Off Limits

Gail force: If it worked for fearless leader Roy Romer, why wouldn't it work for his lieutenant? A dozen years ago, before then-state treasurer Romer ran for governor, he got a makeover from image maven Jo Farrell, who told him to ditch the heavy glasses and absent-minded-professor hairdo (and then proceeded to tell the rest of the world about her efforts). Now word is that Lieutenant Governor Gail Schoettler, who's trying for her boss's seat in 1998, may be in line for an image overhaul--something that might make her a little less reminiscent of the Beverly Hillbillies' Miss Jane Hathaway. (Oddly, the woman who played the stiff bank secretary, Nancy Kulp, made her own run at politics, sinking her life's savings into an unsuccessful 1984 campaign for the Pennsylvania House.) Schoettler will have to be in fighting form to vanquish a trio of Republican opponents: current treasurer Bill Owens (a choirboy Milburn Drysdale), state Senate president Tom Norton (Jethro?), and House leader Chuck Berry (Jed Clampett incarnate).

In addition to the more obvious hairdo/makeup choices, props can also prove handy political tools. More than anything else, that bomber jacket transformed Roy; sneakers transported Wellington Webb right into Denver's City Hall. Accessorize those with a Ben Nighthorse Campbell-inspired ponytail and Harley, and Schoettler's got all the bases covered. Just skip the sagging jeans--they didn't do anything for the last Republican gubernatorial candidate, Bruce Benson, except make him the butt of numerous jokes.

But Schoettler's not the only face in the Democratic crowd; she may face competition from Senate Minority Leader Mike Feeley. The mere suggestion that Feeley might run has already caused one shakeup, at KCFR-FM. Worried about a possible conflict of interest, KCFR managers told reporter and Feeley fiancee Leslie Dahlkemper that she'd have to move off the air and behind the scenes. Instead, Dahlkemper, a polished pro, moved out of the station entirely last week.

Pol in the family: The July 3 Rocky Mountain News pronounced that the "Tourism Board Enjoys New Vitality." That could be because the head of the state board, Senator Tillie Bishop, is apparently enjoying a new sexual orientation: The paper labeled the Grand Junction lawmaker and longtime male a "chairwoman." Hey, just because you don't circulate outside the Front Range doesn't mean you don't have to get it right. At least Mayor Webb's office caught its own gender-bending mistake in an already-distributed press release announcing a new director of administration for general services: Louis--make that Lois--Court. Ms. Court replaces Fabby Hillyard, who replaces Joyce Oberfeld as head of the Mayor's Office of Art, Culture and Film.

May the farce be with you: A Thornton couple checked into St. Anthony's Hospital over the weekend complaining of out-of-this-world nausea and rashes--caused, they claimed, when they were sprayed by a UFO while driving across Utah.

A Clear Creek County deputy first spotted the pair after they'd pulled their car over to the side of the road. Kande Barnes explained to the deputy that her husband, Daniel, was sick to his stomach and that both were covered with strange rashes that appeared after an alien spaceship sprayed a white substance on their car. The deputy took both Barneses to St. Anthony's. But soon after they were admitted, the couple--rashes and all--left the hospital. Although the staff hadn't gotten the chance to check them out thoroughly for alien toxins, a hospital doctor assured the Lakewood police that the two were in no danger and posed no danger to others.

When the Barneses went to retrieve their car, a Lakewood officer showed up at the scene. That's when Daniel confessed that he'd driven his wife past an Air Force base to frighten her--and had gotten more than he bargained for. "He said they were there at night and the jets were taking off in the dark, producing a lot of dust," the officer noted. As for the alien ship spewing goo? "We think it was a crop duster," says Lakewood police spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough.

There was no report on whether the couple's trip took them through Roswell, New Mexico.

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