Best Of :: People & Places
Most radio programmers believe that the fastest route to big ratings is to ratchet up the obnoxiousness factor -- and more often than not, they're right. But KBCO's Bret Saunders is the exception to this rule. He's become one of the most-listened-to personalities on the air by rejecting the usual snickering tag-team byplay in favor of a format that blends good conversation with humor that dares to be smart. Wouldn't it be nice if this became a trend?
There's no use taking Academy Awards night too seriously -- particularly if you're South Park co-creator Trey Parker, late of Conifer, and you've been unexpectedly nominated for a statuette in the Best Original Song category. Parker's satirical anthem "Blame Canada" (from South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut) didn't win the Oscar. But Parker, who can never resist popping Hollywood on the nose, caught every eye in Los Angeles with his outfit -- a facsimile of the scanty, attention-getting "dress" Jennifer Lopez wore several weeks earlier to the Grammy Awards. His cohort, Matt Stone, came garbed in a replica of Gwyneth Paltrow's 1999 Academy Awards attire.
You've got to wonder: How many arguments have been settled over a beer or two? That must have gone through Boulder homebrew guru and Association of Brewers president Charlie Papazian's head when he organized a brewers' delegation to China last November to compare notes with Chinese counterparts, review the history of Chinese brewing and discuss such weighty issues as brewing technology, production, quality control and the global beer market. Planned under the sponsorship of People to People, a Seattle-based organization that develops international goodwill exchange tours for students and professionals, the trade mission had the distinction of being certified by the U.S. Department of Commerce. "It went great," says Papazian assistant Mark Snyder. "We made some contacts over there, and I'm sure he will definitely go on other missions. I'm not sure where yet, but it's definitely on the radar."
Hey, man does not leave by bread, and bedroom, alone. When the Hi Meadow and Bobcat fires displaced dozens of families, Coloradans rushed to donate cash and compassion. But perhaps the most appreciated donation came from Colorado Springs resident Randy Barnes, who volunteered to record old Grateful Dead tapes for a man who'd lost his collection when his house in Pine burned down.
Where there's smoke, there's ire, and in the early days of the fires, residents complained that they weren't getting enough specifics from the local media. But that's because they hadn't tuned into www.pinecam.com, the Web site belonging to Wayne Harrison, an assignment editor for Channel 7. Usually, Harrison's six-year-old site is devoted to folksy chats about living in the mountains. But in June, it went hardcore with hourly updates on the fires -- and the hits just kept on coming.
SWAT officer Terry Reibeling is the kind of big, tough professional whom other cops like to have around when the chips are down, and he made two heads-up arrests last year that deserve special recognition. Less than a month after the Columbine murders, he pursued a suspicious vehicle that was lurking outside a suburban mosque, uncovered an arsenal of guns and bomb-making materials, and, with the assistance of Denver police, subdued a would-be terrorist. Two months later he responded to a 911 call and tackled a drunk, 300-pound intruder in swim trunks who'd been sexually assaulting a pregnant woman. "This guy is one outstanding sergeant," Sheriff Pat Sullivan said after the second bust. We agree.
In late June, the Metro Denver Network officially unveiled its pricey new slogan design to lure high-tech industries to the Front Range. But somehow, we just don't think "Convergence Corridor: Technology With Altitude" is going to do the job. Fortunately, there's a perfectly good name available -- one with proven marketability -- that Denver's about to dump on the scrap heap. Mile High-Tech scores!