Wake-Up Call: Everyone's seeing their shadows

Punxsutawney Phil saw his own shadow this morning, thereby forecasting six more weeks of winter -- and that's appropriate. There are shadows lurking everywhere, threatening whatever bright spots try to break out of the gloom. Tom Daschle -- who was hailed as the person who might be able to untangle this country's health-care mess when he was appointed to head the Department of Health and Human Services -- is just the latest to have his promise darkened, with the report that he filed amended tax returns to, among other things, reflect the use of a car service provided by Leo Hindery.

Out from the shadows. Hindery is now managing partner of InterMedia Advisors of Englewood, and Daschle serves on its board. But Hindery is better remembered from his high-flying days when the cable cowboys used Denver as their bunkhouse and he served as president of Tele-Communications Inc., then the world's largest cable company, from 1997 until it merged with AT&T, and later moved on to head AT&T Broadband in 1999. Sounds like someone got taken for a ride.

How to fight off shadows? Public scrutiny.

On Tuesday, February 3, the Denver Department of Parks and Recreation will hold the first of several public meetings to discuss a recent review of the department and setting priorities in these tough times. Find out more at the city's website, www.denvergov.org.

The twelfth annual Saving Places Conference held by Colorado Preservation Inc. kicks off Wednesday and runs through Friday; a new list of the state's Most Endangered Places will be released on February 5. For information, go to www.coloradopreservation.org.

Also on Thursday, the Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media at the University of Denver will host a day of conversations about issues affecting the planet; Ethan Zuckerman will accept the Anvil of Freedom Award on behalf of Global Voices Online. Get all the details at www.estlow.org.

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