"Welcome to Denver," says a friendly male voice as the DIA train heads to the terminal. The man sounds familiar — and he's certainly familiar with where passengers should pick up their luggage, the gist of his message — but he does not identify himself.
Why, it's Mayor John Hickenlooper, the notoriously shy fellow who declined to have his photograph greet travelers — even though his predecessor, Wellington Webb, had a big portrait at DIA. Using colorful photos of the city and state makes sense as a marketing tool — but why have the mayor record the new welcome if visitors don't know they're being welcomed by the mayor?
"The welcome is supposed to be timeless," explains Erin Trapp, head of the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs, which oversaw the updating of sound artist Jim Green's fifteen-year-old train messages and music — and fifteen years from now, of course, Hickenlooper will no longer be mayor. Too, since the message was brief, they had to pick and choose the info included, and decided not to ID the speaker. "There's also a little bit of mystery," Trapp says. "And besides, many people recognize the mayor."
Ah, but if they recognize his voice, surely they already know how to find baggage at DIA...
Liquor is quicker: On August 2, Steve Horner, the man who never met a ladies' night he liked, will face off against Westword - which he's accused of advertising such illegal activities — in Denver County Court. Horner has been in that building before; he's filed what he describes as a "blitz of ladies' night court cases" and has also sent an angry missive to Chief Judge Andrew Armatas about the Denver District Attorney's Office's "arbitrary and capricious" decision not to file charges against the Proof nightclub over its ladies' night.
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But Horner doesn't limit himself to fighting drink specials. He's not too fond of dogs attached to ladies, either, as he made clear in a recent rant regarding pets on patios outside Cherry Creek coffeehouses. To hear that diatribe, as well as see Horner's appearances in a Daily Show segment and in assorted Westword pieces, go to www.westword.com. Or see the man in action at Denver County Court.
Another development in a longstanding liquor dispute: On Wednesday, August 8, Colorado Lawyers for the Arts will host an "Understanding State Liquor Law" information session, to clear up confusion about state liquor laws as they apply to arts organizations — First Fridays, anyone? — and also "discuss potential for legislative change." We'll drink to that! The hour-long session starts at 9:30 a.m. at the Holme, Roberts & Owen law office at 1700 Lincoln Street; for information, go to www.lawyersforthearts.org.
Scene and herd: "If everyone here doesn't think I can talk over a little restaurant noise, you're mis-gauging my experience," Hickenlooper — this time clearly identified — warned as he started his brief, and definitely loud, speech to 200-plus gabbing diners gathered in a Westin Ballroom Sunday for Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation benefit. Denver is where it all started twenty years ago, because founder Bill Shore was working for Senator Gary Hart when he came up with the idea of creating a nonprofit to fight hunger through culinary events. We'll drink to that, too.