Next time you hop on one of RTD's free mall shuttles, look at the odd seating arrangement: All of the seats are located on one side, and most riders are uncomfortably bunched together, shoulder to shoulder, in an effort to avoid sitting too close to less savory passengers. But look over there, on the passenger-loading side, next to the middle door: There's one single seat that's gloriously extra wide. Its expanse guarantees a comfortable ride, and its central location is perfect for keeping an eye and ear on everyone. Fair warning: These thrones are popular with germaphobes, fat-asses and people-watchers alike, and they're rarely vacant mid-mall. Your best bet for preferred seating is to board at the Union Station end of the line.
Anyone who'd ever been to the bus stop at Colfax and Logan knew that you could catch more than the number 15 there -- until local businesses paid to install cameras at the corner last year. Today you may still see a casual slip of the sack in exchange for some cash, but now the eye in the sky sees it, too.
With cameras documenting all of the action at Colfax and Logan and the State Capitol just two blocks west of there, Denver's crack crack dealers have moved east, to a nice, shady corner next to an unoccupied building at Pearl -- but far enough away from Office Depot so that the rock-roasters don't mistake pencil-pushers for potential buyers.
Nob Hill Inn
The drinking hour comes early to Nob Hill Inn, where the alcohol starts flowing at 8 a.m. and doesn't stop 'til 2 a.m. This Colfax dive welcomes all comers -- from day laborers on their way to work to night-shifters knocking back a quick one before bed. But it has a strict zero-tolerance policy for those folks involved in the brisk Colfax street-drug trade, which is why it blasts classical music from a speaker system mounted on the tavern's outside wall. Though classical music has been shown to increase brain activity in young children, it's apparently a powerful weapon in the war on drugs. Forget DARE: Nob Hill fights rock with Bach -- and Tchaikovsky, Mozart and Chopin.
E.B. Rains Park
Do you believe in power centers? No, not factory-outlet shopping malls, but those magical spots where cosmic energies concentrate to inspire human beings to create meaningful monuments? And no, still not shopping malls -- think of Stonehenge, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Parthenon and the Louvre. To that storied list you can now add the Sensory Playground at E.B. Rains Jr. Park in Northglenn, which features equipment designed for children of all physical abilities. This playground builds bodies as it builds community -- and those low, wide swings even invite seniors to join in the fun. The playground's enlightened entertainment has proven so popular, it can be tough to find a spot to park in this park.
If, as some say, God is in the details -- then surely Christ must be in the coiffures. What living creature doesn't want to look sharp for the Second Coming? To prepare your hair, start at Peggy's Barber Shop, 4382 South Broadway in Englewood, where the storefront signage reminds us that "Jesus is lord...Prince of Peace." Hair peace, we presume. Then, down the street at Waggin Tails Fur Parlor, five-foot tall, hand-painted fluorescent letters promise that "Jesus Is the Answer." What's the question again? Never mind, you're looking marvelous.
Although judges are cutting back on public access to information across Colorado, don't blame Karen Salaz. The public-information officer at the State Court Administrator's office, Salaz balances the individual's right to privacy with the public's right to know, supervising the placement of court documents online (at www.courts.state.co.us) and offering timely updates to the media. Her work on the Kobe Bryant case earned her the Jean Otto Friend of Freedom Award last May from the Colorado Freedom of Information Council, but Salaz's dedication to less glamorous daily drudgery is what makes her a friend to all Coloradans.
RegretTheError.com, a website devoted to commemorating journalism's greatest mistakes, had plenty of worthy candidates to choose from when determining its correction of the year for 2005. In the end, however, the site's scolds couldn't resist saluting a simultaneously offensive and ridiculous item corrected in the July 27 edition of the Denver Daily News: "The Denver Daily News would like to offer a sincere apology for a typo in Wednesday's Town Talk regarding New Jersey's proposal to ban smoking in automobiles," the blurb read. "It was not the author's intention to call New Jersey 'Jew Jersey.'" Oy vey!
In a January piece about a town in which cell phones don't work, the Denver Post's Rich Tosches quoted a resident as follows: "Sometimes I actually forget that I even have a cell phone. It just (word meaning 'vacuum-like function')." Just what was that resident saying? That it just Hoovers? Just Eurekas? Dirt Devils? Such prudy-pants substitutions really suck.
Stephen Meade was once known as Willie B. Hung, and although he eventually dropped the last portion of this anatomical moniker, he still earned a reputation as the biggest dick on the Denver airwaves, thanks to a pair of criminal convictions a few years back (for participating in an ill-advised chicken toss and leading a four-wheel-drive excursion on private land). No one would have mistaken Willie for executive material back then, yet the folks at Clear Channel-Denver named him program director of KBPI anyhow -- and since assuming the post, he's kept up the ratings at his hard-rocking station without hitting the rocks himself. Hung is up, and likely to stay that way.

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