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Tot off the Presses
Patricia Calhoun's "Sitting in Judgment," in the November 13 issue, was a phenomenal piece of work that said many things that needed to be said. We are indeed "sitting in judgment" of a case in Massachusetts, when similar situations in our own backyard are completely ignored! I hope Nancy Smith has been able to find peace. And I hope baby-killers, whoever they may be--parents, babysitters, strangers--rot in hell.

Heather Simon
Denver

Patricia Calhoun: I read your paper on and off when I can find the time, but your column on babysitters missed the mark. Your ignorance on a matter that happens to young girls who happen to not come from a wealthy family is very plain. I know for a fact that our culture takes advantage of these unfortunates who try to pay their way by taking care of children that irresponsible people shove off on them.

Our local press does not say one bad word about individuals who neglect their children by letting someone else raise their kids almost full-time. I live in an area where children are cared for by youngsters who are kids themselves. The parents who commit this act of indifference also never fully take care of their children, even when they're home. I see kids every day who could be picked up by strangers or are allowed to run about the neighborhood unrestrained, dirty and not taught any manners at all.

P.S.: I was one of those children who to this day is still paying for parents' indifference and neglect. So my best advice is to write about something you know.

Richard Williams
Denver

Bum Steer
Scott Yates's "Power Steering," in the November 13 issue, was great. How utterly stupid are some of this country's politicians and lobbyists, anyway? But hey--anyone can make a buck (lots of bucks) in our society if they can find the right money and power-hungry assholes with half a brain to spread their lies and bring their scams into fruition. What is really scary is how many people in the House and Senate of Utah (and now Colorado) were willing to vote for a bill they didn't know a damn thing about. But I am sure it happens all the time. As long as some elected officials vote some of the time on some of the issues, they figure they are doing their jobs.

Richard Kasteler should be charged with obstruction of government. Are Elsie Lacy, Norma Anderson and Kelly Atkinson typical of the average dodoes we have in office? It's like Kasteler went up and said, "I have a profitable scheme, so smile for the camera (click), shove your head up your butt, use your pull in the government, and pull your head out when I write you another check."

The analogies with Envirotest's endeavor to rake in millions with a "contract goes to the highest bidder" bill was right on target. It's amazing how these things come to pass with no measure of accountability in the equation. As long as the money comes out of my pocket and yours, though, those like Lacy will never care; they don't have enough intelligence to. Insure-Rite cannot prove they ever accomplished an iota of their claims. But they do have a healthy bank account for it.

Cal Anton
Denver

I used to think the state I currently live in was the only one subject to such ripoffs as Insure-Rite. Now I see that my home state of Colorado is subject to the same stupidity. It still amazes me that someone can hold public office and vote on a bill without doing any groundwork. The best thing to do would be to find out who's voting for this insane lunacy and vote them out of office.

Keith Privette
via the Internet

Portrait of Jenny
I just finished reading Steve Jackson's "Live Fast, Die Young," in the November 6 issue. Once again, Westword has done a phenomenal job of reporting a story that many of us would never have been aware of had it not been for your paper. I found the article clear and concise, well-researched and extremely well-written.

It reminded me of how truly fortunate we are to live in an area where there are still newspapers available that offer more than the homogenized pap styled to reach the "common reader" that we see in our more commercial papers. All too often I find in the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post news items taken straight off the AP. Local reporting is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, and when one can find it, it is usually written by a reporter scarcely able to write a cohesive sentence.

Jenny's story was sad in itself, but Steve Jackson wrote it in such a manner as to make it the heartbreaking tragedy that it truly was.

Linda Stout
Lafayette

Slamming Doors
So Michael "If I hate it, it must be good" Roberts hates the newly released Doors boxed set ("Behind the Doors," November 13). Now, that's a big surprise. So Michael thinks "misogyny and mean-spiritedness" are at Jim Morrison's heart? Then Michael obviously must not listen too closely to the lyrics of his favorite non-musical idiom, "rap." So Michael says Jim Morrison "was a big dick." Takes one to know one, eh, Mikey?

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