Tis' the season for elevated expectations. Like any spoiled kid, I am no longer content with a stocking full of candy and a Teddy Ruxpin. Even though Denver is one of the best places to live in the country, the glass is always half-empty for me.
Most of these wishes for Denver are unrealistic and not financially feasible, but so was my annual desire for a Fisher Price Power Wheel as a kid. I never got it and Denver probably won't get any of the requests that follow. Nevertheless, a boy can dream.
Without further delay, my wishes this Christmas to improve Denver are...
# 5 - That the RTD Light Rail would be extended into the mountains
Anyone who has been paralyzed on a Sunday return trip from skiing in Summit County knows that this one is a no brainer. A little piece of me dies every time I undertake that 60-mile stretch of frustration on I-70. I have no doubt the financial buy-in would be ridiculous, but temporary fixes like "zipper lanes" will prove inadequate to accommodate traffic as the Front Range continues to grow. If we can build a highway that goes through the mountains (Johnson & Eisenhower Tunnels), surely we can find a way to install mass transit through them as well.
# 4 - That someone would resurrect the Rocky Mountain News
It was heartbreaking to watch this staple of the West fold just a few months shy of its 150th anniversary in February of 2009. The Denver Post isn't horrible but comparatively it is pretty sterile. The Rocky had personality. Its history, depth, and tabloid-style layout made it a delight to read. Listening to ex-Rocky employees beam about their former employer is like listening to Texans brag about...well...Texas. Only a handful of two newspaper towns exist anymore but competition makes everyone better. That is especially true in media related fields.
# 3 - That Trader Joe's would expand to Denver
Who would have thought that the state that produced Nicolas Cage and the Pet Rock could create something as brilliant as Trader Joe's. I've got to give credit where it is due though. Trader Joe's is amazing. Thank you California. With affordable gourmet goodies, cheap wine, and tacky decor it's a little slice of heaven. Trader Joe's avoidance of Colorado is trivial. They've expanded to Arizona, New Mexico, Nebraska, and Kansas. That is almost every state in our part of the U.S. except Colorado. If it's a liquor law problem, just let me know which state legislator's house I need to picket.
# 2 - For the Denver Parking Police to chill-out
Denver has a rich history of many things. Unfortunately, that includes a band of overzealous parking police that will ticket you for looking at them wrong. They have quite a reputation for being sticklers for the rules. Sadly for most Denver inhabitants, parking tickets are a budget line item. The city whittles away our pocket books $25 and $50 at a time through covert street-sweeping attacks and other questionable tactics. They are so out of control that a couple of them got nabbed two weeks ago for abusing their power. It would make for a more joyful holiday season for all Denver residents if they would occasionally just issue a warning or if they were all slowly lowered feet first into lava.
# 1 - That the Broncos would hire a proven head football coach
The Broncos are THE sports team in Denver. To some extent, morale in the city hinges on the success or failure of our beloved gridiron heroes. At present, the organization is in shambles. We've peddled away most of our young talent and most reputable coaching candidates are avoiding the Mile High City like we have the plague. Those realities combined with the fact that we will be paying three head coaching contracts (Mike Shanahan, Josh McDaniels, and the future head coach) next season make it unlikely that the Broncos will be able lure anyone the caliber of Bill Cowher or Mike Holmgren to Denver. We need a Christmas miracle.
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