Best Political Spinner — Left 2008 | | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
An outgrowth of the Rocky Mountain Progressive Network, and its sister site,, have been burrs under the conservative saddle for several years, and if Michael Huttner and his cohorts have their way, the ride will become increasingly uncomfortable as Election Day nears. The group's approach, which combines grassroots organizing with action plans targeting right-wing candidates and causes, has proven so effective that it's being employed by numerous emulators around the country, and ProgressCon, a gathering of left-leaning bloggers and other activists planned in conjunction with the Democratic National Convention, should spread the word even further afield. Progress, indeed.
The fact that Dick Wadhams still has a viable political career shows just how good he is at engineering comebacks. In 2006, Wadhams oversaw one of the Republicans' most disastrous campaigns, the re-election crusade of Virginia's George Allen, whose unexpected loss — fueled in part by Allen's use of an obscure racial slur, "macaca" — handed the Democrats the majority in the U.S. Senate for the first time in years. But Wadhams soon rose again, first as head of the Colorado Republican Party — a spot from which he can battle his ideological enemies on a national as well as a local level, thanks to the Dems' decision to locate their nominating convention in Denver in August — and now doing double duty as head of Bob Schaffer's campaign for the Senate. As lefties know, this Dick can take a beating without retreating.
Nerf isn't just the knowledgeable jock manning the boards during KTCL's weekday afternoon-drive shift; as the station's program director, he's also the music lover behind the decision to add local acts to the regular playlist rather than limit them to a Sunday-evening slot. On the surface, this decision doesn't seem like such a noble act of bravery. But in the commercial-radio world, where taking risks is virtually verboten, it's a bold step that's paid dividends — not just to KTCL, but to the entire scene, as more and more Colorado bands get signed, from the Fray to Single File, Meese and Tickle Me Pink, with the Flobots coming up fast. These groups, along with local music fans, owe Nerf a debt of gratitude.
Back in 1998, before it was subsumed by Clear Channel, Jacor wound up with one more station than it could keep under FCC rules. Instead of holding a fire sale, execs donated it to the University of Colorado at Boulder, which up until then had made do with a school radio station that broadcast to the dorms using carrier current. A decade later, Radio 1190 is a station worthy of celebrating, with a reach that goes far outside of CU and even Boulder. It's an oasis of exciting music, creative programming and community support in a desert of corporate mediocrity. Happy tenth, and may there be many more anniversaries to follow.
Yeah, this award usually goes to yakkers who specialize in news, not sports. But Sandy Clough, who's ridden Denver airwaves for a generation, is every bit as entertaining and incisive as any of the talk-show hosts who focus on allegedly more "serious" subjects. And even his most outrageous opinions are carefully considered rather than tossed out as mere spurs to conversation. Bottom line, Clough not only talks a good game, but he can back up what he says — and that's extremely rare in any form of talk radio.
Join us in raising a glass to state senator Jennifer Veiga of Denver, for proposing the repeal of Colorado's longtime ban on Sunday liquor sales. The measure not only made it through both houses (it's currently awaiting Governor Bill Ritter's signature), but lawmakers even moved up its effective date to July 1. And so, on July 6, 2008, thirsty consumers could finally be able to rest easy on the purported day of rest — and purchase full-strength alcohol at liquor stores across the state. The continued existence of Colorado's teetotaling blue laws had long mystified residents and visitors alike, who had to remember to secure their wine, whiskey and wheat brews by midnight Saturday or else settle for a case of crappy 3.2 beer from the supermarket on Sunday. While a second bill that would have let grocers enter the alcohol market died, now that drinkers have gotten a taste of libation liberty, they could soon be demanding the whole bottle. Drink up!

Best Route Between Downtown and North Denver — After 11 P.M.

20th Street

It's late at night, you've had a few too many to drink downtown, and if you're smart enough to leave your car in LoDo, then you're also smart enough to steer clear of the narrow, dark sidewalk that runs along 15th Street over I-25. So how to get home? Pick up 20th Street at Wazee and stagger past Coors Field, over the train tracks and the highway, and emerge on the other side at Central. (If you've been drinking in Highland, do the reverse.) An added benefit of this clean, well-lighted route is the view it affords of the Denver Skatepark — as long as watching all those spinning wheels doesn't send you spinning, too.

Best Route Between Downtown and North Denver — Before 11 P.M.

Highland Pedestrian Bridge

When a new, $8 million pedestrian bridge opened over I-25 at what would be 16th Street, it seemed to offer a quick, safe way for people to move between downtown — via LoDo, the Millennium Bridge and the Platte Valley — and Highland, at the edge of north Denver. But the convenience of the bridge comes to a crashing halt at 11 p.m., because the route runs through public parks in the Platte Valley — and Denver curfew rules close the parks at that hour.
Mega-developer Forest City was not interested in preserving historic architecture as it built out its new-urbanist fantasy on the site of the old Stapleton airport. But that put Forest City on a collision course with preservationists over the fate of Hangar #61, which was designed by the premier mid-century architectural firm of Fisher, Fisher and Davis. Constructed in 1959 to shelter the corporate plane of the Ideal Basic Cement Company, the little hangar is an expressionist wonder, with a set of four intersecting hyperbolic arches carried out in thin-shell concrete. And now future generations will be able to enjoy it, because at the end of last year — and after years of efforts spearheaded by artist David Walter — Colorado Preservation took over ownership of the building with the promise to stabilize it and to find the best future use for it.

Best Show of Dignity From a Newly Convicted Felon

Don Vito Margera

It wasn't a happy Halloween for Vincent "Don Vito" Margera, a fixture on the MTV series Viva La Bam. Despite the legal assistance of Pamela Mackey, the attorney who helped Kobe Bryant skate away from a trial in Eagle County, on October 31 Margera received two guilty verdicts in relation to a 2006 incident at Colorado Mills — and upon learning of his fate, he let loose with an epic tantrum. According to a Rocky Mountain News account, he hit the floor screaming lines like this: "Jesus! I can't spend the rest of my fucking life in jail! Just fucking kill me now!" Margera was eventually helped to his feet, but left behind a memento of his reaction — a miniature Hershey's candy bar. Sweet reaction, dude.

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