By Joel Warner
By Michael Roberts
By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
Breaking the Spell
I'd like to know what it is with this band Spell. Is somebody at Westword sleeping with somebody in the band or related to them? All you guys do is write about them and write about them, and now they're on the May 4 cover. C'mon already--enough of your ridiculous juvenile favoritism. I don't know who these clowns are, but let them get famous before you give them all this exposure. It's not your job to make them famous. How about a little variety in your reporting? Cast a spell on somebody else, will ya?
Thanks for the article on Spell: It was good to catch up with what Chanin Floyd's been doing lately. I knew her from her Twice Wilted days, and I played drums with a band that lived underneath the Wilted's upper Larimer loft. Maybe she'll remember--I played with Chris and James.
Anyway, I wish her and hers the best of luck. She's a great bass player, and I admire her persistence to do what she really enjoys. Many Denver musicians should take a lesson from her on this. Also, my last haircut (four years ago) was by her. And I'd like it to be stated that I think she's the hippest and best hair person in town. And yeah, she'll have no problem in the biz. I've thought she is a "foxy babe" for years.
It was great seeing Spell on the cover of Westword, but it raised a question on which I have a lunch riding. A friend of mine says this was the first rock band you've had on the cover. I told him you had Wanker on the cover in the late Eighties. Who is right?
Editor's note: Neither, really. Westword has featured several bands on our front page since Wanker appeared on December 23, 1987--and that was hardly a first. Westword's original musical cover boy was Jim Ransom, October 13, 1977.
Better Read Than Dead
I was shocked to see the letter in the May 4 issue complaining that Westword has written too much about Rocky Flats. Without Westword, we might never have known about what the grand jury really found at the bomb factory! And apparently there is still more that the Department of Energy isn't telling us. In the same issue, Richard Fleming's story, "Minding the Store," did a good job of showing that Rocky Flats is still dangerous--both to the people who work there and the people who live in the metro area. As far as I'm concerned, Westword can't write enough about this topic. Thanks for all your work.
Winsome, Lose Some
Robin Chotzinoff's story on the Aguirre family ("Writes of Passage," April 27) should be on everyone's must-read list! With so many negative stories out there about minorities (and especially minority kids), I found the article very moving and inspirational. To the Aguirre family, I say: Good luck, and God be with you!
Robin Chotzinoff asserts that General Lazaro Cardenas was president of Mexico in the early Fifties and that in a midnight meeting Cardenas gave Beto Aguirre three choices: leave, conform or die. It is a colorful anecdote, but it cannot be accurate since Cardenas was president from 1934 to 1940.
When Beto founded his Michoacan newspaper in 1947, Miguel Aleman was president (from 1946 to 1952). He was succeeded by Adolfo Ruiz Cortines, who served until 1958. Neither of these presidents was considered particularly oppressive, neither was a military man, and Aleman is chiefly remembered for his successful real estate investments and for having reduced the influence of the military and the police.
Confusing Cardenas with Aleman or Ruiz Cortines is tantamount to confusing George Washington with John Tyler or Calvin Coolidge. Although recent Mexican history is far removed from our daily lives here in Colorado, the facts are easy to check, and you should have verified one that bore so prominently on the story.
Time and Punishment
Regarding Steve Jackson's "Jail Break" in the April 20 issue:
It seems to me that although it is common to think of the issue as one of punishment vs. rehabilitation, it is equally possible to perceive the issue as one of problem solving. There are certainly violent and/or incorrigible criminals who are in need of punishment, and we have more than adequate prison facilities to deal with them.
However, for nonviolent offenders, doesn't it make more sense to hold them responsible for their behavior in a way that contributes to society and promotes the offender's investment in society? Our current approach is clearly not working. It is unfortunate that Roger Lauen has become so discouraged. We are in great need of creative, problem-solving approaches to social problems. Thank you for bringing attention to this important matter.
X Marks the Spot
Regarding Michael Roberts's "Suicide Is Brainless" in the April 13 issue, and the letters that followed:
Michael Roberts and his detractors have all missed the point of Kurt Cobain's suicide. Mr. Cobain is nothing less than the first martyr of Generation X, America's first generation to have less financially and spiritually than the one before. In addition, Cobain's suicide is a scream in anger and anguish of Generation X at their parents of the Woodstock Generation, who raised them without values and without hope.