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Thursday, October 8,2009

Mall Crawl gets cop call

In Case You Missed It


Alright, despite the gag order, let's talk again about the Mall Crawl, Boulder's infamous Halloween celebration that took place on the Pearl Street Mall for the better part of the '80s.

The Mall Crawl was a gigantic gathering of drunken revelers that swarmed the Pearl Street Mall every Halloween until there were so many people committing so many different crimes that police had to shut it down.

Last year on Oct. 31, thousands of people still descended on Pearl Street's bars, to the point where there were lines out the door, even for the mall's least appealing establishments. Drum circles formed on the steps around the planters. People unabashedly danced to them. Sarah Palin/John McCain was the hot costume.

Also, police ticketed about a dozen people for putting pumpkins on their heads and frolicking naked across a city block, and they plan to do the same this year. Just blocks from Pearl Street, assailants punched a man and questioned his patriotism because he was Asian- American. And equally nearby, a woman was assaulted and gang-raped while walking home, the first of a slew of terrifying nighttime sexual assaults to happen in the following months.

The point is, bearing the "Mall Crawl" label or not, Halloween in Boulder is rowdy, intense and alcoholic. Last week, police knocked on the doors of two men who created a Facebook group the men created to revive the Mall Crawl. They reportedly threatened the men with legal action and said they would be held responsible for any costs incurred by the city should the Mall Crawl proceed. The men backed off and changed the name of the group to "The Artist Formerly Known as 'Bring back the Boulder Mall Crawl!'" But no amount of "preventative" policing will stop the thousands of Boulder residents who frequent the mall every year from returning for another Halloween. And if some property damage occurs from people who don't know what the Mall Crawl is (as is the case with most people under 30), will the two men still be held responsible? What determines whether a mob is acting of its own volition rather than acting as part of a loosely organized event? When will Boulder police focus more on preventing assaults and rapes in our neighborhoods and less on ticketing naked people and stopping peaceful gatherings on Pearl Street Mall?

Lizards get day in the sun

So, if you happen to own a tiny snake with legs, this item is for you.

The Colorado Reptile Humane Society (CoRHS) is hosting a "Caring for Small Lizards Workshop" from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 10, at what we assume are the CoRHS headquarters in Longmont, at 13941 Elmore Road.

"Tune up your care of leopard geckos, bearded dragons, and other small lizards," the news release says. "Learn about proper habitats, enrichment, lighting and heating, diet, safe handling, shedding and identification of common health issues."

There is a $10 donation and limited seating, so register by sending e-mail to or by calling 303-776- 2070. Or check out for more information about the organization.

And let us know how it goes, on a "scale" of 1 to 10.

Houston, we have a statue

If you were looking for ways to raise money for the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, maybe you thought about acquiring one of 22 uniquely painted, eight-foot-long space shuttle statues at an Oct. 18 auction, held online at The website blasts the headline, "Bet the Joneses don't have one of these!" If you're reading this on Oct. 8, it's not too late to bid on this possible conversation piece for the corner of your living room!

These handcrafted keepsakes are all autographed by real, live astronauts.

"Other cities have auctioned statues ... of just about anything else you could imagine," said astronaut Robert Crippen, who flew the first space shuttle mission in 1981. "The space shuttle is our icon, the country's icon, and we're proud to add these statues to the mix."

A news release states, "After making their re-entry from an eight-month tour the shuttles are back together and ready to receive their final flight coordinates at the Oct. 8 auction conclusion."

Proceeds benefit the foundation, which provides scholarships to top science and technology students around the country.

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