By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
By Michael Roberts
By Melanie Asmar
Earlier this year, Megan Fromm, editor of the Mesa State College Criterion, sued the MSC board of trustees after the group declined to provide minutes to a closed-door meeting last November; the get-together focused upon Tim Foster, the sole finalist for the open position of college president ("Learning Curve," March 18). Fromm, corresponding via e-mail, notes that in early July, Mesa County District Judge Amanda Bailey "ruled that the board did enter into executive session illegally and that they are not entitled to attorney's fees and costs from me." Kenzo Kawanabe, a Denver-based lawyer who's representing Fromm, adds that Bailey "asked that the parties get together and provide a case-management order, which controls how the remainder of the case is to be resolved. It's due August 11." Settlement discussions followed, and while Kawanabe can't discuss the details, he says, "My client is still pursuing access to the board's executive-session records of the closed-session meetings." Whether Fromm gets them or not, she's already reminded the board of trustees that the vast majority of its consultations should take place in the sunshine.
Negotiations are also ongoing in a lawsuit filed by editor Heath Urie and two other representatives of the Mirror, a student-run newspaper affiliated with the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. The suit accused UNC's Student Representative Council of violating Colorado's open-meetings law three times, beginning in September 2003 ("Press On," May 20). No one's talking publicly in this instance, either, but a settlement could be in the offing. In July, meanwhile, Urie joined a second suit after UNC's board of trustees rubber-stamped funding cuts for the Mirror that were recommended by the SRC, in a move that plaintiffs see as retaliation for tough reporting. While a final ruling hasn't been made in the July action, U.S. District Judge Lewis Babcockgranted an injunction that will keep the Mirror's budget at the previous year's levels until the lawsuit is decided.
Urie says the Mirror staff isn't looking for a big payday. "I would love to just have level funding and be out of the political process," he says. "If this newspaper can survive on $37,000 a year for the next ten years without having to beg or pander to the people we write about, that would be nice."
The Manchurian quarterback: In the July 15 edition of this column, I argued that advance coverage of John Elway's induction into football's Hall of Fame was excessive and would only get more noxious as the big day neared. Well, Elway was enshrined on August 8, and I've got to admit that I was wrong. The ten-person crew Channel 4 sent to report about the Canton, Ohio, ceremony seemed modest enough, and I thought it was cool how other television outlets matched the Broncos station's hyperbole adjective for adjective. The special programs lauding Big John were equally wonderful, as were the Elway sections and next-day features in the dailies. Reprinting Elway's Hall speech as if it were the Gettysburg Address, as both papers did, was totally appropriate, as was the Rocky article whose headline declared that the rift between the QB and former head coach Dan Reeves was "healed" even though the paper's Lee Rasizer implied that the pair hadn't chatted face to face since January. And if some news wasn't reported to make room for these Mile High salutes, that's fine by me -- because what I don't know can't hurt me.
By the way, the microchip that was recently implanted under my skin seems to be working perfectly. The only drawback is that every night, I have the same dream -- about the three Super Bowls the Broncos lost with Elway at the helm. But what's a few nightmares among friends?