All hell's broken loose since Mayor Mary Lou Makepeace signed a proclamation declaring last week gay PrideFest Week in Colorado Springs.
Most notably, our fair city can now proudly claim a new newspaper of sorts, being distributed solely at Ed Bircham's office-supply store on North Nevada. Called The Real News, the "news" folio was handed out by former radio talk-show host and Independent antagonist Mike McKee while he was protesting last weekend's gay PrideFest parade.
Among other things, the newsletter accuses the director of the Children's Museum and the Independent of being liars. It also falsely claims that Urban League Director Jerome Page is the recipient of $90,000 from the Gill Foundation and reports that D-11 Superintendent Kenneth Burnley is a customer of Bircham's Office Supply store. Attached to the one-page newsletter are 10 pages of photocopied Gazette news articles about the Gill Foundation, which distributes money to needy local organizations; a flier on the recent Unity in the Community event (which received Gill funding); and a page of bible quotations with handwritten annotations.
The Real News does not identify its author by name, just that it was written by "those who know."
The next issue will be distributed in a week and a half. The topic to be discussed? "Why is Mary Lou Makepeace being recalled, and why is she promoting homosexuality?"
"Please read the next issue, because the news is "real,' the newsletter advises.
Reality check, anyone?
Hearty congrats to Dan Njegomir, editorial page editor of The Gazette. Njegomir (pronounced knee-go-meer) last week was given the R.C. Hoiles Award by the newspaper's owner, Freedom Communications. The award is given to "the employee who best exemplifies the values of the company's founders," according to an Aug. 20 report. Njegomir, 39, is primarily responsible for the daily newspaper's Libertarian editorials that reflect the corporations philosophy.
The sometimes-extreme positions in the op-ed section of the paper have stirred the wrath of more moderate thinkers in town, still the daily remains consistent in their anti-government message. In recent months, the paper has taken strong positions opposing public transit, preserving open space with public funds and mayoral proclamations. Njegomir worked in Casper, Wyo., and in Las Vegas before taking the role of Gazette mouthpiece in 1995.
"Of all the folks that have carried on R.C.'s tradition, Dan may be the closest to the image of R.C. that remains with most of us who know him," said Scott A. Fischer, president and publisher of The Gazette.
For his part, Njegomir was clearly pleased by the honor.
"This award is gratifying to me, of course, because it says I and my department are doing a good job of getting Freedom's message to our readers," Njegomir was quoted as saying.
OK, so grammar isn't his strong suit.
An interesting piece of speculation generated by the city's daily last week was "talk" that Colorado Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell might be considered for a Cabinet position -- if George W. Bush is elected president in 2000.
OK, so Bush hasn't been elected yet. He's not even officially the Republican nominee. The general election is 14 months away. Still, the paper has already predicted Campbell, who was just re-elected to a second six-year Senate term last November, will be President Dubya's new Secretary of the Interior. The gossip was delivered in a lengthy report last Friday.
The newspaper's Washington correspondent, Mary Boyle, did note the prematurity of her own piece with a quote from Dick Wadhams, a Republican consultant who is widely credited with getting both Sen. Wayne Allard and Gov. Bill Owens elected to office.
"I'm sure Gov. Bush is not giving any thought now to his Cabinet," Wadhams was quoted as saying. "That would be like planning an inauguration before you're elected."