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Best Of 2002

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Best Of :: People & Places

Best Daily Business Columnist

While it's easy for daily newspaper columnists to take on obvious targets, like scandal-plagued Enron, it's a lot harder to attack the companies in their own back yards. The commentators run the risk of outraging the company's employees and being blamed for the loss of advertising when angry CEOs yank their ads out of the paper. That makes Denver Post business editor Al Lewis all the more remarkable. During the past year, he's taken on the likes of Qwest and Level 3 with gutsy delight, aiming his acerbic wit directly at the CEOs who helped lead both companies into stock-market meltdowns. Here's hoping Lewis keeps his pen sharp and his words aimed directly at the heart of corporate arrogance.

Best Place to Sing "America the Beautiful"

Maybe it was the cold. Maybe it was the lack of oxygen at 14,110 feet. Maybe it was the stunning view from the top of Colorado's most famous mountain. Whatever it was, something clicked in Katharine Lee Bates's brain on July 22, 1893. As she stood at the summit of Pikes Peak, and as a carriage carried her back to the bottom, she scribbled down the first lines of what would eventually become "America the Beautiful." Although not as well known as the national anthem, of course, the rousing song has made a major comeback since September 11; it's been sung since then at nearly every professional sporting event (in addition to the "Star-Spangled Banner") and other events of all kinds. But the best place to belt out the lyrics -- "O beautiful for spacious skies/For amber waves of grain/For purple mountain majesties/Above the fruited plain!/America! America!/God shed his grace on thee/And crown thy good with brotherhood/From sea to shining sea!" -- is amid the majesty of Pikes Peak itself, on the very spot that inspired those words.

Best Slogan for Georgetown

Westward ho! Bright lights, big titties! Come see her mountains! We put the strip in strip-mining! Georgetown: Where the scenery is on us, and the mayor is on you. Thanks to a mayor with a penchant for inflating both her stories and her breasts, Georgetown wound up in the media G-spotlight this past year. Stripper-turned-hairdresser-turned-mayor Koleen Brooks kept the old mining town hopping with her attempts to oust city officials, her admission of pot-smoking, her insistence that she'd been assaulted (CBI investigation to the contrary). But in the end, her antics were self-defeating and her career self-deflating, another in the series of endless boom-and-bust and boom-boom-and-bustline tales that abound in the West. The results of an April 2 recall election may keep things quiet in Georgetown for a while, but damn, it was fun while it lasted.


Best Slogan for Georgetown

Westward ho! Bright lights, big titties! Come see her mountains! We put the strip in strip-mining! Georgetown: Where the scenery is on us, and the mayor is on you. Thanks to a mayor with a penchant for inflating both her stories and her breasts, Georgetown wound up in the media G-spotlight this past year. Stripper-turned-hairdresser-turned-mayor Koleen Brooks kept the old mining town hopping with her attempts to oust city officials, her admission of pot-smoking, her insistence that she'd been assaulted (CBI investigation to the contrary). But in the end, her antics were self-defeating and her career self-deflating, another in the series of endless boom-and-bust and boom-boom-and-bustline tales that abound in the West. The results of an April 2 recall election may keep things quiet in Georgetown for a while, but damn, it was fun while it lasted.

Best Use for Ocean Journey

Denver's short on seafood restaurants, and Wynkoop Brewing Co. owner John Hickenlooper is long -- very long -- on lost causes. Could any cause be more lost than Ocean Journey's? If the place does tank -- and it's only barely keeping its head above water in bankruptcy court -- Hickenlooper could be the one to pull it up from the depths, turning the fried fish house into Long John Hickenlooper's, a restaurant where diners get to watch their favorite fish become the catch of the day. Come on, John, take the bait!


Best Use for Ocean Journey

Denver's short on seafood restaurants, and Wynkoop Brewing Co. owner John Hickenlooper is long -- very long -- on lost causes. Could any cause be more lost than Ocean Journey's? If the place does tank -- and it's only barely keeping its head above water in bankruptcy court -- Hickenlooper could be the one to pull it up from the depths, turning the fried fish house into Long John Hickenlooper's, a restaurant where diners get to watch their favorite fish become the catch of the day. Come on, John, take the bait!

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Best Daily Business Columnist: Al Lewis
Denver Post

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