Off Limits

It looked like eight angels had descended from heaven and landed in front of the Beauvallon, of all places. For a week, the eight-foot-tall Carrera marble sculptures gazed upon the fancy loft/retail project and all the traffic passing by on Lincoln Street, plucking their lyres and waiting for rapture. Meanwhile, members of the Beauvallon sales staff were just waiting to find out what the hell the statues were doing there. "I wish I knew," sighed one. "They just appeared on the lawn, like, nine days ago. People keep coming by and putting signs on them. One said, ŒI'm a tomato,' I guess because they're outside Wholly Tomato. Another woman came and put something up about commercialism -- I don't know, some radical stuff."

A call to the project developer, BCN Development, didn't illuminate the situation any further. On Monday, all a certain BCN employee named Yianni could offer Off Limits was this: "The reason they're out there is because the truck was too tall to fit in the garage. But they'll be gone tomorrow."

Gone where?

"Very far away."

Do they belong to someone in the building?

"I don't know any more than that."

So you know that they're leaving, but not how eight angels came to reside in front of your development?

"Are you going to use my name?"

Yes. Can you spell it for us?

"Are you going to make me look good or bad?"

We leave all judgments up to fallen angels.

On Tuesday, when the angels took off for points unknown, Yianni called back with an update. Turns out the statues are for sale, but they must go in sets of four. Sounds like a heavenly deal.

What's in a name? The same day it was reported that serial rapist Brent Brents had told police he'd committed as many as ten more sexual assaults in the Denver area, another brazen sexual assault was reportedly perpetrated by another unfortunately named suspect. On February 25, a 43-year-old male named Blakey Blake allegedly threatened a female acquaintance with a knife inside a house near Curtis Park. According to police records, Blake then raped and sodomized the victim, who fled after the assault. The victim did not report the crime until the next day; Blake, described as having a bald head and an unshaven face, remains at large.

Future parents, remember this tale of two perps when considering tagging your boy child with a redundant moniker. You might as well name the kid Rapist Rapist. Or Life Sentence.

Scene and herd: Last weekend's memorial to Hunter S. Thompson was private, but a squad of local fans will celebrate the good doctor's life very, very publicly this Saturday with a float in Denver's St. Patrick's Day Parade. The executive committee of the Fantastic Hosts promises "a mobile wake for an American icon, literary genius, outlaw journalist and a man who could outdrink Sinatra on a bad day. Our theme is Freak Power. Everybody on the Gonzo Express can get a little extra nutty in the good doctor's name, and nobody will dare challenge our tribute to this American legend." Certainly not usŠ The greening of Denver commences on March 10, when Wazee Street is officially renamed Tooley Street, after late, great Denver district attorney Dale Tooley. But don't look for the City and County Building to follow suit. Although Heart Awareness Month -- which the city commemorated in February by changing all the bulbs on the tower -- is long past, the building remains the largest red-light district this side of Colfax.

On the Record

Mike Miles is back at his desk as assistant superintendent of schools in Fountain, while Ken Salazar, the man who defeated him in the Democratic primary last year, is now sitting at his desk in the U.S. Senate. But Miles -- or at least his cadre of ardent supporters -- has secured a belated victory. After orchestrating one of the only large-scale Democratic wins in the country, Chris Gates was ousted as Colorado Democratic Party chair last Saturday, losing by three votes to Miles supporter Pat Waak. Gates is going the full Gore, demanding a recount -- but in the meantime, Off Limits asked Miles to teach us a few things about Democratic upsets.

Q: What direction would you like to see the state party go under Pat Waak's leadership?

A: Toward the end of the last campaign cycle, there were a lot of groups that cropped up -- activist groups -- in Colorado and around the country, and we will either have duplication of effort or we'll have synergy. I'm hoping Pat Waak can tap the energy of these various groups and bring cohesion to the message. It may seem like there's more controversy or rancor for the moment, but if we step back and we look at political engagement by ordinary folks, it's definitely up. That's a good thing for democracy. As a former civics teacher, I sometimes wring my hands at the lack of political engagement. Even if it's going to cause some people to have heated discussions, it's not a bad thing.

Q: Is Waak's takeover a result of the party not backing you in the primary last year?

A: That's overplayed, overstated. I do think people are looking forward, and the real story is that what's going on in Colorado just mirrors what's going on nationally. The same questions were raised over Howard Dean taking over the Democratic National Committee. All these arguments about going too far to the left, if the left can keep a cohesive message.

Q: When the Democrats scored so well in November, is this the time to be changing things at headquarters?

A: I think it's a question of what the party needs going forward. It's about the future, not about past deeds. The key characteristic we need right now is bridge-building. Unifying the party. My sense is that Pat Waak is the person who can do that.

Q: What's the biggest issue Waak will face as the new party chair?

A: Finding the right message. I don't think we are strong on that, and as a group, we're going to have to figure out what that message should be going forward. That's no easy task, given that you have a lot of these activist groups that have cropped up, and a lot more engagement from the grassroots. It's a two-edged sword: On the one hand, the activism helps with the mobilization; on the other hand, you could have a splintered or diffused message.

Q: Will you consider running for office again?

A: Down the road, but not in the near future. I've got to get my career back on track. I have my family, a young family, so I have to maintain some stability for them. I also have to get my savings back up, which I ruined over the last three years.

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