Best New Law 2010 | No Texting While Driving | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

How tweet it is! Since December, it's been illegal to use a cell phone to text or send e-mail while driving — and for drivers under eighteen, it's now illegal to use a cell phone at all while driving. "Today drivers will have to start breaking a bad habit," said Governor Bill Ritter. Now, about using that cell phone while on a bicycle...

When Stacey Donaldson came to Channel 31 six years ago, her naughty-librarian look immediately won fans. And those fans are still crying over Donaldson's ouster from Channel 4, where she moved to the morning show three years ago — before being let loose in February. Despite her minxish looks, Donaldson offered up her weather report with a minimum of shtick.

Perched in a quiet garden above the chaotic exchange where Federal Boulevard and West Sixth Avenue meet I-25, the Mother of Our Lord has the mother of all views. The small statue stands with bowed head beneath a stately pine tree in a grotto near the rectory of the Presentation of Our Lady Catholic School and parish. Though she is slightly turned away from the photogenic view of the city, she does look over the busy exchange, a position that may help in the speedier delivery of prayers for commuters negotiating the tangle of roadways.

Like a suitcase stored between vacations, the A.E. Meek Trunk and Baggage Company Building sits empty, waiting for its next big adventure. And like an antique steamer trunk, the structure is decorated with stylish graphics commemorating its passage through time. The storefront sign replicates the century-old script originally used by the suitcase seller, while the alley sign is a genuine vintage metal-and-neon masterpiece of a now-lost Denver. Although the neon has been pulled off, the original paint and deco-moderne styling still shine, illuminating how the color and fashion trends of a bygone era have come almost full circle. The next time you visit downtown to see the sights, take a side trip through the alley between Stout and California streets to view a true treasure.

Over the years, Survivor has gone to a lot of exotic places: Borneo, the Amazon River region of Brazil, the Pearl Islands. By choosing outer space as its next location and putting the cast of contenders on a decommissioned space shuttle, Survivor executive producer Mark Barnett could simultaneously save the space program and send Richard Heene exactly where so many would like to see him go. Off the planet. Let's do it for the show!

There is, admittedly, slim competition in this category. Perhaps because they're too busy doing stuff out in the real world, Denverites don't produce an overwhelming number of consistent, competent blogs. But even if the crowd is meager, ColoradoPols stands out, with its constant stream of smart, in-the-know insights into the local and statewide political scenes. Whether it's breaking news, commenting on it or just synthesizing the work of other journalists, Pols injects each post with a sense of authority and writes with just enough attitude to make the blog readable without being annoying.

It was uncomfortable to watch Dave Fraser have to perform his job without the suit and tie that's the uniform of most professional weathercasters. It was like watching a man with his zipper down. But now that Channel 2 has dumped the hip Deuce concept, Fraser is free to tie one on.

The official title is "Left-handed Hummingbird," but there is nary a bird in sight in this mural of mother and child sur­rounded by corn stalks and purple fingernails. Borrowing from ancient Aztec and modern art-deco design mo­tifs, the mural is named for Uhzilopochtli, the warrior and Aztec deity. The imagery pays homage to its south-facing position, since that's the direction of the warrior who holds the center for growth, energy and creation; it is also the place of the child, music, poetry and art. All of this is amazingly illustrated by Denver's most talented and under-appreciated mural artist, David Ocelotl Garcia. The artwork was commissioned by the Sisters of Color United for Education and strikes the perfect balance between an artist's skill and a community organiza­tion's mission.

A concrete retaining wall separates customers from businesses in the Washington/Virginia Vale neighborhood. This cozy residential area centered on South Ivy Street and East Virginia Avenue lies on a hill overlooking shops located along Leetsdale Drive. But to get to Santiago's or Starbucks, cravers of tacos and lattes either had to jump in their cars or venture several blocks out of their way to cross the steep, sloping divide. In the spirit of harmony, residents and business owners joined together to build the Great Staircase, a secret trade route behind Santiago's that fosters peace through better economic relations. But please, as the stairway sign urges, do not leave trash or make loud noises.

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