Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Colorado chit-chat!

What is it with people getting shot in stores around here? First was the K-Mart shooting (they caught him); then Sunday a rampage at a Safeway warehouse (they killed him). LGF noticed that one for some reason. Oh, and today the gunman's brother was shot and wounded in an incident "not believed related" to the Safeway shootings.

Happy news

A relief, then, to be able to turn to a story about peace, love and har--now wait just a hemp-pickin' minute:

Federal forest officials Tuesday clashed with members of the Rainbow Family north of Steamboat Springs, where the free-spirited tribe plans to hold its annual summer gathering of as many as 20,000 celebrants next month. . . .

The conflict was sparked by the U.S. Forest Service's decision to start issuing citations to early-bird Rainbow campers entering the Hahns Peak-Bears Ears Ranger District - roughly 30 miles north-northeast of Steamboat Springs - without a special-use permit.

Denise Ottaviano, an information officer for the National Incident Management Team [what do you want to be when you grow up, Denise dear?--ed.], said about 15 U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officers were forced to abandon a safety-and-information checkpoint after being encircled in a hostile manner by more than 200 Rainbows.

Ottaviano said the permit is required for a gathering of more than 74 people [seventy-four?--ed.] on Forest Service land.

About midday Tuesday, Ottaviano said, "a group of between 60 to 80 Rainbows started approaching the law enforcement officers from the interior of the gathering area in a very hostile manner.

"They broke up into groups and started surrounding the law enforcement officers at the checkpoint, and that incited the group of about 200 that was outside of the gathering area to then also approach and join in with the group that was already there, and start surrounding the law enforcement officers."

Ottaviano said that when the officers saw they were encircled, they drew their weapons ["they may get us, but we'll take a few hippies to hell with us!"] but did not fire [rats]. They were then able to get into their cars and leave.

News of trouble in a planned paradise 10 days before the start of the Rainbows' mass summer reveries didn't sit well with Rob Savoye. He's a 47-year-old Rainbow Family member who lives near Nederland and helped locate this year's gathering site. He wasn't present at Tuesday's confrontation.

The problem with securing the required permit for the use of the federal land, Savoye said, is "nobody is in charge (of the Rainbows), and so nobody can sign a permit.

"We always say, anybody who looks like they're in charge, obviously isn't."

That reasoning won't wash with the feds.

They still don't have a permit. Whatever, but more people are showing up every day, there's only one road in to the meadow where they're gathering, and the place is a tinderbox. As a friend of mine once said, "God bless the gentle hippies."

Cowtown no more, and I'll say it till it's true

First came the news that KATIE COURIC was coming to Denver to conduct some sort of dipshit town meeting. As Penny Parker p-p-p related:
Starting Monday you can visit cbs4denver.com for a chance to be chosen for the town hall talk with Couric on July 13 at the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

One hundred local folks will be selected for the meet and greet with the new CBS Evening News anchor, based on answers to an online questionnaire. Denver is one of six towns across the country that Couric will visit before debuting on the anchor desk in September.

"She wants to talk about issues and what people want to see in a network newscast," said CBS 4 news director Tim Wieland. "People sitting in the town hall will get to shape a network newscast. How often can you say that?"
I don't know. But here's one for you, Tim: How many consecutive times can you heave up green bile and live? (Update: Cal Thomas giggles girlishly at the prospect of Katie's tour.)

But the Rocky's Parker isn't through yet, in the same piece pitching the dishes about Avs goalie Jose Theodore's tryst with celebrity skank Paris Hilton.

Last item!

"Embezzlement suspect ordered to stay jobless." A perfectly sensible decision.

Update: The Post's Ed Quillen tells the story of the first Rainbow Gathering in 1972.

Update II: As some of you may know, the Drunkablog has his own Incident Management Team.

Update III: I originally said Penny Parker works for the Post; the Rocky's Linda Seebach points out that I'm wrong and also an idiot. Fixed.

Update IV: In the interest of journalistic accuracy, Seebach didn't actually say I was an idiot. But she thought it.

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