Best Student Untangling of the Web, on the Web

www.poorschool.com

As bad news about the St. Vrain Valley School District budget spilled out last fall, a group of Silver Creek High School students decided to help save their school district -- and also stem the flow of erroneous information. They set up the Web site www.poorschool.com, to "provide a medium through which accurate information is available and which can be used to preserve and broadcast the free speech of the people affected by the St. Vrain Valley School District budget crisis." That free speech includes jokes, rumor-busting and the sale of T-shirts -- complete with a poorschool.com logo and a red arrow -- to help replenish the student-activities fund. Give students Eric McIntyre, Mark Kelsic and Mitch Lubbers an A for effort.
Instead of requiring that minor criminal offenses be reported in person, the Denver Police Department now allows you to do it electronically, expanding on an earlier program that let residents report minor traffic accidents over the Web. To report a theft (not by force or burglary), car break-in (not auto theft), lost or stolen property, or vandalism of property or vehicle, simply fill out an online form and submit it to the DPD over the Internet. That gives officers more time to respond to true emergencies -- and it definitely removes a headache for the victim.


Instead of requiring that minor criminal offenses be reported in person, the Denver Police Department now allows you to do it electronically, expanding on an earlier program that let residents report minor traffic accidents over the Web. To report a theft (not by force or burglary), car break-in (not auto theft), lost or stolen property, or vandalism of property or vehicle, simply fill out an online form and submit it to the DPD over the Internet. That gives officers more time to respond to true emergencies -- and it definitely removes a headache for the victim.
Come Cinco de Mayo, check out the award-winning, tricked-out lowrider on Federal Boulevard -- the one with the red, white and blue lights on the top. That guy in uniform standing next to it isn't writing out a ticket; the lowered 1998 Ford Crown Victoria with hydraulic shocks and a trunkload of speakers is his squad car. Nash Gurule knows all about cruising, having perfected the art during his younger days on West 38th Avenue, before he joined the Denver Police Department. Now he uses that knowledge, and his custom-painted car, to bond with the cruising community.


Come Cinco de Mayo, check out the award-winning, tricked-out lowrider on Federal Boulevard -- the one with the red, white and blue lights on the top. That guy in uniform standing next to it isn't writing out a ticket; the lowered 1998 Ford Crown Victoria with hydraulic shocks and a trunkload of speakers is his squad car. Nash Gurule knows all about cruising, having perfected the art during his younger days on West 38th Avenue, before he joined the Denver Police Department. Now he uses that knowledge, and his custom-painted car, to bond with the cruising community.
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.


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.


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