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Letters to the Editor

From the week of December 28, 2000

Rolling Down the River

Rod and real: Steve Jackson's "The River's Edge," the December 21 conclusion of his "River" series, was a good article, about real problems of real people. Is Westword becoming a real publication?

Yes, this is meant as a compliment: I really do appreciate non-weird and non-sordid stories in the same Westword issue. I look forward to more.

Richard Myers
Thornton


The Gang's All Cheer

A sporting chance:I have to agree with Mariah Burton Nelson, quoted in Justin Berton's "Three Cheers for Cheerleaders," in the December 21 issue.

Cheerleading is not a sport. If you are at a game, you are not the athlete or the main feature. If you are not at a game, you are not cheering for anyone. All the tosses and tumbles ought to make them consider calling it gymnastics, for it certainly resembles that more than it does cheering for someone. Calling cheerleading a sport will divert girls from entering other sports, ones that could even lead to professional careers.

I also don't feel the new entrance requirements would be applied fairly, either. A girl can be very athletic and coordinated, but I guarantee she won't make the team if she's unattractive. Gymnastic or not, cheerleading has always been a venue for pretty, popular girls.

And before you ask, yes, I was a cheerleader for a time. Funny how my "athletic ability" didn't matter at all when I gained twelve pounds over a summer.

Ardis Andersen
Denver

Pep talk: My name is Mandy, and I am an Eaglecrest varsity cheerleader. I just wanted to write and tell you guys how appreciative all the girls on my squad are that you spent time with us and wrote an article about us. It was very nice to hear that we are not the only people in this world who agree that we are athletes. I hope your article changed the minds of some critical people out there. Thank you again!

Mandy Harper
Aurora

A word to the wise:You made my Christmas. A month or so ago, the TV program Who Wants to Be a Millionaire had "pom poms" as the correct answer to a question about cheerleaders. I e-mailed them that they were wrong, but I never heard back.

Then your big December 21 issue came out with "POM POMS AWAY!" blasting at the world in huge type. I went to my small dictionary at home just to make sure my memory had not faded since I retired from AP three years ago. Then I drove to the Golden public library to look in their huge, modern dictionary. They all confirm that a pom pom is a heavy-duty automatic gun usually mounted on ships in pairs or quad units 20 to 40 mm. A pom pon is "an ornamental ball or tuft..."

I have lectured young journalists about that difference for years, usually wondering if it was worth my time. And I would be surprised if anyone other than this grouchy old journalist caught it in Westword.

Anyway, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you.

Joe McGowan
via the Internet

Editor's note: Our copy editor was delighted to read your letter, since she, too, has come up against the pom-pom/pompon question many times. She, too, had gone to her dictionary (Webster's Tenth Collegiate) to see if memory served her correctly. There the second entry for "pom-pom" refers to an anti-aircraft gun; the entry for "pompon" refers to flowers with rounded heads. However, the first entry for "pom-pom" reads as follows: "1: an ornamental ball or tuft used esp. on clothing, caps, or costumes. 2: a handheld usu. brightly colored fluffy ball flourished by cheerleaders."


Lobster Clause

The veal thing: Regarding those three letters in the December 21 issue -- wow! All this fuss over lobsters? Which, I might add, are very tasty, boiled freshand dipped in hot clarified butter. Yum!

I think Kyle Wagner made a good point in her December 21 Bite response: I am sure these lobster naysayers have had some sort of beef product or even veal in their lifetimes. And we allknow how veal is obtained. Hey, these are yummy foods. Focus on some other cause, like cutting down liveChristmas trees.

Scott Higgins
via the Internet


Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

I'm dreaming of a White Spot Christmas:I am writing about Robin Chotzinoff's "The White Stuff," in the December 7 issue, and to express my disdain toward Rickenbaugh's abhorrent decision to trash the White Spot in favor of a modern, money-making endeavor. I hope my letter can make a difference in saving the White Spot by turning it into a historic landmark. To me, it is a wonderful place to eat and relax among friends at any time during the day. To others, it may mean something else, but either way, the White Spot should not go! It contains such diversity among young and old, rich and poor, that it seems as if everyone has been invited and told to get along. It is a place where I would one day want my children to dine and be able to experience its magical allure.

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