Room to Glow

Digging up dirt on Denver.

And what, exactly, are the materials contaminated with? Those details are left to the city's Web site, www.denvergov.org, although Parsons, the engineering-and-construction company that has the city contract, is also manning a construction hotline. "Our plans are simply to remove the street and repave it, per city specifications, trying to be as careful as we can to control dust," explains Parsons construction manager Tom Wood. "The radium is contained within the asphalt, so as it stands right now as a paved street, it's very difficult to come in contact with." And as soon as it's exposed in construction, Parsons workers will remove it to "specially constructed bags" that will then go directly to that same Shattuck disposal site.

So no harm, no foul for the Capitol Hill residents who will have a front-row seat to history being made -- and unmade.

Pardon our dust.


Oh, Brother!

When members of mayor-elect John Hickenlooper's transition committees begin interviewing city employees about how their departments work (or don't), they'll be received with open arms -- and mouths -- at the Office of Television and Internet Services. Because just last Thursday, OTIS workers received this e-mailed message from director Byron West:

OTIS Staff,

The memo I sent to all of you dated June 9, 2003 regarding the transition of newly elected officials needs clarification so that you understand that in no way are you prohibited from sharing with the transition team your views at any time, when asked. In addition, on your own time, if you wish, you may submit ideas to the Mayor elect's transition team.

My email was meant to remind you that OTIS resources that support transition tasks associated with the incoming newly elected officials needs to be coordinated by the management of OTIS. If my email conveyed anything different please disregard it and consider that the email of June 9, 2003 is rescinded and this communication has taken its place.

And which words in West's June 9 memo might have been misunderstood? Perhaps these: All staff contacts with any elected officials or their staffs must be coordinated through my office. This is very important work, and there are no exceptions to this process. Or these: Any questions, concerns or ideas you may have regarding OTIS or that are shared with you must first be brought to my attention so that I can coordinate the resources of OTIS and respond as effectively as possible.

But there was no misunderstanding the communiqué that OTIS's director received from Wellington Webb's office after West's earlier e-mail was reproduced in its entirety here ("Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Even Open Your Mouth," June 19). Denver's mayor (for almost four more weeks) has ensured Hickenlooper's transition team that it will have access to all the information its needs, "including information necessary to evaluate the management of various agencies. Employees need to be free to provide their views at any time when asked..."

Particularly their views about an agency whose avowed goals (as seen on www.denvergov.org) include enhancing "access to the processes of government, and government officers," as well as encouraging "interaction and dialogue between citizens and city officials." Remember, Big Brother's watching.

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