Best Of :: People & Places
When the sheer ingenuity of the complex financial shenanigans arranged for Enron by no-accountants Arthur Andersen was revealed, the call went out from Washington to Professor Lynn Turner at sleepy old Colorado State University. A seemingly mild-mannered professor of accounting, in a previous life Turner served as chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission, making him the go-to guy to help congressional investigators, reporters and suffering investors find the money. His specialties are financial reporting and disclosure by public companies in the U.S. capital markets, as well as related corporate governance matters -- in short, everything Enron and Andersen conspired to manipulate. Turner left the SEC to head up his alma mater's Center for Quality Financial Reporting in August 2001, just four months before Enron declared bankruptcy. Since then, he's been an expert witness and reliable source for not only government hearings, but for all the major news outlets, and he's refreshingly candid in indicting the inadequacy of current accounting practices.
Greg Moore, a former managing editor with the Boston Globe who was cherry-picked by owner Dean Singleton for the position of Denver Post editor, has been on the job for less than a year, but he's already done what many observers thought would be impossible: He's got people talking about a paper previously regarded as stodgy and deadly dull. The Post isn't yet the great American newspaper that Moore and Singleton envision; there's still a long way to go. But Moore's energy and drive have helped make this goal seem like an actual possibility rather than the haziest of pipe dreams. The rest is up to him.
We'll admit it: At first the Rocky Mountain News's new design hurt our eyes, and we couldn't imagine how the paper would continue to fill its "channels" -- those left-hand columns earmarked for chatty tidbits, quotes and "by the numbers" trivia. But the News adjusted some type, we adjusted our expectations -- and the channels just kept getting better and better. The most successful of all: The Stump, with notes, odd news and observations from the campaign trail.
Two days after the new leaders of the Colorado General Assembly were sworn in this session, a correction appeared in the Denver Post: "Because of a reporter's error, Diane Carman's column on the Denver and the West cover Thursday incorrectly stated that Colorado House Speaker Lola Spradley's mother was among the family members at the Capitol on Wednesday to witness her swearing in. Spradley's mother is deceased." Easy mistake, though: In her speech, Spradley had referred to her mother, who passed away three decades earlier, looking "down from above." Guess Carman thought she wound up in the cheap seats.
In January, the Rocky Mountain News ran this correction on page two: "The cover photo of today's Spotlight section shows a snowshoer rather than a cross-country skier." Bet they know the difference now.
Welcome to the city of conditional love. You know about Denver's 300 days of sunshine a year, right? But nobody ever talks about the other 65 days, which are consumed by blizzards, tornadoes, wildfires, drought and calamity. The temperature here is mild, except when it isn't. Average precipitation is moderate, all of it coming in a single dump of snow that paralyzes the city for several weeks. We are the City of Trees, but in the post-blizzard weeks we become the City of Busted Trees (also the City of 10,000 Lakes). In the summer we bake in the cruel sun, except when we're pelted by guinea pig-sized hail. Our airport is terrific, except when it sucks. And did we mention the ever-evolving convention center, the wonderful freeway improvements known fondly as "T-Rex," and our very own Colorado Rockies? No, no, the pleasure is all ours. Well, mostly.