The Rocky Mountain News closed down a year ago this week — on February 28, 2009 — bringing a 150-year tradition to an end. But the News's website, complete with headlines and memories from that final day, lives on, like a creepy online time capsule.
All is not lost for Colorado journalism and its traditions, however: The Little Kingdom Come has been "bringing beery news to the pointylands" of Central City for four decades, and it put out a forty-year anniversary issue on February 16. Not bad for a paper with the motto "published whenever we damn well feel like it."
So how has the mostly tongue-in-cheek (but always beer-in-mouth) paper stayed alive while others have failed?
The Little Kingdom Come
"More nudity, for one thing," says editor Lew Cady, and he should know. Cady and a crew of cohorts posed naked for the regular Gunslingers feature in the anniversary issue; while the LKC regularly features a nude Gunslinger, this was only Cady's third showing. "I do it every ten years," he says. "In other words, I'm a good sport once a decade. And I do it only in groups with women Gunslingers in them so nobody will notice me." While guns and cowboy hats are placed somewhat strategically, the shot doesn't leave nearly enough to the imagination.
But readers are used to staring at the naked truth in the LKC, even if many of the paper's articles and photos are doctored. "My favorite year was the year gambling came to Central City, and we warned them that it would get out of control," Cady recalls. "And they didn't listen, and it got out of control." Now, as the LKC's current cover story reveals, "Local lady loses eight billionth dollar in Gilpin County!"
"But Central City is still a great place," says Cady. "There are a lot of funny people in Central City. It's a joy to hang around with them and drink beer with them."
Clothed and naked.
Get Smart: With the city already starting to swap out the old parking meters for Smart Meters, were we stupid to recently load up our Cash Key? Off Limits put that question to Ann Williams, spokeswoman for the Denver Department of Public Works, who put our fifty-buck-lighter mind to rest. "While most meters in Denver will transition to Smart Meters by June, there will still be some original meters on the street that will accept Denver's Cash Keys," she points out.
But if there aren't enough of those to suit you, you can take your key and a photo ID to any place that currently processes the keys (and will continue to reload them for a time, though no new ones will be sold), and the city will repay you (within six weeks) for the original deposit and any money left on the key. "Then you can use that to purchase a ParkSmart Card when they become available, hopefully in March," Williams says. "ParkSmart Denver cards are pre-paid, credit-card-sized plastic cards that can be used for payment in all Denver Smart Meters," and they'll be available at both Denver Tattered Cover locations, the Downtown Denver Partnership, all metro area King Soopers stores and the Webb and Wastewater buildings.
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Scene and herd: A fundraiser for victims of the January earthquake in Haiti that was created and promoted by a crew of Denver DJs and hosted free of charge last Saturday at the city-owned Denver Coliseum was a great idea — so much so that it attracted more than twice as many people as expected, including some troublemakers, according to the Denver police.
The all-ages Global Dance for Life featured forty DJs, including DJs Kostas and Dragon, spinning on six stages. But a fight between two groups of juveniles spilled into the parking lot after the teenagers were escorted out. "Overall, it was a good crowd, and most of them came out for the right reasons," says police spokesman Sonny Jackson.
The haiters were eventually dispersed with pepper gas; no one was arrested.