This Is Your Country on Drugs … Er, Oil

Legendary oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens, Number 207 on Forbes‘ list of the 400 richest Americans, received a standing ovation from the Colorado Oil & Gas Association during a luncheon in Denver Thursday, after presenting a plan meant to wean Americans off imported oil. Pickens is on tour as part of a $58 million advertising blitz for his new plan to end the nation’s $700-billion-a-year thirst for foreign oil, according to the Denver Business Journal. The nation’s dependence on outside oil is “similar to being on drugs,” he’s quoted as saying in the Rocky Mountain News. Pickens, who is eager to sit down with presumptive Republican and Democratic presidential nominees John McCain and Barack Obama, went on to say that more vehicles should convert to using natural gas while the nation’s electric grid uses more wind power: “The answer is wind.” Pickens’ plan seems to be generating interest at, which received some 170,000 hits in its first two days, according to the Denver Post. In an interview with Fast Company last month, Pickens addressed accusations of conflicts of interest in addition to his renewable enlightenment.

Fear Factors Into Missing Millionaire’s Case

Thirty-six-year-old businessman Steven Thomas, creator of Webroot Software Inc. in Boulder, thinks everyone in Hawaii is “out to get him,” his wife, Candis Thomas, tells the Honolulu Star Bulletin. “He thinks the military is involved, he thinks that aliens are involved, and he’s just been in a real delusion state of being fearful.” Mr. Thomas, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, has been missing since June 30, when he was last seen by family members at a hotel in Waikiki. Mrs. Thomas notes that her husband’s problems began around April 27, when he was arrested after running around naked in his Lanikai neighborhood. A few days before his disappearance, she says she became worried when he stood on a balcony, noting that it was not high enough “for what I need to do.” The Thomas’ were preparing to move to a home in Boulder, where in 2004, Mr. Thomas sold Webroot Software, known for its program Spy Sweeper, for about $108 million. Kevin Thomas, Mr. Thomas’ twin brother, told the Daily Camera his sibling “thought the government was doing some kind of mind control; he thought the aliens were after him.”

Clark Plays Quarterback

All sorts of headlines about Greeley Mayor Ed Clark are lighting up the Internet today. (He “needs to set a better example;” he’s on  “leave from [his] day job” as a special investigator for the Weld County District Attorney’s Office at a time when there’s still “no decision on charges against” him.) The Larimer County District Attorney’s Office is looking into whether Clark should be charged, after he allegedly tackled a 15-year-old boy last month. On June 23, Clark, a former Greeley police officer, pulled the teen from his motorcycle when the teen refused to get off the bike, wrestling him to the ground and stating it was a citizen’s arrest. The boy’s father, Tim Stitt, is outraged and says the dispute was “over an apparent incident between the youth and Clark’s wife,” according to the Denver Post. Clark has been issued a temporary restraining order, and the standing of that order is expected to be reviewed by a court on July 28.

The Media Mass Hole

More than 15,000 members of the media will descend upon Denver to document the excitement surrounding the the Democratic National Convention next month. And that’s not counting bloggers, according to the Denver Post. If true, that’s more than three times the number of delegates expected to arrive. “While Denver almost certainly will get a flattering closeup, don’t expect scads of exposure on the broadcast networks. The political conventions are increasingly covered online and by cable news networks as the major broadcast networks scale back the primetime hours devoted to what amount to political infomercials,” the Post writes. Politico reports that television networks will curtail coverage of the DNC because Obama will give his acceptance speech at Invesco Field at Mile High instead of the Pepsi Center. The networks, of course, are still planning to cover the major speeches but are looking for savings now that events will be divided between the 76,000-seat football stadium and the smaller Pepsi Center. Meanwhile, all the hoopla has put off many everyday downtowners, resulting in a PR campaign by Mayor John Hickenlooper, who fears downtown will turn into a “ghost town,” according to Fox31.

Credit Scam

It wasn’t a rogue police officer who threatened, via an alarming anonymous e-mail, to “beat down” antiwar activists at the upcoming Democratic National Convention. It was an artist who, speaking to Westword on the condition of anonymity, sought to “inspire conversation, not violence.” It also “struck” the artist “as something that was kind of funny,” although activists aren’t laughing and say they will file a complaint with police.

Phone Home, But Not Until Next Year

Plans to place a measure on the November ballot that would create an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission are going to be delayed one year, according to backer Jeff Peckman, 54, who’s quoted in the Rocky Mountain News. That’s what Peckman told a crowd of 400 people at the Auraria Campus’ Tivoli Student Union during his introduction of Steven M. Greer, the founder of the UFO-investigating Disclosure Project. More time is needed to “go deeply into this topic,” says Peckman, who, incidentally, is also planning a news conference during the Democratic National Convention. Peckman and his supporters are calling on Denver to form an ET Commission following a recent presentation of a video that he contends depicts a short alien creature peeping into a window. His website claims that “up to fifty-seven species” of aliens have visited Earth, and alleges a six-decade cover-up by the government, which has prevented, among other things, the replacement of earthly fossil fuels with “clean energy technologies of extraterrestrial origin.”

Extended Holliday?

Things are going well for Rockies slugger Matt Holliday, who will replace injured Chicago Cub Alfonso Soriano in the National League starting lineup during next Tuesday’s All-Star game at Yankee Stadium. Actually, things may be going a bit too well for Holliday, the Denver Post‘s Matt Kiszla fears. Trade rumors have surrounded Holliday all season, and maybe Holliday, who thinks being named a starter is “pretty cool,” will win over Yankees fans. “When Matt Holliday trots to the outfield in The House That Ruth Built and sinks his spikes in the rich, green grass that Babe, Joltin’ Joe and Mick once called home, it should make Rockies fans extremely nervous. Let’s pray this will be nothing more than a one-night stand, rather than the spark of a romance between the New York Yankees and Holliday,” Kiszla writes.

Cheapest Gallon of Gas ‘Round Here: $3.85, Bradley Food Mart at S. Holly Street near Evans Avenue (via

Weather Today: Clear and 99 high/57 low

Weather Tomorrow: Clear 81 high/61 low