Aurora Offers West Nile Access and an Eye-Full

"Lifeguards Win Right to Bare Legs," reads the headline over a Bill Scanlon article in the June 27 Rocky Mountain News. The story is about the abolition of an unpopular rule put in place by Aurora city officials that required lifeguards to wear long pants while working at the Aurora Reservoir.

"What? Long pants for lifeguards?" you query. "What’s next? Speedos for Alaskan sled-dog racers?"

I know. I was confused, too. Until I read on to discover that the rule was instituted to protect the lifeguards from the freakin’ West Nile virus, which was apparently found in freakin’ mosquito larvae next to the freakin’ swimming beach!!!

Scanlon quotes Jenna Baker, special projects coordinator for Aurora Parks and Recreations, as saying, "We’re not going to require them to wear long pants anymore. We found that there are equally effective ways to protect them from West Nile Virus." She adds, "The safety of our employees comes first."

Umm… that’s really sweet, Jenna. But what about the safety of all those cute, little kids splashing around in your West Nile virus water? Any concerns there? Or no? Am I out of line? I’m out of line, aren’t I? West Nile, Schmest Nile, right? The kids will be fine. They’re resilient little buggers.

Anyway, I suppose something had to give. I applaud the city’s decision to rethink their "long pants on the beach" policy. Imagine Baywatch if Pamela Anderson and David Charvet had been forced to cover it up. That would’ve been tragic. So, obviously, the City of Aurora is making the right decision. I mean, you can’t very well expect people to go to a beach where they've got a chance to contract West Nile and don't give them the chance to ogle the firm beach bodies of the nineteen-year-old saviours in waiting. That would just be bad manners. -- Steve Burge

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts