To my knowledge, Hawkins has never negotiated a labor agreement or been on strike as a worker. And this guy wants to represent workers? Don't be silly. If Hawkins expects to generate support among the state's unions, he won't do it by spouting horse crap to Westword. He'll do it by making his case among union leaders.

So far he hasn't been able to do that, and I doubt that he can.
Chuck Conner

Editor's note: Earlier this week, Jack Hawkins announced he was dropping his challenge to Colorado AFL-CIO president Bob Greene. Hawkins says his candidacy was causing too much dissension within Colorado's labor movement, and he didn't want to divide labor's ranks unnecessarily.

The Uncommon Cult
Alan Prendergast's August 14 article, "Hush-Hush Money," detailing much of the cult of Scientology's practices, was well-done. However, while he mentions that the Cult Awareness Network (CAN) has been driven into bankruptcy by the cult, he missed the most terrible aspect of that case. Specifically, if you call the CAN phone number in search of information on what to do if a loved one is in a cult, you get a Scientology operator. Of course, they won't tell you that up front. The judge who allowed CAN's assets, including its name and number, to be sold to the cult of Scientology has put families and vulnerable individuals at great risk. That is the terrible and surprising news. That the cult of Scientology would take advantage of unsuspecting victims is not.

Dick Cleek
via the Internet

Order on the Court
Bill Gallo remains the finest sports columnist in town. I especially appreciate his continued interest in professional tennis ("Quit Making Such a Racquet," August 14). His is the only commentary on the sport you will see in a local publication.

Gary Williams
via the Internet

Copping a Plea
Peter Rainer has to be a complete moron. I am tired of his crap, and I don't agree with his comments on Cop Land ("Bad Cop, Bad Cop," August 14). I felt it was an excellent movie, and I also felt Stallone did his best to make this movie into something that would have gone nowhere without him. Someone who has his finger up his ass has nothing better to do than to tear him down. It's time for you to get a new career, Rainer-boy.

Wayne A. Cordova

Chew Do You Trust?
I complained earlier about Robin Chotzinoff's self-focus in her reviews. She appears to have overcome that distraction with "Matzo Luck," her August 14 review of the New York Deli News. Good work.

Jim Dumas
via the Internet

Never before have I encountered such a confounded group of neophytes for food critics, leading everyone to assume that Robin Chotzinoff or Kyle Wagner wrote the book on cuisine and restaurant service. The fact that one eats out all the time does not make one a food expert. Furthermore, the simple fact that one has been to a country of that particular food's origin doesn't make him/her an expert, either. All in all, from the looks of things, your writers seem most experienced in using a credit card.

Judging from Chotzinoff's July 17 "Mouth of the Border," with all the dirt spoken about Portugal, you obviously need some guidance. Bacalhau varies from house to house. Just because she didn't like it doesn't mean the food of Portugal is bad. It just means her tastes are still accustomed to the Macaroni Grill.

To properly critique a restaurant, you need someone who has experience running a restaurant, one who knows what a waitstaff is supposed to do, one who knows what foods should taste like. I guess writing about "diners and greasy spoons" is a start, but maybe try someplace else. Whether you know it or not, you have sheep reading this paper: They follow whatever you say. If you say it's bad, then they think it's bad. You can make or break a restaurant by writing about things you may not be too well-versed in. It's time for a real Cafe section.

Nick Mello
via the Internet

Editor's note: Well, Nick, you'll be thrilled to know that Kyle Wagner returns to her Westword dining duties in this very issue. Look for her dissection of the Cheesecake Factory on page 61.

Letters policy: Westword wants to hear from you, whether you have a complaint or compliment about what we write from week to week. Letters should be no more than 200 words; we reserve the right to edit for libel, length and clarity. Although we'll occasionally withhold an author's name on request, all letters must include your name, address and telephone number. Write to:

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