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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.

La Voz will continue to produce what has been the Hispanic Voice of Colorado in the print media for more than 1,000 issues. Hola Colorado is preparing to enter the realm of Hispanic print as the self-proclaimed "Voice of the 21st Century," growling, "If you're not of Mexican descent, you have no right to be here"--an inspiring message that will either repel or attract some 50,000-plus Hispanic readers with its underlying philosophy.

But there is a rule in the world of journalism: Readers--not reporters or would-be-publishers--will decide who speaks to and for them.

Bill Galloway
La Voz Hispana de Colorado

The White Stuff
After reading his letter about "Dealing with the Devil" in the July 22 issue, I hate to burst Frank Sheridan's hate bubble--but Brandy DuVall was Hispanic!

Keith Espinoza
via the Internet

Do As I Say, Not As I Do
In regards to Kyle Wagner's July 29 review of Cafe Cero: I used to respect Kyle's restaurant reviews. However, if she thinks the word "FUCK" should be included in her reviews, as she did this week, then I guess she can "FUCK OFF." I don't appreciate this type of language, especially where any kid can pick up a copy of your weekly rag.

And if she thinks that using this type of language in a RESTAURANT REVIEW is cool, I suggest the editors tell her to think again. She just blew any credence I would give to her reviews. From now on, I'll stick to the Post, News, Gabby Gourmet, etc.

Four-letter words are NOT acceptable in a restaurant-review format. YOU just lost a reader.

Name withheld upon request

A Bonding Experience
Regarding Laura Bond's July 29 Backwash:
Okay, okay, Laura. So rock is dead in Denver. But by what standards can some non-daylight-savings-time-acknowledging, non-Martin-Luther-King-Jr.-Day-observing, Circle-K-on-every-other-corner native of Arizona judge us? Taking the hipper-than-thou approach is always a safe bet when exploring new territory, and Westword obviously had been feeling for a while that good old Uncle Mike just wasn't jaded enough anymore. (Geraldo had Al Capone's vault, and you, Mr. Roberts, had your Spice Girls review.) One word: To retain any ounce of credibility, be sure to get out the whiskey and chairs--not to mention the red carpet--whenever and wherever 16 Horsepower rolls into town. It is one band that makes us out here in the sticks. Thank the Lord (the Devil?) that they even exist in our little town, or any other. Sure, the scene sucks. But for God's sake, let it take more than a blessed couple of weeks for some flatlander to realize it.

P.S.: Welcome!
Cat Spacey
via the Internet

Hmm, Phoenix...Yup, you're right. The first thing you would notice is the "fast-food row" of musical offerings. Considering you just came from the world of sand, big cactus, streets that only run in straight lines so you can drive highway speeds through your neighborhood, no left turns, over-tempered work force, bored youth, over-tanned senior golf partners, the time-zone-challenged, plastic-wrapped and culturally flatlined--it is going to take time. Just make sure you slow down long enough to discover the many shades of the Denver music scene. While there are a lot of musicians wanting to "make it big," there are far more wanting to explore and entertain. They really don't care what the outside world thinks. If you've come to town looking for "shock and anger is the only musical offering we have," "look at me at any cost" or "if we all act like it's L.A., maybe we'll magically be transported there," you might want to just rent for a while before you buy. On the other hand, if you can get dialed in to what is really going on and your column brings meaningful insight and critique, then welcome aboard.

L. Mason
via the Internet

Bravo to Laura Bond for not trying to curry favor with her new audience. Too often, support of a Denver scene turns quickly into defensive wish fulfillment. The ignored champions of local music or local art after a time seem unable to face the truth: that the scene in Denver is deficient for a town of its size. And no amount of wishing will make it otherwise. What we need right now is a little facing of facts to get us on track again. Again, congratulations to Laura on her ability to convey her disappointment with the local music scene without raising too many hackles.

Rich Armstrong
via the Internet

I was surprised to see "The Vinyl Solution," by Kelly Lemieux, in your July 22 issue. It's about time Westword began paying attention to non-traditional DJs. I am not a Denver native and was very excited when I discovered Gary Norris and Patrick Robinson playing their records at the Skylark. The sad thing is that they are the only alternative in Denver to clubbing. The music these two play as DJs is hot news on either coast, where DJs are leaving drum-and-bass behind to explore the more campy side of music. Let's hear it for the record collectors! These guys have been invited to play their records in Las Vegas over Halloween weekend with some of the more infamous West Coast DJs--folks who've been doing this sort of thing for years. It's good to see Denver try something new; let's hope this trend continues. Thanks for the article.

Bradley Strozek
Denver

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:

Westword Letters
P.O. Box 5970
Denver, CO 80217
or e-mail to: editorial@westword.com.

Missed a story? The editorial contents of Westword, dating back to July 1, 1996, are available online at www.westword.com/archive/index.html.

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