Those of us who care about true fidelity count on the likes of Westword, Peter Boyles, Jay Marvin, etc., to keep shining the light of truth and to keep the cockroaches scattering.

Pat Desrosiers

Older and Wiser
I hope everyone appreciates Westword's good work. Not all stories are sex scandals. In the February 12 issue, for example, there also was Steve Jackson's next installment in the sad story of Letty Milstein, "Letty Wins." If it were not for Westword, we would not know about the injustices done by the Denver Probate Court. Thanks for keeping up the heat.

Larry Walters

Letty Milstein, you are an inspiration to us all. Go get 'em!
Cheryl Bower
via the Internet

Twentieth-Century Knocks
Fascinating story by Alan Prendergast on the Millennium Bug ("Profits of Doom," February 12). But even after reading it, I still can't tell whether I should be worried about my PC come New Year's Eve, 1999--or just pop the cork and start partying.

E.R. Ross

Your article on the Year 2000 problem was well-written and accurate. Alan Prendergast correctly identified the major risk factors: legacy software, infrastructure hardware and software, embedded chips and vendors.

The focus on enterprise business software addresses only one aspect of this problem and, unfortunately, too many organizations (both public and private) have not considered the full spectrum you've outlined. For example, consider the number of electronic process control systems that exist in a large, automated factory. In many cases, these systems have been running for a long time, and the maxim "Don't fix it if it's not broke" applies. Any documentation may be missing, and the individuals who installed and programmed the systems may no longer be around. How do you find, test and ultimately repair these systems?

Clearly, this problem can be quite complex for large corporations, and experts such as Mr. Zvengintov (quoted in your article as stating the problem is "the focus of a huge and unique racket" and "an exercise for the software novice") only display their profound ignorance by trivializing it.

I would challenge these skeptics to research the growing body of information available on the Internet. Frankly, their posturing as experts is ludicrous and counterproductive, and I believe that this type of misinformation has led a number of executives to procrastinate to the point where they may seriously impact their organizations.

Will some companies reap success from this problem? Certainly, and that ability to apply creative problem-solving to a significant issue such as Y2K should yield rewards. That is the beauty of capitalism.

Don A. Cox
Vice President, Isys Technologies

Alas, the new millennium does not start until January 1, 2001. 2000 is the last year of the twentieth century, not the first year of the twenty-first.

Mike Judson
via the Internet

Called to Task
Alan Prendergast's "Reach Out and Gouge Someone," in the February 5 issue, was typically way out in left field. Okay, fine, so inmates have to pay toll charges "among the highest allowed by law." So what? Taxpayers still have to pay for their cost of incarceration, which far exceeds the toll charges. Your article states that they have the choice to call collect or have the monies deducted from their prison accounts, but they also have a choice to write a letter. And more important, they had a choice not to commit the crime that sent them to prison. Life is not always fair, and I refuse to be all broken up about criminals paying extra for phone calls. Their families may be unfairly burdened, but they do not have to accept calls.

So give it a break, will you?
Timothy D. Allport

A lot of us at the Boulder County Jail found the article on prison phone-rate gouging fascinating. As William Burroughs (novelist/corpse) wrote, "People like to read what they already know."

Only when people outside "the system" hear about this gouging will there be a possibility of change. However, the article focused only on the inmates in the Department of Corrections, because they have filed a lawsuit. DOC inmates pay a $1.25 surcharge per call; as insidious as that is, people should be aware that inmates in metro county jails are paying $2.05 per call. We also experience the unexplained hangups, and we can barely hear the person on the other end.

J.T. Colfax
Boulder County Jail

Pat Answers
Regarding Patricia Calhoun's "Million Fan March," in the February 5 issue:
The current stadium is too old! Isn't that just too bad? Why is it that schools in Denver that are seventy years old are good enough to house children and teachers for more than 180 days a year while the much newer football facility is not sufficient for grown men to occupy for sixty hours a year?

I wonder if those who advocate the $265 million welfare payments by taxpayers for this shrine to opulence are the same ones who flippantly proclaim that education will not be helped by "throwing money at it."

Dorsey Hudson

For the Denver Broncos to ask (no, demand!) that the hardworking people of Colorado pay for their new playground is offensive--or laughable, depending on how you view other obscenities.

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