Towering Imbroglio

On March 12, the pros and cons of putting a new broadcasting tower on Lookout Mountain, discussed in the current Message column, were debated by Jefferson County Commissioners for the umpteenth time. And as documented in this Denver Post article, these officials gave the project the go-ahead, just as they did in 2003 and 2004.

Granted, this move wasn't preceded by a great deal of suspense. Colorado senators Wayne Allard and Ken Salazar co-sponsored a bill passed during last year's lame-duck Congressional session that forced the commissioners' hands; it essentially allowed the Lake Cedar Group, which represents several Denver-area TV stations, to erect the tower no matter what nearby residents wanted. And while commissioners Kathy Hartman and Kevin McCasky acknowledged that the law usurped local control in interviews with Westword, neither wanted to waste precious resources on what might prove to be an expensive and futile court challenge.

Lake Cedar, which has already started putting up the tower, made a few conciliatory noises at the March 12 hearing, hinting that it will live up to its 2003 agreement to take down other structures once the new one is operational. However, there's still a case pending before District Judge Brooke Jackson that could put a crimp in the TV stations' plans -- and representatives of the City of Golden and Canyon Area Residents for the Environment (CARE), which have long opposed the tower scheme, insist that they're not ready to raise the white flag.

Expect the babble over the tower to continue. -- Michael Roberts