Here's Why Each New DIA Train Message Costs the City $1,500

Denver International Airport
Don't delay the departure of this train!
For more than a decade, the trains ran on time at Denver International Airport with no more than a few bossy reminders from Pete Smythe and Reynelda Muse that "you are delaying the departure of this train." After those two personalities exited Denver (Smythe to his final reward, Muse to work out of state), their voices were replaced with those of the anonymous Alan Roach and Adele Arakawa. And when then-mayor John Hickenlooper added a welcome message to the mix, he didn't even identify himself -- until a few carpers pointed out that it was silly to have the mayor tell travelers where to pick up their bags without mentioning that he was mayor.

Mayor Michael Hancock has not been nearly as reticent, even though there's a $1,500 charge for each new message.

See also: Seven new DIA train greetings Michael Hancock should record

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What's Your Favorite Place in Denver? The City Wants to Know
Photo by Brandon Marshall.
Red Rocks is always a crowd pleaser.
What's your favorite place in Denver? This morning the Denver Department of Community Planning and Development -- whose office is definitely not the favorite place of people applying for building permits and zoning variances -- launched the Favorite Place in Denver campaign, part of an attempt to "launch a citywide conversation about placemaking and city-building." Send your answer to the city by the end of September and you might win tickets to Red Rocks -- which is bound to score high when the responses are tallied. Not that this is a contest, mind you. It's a lovefest.

See also: Fifty Photos That Show Red Rocks Is the Most Beautiful Venue on the Planet

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Cold War Patriots wants to honor former Rocky Flats workers...if it can find them

The Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant -- did you work here?
"In honor of your service at Rocky Flats," proclaimed the message on the outside of an envelope from Cold War Patriots. And inside, a personalized letter announced that "a commemorative coin has been designed to honor you as a former Rocky Flats worker and celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Cold War."

A nice gesture, but there was just one problem: The Centennial resident who received the envelope never worked at the Rocky Flats nuclear-weapons plant, the facility sixteen miles upwind of Denver that produced plutonium triggers for nuclear bombs from the early '50s until 1989. In fact, he didn't even live in Colorado until two years ago.

See also: The secrets of Rocky Flats won't stay buried forever

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Boulder County Clerk isn't horsing around with same-sex license deadline

County Clerk Hillary Hall, seen in a 7News image, is carrying on a Boulder tradition. More photos and three documents below.
Update below: Since the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals handed down its ruling on June 25 invalidating Utah's ban on same-sex marriage, Boulder County Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall has been issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples -- seventy at last count. But Colorado Attorney General John Suthers questions whether the clerk has the legal authority to issue the licenses and had given that office a noon deadline today to stop or face further legal action.

This is not the first time that the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder has issued same-sex licenses.

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The Clinton Global Initiative is coming to town, but PeaceJam has already gone global
2014 French Select/Getty Images
PeaceJam's Ivan Suvanjieff and Dawn Engle with Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
This week I told the remarkable story of PeaceJam, the Colorado-based non-profit that a down-and-out Denver artist was inspired to start after the Summer of Violence. From those unlikely beginnings, PeaceJam has grown to a powerhouse that includes thirteen Nobel Peace Prize laureates on its board and hosts activities around the globe, including the debut of a documentary on Archbishop Desmond Tutu in Monte Carlo early this month. As the fourth annual Clinton Global Initiative America comes to Denver this weekend, it's a good time to remember that hometown heroes can have an international impact, too.

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Jefferson Parkway -- and Rocky Flats land swap -- still stalled in Colorado appeals court

Looking down on the future route of the Jefferson Parkway from Rocky Flats.
"Rocky Flats Then and Now: 25 Years After the Raid," a three-day panel at the Arvada Center this past weekend that coincided with the 25th anniversary of the FBI's raid on the former nuclear weapons plant, raised more questions than it answered. One of the stumpers: What's the status of the Jefferson Parkway?

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Play ball! Homeless Diamond back for a fourth season of Tuesday games

Last Tuesday was a lovely morning for a softball game -- sunny, with no clouds on the horizon. Not in the sky, and not involving the status of Sonny Lawson Field, where the Homeless Diamond was about to begin its fourth season. It was a much more auspicious start to developer/do-gooder/baseball fan Joe Carabello's pet project than last summer, when a renovation project at the field was behind schedule, bogged down by bureaucracy and spring rains, and the start of the games had to be postponed for weeks while the work was finished.

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DIA parking: Beware the disappearing Mt. Elbert lot!

In that ballooning budget for Denver International Airport's expansion, do you think officials could find a little extra cash for some signage?

Zooming to DIA two Fridays ago for a one-way flight to Durango (where I was meeting family for a road trip back to Denver), flashing temporary signs outside the full Pikes Peak lot directed me -- as well as many others -- to the remote Mt. Elbert lot. Two days later, when I was getting dropped at DIA so that I could retrieve my car, I suddenly realized that I had no idea how to get to Mt. Elbert. Although I'd parked there many times before, I'd always followed the temporary signs -- and those had disappeared during my two-day absence.

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National Western Complex, Convention Center: Changes likely under new study

The future Stock Show light-rail stop along the "Corridor of Opportunity."
Three years ago next month, Denver suddenly woke up to the realization that it could lose the National Western Stock Show -- maybe to another city, maybe to that upstart Aurora and its proposed Gaylord Entertainment hotel -- an $800 million, Western-themed hotel and entertainment complex by Denver International Airport with more than 400,000 feet of conference space -- about a third the amount at the current downtown Colorado Convention Center.

Despite an ownership change and a couple of pesky legal actions, Aurora's Gaylord complex is still on track -- but it won't be rustling the Stock Show. In November 2012, Mayor Michael Hancock announced that the National Western would be staying in Denver ,where it happens to have a long-term lease. And today, Denver unveiled the results of a $272,000 feasibility study looking not just at the future of the National Western Stock Show Complex, but also the Colorado Convention Center.

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Denver decides against Washington Park beer ban

Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown's newsletter will be a little late today. That's because when the Mayor's office learned that Brown was about to break the news that the city had decided against a temporary alcohol ban in Washington Park, located in Brown's district, the city moved up a planned press conference to announce the steps it's taking to deal with problems in the park to 2:30 p.m. today. But while the press conference is taking place a day early, the announcement is actually coming two weeks later than the Denver Department of Parks and Recreation had initially promised.

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