for driving the speed limit, the CSP announced that no such tickets would be issued.
In March, Denver City Council members implemented stricter rules protecting downtown views of the Front Range. The following month, they exempted the new Broncos stadium from those rules.
In August, a Columbine community task force recommended a dress code forbidding students from wearing hats, midriff shirts, shorts or above-the-knee skirts, as well as camouflage, see-through or suggestive clothing, pants whose waist size was at least two inches larger than a student's, and outfits showing underwear. "I wanted to get into dress codes because I believe young people tend to behave the way they dress," explained state representative Rob Fairbank.
In December, former governor Roy Romer, who commissioned a $10,000 official state portrait of himself wearing his trademark bomber jacket and flashing a "thumbs up" sign, decided that he didn't like the finished painting (even after the artist revised it). Romer reportedly didn't think he looked sufficiently statesmanly in the Capitol hallway alongside all of those other governors in their suits, so he's keeping the portrait at home.
After turning back her clock one too many times, state senator MaryAnne Tebedo announced her plans to introduce a bill that would put Colorado on year-round daylight saving time.