In embattled Jefferson County, few government officials have taken as much heat as County Attorney William Tuthill, who announced his resignation last week. Even his departure, effective October 15, isn't without controversy -- including an ungracious gesture from his harshest critic, followed by a rare apology.
Since taking over the job three years ago, Tuthill has had a bumpy go of it, from long-running court clashes with victims' families over Columbine records to the current contretemps over the Pinky T faxes, in which County Commissioner Rick Sheehan and Cynthia Beyer-Ulrich, an attorney who works for Tuthill, have been accused of spreading disparaging information about other county employees ("Outfaxed," August 5). Officially, his decision to leave was voluntary: "With elections just around the corner, this is the best time for a change," Tuthill stated in a county press release. But sources in Jeffco say his resignation presages a general shakeup that's expected when two new commissioners take office in a few weeks. And although Tuthill's contract called for no severance if he left voluntarily, on Monday the commissioners approved a $60,000 going-away package.
Online gadfly Mike Zinna was positively exultant about Tuthill's exit. His website, JeffcoExposed.com, has been savaging the county attorney for various alleged misdeeds for months -- most recently, for hiring outside attorneys to defend Sheehan and Beyer-Ulrich in the Pinky T mess. News of the resignation was just breaking when JeffcoExposed featured a giddy bulletin about it, complete with a "nah-nah-nah-nah" and an animated graphic of someone offering the county attorney a special farewell in the form of an extended middle finger.
But the bird was soon replaced with an apology: "Without my prior knowledge or consent, a graphic appeared on JeffcoExposed.com that was ill-conceived and inappropriate," Zinna wrote. "It was the creative work of an extremely talented person who I care about very much. Unfortunately, this animation was neither creative nor funny. It was simply offensive.
"We take the ethical high road, throw in gratuitous humor to keep it fresh, and always call a spade a spade. Today, we are the spade...This lapse in oversight will not happen again."
This isn't the first time JeffcoExposed's scabrous sense of humor has undergone some re-examination. A graphic of a mushroom cloud emanating from the Taj Mahal was removed a few months ago after a visit from the FBI. But other stabs at caricature -- one official sitting on a toilet and using local newspapers as toilet tissue, for instance, or Tuthill depicted with a Hitler mustache -- remain on the website.
So do the nah-nah-nah-nahs.
Sorry, wrong number: We don't know why so many Coloradans are in a tizzy over the possibility of felons voting in the upcoming election. After all, this state already entrusts felons with some of its stickiest questions; the Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Division contracts with Correctional Industries to have inmates in the Arkansas Valley prison answer queries regarding port-of-entry, driving and vehicle policies. According to Department of Corrections spokeswoman Alison Morgan, the inmates get an average of 2,000 to 2,500 calls a day and have a "90 percent success rate" -- which means they're able to satisfy about 1,800 of the questions that come their way.
But in a recorded message before your inmate info expert picks up, the state does advise you to keep your "level one" questions basic and not get too personal. Like, say, "My license will expire while I'm out of town for a month, leaving my house totally vulnerable to pillaging, and can I just get a new one when I'm back in town and filling in all the police burglary reports?"
Scene and herd: Yes, that's Boulder's Zora Andrich -- now known as "television's Zora Andrich" -- touting NutriSystem in current ads. And what did Andrich, a former substitute teacher, do to earn her TV title? She won the heart of Joe Millionaire (Evan Marriott) in early 2003, then promptly broke up with him. That May, Andrich was Media for Humanity's first Ambassador of Good Will, traveling to Serbia with donated toys and medical supplies. And since then? "I ate chocolate and lost 20 lbs.," Andrich says in the ad. Fame is fleeting. ... V. Robert Salazar, a local real-estate and investment magnate who bought the decrepit Regency Hotel last month, isn't yet ready to reveal his plans for the property. But we know the project won't include those giant bucking broncos that once graced the eyesore's exterior: They galloped off with former owner Art Cormier. ... No such luck with the Borofsky dancers, which are still standing outside the Denver Performing Arts Complex, apparently well on their way to becoming a beloved landmark. One recent Saturday, we caught a half-dozen cranberry-gowned bridesmaids cavorting around a bride at the base of the sculpture while a photographer snapped away.
What's So Funny? div>
By Adam Cayton-Holland
Few people recall what prompted the meeting of concerned parents during my sophomore year at East High School. Nobody had died from alcohol poisoning -- except that one little fucker from Brit Lit X, but he wasn't popular, so it didn't count -- and to the best of my recollection, no one had even passed out and been graffitied with permanent marker, or "chiefed," if you will. We weren't that advanced. Our time was spent fighting midnight curfews, searching for friends with cars and suffering egregious "white-boy taxes" in the sketchy liquor stores that would sell to us. Beyond that, we were good kids.
But our parents sensed trouble brewing. The smell of defiance was strong on us, and though, individually, we were still Mommy and Daddy's darlings, together we represented a mounting threat. George W. Bush would have moved right in, even without proof of BACs. Our parents were more diplomatic. They banded together at a neighbor's house to address the issue in a more appropriate, United Nations fashion.
No children were allowed at that secret meeting of the community pillars. But over the years, we all heard reports of what transpired, and what we didn't figure out we made up, adopting the professorial air of some particularly pompous parent and mock-pontificating for the immeasurable amusement of all around us.
"And another thing," someone would imagine, standing on a coffee table while his friends looked on. "I don't want that miscreant Jason coming over here anymore. Every time he leaves, it seems my wife is missing another pair of panties. Plus I'm pretty sure he did it with the dog."
Ah, the glory days.
Here's what really went down: Our parents were worried that we could get hurt or in trouble as a result of weekend parties with alcohol, and they decided to address the issue as a neighborhood, pledging to look after each other's children, in Hillary Clinton It Takes a Village fashion. (Hillary Clinton? What does she know about anything? Chelsea drank gin like a hobo.) Promises were made to report the bad behavior of any child, steps were taken to prevent any unsupervised parties, and a list of everyone's contact information was compiled so that the joint-parenting effort could really take off. Our parents left that meeting proud as Quakers, firmly committed to the safety and sanctity of the community.
I believe it was four months later that thirty of us who'd rented a bus to roll to a homecoming dance in style were arrested for underage drinking. We all averaged a curfew ticket every season, and three of us got involved in an illegal-immigrant/drug-trafficking nightmare that ended with two dead cops and a pregnant sixteen-year-old trying to rock her baby's bloodied father back to life on a desolate desert highway.
Okay, not that last bit, but we were bad. Because kids are going to be kids, regardless of efforts to stop them. Didn't anyone see The Lion King? It's the circle of life. And it moves us all.
But apparently there are still people out there who are not aware of this fact, and by "people," we here at What's So Funny mean the Boulder City Council.
Shocked and awed by the drinking culture at the University of Colorado, where eighteen-year-old Gordie Bailey died last month as a result of alcohol poisoning, the council voted unanimously to draft a plan that uses zoning, code enforcement and alcohol-licensing policies in an attempt to curb CU's rampant drinking. While the council's efforts are honorable, they're not going to change a thing. Those CU booze-monkeys are going to drink as much as they want to drink, when they want to drink it. That's college. That's why people take the SATs. Still, councilmembers march forward undaunted, promising a draft by their October 19 meeting. A few ideas for that noble, yet doomed proposal:
Change current zoning structure so that CU is technically in Longmont
Raise reward for binge-drinker pelts from $25 to $50
Anyone underage caught drinking now legally required to finish entire keg himself (works with cigarettes)
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Initiate annual Christmas "Toys for Jäger" exchange
Add 3.75 centimeters to breadth of disappointed finger-wagging
Go Granby on any liquor store caught selling to minors
Follow Pete Coors's lead and lower drinking age to seven, thus better preparing kids for college climate of alcohol.