"Don't take this the wrong way, but what do I have to do to get your attention -- bring a gun?"
Those were the parting words of Gerald Styron, a write-in candidate for Denver City Council District 1, after paying a visit to the Westword offices last Friday. It seems that Methuselah's twin was pissed off that Kenny Be hadn't included him in his Worst-Case Scenario cartoon that declared the May 1 municipal election so dull it should go "straight to DVD" and offered Sarah, a dog, as an "alternate ending" in District 1.
Of course, Styron hadn't actually read the cartoon (natch!), so he also missed the fact that a handful of candidates in District 8 (the only really hotly contested district) didn't get any face time in the cartoon, either. And some of the incumbents who were included, specifically Marcia Johnson, didn't appreciate the off-color interpretation of her yard sign.
After being escorted out -- pissed off about freedom of the press, our decision to ignore the truth, and Be just being another Imus (we're sure that's the first and last time anyone will make that particular comparison) -- the bearded one returned from his scooter to quickly make the election much more interesting by bringing in visions of weaponry. After determining that he was harmless -- bat-shit crazy, but harmless -- an Off Limits operative escorted him out again, into the mob of people waiting for giveaway tickets to Spider-Man 3.
If only we'd had some Spidey web, we could have gotten away before he thrust a copy of his campaign flier and CD upon us -- items that he later inflicted on the Denver Election Commission before popping up again at the Clerk and Recorder's office on Monday. Want to hear his rantings? Visit www.westword.com for the audio files.
But fair warning: You may want a gun before you're done.
All wet: For years, all landlocked Denver needed to be perfect was a beach -- and when the final component of Confluence Park was completed last year, it finally had one, with a shaded plaza leading to an expansive lawn that sloped down to actual sand at the juncture of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek. But that beach -- as well as more than two dozen willows planted alongside it -- suddenly disappeared last week.
"The reason you don't see the beach and the trees right now is that they're under water," explains Jeff Shoemaker, head of the Greenway Foundation, which has worked for 25 years to create the Platte River Greenway and Confluence Park. Although the foundation picked out these trees because they can usually withstand a dunking, "this is one of the strongest and longest-running high-water events I've seen," he adds. That's because after the recent rains, both Chatfield and Cherry Creek reservoirs are at capacity and have released water into the two rivers.
But Shoemaker thinks that once the waters recede, the trees will reappear -- and if not, they'll be replaced. The beach will take care of itself. "It's just the result of built-up sand and sediment," he explains.
In the meantime, the rest of Confluence Park is open for business. "When we completed this park, it was the realization of a longstanding dream," Shoemaker says. "I think it's one of the most beautiful places in Denver -- with a mix of park and river and historic significance."
After all, this is where gold was found in 1858, giving rise to the city of Denver. Which now just needs a beach to be perfect.
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