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Panorama:Obsession Disorder

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Mile-High Headlines for Tuesday, September 23

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DVD Portraying Radical Islam Fans Divisive Flames

Newspaper readers in 70 cities around the nation, including The Denver Post, received on Sunday a 60-minute film, “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West.” The film, denounced by a Muslim group in Lakewood as “hate speech,” was part of a national ad campaign by the Clarion Fund, according to the Post, a New York-based nonprofit that claims to educate Americans about national security issues. The 2005 film by Raphael Shore, which was shown on Fox News just prior to 2006 midterm elections, claims that as many as 15 percent of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims are radical Islamists, drawing parallels between Muslim countries and Nazi Germany. The Denver Newspaper Agency, which sells ads for the Post, cited freedom of speech in its decision to deliver the DVDs, saying such ads are okay so long as the buyer is clearly identified. Imam Ibrahim Kazerooni of the Islamic Center of Al-Beit in Lakewood wondered whether the newspapers would have accepted ads had the DVD been “anti-Semitic.” The ads appeared to target swing states in the presidential election, according to Editor & Publisher magazine. The Daily Camera, Centennial Citizen, Fort Collins Coloradoan, Colorado Springs Gazette, and Greeley Tribune were all slated to deliver the supplement, according to the Post.

Caldara Offers to Drop Amendment 49

Nice try, Jon, nice try. But if you think Governor Bill Ritter will rescind last year’s executive order allowing unions to represent state workers who face contract negotiations, you are mistaken. That’s how Jon Caldara’s offer to withdraw Amendment 49 from the November ballot ended yesterday, according to the Denver Business Journal. Caldara, of the libertarian-minded Independence Institute think tank, based in Golden, is pushing the statewide amendment, which would prevent governments from deducting union dues, among other fees, from workers’ paychecks. Caldara, who called a press conference at the Capitol yesterday, chided the governor as he announced his “withdrawal terms.” But it didn’t work. Evan Dreyer, a spokesman for Ritter, called Caldara’s offer a “stunt” and said that the governor declined it, according to the Rocky Mountain News.

Seems Lottery Payouts Are Just Too High

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Something about the state’s audit of the Colorado Lottery just doesn’t feel right–even if the odds of winning the jackpot are about as remote as Ralph Nader becoming president (if not slightly better). The audit, released yesterday, found that the lottery is paying out too much money and keeping too little for programs such as the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund and the Colorado Conservation Trust Fund, according to the Rocky Mountain News. Sixty percent of Colorado Lottery sales go to prizes, ranking Colorado 11 out of the 43 states that operate lotteries in terms of paying awards. And the state ranks high–fourth–when it comes to providing retailers compensation for their participation. As such, auditors recommended that lottery officials reevaluate the structure of what it pays out and what it keeps, which shall be done, according to the Denver Business Journal.

Posh Parking Meters for Denver?

Forget hoping that that gooey dime you retrieved from your cup holder to feed the parking meter will see you through when you know, deep down inside, that only two quarters will do. Whip out your credit card instead. You’ll be able to do that in parts of downtown and Cherry Creek if city leaders give the go-ahead to a pilot program for 150 fancy parking meters that accept both coins and credit/debit cards, according to the Rocky Mountain News. Think of it as one less weapon in the arsenal of those nasty Jeep-driving parking inspectors in their never-ending quest to ruin your day. The meters are even solar-powered and have sensors to let the city know when they’re full of coins. Mayor John Hickenlooper and the city council will be asked to sign off on the proposal today. With such ease of paying, let’s hope Hickenlooper won’t support any ideas to raise parking fees (not that it’s on the table). After all, he once said, “parking meters were not designed to be a revenue generator.”

Chipotle Looking for New Image-Maker

Something bad has gone down between Denver-based Chipotle and New York-based DeVito/Verdi advertising agency–although it isn’t clear what. What is clear is that Chipotle wants a new advertising firm and will take its $15-$20 million business elsewhere, according to Advertising Age. Chipotle CEO Steve Ells says, via press release, that the new agency will “play an important role of communicating our mission of changing the way the world thinks about and eats fast food.” Chipotle, which boasts many organic ingredients and natural meats, has grown from a regional chain to more than 775 restaurants and is seeking to devise a national advertising strategy that “jibes with the grass-roots credentials that built its following,” Ad Age writes. Prior to DeVito/Verdi, Chipotle worked with Boulder’s TDA Advertising & Design.

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Leopold Shines During Burgundy-and-White Match

Last night, Jordan Leopold, the 28-year-old Avalanche defenseman acquired two years ago from Calgary in a trade deal that sent Alex Tanguay to the Flames, scored two goals and had two assists. The Avs season didn’t suddenly start while you were dusting off your Broncos jersey. They were challenging themselves in the annual White versus Burgundy intra-squad game. It was interesting to see what Leopold can do; he’s “spent a lot more time in the medical room than on the ice” since joining the Avs, notes the Rocky Mountain News.

National Interest in CU

Fox Sports Net has picked up the rights to televise the University of Colorado’s October 4 game versus the University of Texas at Folsom Field, The Denver Post reports. The team has been on a roll, as evidenced by place-kicker Aric Goodman’s listing as the Big 12 Conference special-teams player of the week. Goodman, of Cherry Creek High School, scored the game-winning field goal in overtime against West Virginia last week, earning a scholarship from the team.

Pollster: Who is to blame for the problems facing financial institutions and Wall Street: Republicans or Democrats? A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey found that 47 percent of registered voters think Republicans are more responsible. Just 24 percent said Democrats are more responsible, 20 percent blame both parties, and 8 percent blame neither party.

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Cheapest Gallon of Gas ‘Round Here: $3.38, Western Convenience, 10515 South Parker Road (via www.gasbuddy.com).

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