Off Limits

Roses are red, violets are blue, if I'm really sorry later, can I rape you? The art of penning a good apology letter is certainly dying, if the note written by a University of Colorado football player to the woman who accused him of rape is any indication. As evidenced by the almost-three-year-old note released to the media last week, this student/athlete had never heard of the three KISS rules: Keep it simple, keep it short, keep it sincere.

Dear [athletic-department employee who told coach Gary Barnett that the Buff had raped her]:

I am writing you this letter because I am so sorry for what I have done to you. I am so sorry that I have caused you pain. I am very sad about any sorrow that my actions have caused you and I ask for your forgiveness. I know that I cannot say anything that could take your pain away, but I did not mean to hurt you. This has also hurt me, knowing that I have hurt you because I am not that type of person and this is not who I am or what I am about. I would have never thought, not in a million years, that I would hurt someone like this. I am so sorry that I have put you through this situation. I did not mean to do this to you and I am so sorry. I do not know how you feel, but I know it is not good and I am sorry that I have hurt you. I know it is hard to forgive me for what I have done to you, but I am so sorry and I ask for your forgiveness. I ask that you would please forgive me for what I have done.

P.S. I am so sorry!!!

Sorry as this effort was, though, it was apparently enough to convince the woman not to pursue the report she'd made to the Boulder Police Department. If only all sticky situations were cleaned up so easily!

Dear Iraq:

Whoops! We're really sorry about that invasion. Guess the smart bombs just got out of hand. We're so sorry. We're really a peace-loving nation! We have peacekeeping forces all over the world! It's not like us to take out entire infrastructures. We did not mean to hurt you. Would $60 billion help? (It probably won't happen again.)

The United States

Dear William and Dee Quigley:

It's not like us to cry "anti-Semitism" at every little opportunity. Well, maybe it is. But you folks sure went through "the wringer." Sorry about the libel and all! This was very un-mensch-like of us. A positive note: Saul has been promoted to assistant manager at the local Wal-Mart, so you should start receiving checks soon. Again, very sorry.

P.S. Can you ever forgive us?

The Anti-Defamation League

To Qwest shareholders:

Ooops. My bad. I dropped your stock price from over sixty bucks to just four dollars. I'm sorry -- really, really, really sorry. If I hadn't listened to Phil Anschutz, this never would have happened. It's not like my $27 million salary was to blame; try the clowns I inherited from US West. Still, I didn't mean to hurt you. That's not like me. I am so, so sorry. Can you ever forgive me? (Not that I care.)

Joe Nacchio

Dear Writers:

How can it be that my DaVinci Code has spent fifty weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and my Angels and Demons now occupies a second slot? I am so sorry that my summer beach reads have deprived you more literary authors of your rightful place. Really, really I am. Sorry! But with Danielle Steele and John Grisham trying to nudge me out, you can hardly blame me: It's the reading public!

Dan Brown

To Fire Chief Larry Trujillo:

I know you were just trying to do your job, so I'm sorry I got in your face when I was working security at the Ogden the other night. That's really, really not who I am. But tensions are always high between us cops and you pole jockeys at the fire department, and with you guys getting a hero's welcome for taking a pay cut and us being demonized for demanding what's ours, well, it just all came out. I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you in any way, and I'm sorry for any pain I caused. Please forgive me. I'm sure it will all get addressed when my friends down at the station "review" your formal complaint.

Hubert Vanover, Denver Police Department

Dear Roy:

I ask myself, "How do you apologize to a guy whose head you just bit a chunk out of?" I don't know what came over me! After all, I am a trained animal -- I like jumping through hoops. I'm REALLY, REALLY sorry!


The Tiger

The bare 'fax: Maybe Denver's slogan should be "If you brand it, they will come."

First Mayor John Hickenlooper hired Angela Baier away from the zoo to clear up any brand confusion and coordinate the city's marketing efforts, and now Denver planners are slicing and dicing Colfax Avenue between Broadway and Colorado Boulevard into sections with allegedly distinct identities. As if. The beauty of Colfax is that it defies definition.

Nonetheless, the Blueprint Colfax East committee has divided that four-mile stretch into "Capitol Village," "Midtown Village" and the "Colfax Promenade" to help achieve its vision of a "multi-modal and residential 'Main Street' that complements and sustains the nearby neighborhoods and encourages walking, biking and transit use." Sounds like a reasonable, innocuous goal, but we could have lived without the Shea Homes-esque rhetoric. This is not Reunion, after all. Hick's gung-ho on Richard Florida, and the author of Rise of the Creative Class is pretty clear that the key to a vibrant city is making it appealing to artists and other creative types -- not taming it and then expecting droves of suburbanites to come buy fake lofts in areas with dull names like "Midtown Village."

But if Colfax must be packaged up and parceled out, Off Limits has a few suggestions.

At a neighborhood meeting two weeks ago, senior city planner Katharine Cornwell suggested that the strip between Broadway and Downing be likened to a 24-hour marketplace or Greenwich Village -- thus, Capitol Village. This area will involve boutique hotels, mixed-use buildings and "activity extenders" and "activity inducers," as well as an adjustment in arcane zoning rules. But that doesn't take things far enough.

Why not rename this section "Pussy Galore" in honor of its biggest landmark -- Kitty's Pleasure -- and convert the Newhouse Hotel and other abandoned buildings into upscale hooker and homeless housing, thereby solving all the city's solicitation problems at once? Tourists and soccer moms now so fearful of the pesky panhandlers on the 16th Street Mall would be free to roam that corporate theme park without having to think about the less fortunate, and Hizzoner's goal of ending homelessness within ten years would be met in a mere ten months. Also, the Denver Police Department would save all the man-hours and expense squandered on its frequent panty raids, and no prostitute would again feel gentrified off of Colfax. Instead, we'd be honoring this marginalized group's vital contribution to the community! And by charging tax on hookers' services, the city could further increase the expected sales-tax revenue boon from the area's redevelopment.

For the next section, between Downing and York, city planners suggest residential and office use over first-floor retail for Midtown Colfax. Most important, however, is bringing "residents to the area that are able to support these businesses," Cornwell says. Well, if that's the case, it's time for Denver to have its very own "Crack Town." No more will pushers need to irritate Capitol Hill's Unsinkables and other neighbors with their irascible whisperings along 13th Avenue and Pearl Street. They can simply be relocated to Colfax, setting up shop in the first-floor retail. Then, when customers are completely bombed, they can go upstairs to a well-appointed come-down room.

The only remaining question is what to do with the final stretch to Colorado Boulevard, "designed to preserve and protect a balanced base of local owner/operator retailers. The emphasis in this area will be neighborhood-serving with higher density mixed-use projects integrating housing, office and retail uses." Does Colfax Promenade really capture that? We were thinking more along the lines of "Kentucky Fried Corner." If you have another idea, e-mail

Alternative energizing: Littleton resident Marc Gaines owes the city an apology note. Last week he e-mailed Off Limits with the suggestion that Angela Baier be chastised for failing to check whether the line "An Energizing Place to Be," which proved to be the most popular branding message at the Denver360 marketing summit she hosted on February 18, had been registered by anyone. Turns out it has -- by Gaines himself. On February 19, he registered both and through

Now, that's sorry. Very, very sorry.


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