Off Limits

Judging from those whopping ads that popped up this week in dailies across Qwest's service area, the bumpy ride of the telecom's "Ride the Light" slogan has come to an abrupt halt. From here on out, Qwest's slogan will be "Spirit of Service."

But given the current lineup of Qwest execs past and present appearing before Congress, maybe that should be "Service of Subpoenas."

The shrining: Now that the year has finally ended for the Colorado Rockies, we can pinpoint the saddest sight of the baseball season. It's actually just outside Coors Field, at 20th and Chestnut streets, where a makeshift shrine to Abby Greer still stands.

Six-year-old Abby, her sister and parents were stuck by a car as they left a Rockies game on August 26. Abby didn't make it.

Within hours of the accident, well-wishers started leaving offerings on the corner. Today an old, white chair stands in the dirt, covered with teddy bears, beanie babies and dolls. Before it lie two long-dead flower arrangements, more stuffed animals and a letter with a picture of Abby. "Just a reminder," it says. "Watch how you drive."

There are shrines like this scattered across the state, unofficial tributes to the dead. But then, the state has no official position on these roadside memorials, which raise unpleasant questions about the separation of church and state, as well as sad memories. Montana got around the constitutionality issue by ceding its program to the American Legion, which puts a white cross by the side of the road near the site of any fatal accident. But in Colorado, where the population is much more vocal about religious intrusions into government functions and an Adams County memorial wound up in court, the Colorado Highway Commission has been in no hurry to come up with a formal policy.

The commission took up the topic of memorials at its July 2001 meeting, and "it's been on hold for over a year," according to Department of Transportation spokeswoman Stacey Stegman.

And right now, with the DOT looking at slicing budgets every which way, that's fine with her. "We're damned if we do," she points out, "and damned if we don't."

Back to Boulder: The tributes are long gone from the lawn in front of the Boulder home where JonBenét Ramsey's body was found almost six years ago, but her story lives on. This past summer, the National Enquirer was again hot on the trail, with an August 17 story on how former Ramsey friend Fleet White -- who was with John Ramsey when JonBenét's body was found -- "has changed his story while being questioned under oath." That was followed by a September 17 cover story, "Cops Shred Ramsey Alibi."

And on Friday, the saga moves out of the tabloids and back into prime time, when CBS's 48 Hours Investigates airs "Searching for a Killer," complete with secret videotapes from a Boulder Police Department interview with JonBenét's parents.

The source of those tapes? The BPD isn't saying, but enquiring minds want to know.


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