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

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