Off Limits

Rocky Mountain guy: A hung jury left John Denver hanging Saturday night, when six Pitkin County residents couldn't agree on the fate of the singer--charged with driving under the influence after he wrapped his car around a tree in Aspen's Starwood subdivision three years ago. In defending his celebrity client, celebrity lawyer Walter Gerash, who'd already employed a unique double-jeopardy argument, came up with another doozy: the claim that Denver suffers from a thyroid condition that stalls his metabolizing of liquor (in this case, several hours' worth of sake and beer).

But the verdict on the former Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. is already in, courtesy of the fans at a recent Rockies game. When asked which song to play over the P.A., fans roundly booed Denver's "Sunshine on My Shoulder"--so loudly, in fact, that the announcer jokingly asked them to repeat the gesture. Perhaps the insensitive legions were unaware that the song was based on a poem written by a dying Denver mother to her young daughter (now a college graduate).

Or perhaps they just have taste.
And speaking of taste, when is a kiss not just a kiss? When it's a promotion for the movie Boys Life 2. The photo of two men swapping spit so offended the Rocky Mountain News that it printed a black bar over their locked lips in a July 4 ad.

Be true to your school: Local schools may get a passing grade in sex education, but their sense of spell is failing. That's the message implicit on the cover of Margerie Hicks's 1997-98 guide to local schools, which bears a "4th edition" sticker conveniently slapped over guess which word in this title: The Guide to Metro Denver Pubic Schools.

Thomas Seigel, recently selected as the new superintendent of the Boulder Valley School District, reportedly submitted application papers riddled with grammatical errors. His resume and cover letter, however, are clean--if filled with the kind of puffery that should inspire a career military officer (which he is) to shoot on sight. (Try this on for size: "I am experienced in coordinating and managing large complex organizations with highly diverse groups of people of different educational, racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds and I am experienced with the application of computer and communications technologies to solve a variety of data retrieval and manipulation requirements, including educational applications.") One particular credential, though, must have been a real grabber for Boulder bureaucrats: Seigel says he's close to completing his doctoral dissertation at the Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado at Denver, with a "specialization in public policy, including a ground-breaking dissertation on the effects of local mass media on municipal public policy."

City mouse, country mouse: As two visitors approached the entrance to the Black Arts Festival about 4:30 Saturday afternoon, they received this cheery message from a woman leaving the festivities: "Don't worry, that commotion's been taken care of--just some kids getting out of hand." The next thing they saw was a young man being loaded into an ambulance at the City Park Esplanade. Undeterred, they entered and had a swell time.

Contrast that low-key crisis management with a concurrent scene at Cherry Creek State Park. According to senior park ranger Howard Paul, the park had issued a permit to Ali Jackson for an inner-city "swimfest" and multicultural display in an area that could hold about 120 people. But when a radio station announced the event, the crowds just kept on coming...and coming. When they grew to a cast of thousands, Parker Road became so clogged that, rather than refuse to let new people enter--as the park has done in the past when it's been filled to capacity--officials closed it altogether at about 5:30 p.m.

The shits just keep on coming: State senator Ben Alexander recently called eighteen-year-old Earl Christensen a "worthless piece of shit" after arranging a meeting with his young constituent to discuss his high-school essay critical of government. Alexander blamed the outburst on his emotional response to Christensen's complaints and later apologized--not that Christensen accepted the apology. But don't expect any backtracking from another, more exalted public servant. According to last Friday's Wall Street Journal, when asked his opinion of the musical entertainment at the Denver Summit of the Eight, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl replied: "I don't know much English, but this is shit."

You're darn Teuton.


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