Landing in reality |

Landing in reality

Don Rogers

Great touch, seeing the family of Kobe Bryant’s alleged rape victim taking seats in the first row of Courtroom 1 Thursday.

Bryant, whether he acknowledged them or not, had his 12 minutes of reality with the family looking on, while a judge and lawyers plotted the course toward his trial on a sexual assault charge that could put him in prison for up to life.

The NBA fantasyland, the bickering with teammate Shaquille O’Neal, the still mostly adoring fans – all that faded for another perp walk into court.

The family, at the prosecution’s invitation, watched the defendant with interest, and not in wonder at his skills in a game.

It was a nice visual to ground the case, to help us all remember that this is not merely another tabloid story. These are real people here. Thanks, we needed that.

Out of the gate

Only editors with their dog-eared open-government rule books care about such things, of course, but the Vail Town Council shoved off to its brave new start by violating opening meeting law.

Sometimes municipal councils put on a little public skit while pretending that they hadn’t already chosen their mayor in private. It’s a not-so-proud tradition that Vail and most, if not all, the town boards down the valley and beyond knowingly violate open government law by meeting in secret to wrestle over who should be mayor.

Sorry, it’s crystal clear that discussing the mayor’s position does not fall under the exemption for “personnel.” Elected officials are not employees. So, enjoy the pretty show of 7-0 votes and back slaps all around. But understand that it is a show – and an illegal one at that.

As long as only editors express concern, the tradition will continue, even if the overarching message is that these bodies truly believe that they are above some laws. And the fact is they are, as long as their communities go along.

Rumor roundup

The Republicans are having their Fall Round-Up tonight, featuring Greg Walcher, head of the state Department of Natural Resources. Grapevines being what they are, some politicos are buzzing over Walcher running for Congress and giving up his position soon. Who will take that seat? Well, word is Eagle County Commissioner Tom Stone is on the governor’s short list.

Of course, rumors of Stone’s impending appointment here or there are about as prolific as Vail Resorts being sold. The years that pass don’t seem to diminish the mill at all.

Besides, ya gotta have something to talk about after exhausting Kobe and the snow.

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