When the sheer ingenuity of the complex financial shenanigans arranged for Enron by no-accountants Arthur Andersen was revealed, the call went out from Washington to Professor Lynn Turner at sleepy old Colorado State University. A seemingly mild-mannered professor of accounting, in a previous life Turner served as chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission, making him the go-to guy to help congressional investigators, reporters and suffering investors find the money. His specialties are financial reporting and disclosure by public companies in the U.S. capital markets, as well as related corporate governance matters -- in short, everything Enron and Andersen conspired to manipulate. Turner left the SEC to head up his alma mater's Center for Quality Financial Reporting in August 2001, just four months before Enron declared bankruptcy. Since then, he's been an expert witness and reliable source for not only government hearings, but for all the major news outlets, and he's refreshingly candid in indicting the inadequacy of current accounting practices.
As Governor Roy Romer's insurance commissioner in the mid-'90s, Jack Ehnes was a local consumers' hero, always fighting for the little guy. Although most of his innovative reforms have since been undone, he's still in there pitching for Colorado consumers -- albeit indirectly. As chief executive officer of the California State Teachers Retirement System, the third-largest public pension fund in the nation, Ehnes is part of the group's lawsuit against Qwest Communications, its founder Phil Anschutz, former chief executive Joseph Nacchio and several investment-banking companies. The suit, filed in December, accuses them of engaging in fraudulent schemes that cost California teachers $150 million from investments in Qwest stocks and bonds. The defendants deny the claims. Welcome back, Jack.


As Governor Roy Romer's insurance commissioner in the mid-'90s, Jack Ehnes was a local consumers' hero, always fighting for the little guy. Although most of his innovative reforms have since been undone, he's still in there pitching for Colorado consumers -- albeit indirectly. As chief executive officer of the California State Teachers Retirement System, the third-largest public pension fund in the nation, Ehnes is part of the group's lawsuit against Qwest Communications, its founder Phil Anschutz, former chief executive Joseph Nacchio and several investment-banking companies. The suit, filed in December, accuses them of engaging in fraudulent schemes that cost California teachers $150 million from investments in Qwest stocks and bonds. The defendants deny the claims. Welcome back, Jack.
We've missed Paul Weissmann, a Louisville bartender in his real life, who enlivened many a session as a senator at the Statehouse. Now the Democrat is back as a state representative, and he's not wasting any time proposing improvements. While several of his suggestions have run up against the Republican wall, he's managed to push a few through on his own. For example, Weissmann wanted the Capitol dome reopened to visitors (it had been shut first out of safety concerns, then budgetary cutbacks), so he volunteered to staff the visitors' desk at the base of the Capitol stairs at lunchtime.


We've missed Paul Weissmann, a Louisville bartender in his real life, who enlivened many a session as a senator at the Statehouse. Now the Democrat is back as a state representative, and he's not wasting any time proposing improvements. While several of his suggestions have run up against the Republican wall, he's managed to push a few through on his own. For example, Weissmann wanted the Capitol dome reopened to visitors (it had been shut first out of safety concerns, then budgetary cutbacks), so he volunteered to staff the visitors' desk at the base of the Capitol stairs at lunchtime.
Colorado's courts are in a world of hurt financially, as is every other governmental institution these days, and court employees will be missing out on several days' pay this year. To help ease the pain for 120 Denver District Court workers, the district's twenty judges each contributed $600 to an employees' fund, just in time for the holidays. "We're all in this together," said Judge John Coughlin, who proposed the do-good idea. Not quite: The judges earn $104,000 a year, far more than most of their employees -- but they're still among the lowest-paid district-court judges in the country.


Colorado's courts are in a world of hurt financially, as is every other governmental institution these days, and court employees will be missing out on several days' pay this year. To help ease the pain for 120 Denver District Court workers, the district's twenty judges each contributed $600 to an employees' fund, just in time for the holidays. "We're all in this together," said Judge John Coughlin, who proposed the do-good idea. Not quite: The judges earn $104,000 a year, far more than most of their employees -- but they're still among the lowest-paid district-court judges in the country.
Fifteen-year-old Caitlyn Craig, a Chatfield High School student, died in a car accident this year -- one of a half-dozen teens from the southern suburbs who've been killed in crashes recently. To help ensure that the tragic count diminishes in future years, Craig's family has set up a memorial fund in her name, with the money going toward re-establishing a driver's education course at Chatfield -- one of many educational programs that have been eliminated because of budget cuts.


Fifteen-year-old Caitlyn Craig, a Chatfield High School student, died in a car accident this year -- one of a half-dozen teens from the southern suburbs who've been killed in crashes recently. To help ensure that the tragic count diminishes in future years, Craig's family has set up a memorial fund in her name, with the money going toward re-establishing a driver's education course at Chatfield -- one of many educational programs that have been eliminated because of budget cuts.
Think you've got it bad today? Times were much tougher during the Silver Panic, when families were large and "orphan trains"

brought more than 1,500 abandoned children to Denver from the overcrowded East. Some of the children handed over to the Denver Orphans' Home for safekeeping didn't survive bouts with pneumonia and diphtheria; 22 children who died at the home between 1890 and 1910 were buried in tiny, unmarked graves at Riverside. But those graves are unmarked no longer: Cliff Dougal, Riverside's office sales manager, was inspired by Lola Russell of the Northglenn Senior Center to raise $2,500 to pay for a granite memorial at the cemetery. That memorial, inscribed with the names of the orphans who died in Denver, was dedicated this past October.

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