Copping a plea: Not only did this month's just-us-cops chat between Denver councilman Ed Thomas (a Mary DeGroot supporter) and Denver police chief Dave Michaud (a proponent of Wellington Webb) inspire numerous versions of the conversation, it also resulted in a few spin-off industries. Exhibit A, reproduced here, is a cartoon now appearing at a police station near you; it depicts DPD Sergeant Judy Will, a Webb partisan present during that infamous Thomas-Michaud confab who also attended DeGroot's meeting with cops at Old Chicago May 15--and took notes. Whatever anonymous artist is responsible for the animation (note Will's wiggle) should be hired by DeGroot to redo her cop commercial. As it is, the computer-distorted faces and voices make Clutch Cargo look human--and more convincing.
LoDo to go: While Webb and DeGroot duke it out, mayoral also-ran John Frew is packing it in at 17th and Wazee streets, where he was sighted last Friday loading cartons into his car. Has he given up on Denver entirely? Nope, but he and his wife, who has run Travel Works out of a 17th Street storefront for a decade, are being driven out of the area by astronomically high rents. Adding insult to injury, Frew was instrumental in bringing baseball to LoDo--which subsequently sent space rates higher than a pop fly at Coors Field.
Record-holder: Looking almost as quixotic as Frew's campaign is the new venture of Gerald Hans, a real estate agent who's jumped into the local publishing business with For the Record, a monthly (he hopes) political newsletter. Rather than focus on reporting and analysis, though, For the Record delivers what its name promises: records, and lots of 'em. "We're not going on any witch hunt," Hans says. "Like Joe Friday says, `Just the facts, ma'am.'"
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For example, the April issue included profiles of Denver government and school-district candidates, complete with their driving and court records; May has more of the same. But getting to that point wasn't easy. "I went through a period of depression, because it was just so frustrating trying to get the information," Hans says. At RTD, for example, "you can't get past the front desk."
Getting the goods from Denver bureaucrats was no easier. "You have to go to four or five places to find out what the bill was that city council passed," he says. "Most of the things they do are done in committees and decided on long before they get to the council meetings. Those Monday-night council meetings are just a show for the public."
Whereas his magazine is a public service. Hans estimates he's sent out close to 100,000 promotional copies and attracted just 200 subscribers so far, at $36 per year. He needs about a hundred times that to break even, he says; in the meantime, his G.C. Hans Real Estate Services is covering the costs. "I don't want to tell people how to think or how to vote, but I think if people know what's going on, they can make intelligent decisions," says Hans. "I don't think we're a bunch of numbnut robots wandering around here."
Speak for yourself.