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Steve Horner-Free Corner

If ladies’ night is this city’s biggest sin, we’re doing all right.

If you are Steve Horner, quit reading. Right now. Because we're going to talk about your favorite subject, ladies' night, which is littering the national news, what with both the New Yorker and then an August 20 Nightline segment focusing on Manhattan lawyer Roy Den Hollander's equally quixotic (and irritating) campaign. And because here's what David Miller, the interim director of the Colorado Civil Rights Division, says when we ask about the anti-ladies' night resolution issued by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission two months ago: "Quite frankly, I agree with the commission. They are discriminatory." But — and this is for you, Steve Horner, if for some reason you're still reading and are willing to swallow a little dose of perspective — Miller then adds, "Are we talking about keeping black children out of school? No. We're talking about a business incentive that should change."

And since Miller only took this post for two months, he doesn't see himself spending that limited time directing the staff "to keep women out of bars for free," he says. Far more important matters require his attention, including reopening offices across Colorado — about a half-dozen were closed during the last administration. "It's not been a happy time for civil rights in the last six years," Miller points out. "We're now in a rebuilding stage." That's at both the state and federal level, where half of the EEOC's staff was "slashed and burned," he says. "Our goal is to prohibit discrimination in Colorado, to eliminate it. In my mind, there is no more important agency in the state."

Which is why Miller, the first legal director of the ACLU of Colorado, agreed to take a leave of absence from his current position as corporate counsel to Qwest to take on the division job. But really, how could he say no? He'd spent much of the previous year starting the non-profit ServetheNation.org, which pushes for voluntary public service, and was working on the site when he got a public-service call from Rico Munn, director of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, which oversees the division.

Let's just hope his next call isn't from Steve Horner, since Miller has only until October 1 to turn things around.

In the meantime, here's a fast tip for how a bar can attract the ladies without attracting a Horner lawsuit: Take a cue from the Front Porch, which lets you drink for free on a certain night if your name is chosen from those scrawled on the bar's chalkboards. Could it be coincidence that most of the free-drink names on Friday and Saturday are female (Christina and Anneon August 24, for example), when male names get the less popular days of the week? (August 26 is devoted to Aaron.) No coincidence at all, says the Front Porch's Greg Gallagher. "Only guys would be driven to go out on a Sunday evening. They're inherently more alcoholic."


Scene and herd:An Off Limits operative reports that while shopping at Kacey Fine Furniture, he heard a salesman talking about two city inspectors who'd died after digging in the toxic ground beneath the old Kacey warehouse by the Gates site. "The city's been very hush-hush about it," the salesman said. So hush-hush that the report came as news to both the city and to Leslie Fishbein — the furniture mogul and pitchperson who rates in the top ten of this town's celebrities. She recalls seeing cockroaches at the warehouse, "one big enough for a leash" — but nothing toxic. "Although I've been known to glow at times," she confesses.

 
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