Letters to the Editor

From the week of November 16, 2000

Lofty Ideals

Can't stop the music: I was angry and disappointed when I read T.R. Witcher's "Last Dance," in the November 9 issue. However, I was more surprised by my reaction: favoring the club over the residents. I, too, live in LoDo. My loft is directly above a bar. My floor is the bar's ceiling; the patio of the bar is only a few feet from my window. As you can imagine, the music gets loud -- especially on karaoke night, when the patio crowd permeates my living space. I have complained; I have thought of direct legal action. I have been mad and frustrated, too.

Yet I still side with F-Stop over the residents for five major reasons: 1) The residents there aren't nearly as infringed upon as the residents in my building -- a building that is very old and does not have the sound-barrier technology of these residents' lofts. 2) It is obvious that the residents are concerned more with the demographics of the club than the actual sound problems they claim are present. 3) The club, unlike the bar below me, has spent a great deal of money, effort and labor to satisfy the residents' complaints. 4) Remember Calvin's and other great places that used to be here? Because LoDo is becoming more residential, it is becoming more suburban -- which brings suburban businesses, mainly chains, into what was once an artistic and independent business area. Soon clubs like Rock Island, where I have been a customer and now a DJ for years, could be shut down after fourteen years by residents who will be moving across the street and could be prompted to take actions like those against F-Stop. 5) The business, the bars and the clubs were here first. These residents know what to expect. They should not be allowed to bully exciting entertainment businesses in order to prolong or promote their own very dull, very exclusive, very white lifestyles.

This isn't the suburbs, after all, and you can't have it both ways. These residents will slowly eat away the diversity and entertainment of downtown, which they claim is the very reason they moved down here. A bumper sticker by UnAmerican Activities sums up this problem very well: "Go back to your suburb!"

Charles Russell

The Hard Sell

Singing the blues: I'm having a hard time just getting past the title of Patricia Calhoun's November 2 column, "This City for Sale," because it doesn't look like this city is for sale. It's been sold. When I am anywhere near downtown, the glowing blue Qwest signs are all I can see. Mile High Stadium will never look like it's in Anywhere, USA. Whatever the name, it will inevitably land in unsightly Qwest Town, USA.

Laura Burke

Are You Dense?

The fringe element: Regarding Stuart Steers's "The Big Squeeze," in the November 2 issue:

Denver has many wonderful neighborhoods whose preservation and health ought to remain a priority. But if those neighborhoods refuse to accept greater density at their fringes, we all suffer. Denver can become either a chichi city preserved in aspic or an evolving and vibrant city with varying socio-economic scales. Let the suburbs, with their monoculture of kitschy ranchettes, cater to the nostalgia crowd. Denver's soul is not Republican...even if the frightened householders of Washington Park suggest otherwise.

Walter Hall

Hell, No, We Won't Grow

Little unaffordable house on the prairie: As a voter who struggled with the implications of Amendment 24, I voted against it only because I felt it had some ambiguities in its enforcement (Patricia Calhoun's "Snap Judgment," November 9). But I felt that its heart is and was in the right place. Many felt that this amendment would have "ended rural life as we know it." Growth in some ways already has. Farmers are pushed out because they can't afford to keep water rights anymore or "new rural-ites" don't want those smelly farms near their McMansions. I certainly felt the anti-24 campaign became repugnant in its last days, breaking out the cowboys and ranchers for that last heartstring tug at the "Old West" life to be lost. Then Governor Owens said that affordable housing would end as we know it -- which was false. It's gone already. I can honestly say that, given the chance, 90 percent of the people in this state would flatly vote against affordable, infill housing in their neighborhoods. Affordable doesn't mean slums, crackhouses and Section 8; it means aesthetically pleasing housing that a mid- to low-income family can afford that isn't a sh*tbox.

I'm a native of Colorado, and to think I'd actually have to move out of state to find affordable housing within city limits is ludicrous. We needed a statewide initiative to enforce responsibility of actions between cities and counties. The people of Colorado need to stop acting like Manifest Destiny is alive and well. Ranchers and farmers would rather keep and work the land they love, but when the state doesn't give them an economically viable alternative to selling out to development, we have no room for complaints. Responsible growth is intertwined with smart planning, straight zoning, increased but livable densities, walkable communities, sustained water sources for all of Colorado and a mass-transit system that works.

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