Fame is so fleeting. Ozzie, a nine-week-old American pit bull terrier puppy, became an instant star back in May, when he puked on Channel 12's Colorado Inside Out Live. The dog, who'd sat patiently in a vet's lap while Peter Boyles led the one-hour discussion of Denver's ban on pit bulls, waited until the camera was on him, took a long look at Denver City Councilwoman Rosemary Rodriguez, who supports the ban, and then promptly "stated his opinion," recalls owner Toni Phillips, by barfing his body weight on the table.
Sure, Ozzie only did what most of us want to do when we watch a Denver City Council meeting, but his timing was worthy of an Emmy.
Sadly, Ozzie moved to the great beyond Monday, after coming down with a bad case of kennel cough. But he lives on in the hearts of bully fans everywhere -- as well as on Channel 12 reruns and www.westword.com, where you can see his complete political commentary.
Call him a cab: In other cities, people complain that their cabbies don't speak English. In Denver, they complain that none of the cabbies speak Spanish.
Taxi Latino began prowling the streets this month, looking to serve the Mile High City's Spanish-speaking population. The group has about eight drivers but hopes to increase the crew to twenty by the end of July. "Basically, we're a new company. We're just trying to get the word out," says Antonio Garcia, Taxi Latino's general manager and a Denver cabbie for thirteen years. "We've got a lot of calls; we just don't have the cabs to service them."
The interest is definitely there, though, as are the jokes. At one recent party, a woman called the service -- it's an easy drunk-dial, with a number that's all 8s -- and then announced to her friends that they were taking Taxi Latino. "Yeah, taxis for Latinos," joked one Latino man. "We'll see you in an hour."
Which, when you come right down to it, is less of a wait than many have had to suffer through in LoDo at Let Out. And not only will the cabbies be bilingual, but "I'm assuming that they're all completely legal," Garcia says. The business is, at least: It's working through Metro Cabs, which is licensed by both the state and the city.
Drive time: Santa Fe Drive is going through some growing pains. On August 13, Lauri Lynnxe Murphy and partner Barbara Pooler are splitting ways and shuttering Pod, their locals-only boutique at 554 Santa Fe. "It has been a labor of love, and although we received great community support and rave reviews, the economy appears to have us beat," Murphy says. But the Capsule half of Pod & Capsule is not only sticking around, it's expanding, giving Murphy more room for the gallery as well as more art-focused workshops and even a community screenprinting shop. Special-edition Off Limits T-shirts for everyone!
Further up the block, a long-vacant building at 734 Santa Fe is getting some TLC. New York shoe designer Clint Alan is rehabbing the space into a "high-end lounge" named Ola, with a guesstimated opening in mid-September. Fashionistas wanting a sneak preview of the place dropped in last week for the Denver Fashion Week that Alan had announced fewer than seven days earlier. "It's going to be as hot as can be -- especially when I'm putting it out," Alan promised before the party.
Hot enough to singe wires, apparently, since the first night was cancelled owing to electrical problems, and only thirty people turned up the next night for local designer BaSheBa Earth's show.
Scene and herd: The passengers in a dozen cars parked in a lot at 27th and Larimer streets last Thursday night were watching the documentary Mission Accomplished, which was beamed from the front window of a big-ass school bus onto the side of a nearby building. Tony Shawcross and his band of merry malcontents at Deproduction will screen an underground film once a week through the rest of the summer, showing civic-minded films and local shorts. To find the next viewing site, go to www.denverevolution.org -- locations may rove around the city, the better to stay a step ahead of 5-0.
Denver's crack trade has landed in the lap of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. But the Colfax Business Improvement District isn't waiting for any acts of God -- it's going all Big Brother on East Colfax's ass, putting cameras along the street between Grant and Pennsylvania streets. Off Limits asked CBID director Jim Hannifin to snitch on the deal:
Q: How did CBID come up with the idea for cameras?
A: Well, actually, it is kind of funny. I was at an RTD committee meeting last January, and I was beefing to them about the sorry shape of their bus shelters on Colfax. RTD is really the slumlord of Colfax. At that meeting [RTD general manager] Cal Marsella said they would be willing to put up some cameras along their bus shelters if we could get the police department to arrest the people who are doing the crime. I said fine and went to [Denver Police Chief] Jerry Whitman and [chief of patrol] Steve Cooper and [city attorney] Cole Finegan and got a commitment that those people would be prosecuted. And then RTD reneged. They gave me the bureaucratic bullshit about how it cost too much.
So I talked to [CBID executive director] Dave Walstrom about it, and right after that [former city councilman] Ed Thomas came up and said he reps a camera firm, and he gave me some numbers. He said it would be less than $10,000 -- and RTD was talking $75,000. For $75,000, we could camera all of Colfax. RTD is putting cameras all over their suburban park-and-rides, but they seem to have abandoned the urban city, where the people are.
Q: How many cameras will there be?
A: There will be four cameras, and they'll be WiFi so they can move around. CBID will outsource to a camera company, and we'll commit to a contract for three years.
Q: Will the footage be webcast so the public can watch the action?
A: We are hoping that if someone wakes up at three in the morning and can't sleep, they can look and see if there's any drug dealing.
Q: Who will watch the cameras? And what's the City's liability if a crime happens when nobody is watching the monitors?
A: We looked into that and found that it is all in the signs. If we put up a sign that says 'this is under observation,' then it would be a problem. But we're going to word it so that you won't have the assumption that you're being observed at all times. You can't have phony cameras or say it's 24/7 observation, because people may think they're protected, and then they get raped or mugged. But people get raped and mugged when the police are looking, so it doesn't matter if the TV is on.
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Q: If Colfax could get a drug cop, would it be Miami Vice's Sonny Crockett or The Shield's Detective James McNulty?
A: Well, Jesus, we don't want either one of those. I'd like to see McNulty kicking butt, but I think that the TV cameras will hopefully chase away a lot of the buyers.
Q: How many drug deals do you see in an average day?
A: We're up at High Street, and we did have drug dealer across the street a couple of months ago; and all the business owners knew what was going on, and we called the landlord and they were gone within thirty days. What we're afraid of, and why we want wireless, is that once we put up the cameras, it's just going to move them along. So we want to have these cameras mobile, so if they move a couple of blocks, we'll move the cameras.