News Nuggets: 28 July 2009

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DUELING RALLIES: Old Town Fort Collins could be plenty crowded during the lunch hour Wednesday. The Obama-oriented Organizing for America reoriented what it’s dubbing the “biggest health care reform rally in Colorado yet” from the front door of moderate Democrat Betsy Markey’s district office to — well, a parking lot down the street from Markey’s office after a Politico reporter asked whether the protesters really meant to pressure Markey so directly. Here’s why:

Moderates have been more than a little disturbed by OFA’s decision to run pro-reform ads in the districts of Democrats, like Markey, who haven’t committed to a “public option” favored by the White House and Democratic leadership in the House.

No pro-reform ads in the 4th Congressional District yet, but various GOP-funded anti-reform ads will begin raining down on Markey next month.

DON’T FORGET THE LEMON: Markey’s staff (and other Fort Collinsinians who get caught in the cross-fire) won’t just be hearing chants favoring a public option for health care. Mingling with the above rally will be Tea Party counterprotesters opposed to the “pro-singlepayer healthcare rally.” Leaving aside the fact the single-payer option has been off the table for some time, angry Tea Partiers plan to make an “unignorable statement with our numbers.” There’s some real vitriol brewing: “The uninsured socialists deserve to die like dogs for all I care… let them go to vets when they get sick,” writes a “Jason” commenting at the Tea Party event notice.

Meanwhile, “a few hundred” rallied Tuesday afternoon at the State Capitol against “Obamacare” in a protest organized by Americans for Prosperity. “This is not the kind of health care change we want!” shouted twice-failed congressional candidate Jeff Crank, now an AFP organizer. Protesters mocked Democratic proposals for health care reform by rationing hot dogs.

LIKE ROASTING FISH IN A BARREL: Ah, the possibilities. Recently retired U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo is getting roasted at a local GOP fundraiser a week from Saturday. Roasters include Westword editor Patty Calhoun, right-wing talk show yacker Dan Caplis and Arapahoe County Republican activist Mort Marks. Which roaster gets to introduce a mariachi band playing “Dixie”? Which roaster karate-chops a black woman while shouting a racial slur? More suggested material here, here, here and here.

WE’VE GOT THE BEETS: Can a documentary critical of agri-giant Monsanto sway Boulder County commissioners from allowing cultivation of genetically modified sugar beets on county land? Green advocates hope so. “The World According to Monsanto” premieres tonight at the Nomad Theater just days before county bigwigs decide whether it’s OK for farmers to grow Roundup-Ready beets on nearly 1,000 acres of open space. Can’t make the showing? Watch the entire documentary here.

WHERE THE STREETS FINALLY HAVE THE RIGHT NAMES: Who says government can’t fix things? After a resident with a bent for Naval history raised a ruckus, the Fort Collins City Council voted to correct the spelling on street signs for Truxton Drive in the Registry Ridge subdivision. Someone made a typo somewhere and misspelled the street, named after the USS Truxtun, “Truxon,” both on the official city plat and the green and white signs bearing its name. The subdivision, whose streets are all named after naval vessels, also has a Seawolf Court misspelled “Sea Wolf” on the plat, resident Mike McGarry discovered, though those street signs were spelled right.

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Ernest Luning

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