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A Swift Kick
Regarding Harrison Fletcher's July 29 "Boot Hell": Axis Commercial Realty says it followed a Cherry Creek property owner's lead in booting "parking scofflaws headed for Starbucks." What it does not mention is that the greedy little private boot bastards actually sit around watching to nail people for the slightest transgression. I parked in the parking area reserved for that Starbucks and got a boot for parking in a reserved spot, even though the signage on each space hardly distinguishes between reserved spots and customer spots. It was a Saturday morning, and there were about ten open reserved spaces. As a result of this and the failure of Starbucks to respond when I let them know of this parasitic situation, I no longer patronize any Starbucks or the stores next to them.

Brent D. Tharp
Denver

Unfriendly Village
Regarding Stuart Steers's "Happy Trailers," in the July 29 issue:
I've lived in Friendly Village of the Rockies mobile-home park for twenty years and watched our rent go sky high. When we first moved into the park, we were coming from a two-year-old home in Lake Arbor that we had to sell because of illness. We were looking for something nice but affordable, and that is why we bought our mobile home. It is not much of a joy anymore because of rent increases, and now they are charging for water. At the time we moved in, we were told there would be a $5-a-month pet fee for cats and dogs (each pet), which we paid--not knowing at the time that it was illegal. Since Marie from Mobile Gardens has been reading up on the laws and discovered this is not a legal fee, I sure would like my pet-fee money refunded. I could probably pay a couple of months' space rent with it and go out for a really nice dinner and have change. Being on Social Security and seeing our rent rise every year and now having to pay for water leaves little or nothing to live on. I hope Marie wins her battle.

Karen Johnson
via the Internet

Kids for Sale
I read with interest Gayle Worland's "Don't Turn That Dial," in the July 29 issue, on the infusion of Channel One's corporate advertising into Denver classrooms. This type of endeavor will only become more common as conservative politicians and inept school boards and administrations continue to do less, with less, in our public schools.

On the same day that I read Westword's story, I happened upon an ad in the Denver Rocky Mountain News. It was placed by the News in the youth-friendly "Mini Pages," and it described a new curriculum, made available for free to educators "thanks to our generous corporate sponsors." The program? It's called "The First Car," and it's suitable for grades 9-12 and features a curriculum "designed to teach high school students the process of buying, insuring and maintaining their first car." The Rocky also makes clear that this curriculum is "perfect for math, economics, life skills and business courses!"

Of course, this program is funded by the Rocky Mountain News' "generous corporate sponsors," which happen to be John Elway AutoNation and Progressive Auto Insurance. Nothing like a captive audience of wannabe consumers for a quality educational program! One might even think that, since Elway left the Broncos, he appears to be busier than ever with his youth-friendly Coors hustler and new curriculum-development positions!

I look forward to continuing coverage in Westword of the depths that schools--and businesses and media--will sink to inject the pro-corporate message into the public education system and the captive audience of youth in classrooms.

Bill Vandenberg
Denver

War of the Words
Gayle Worland's "Guerra de los Periódicos," in the July 22 issue, is a scene setter for what she contends will be a "lively war" for Hispanic readers between the weekly La Voz and the yet-to-be published Hola Colorado. What she portrays is not a war but an attack. Worland exposes an approach on the part of the challenger that is tainted by some disturbing undercurrents.

Citing La Voz's ownership by newspaper veterans Ivan Rosenberg and Cliff Bautsch while spotlighting the Anglo roots of its founder and publisher, Wanda Padilla, Hola CEO-designate Joe Mendoza glibly announces that the presence of La Voz in the Hispanic community is a charade.

The facts show that in its 25-year history, La Voz has been honored repeatedly by the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP) and the Colorado Press Association for excellence in journalism. That's a tribute to a distinguished group of alumni that includes Denver Post columnist Tomas Romero, Hispanic Media Association president Sherry Vasquez and El Semanario publisher Chris Fresquez, along with award-winning writers David Conde and Leo Cardenas.

The facts confirm that in the growing list of smaller bilingual weeklies (those with a circulation under 50,000) in the 110-member NAHP's annual ratings, La Voz has been ranked number one or two in the U.S. for the past five years. That recognition reached its zenith in 1998 at a Cinco de Mayo celebration in Puebla, Mexico, when Mrs. Padilla was honored with a lifetime achievement award for her contributions to the advancement of Hispanic journalism.

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