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Colorado’s only whiskey distiller is among the nation’s smallest and best.
Above, every label on every bottle of Colorado-made Stranahan’s whiskey
is personalized before being shipped as far away as France and Sweden.
The premium brand won a gold medal at the American Distilling Institute’s
blind tasting last year.
Left, distiller Ben Galde
tends casks of whiskey
kept in a warm, humid
room to encourage move-
ment of the liquid through
the wood.
As winter approaches, the urge
for a refreshing cold beer at the end
of a long day starts to fade. Crisp fall
evenings are the perfect times for a
little nip of whiskey. A neat tumbler
can warm your belly and reset your
attitude after an exhausting day.
I can only say, to those who
don’t like whiskey or its brothers
Scotch and bourbon, maybe you
just haven’t been drinking a good
Good whiskey should be com-
plex and smooth with layers of fla-
vor. It should be smoky, earthy and
caramely. Not too sweet or acrid.
Stranahan’s, Colorado’s first
and only whiskey distillery, has
been producing for five years. Jacob
Norris is the head distiller and pro-
duction manager.
This new guy on the shelf is a
one-of-a-kind variety of spirit. The
distillation is 100 percent kiln-
roasted barley. Other American
whiskeys are made with a blend of
corn, rye or low-quality grain alco-
hol filler.
The bottles of amber bliss sell
for around $55 a bottle, which
seems like a lot until you taste it.
Fortunately for those who are over
21, the company offers tours and
free samples at its distillery at 2405
Blake St. downtown.
Once upon a time, they con-
tracted their next-door neighbor
Flying Dog Brewery to process their
four-barley fermented wash. Since
the brewery moved to the East
Coast, the distillery has contracted
with Oskar Blues brewery in Lyons.
Stranahan’s was the first distill-
ery to use a wash. The four-barley
mix is crushed and boiled. Then the
solids are removed from the sugary
liquid, and only the liquid is used.
The sugar water is trucked down to
the distillery and goes into a closed,
sanitary distillation system where
it is fermented. This preserves the
integrity of the product by protect-
ing the distillation from yeasts in
the air.
The little distillery produces
450 gallons of 100-proof liquor
from 3,000 gallons of wash. Stra-
nahan’s is currently aging 700
barrels of whiskey downtown. Jim
Beam, a popular Kentucky bour-
bon whiskey, produces 1,000 bar-
rels of its product every day.
Stranahan’s is aged in 100
percent new American white oak
barrels. The barrels are fired to the
heaviest char available. The char
picks up vanillin that caramelizes
with other oak sugars. These give
the whiskey 100 percent of its color
and 60 -70 percent of its flavor.
Stranahan’s only uses the bar-
rels once, like a teabag. The used
barrels are sold to microbreweries
and used to make whiskey barrel
aged ales. Of course, Colorado mi-
crobreweries get first pick.
The aging room is hot and hu-
mid to keep the whiskey thin and
the barrel pores large and open.
This ensures that the whiskey will
continue to interact with the bar-
rels year-round, unlike old-fash-
ioned whiskys from Scotland or
whiskeys from Ireland. There, the
coolness of the barrels during win-
ter months lengthens the aging
process significantly.
A standard quality bottle of
European or Kentucky whiskey
ages for at least nine or 10 years;
Stranahan’s can bottle its product
at two and a half.
“We have nine patents pend-
ing,” Norris said.
Colorado won’t leave you
hanging if it’s a top-notch, locally
produced alcoholic beverage you’re
searching for. Stranahan’s raised
the bar for hard liquor producers in
the area when it won Best of Show
and a gold medal in the whiskey
division at the American Distilling
Institute’s blind tasting last year.
Norris doesn’t underestimate
the attraction to big whiskey pro-
“If you want something that
tastes exactly the same every time
you open a bottle, buy Jameson.
Our goal in doing this is to put the
fingerprints back on the bottle.
It’s like your grandma’s apple pie.
It may not always taste the same,
but it’s really good. That’s what we
If you want to visit:
The distillery calls 2405 Blake Street
home. Free tours led by knowledgeable
staf are available, so there’s no excuse
not to go.
Sign up at under “tours.”
A shot of their trademark liquid is
By Dominic Graziano

enver Restaurant Week
started five years ago, after
the city was ranked in the
top 25 in the country.
“In 2004, there had been a national
survey of opinions of the top 25 cities in
America,” said Visit Denver spokesper-
son Richard Grant. “But the bad news
was we were ranked 23 in food.”
Even Denverites were unimpressed
withthecity’s food—“our ownresidents
ranked us number 24,” Grant said.
That’s when Visit Denver took it
upon themselves to change Denver’s
“We decided we needed to do some-
thing to spruce up the city’s representa-
tion for fine dining,” Grant said. “There
were more than a dozen cities doing the
same thing at the time.”
Five years ago, 84 restaurants start-
ed participating in Denver Restaurant
Week. This year, more than 200 of the
city’s chow-downs will contribute the
melting pot of cooking between Feb. 21
and March 6.
And true to the Mile High City, ev-
ery restaurant is offering their fare at
$52.80 for a dinner for two.
Grant said that some of the nor-
mally lower-priced eateries will be giv-
ing patrons more for their money. Some
will feed four for that price, and others
will offer giveaways like tickets to com-
edy shows or wine to go along with the
“It’s a great time for people to grab
some friends together [because] the bill
is so easy to split,” Grant said.
Grant added that if a patron feels
like hitting the town on their own, each
restaurant offers half the food for half
the price.
“A three- or four-course meal for
$26.40 isn’t too bad,” he said.
And at that price, Grant expects
quite a turnout.
“People are feeling pretty beat up
from the economy. For a lot of people
this is something they look forward to all
year,” Grant said. Last year, participat-
ing restaurants sawmore than160,000
diners, Grant said, and the numbers are
looking even better for this year.
“The website has alreadyseen40per-
cent more hits thanlast year,” he said.
Grant added that he is excited about
restaurants that are extending the pro-
motion through March 6.
“Over the years, some restaurants
have done it unofficially, but this year we
are endorsing it fully,” he said.
Since most of the popular restau-
rants will book up quickly on the week-
end, it’s better to make reservations
early. Grant said 40 to 50 restaurants
host their reservations online, but by the
time the event is marketed, weekends at
most restaurants are booked solid.
He added that some of the slower
nights like Monday and Tuesday still
have openings.
The occasion doesn’t just bring the
restaurants together, either.
“It’s a great deal for students; it’s a
chance to splurge and go to a place you
hear about or read about all the time. It’s a
great chancetocelebrateandgrabawhole
bunchof friends together,” Grant said.
Although it would be impossible to
actually visit every participating restau-
rant, Denver Restaurant Week allows for
the opportunity to explore restaurants
that you may not have known about.
“The average personvisits 42menus
on our website; there’s a lot of trying to
figure out what everyone’s serving,”
Grant said. “You may only go to a cou-
ple of restaurants, but you look into a
bunch of them.”
For moreinformationonrestaurants
or to make reservations visit http://
An ahi tuna steak with Provencal vegetables, rosemary potatoes and lemon-artichoke relish is one of the main courses ofered at
Prima. The restaurant, located at 1100 14 St., specializes in elegant Italian and Northern Spanish dishes. Management at Prima has de-
cided to add two extra weeks to their $52.80 special, due to being booked for several weeks in advance. They are almost fully booked
except for a few 10 p.m. reservations. Photo by Jamie Moore •
Sous Chef Celeste Varra
plates sautéed asparagus
that will be served with
Salmon Encrute, and fn-
ished with hollandaise sauce
and lemon rice pilaf. Varra
works at Denver ChopHouse
& Brewery, located at 1735
19 St. Rounding out the
menu for Denver Restaurant
Week is a tomato fennel
bisque as an appetizer, and
an espresso walnut tart for
dessert. Photo by Andrew Bisset
Top: At The 9th Door, Chef Kevin Marquet has crafted a variety
of dishes for the four-course meal, including a plate of cheeses
that, with their sweet accompaniments, work equally well as
an appetizer or a dessert. The restaurant’s dark interior and
tables made from275-year-old Spanish doors give of an air
of understated elegance, and The 9th Door’s menu for Denver
Restaurant Week is no exception. The 9th Door, located at 1808
Blake St., does not do fusion cuisine, instead opting to focus
on Spanish dishes to the extent that they import many of their
ingredients directly fromSpain. Photo by Andrew Bisset • abisset1@
Left: Chef Bertrand Gesbert adds the fnishing touch to a veal
scalopini, which is sautéed in sweet butter. Gesbert hails from
Paris, a world culinary capital, which is appropriate, consider-
ing his restaurant, Le Central, has been serving French cuisine
to the people of Denver for 27 years. Le Central is located at
112 E. 8th Ave. Le Central aims to bring a little slice of France to
their corner of North Lincoln, and with these dishes, France just
doesn’t seemso far away. Photo by Andrew Bisset •
City’s fnest plate their best
audiofi les
From left: Zack de la Rocha and Tom Morello, of political powerhouse
band Rage Against the Machine, deliver their protests vocally to a crowd
of more than 20,000 Aug. 27, at the Denver Coliseum. Center: Former Mo-
tor City Five frontman Wayne Kramer joins RATM for a romping version of
“Kick Out the Jams,”written by MC5 in 1968, around the same time they
were involved in a concert-turned-riot in the infamous ’68 Democratic
National Convention in Chicago. “MC5 was never really a very successful
band — they never sold a lot of records,”Channel 93.3 KTCL’s DJ Nerf
said. “But they were an important band. Their message in ’68 is every bit
as true today.”
Rage, Flobots fght the war, rock the norm
Right: Tom Morello of RATM plays on as the crowd of 20,000 at the
Denver Coliseum erupts into mosh pits and musically-inspired dance
madness. Rage, along with The Flobots, The Coup and State Radio,
performed at the free show in support of Iraq Veterans Against the
War, a protest group, consisting of mostly soldiers, demanding the
withdrawal of soldiers from Iraq. The show remained peaceful, for the
most part, as did the ensuing march from the Coliseum to the Pepsi
Center. “I believe bands are sympathetic to our cause and want the same
thing we want,” said former Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Lars Ekstrom. “But
as veterans, I think we have more credibility because we’ve been there.”
From left: Violinist Mackenzie Roberts prepares to sound of during the Flobots’
performance at the Tent State Music Festival for Iraq Veterans Against the War. Jonny
5 (aka Jamie Laurie), Brer Rabbit (aka Stephen Brackett) and Jesse Walker play a
song from their recent album Fight With Tools. “ Brer Rabbit pontifcates political
to the Denver Coliseum masses. Not only are we opening for Rage Against the
Machine, we’re doing it during the DNC in our home city,” MC Brer Rabbit said. “That’s
ridiculous. Honored is too small a word.”
Photos by Andrew Bisset, Story by Jeremy Johnson,
Thanks to the presence of political supergroup Rage Against
the Machine, as well as local political pontiffs, the Flobots, a
crowd of more than 20,000 strong showed up Aug. 27, for Tent
State’s Music Festival at the Denver Coliseum.
The festival was organized in coordination with Iraq Veterans
Against the War, a political group demanding an end to the war,
the return of military personnel to their homes in the states, and
giving reparations to both U.S. soldiers and Iraqi citizens affected
by the war.
“We have an advantage in getting the word out just based
on the mass amount of people here. In our own, little local chap-
ters where we come from throughout the U.S., we can only do so
much there, but something so nationally recognized as this defi-
nitely helps get the word out better than walking down the street
handing out fliers,” said Kenneth Sexton from Santa Cruz, Calif.,
who served briefly in Germany before heading to Iraq for more
than a year of service.
Sexton is one of the many soldiers undergoing “stop-loss,”
where a soldier that has already returned home is sent back for
another tour. Sexton said that he earned a disability rating during
his first tour and that “they shouldn’t be sending disabled veterans
over there.” Sexton said that he would appeal to his congressman,
but was clear he would not go, even at the risk of jail. At that point,
Sexton momentarily trails off and his eyes become distant. “It’s
hard to explain what goes on with war, and it’s unfortunate that it
continues,” he said with finality, shaking his head.
Sexton’s sentiments were echoed by the Tent State organiza-
tion, concert planners, concert-goers and the musicians them-
selves, as well as a variety of first-time protesters.
“There are a lot of young kids out there who have never seen
anything like this, have never been involved with something like
this,” said Ryan Walker, a self-described ally of the Tent State
organization and a scout for the IVAW’s ensuing protest march.
“This event is the soldiers’ way of saying, ‘this is what you have
an opportunity to be a part of, these are our goals, and this is how
you can participate.’”
But the fine line between political party people and run-of-
the-mill party people was blurred by youthful exuberance and the
sheer excitement of the show’s lineup. One girl, when asked what
she thought of the political ramifications of the show, replied, “I’m
not really political.” Others, seemingly, latched onto the political
cause in a more “monkey see, monkey do” kind of manner.
“While us getting behind (the cause) might be politically po-
larizing, Rage is also just a great band to see play” said DJ Nerf
(aka Jeb Freedman) of radio station Channel 93.3 KTCL. “So ei-
ther way it’s a win, whether you’re just in it for the music or if
you’re into it for both the music and the cause.”
The real crusaders for the IVAW’s cause were easy to iden-
tify, huddled busy in a corner backstage, meticulously pre-
paring for the march by going over safety matters and con-
Tent State Music Festival Continued on B6»
half notes
upcoming shows »
thursday 9.4
STS9 w/
Ghostland Observatory
and Bassnectar
friday 9.5
STS9 w/ Talib Kweli
and Flying Lotus
6 p.m.
@ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
$36, All Ages
Trombone Shorty
9 p.m.
@ The Bluebird Theater
$16, 16+
saturday 9.6
Motörhead w/ Misfits,
Airbourne and
Valient Thor
@ The Fillmore Auditorium
$26, 16+
sunday 9.7
Ice Cube
@ The Ogden Theater
$39.50, 16+
monday 9.8 and
tuesday 9.9
Foo Fighters w/
7:30 p.m.
@ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
$45, All Ages
tuesday 9.9
Hot Water Music
7:30 p.m.
@ The Gothic Theatre
$16.50, 16+
audiofiles’ upcoming show of the week » the limbs
erns as well as objectives and agen-
das, while through a cement corridor
100 feet away, the much acclaimed
lineup played on.
“We must make sure this is a non-
violent march,” organizers urged. “If
you’ve had any drugs or alcohol, we’d
like to ask you to refrain from joining
us on this march.”
Massachusetts band State Radio
and Oakland, Calif. natives The Coup
warmed the stage, beginning at 11
a.m., with double-fiery sets of po-
litically-charged punk and hip-hop,
respectively. But the real treat for
hundreds of fans was the return of
newly-recognized political hip-hop
trendsetters, Denver’s very own Flo-
bots. Since the release of their album
Fight With Tools earlier this year, the
Flobots have gained national atten-
tion in venues and on air, and came
back to Denver for the festival after
touring all over North America and
Indeed, the Flobots displayed an
impressive conviction for the cause,
confidently delivering their relevant
missive to an eclectic crowd (masked
by American flag bandanas over fac-
es) that was eager and chewing ner-
vously on fingers, immersed in MC
Brer Rabbit’s microphone report.
“The message is out there, and
things are changing,” said Brer Rab-
bit (aka Stephen Brackett) to the cap-
tive audience. “People, we’ve noticed,
are hungry for this message. They’re
actually seeking out and looking for
it,” Brer Rabbit said in an interview
prior to the show. “Maybe it’s fortu-
nate timing for us, or divine provi-
dence, but however you phrase it, it’s
no coincidence that folks are want-
ing change.”
The day’s excitement culminated
when, following brief speeches by or-
ganizers, Dead Kennedy’s Jello Biafra
and Born on the Fourth of July writer,
Ron Kovic, Rage took to the stage.
If inciting rage is a skill, then
Rage frontman Zack de la Rocha is a
master, orchestrating a musical coup,
all the while grinning with mischief
and madness.
“Rage’s music has been on a
eight-year hiatus, but it’s as valid
now as it was then,” Nerf said. “May-
be even more so.”
“Having a band like Rage is huge,
obviously, and it brings a lot of people
in from a lot of different backgrounds,
people with a lot of different social
ideologies,” Walker said. “It brings a
coalition of people together to work
under a common banner.”
And in this way, the festival served
as the jumping-off point for a mostly
peaceful and prosperous march, end-
ing at dusk at downtown’s Pepsi Cen-
“Music is the glue for most of rit-
uals, for most of our celebrations and
get-togethers throughout time,” Brer
Rabbit said. “Music used to be some-
thing that grounded our communi-
ties, and I think people are wanting
to take that back.”
Clockwise from top left: “Yeah, boy!”Public Enemy’s Flavor Flav gives an Obama shout-out Aug. 27 at the Boulder Theater. Flav
and Chuck D bring the noise in Boulder with their classic hardcore and political rap. Chuck D lays down the law with intimidation.
Oliver Jacobson of Boulder alternative hip-hop band The Night Kitchen and Metro State grad and reggae-rap guru DJ Cavem (aka
Moetivation or Ietef Hotep Vita) warm up the stage during more than three hours of local music prior to Public Enemy.
Boulder’s DNC breakdown
The Limbs are one part Frank Zappa, one part Leonard Cohen and one part Modest Mouse,
only with ten times less manpower. The band’s unique moniker refers to frontman John Mazzuc-
co’s bandmembers: “Right foot, left foot, right arm, left arm, throat and heart. Oh, and I use my
guitar neck as a drumstick on the hi-hat.”
Wild-eyed and writhing (limbs flailing, if you can imagine), Mazzucco takes the whole side-
show aspect of his performance to a whole new level. The Limbs are no novelty act, mind you, but
rather a brilliantly dark display of hollow-sounding and haunting compositions backed by the
busy man’s morose lyricism .
The Limbs’ new album Boo The Villain features a rather crazed, desperate and downright creepy
picture of Mazzucco that’s most fitting of his music’s sinister nature. While Mazzucco has an obvious
sense of humor, seen not only in his quirky, aneuristic deliver-
ance but in lyrics that list Robin Williams among the world’s dei-
ties, his real niche is in painful contemplation, with songs such
as “It’s Not Very Kind,” “The Story of You and Me” and “The Un-
dertow,” in which the defeated voice of The Limbs strains “If we
could make a million bucks, bud, we’d lose it in the undertow.”
Def Leppard
drummer Rick
Allen’s got
nothing on
this guy, just
one less arm.
Using both his
hands and feet
to create erratic
percussion time
changes and
heavy guitar,
John Mazzucco
is a marvel as
one-man band,
The Limbs.
friday 9.5
The Limbs
@ 9 p.m. @ The Falcon
$6, 16+
Photos by Andrew Bisset,
RATM» Flobots,
Rage rally troops
By Enrico Dominguez
The women’s tennis team started
a little rough against University of
Wyoming March 1 at the Air Force
Academy, but ended on a high note
against Winona State March 2 at Au-
raria Courts.
Junior Mandy Bowling hurt her
knee and was unable to play in both
matches, which caused the team
to forfeit No. 3 doubles and No. 6
“I hope to be back soon,” Bowl-
ing said. “Not quite sure what the
injury is yet.”
Junior April Hirad says it’s dif-
ficult beginning the match down
by two points when it hasn’t even
“It’s a lot harder when the match
starts 2-0 because Mandy is out,” Hi-
rad said.
With Bowling being out, it forced
their whole roster to shift below se-
nior Mitra Hirad. Senior Miriam
Evangelista played No. 1 doubles
with Mitra Hirad, and April Hirad
played with sophomore Alexis Alva-
rez at No. 2 doubles after only a few
days of practicing together.
“Doubles is a little foreign ter-
ritory right now,” head coach Beck
Meares said. “If we can go into singles
2-1 or 3-0 that would really help.”
Sophomore Kathleen Thompson
lost 6-0, 6-1 but was still looking for-
ward to the match against Winona
“Probably one of my best match-
es, although the score may not have
reflected it,” Thompson said. “I felt
like we had an intense week of prac-
tice just like the week we played Air
Although they didn’t win a sin-
gle match, they all seemed to know
something the scoreboard didn’t.
“We weren’t expecting to win
against Wyoming,” Meares said. “I
scheduled the D-I teams at the be-
ginning of the season for a reason.
Our season starts tomorrow against
Once again, the Roadrunners
started off the match against Winona
State down 2-0. Doubles began with
new partners Evangelist and Mitra
Hirad tag-teaming for a win against
Winona’s No. 1 doubles 9-7. The No.
2 team, which consisted of Hirad and
Alvaraz, lost their match 7-4.
In the far court, Thompson was
starting what the team was promised
to see more of as the actual season
started. Before anyone knew it, she
was coming off the court with a win,
carrying herself with an anticipated
sense of satisfaction.
Not only was Thompson winning
her matches, the rest of the team
were winning too. While Evange-
lista won her match 6-3, 6-3, Hirad
started playing like she was shot out
of a cannon around her fifth game
and pulled the match out 6-3, 6-3.
The whole team watched as Alvarez
finished off her match winning 6-2,
“We started down 2-0 against a
team ranked three spots above us,”
Hirad said. “This feels so good.”
The win puts the women’s team
at an even .500 overall. The men will
play against Dallas Baptist March 10
at Auraria Courts.
A13 » SPORTS » MARCH 5, 2009 » THE METROPOLITAN • The first black to win the U.S. Open was Arthur Ashe
Roadrunners grab frst victory
By Robert Dran
Metro baseball managed to claim
a victory and avoided a series sweep
at the hands of Mesa State Feb. 27
through March 1 in Grand Junction.
Metro scored four runs with two
outs in the top of the ninth inning of
the final game to win 10-9.
Designated hitter Brett Bowman
saved Metro from a quick one-two-
three inning by singling off Mesa
pitcher Aaron Guinn. Bowman ad-
vanced to second during the next
at-bat when catcher Tyree Abshire
singled. After left fielder Marcel
Dominguez walked to load the bases,
second baseman Tommy Frikken hit
a ground ball that turned into a two-
run error for Metro. With the teams
separated by one run center fielder
Chris Redding was walked to load the
bases. Shortstop Matt McConnell hit
the tying and go-ahead runs with a
double off the wall in center field.
Though embarrassed at his
teammate’s claim that he was the
man who started the rally, Bowman
gave a sober assessment of his strat-
egy at the plate.
“[I was] just trying to be aggres-
sive,” Bowman said. “The guys be-
hind me are more important to me.
The difference for us in this game is
that we kept them close. They’re a
bunch of good hitters.”
Slugging first baseman Jordan
Stouffer was quick to compliment his
team’s performance after being the
first of two outs before the rally.
“I just have to say I am impressed
with our team’s mental toughness,”
Stouffer said.
Mesa only managed a single in
the bottom of the ninth and Metro
held their lead to win the game. The
win stopped Mesa’s chance at a sweep
and ended Metro’s three-game los-
ing streak after winning their previ-
ous five. No. 4-ranked Mesa defeated
Metro in the other three games in the
series 18-8, 14-4, and 12-11.
Though Metro was excited to
grab an emotional victory, head
coach Jerry Schemmel said he felt the
team should have done better.
“We could have won [the third
game] and split the series,” Schem-
mel said. “In this game, Mesa had
four errors and their shortstop was
suspended. We played hard and had
a no-quit attitude. When that hap-
pens you’ll win the game.”
The normally polite and profes-
sional Schemmel was ejected from
the third game.
As for the rest of the series, the
No. 4-ranked Mavericks out-scored
the Roadrunners 41-23 in the three
games Mesa won. Metro did come
close in the third game with a high
scoring 12-11 loss, but Mesa won
the game with a walk off home run.
Stouffer had a good third game for
Metro by going 3-for-3 with two
home runs. He added another in the
final game to increase his conference-
leading total to eight home runs on
the season.
Metro will spend March 6 and
7 playing a pair of doubleheaders
against Colorado Christian Univer-
sity in Lakewood.
“They’ve got a good team this
year,” Schemmel said of CCU. “We’re
confident but were not overconfident.”
“(I was) just trying to
be aggressive. The guys
behind me are more
important to me.”
Metro designated hitter
Brent Bowman
Baseball loses opening series
Metro outfelder Chris Redding charges toward third base Feb. 22
against the College of Santa Fe at All-Star Park in Lakewood. File
photo by Andrew Bisset •
Mandy Bowling, left, and senior Mitra Hirad set up to receive a
serve Feb. 22 against Colorado College. Bowling and Hirad played
a tough game in doubles, but eventually fell to their opponents.
File photo by Daniel Clements •
Metro 1 - MesA stAte 3
Metro 0 - wyoMing 7, Metro 5 - winonA stAte 4
Runners barely
avoid sweep in
RMAC opener
March 6-7 @ Colorado
March 13-15 vs. New Mexico
March 20-22 @ School of
March 27-29 vs. Regis
April 1 vs. Colorado State
April 3-5 @ Colorado State-
April 9-11 vs. Nebraska-
April 17-19 vs. Mesa State
April 24-25 vs. Colorado
May 1-3 @ New Mexico
May 6-9 RMAC Tournament
May 13 NCAA Regionals TBA
By Tara Moberly
Metro President Stephen Jordan
outlined the budget crisis facing the
college at a packed town hall meet-
ing Feb. 16 at the King Center Con-
cert Hall, highlighting the low level
of state funding the college receives
compared to other colleges in the
“I think at some point, people
need to say enough is enough. Why
is it fair that Colorado residents at
one institution get funded at this
level and at another institution get
funded at this level. And that’s, I
think, the level of awareness we’re
trying to create with policy makers
today that the cumulative effect of
these decisions at this point has cre-
ated an inequity that in my view rises
to a point where policy makers need
to start accepting responsibility for
it,” Jordan said, highlighting the low
level of state funds Metro receives in
comparison to other Colorado col-
leges and prompting applause from
the crowd.
Metro has more resident under-
graduate students than any other
college in the state, with 3,000 more
than the second place school, Colo-
rado State University in Fort Collins,
and is home to more recipients of the
Pell Grant than any other school, a
fact Jordan highlighted as evidence
the State Legislature needs to recon-
sider the manner in which they fund
Compared with four similar
schools across the state — CSU-Pueb-
lo, Fort Lewis College, Adams State
and Mesa State — Metro receives less
funding from the state. “They have
$31 million more with 5,000 less
students,” Jordan said.
“That is the nature of our prob-
lem and that is what we are out talk-
ing to the governor about and the
Commission on Higher Education
about. Quite frankly, I have said to the
governor and the commission that if
we were a public school, we would
have a great legal case for equal pro-
tection of our students because we
have the most underrepresented,
the most low-income students, and
yet, they are clearly receiving sig-
nificantly less support than all other
students at regional comprehensive
Jordan outlined the funding pic-
ture through a series of slides — a
presentation he also shared with the
Colorado Commission on Higher
Education recently. “Their jaws
dropped,” Jordan said of the commis-
sion’s response to the presentation.
“If nothing else, we’ve scored debate
Gov. Bill Ritter was also pre-
sented the same data, and while he
acknowledged that the numbers
on funding are correct, he made no
promises that more will be done to
bring increased funds to Metro.
While the CU and CSU legislators
are highly visible at the capitol, the
Metro legislators are not and have
never stood up for higher education
in the community, Jordan said.
“One of the difficulties we have is
so many people in the governor’s ad-
ministration — I’m trying not to be
too negative — but so many of them
are basically CU people. That’s tough
to overcome,” he said.
This prompted Jordan to call
faculty and staff to talk to the legis-
lators from their home districts and
make the case for increased funding
at Metro.
But Jordan doesn’t plan to stop
there — he’s taking his call to action
to the media and will be presenting
the data to the editorial board of the
Denver Post, aiming to spread the
word about the inequity of fund dis-
persion at colleges in the state.
These efforts, while they will not
help offset the current round of bud-
get cuts, could put the college in a
position to offset other effects of the
decrease in funds.
Jordan outlined the $7 million
the college has saved through cost-
containing measures that were first
instituted in September — $2.9 mil-
lion will be given back to the state
and the remaining $4 million will be
rolled into next year’s budget to help
bridge an anticipated $5 million in
Each of the administrative de-
partments set target amounts of
what they could save while still serv-
ing students — targets that were met,
and in some cases exceeded, giving
the college some breathing room.
The school has also developed a
three-tier approach to the cuts that
loom from next year’s budget, which
will be presented to the Metro Board
of Trustees for approval at its April 2
“All this does is gets us back to
a new general fund base. So this ef-
fort that we’re going through to get
ready to present this material to the
April meeting of the board is to cre-
ate the general fund base from which
we will then look at how much more
are we going to raise tuition and how
will we use the new revenue that we
gain from tuition to invest in order to
invest in the things we intend to do
for the college,” Jordan said.
Metro students will likely see a
hike in tuition rates for the next few
years, but Jordan has a plan to try to
ease the pain of these increases.
In addition to asking the com-
mission on higher education to com-
mit fair and equal funding, he is also
supporting a move that would give
the governing boards of colleges
more flexibility in determining tu-
ition rates.
“We’re not looking to have carte
blanche authority over tuition with
this proposal,” he said of a bill to be
introduced to the Legislature next
month that aims to build a five-year
proposal of tuition increases that
will be built into the school’s perfor-
mance contracts.
“At least this would be a way for
our students and families to plan
over their students’ career what tu-
ition would look like,” he said.
Currently, tuition increases are
not finalized until June, after stu-
dents have left for the summer, leav-
ing them to come back a few months
later to higher bills.
Another concern Jordan high-
lighted that stems from the fluctuat-
ing budgets is the possibility of cap-
ping, or limiting, enrollment if the
college does not receive additional
funds. Metro is an open-enrollment
school, meaning anyone 20 years or
older who has graduated from high
school or has a GED must be admit-
While administrators are still for-
mulating plans for possibly capping
enrollment and further budget cuts
that may arise once the budget is fi-
nalized, Jordan is sure that Metro will
emerge better than before. “There is
no question that we’re going to be
in for a tough couple of years. Hav-
ing said that, I want to assure you
that I’m absolutely confident that we
will come out of this stronger, better
academically and more committed to
our mission. We will be better.”
A6 • METRO • FEBRUARY 19, 2009 » THE METROPOLITAN • THIS JUST IN: Nutmeg is poisonous if injected intravenously.
Jordan’s Fight
Metro President Stephen Jordan addresses a crowd concerning the current budget situation at the
King Centre’s concert hall Feb. 16 Jordan felded questions from attendees in a town hall format.
Photo by Andrew Bisset •
‘We’re going to
be in for a tough
couple of years’