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From the week of January 4, 2001

The Days of Whine and Poses

Eve us alone:Well, well. With "2001: A Spaced Odyssey," in the December 21 issue, once again Crusadin' Calhoun comes out of her corner swinging with another whining diatribe about the fact that last New Year's Eve, Mayor Wellington Webb had the Denver police out in full force and there was no riot for them to quell: no drunken brawlers, no merchant's stores vandalized and looted, no cars overturned and/or set on fire, and no weirdos that the media had predicted would be wreaking mayhem and violence against peaceful citizens who were just out to have a good time celebrating New Year's Eve. In fact, as she so loquaciously lamented, it was positively boring!

Mayor Webb made his decision with no knowledge of what would happen that New Year's Eve, and he said he would probably be criticized for his decision no matter what he did. Crusadin' Calhoun didn't let him down. She took her cheap shot at him after New Year's Eve, and taking after-the-fact cheap shots at public officials who have to make decisions without knowing what the future may hold is something that is certain to sell copy.

There were two other possible scenarios if Mayor Webb hadn't had the police out in full force. If there had been no riot, Crusadin' Calhoun could have cited all the media predictions that the crazies might be out that night and could have whined that the mayor did nothing to protect the citizens and merchants. On the other hand, if there had been a riot, then she could have whined about Mayor Webb's shortsightedness and incompetence in running a city. And in one additional scenario, if the police had been out in full force and had had to quell a riot, then Crusadin' Calhoun could have had a grand time whining about police brutality and the tear-gassing of innocent bystanders.

Mayor Webb was right: No matter what he did, he would have been criticized. Crusadin' Calhoun and her relentless whining wouldn't have let him down. After all, her job is to sell copy, isn't it?

Phillip Klos
Lakewood


Bad Information

Uh-oh, Opie:Although I was disappointed in the city's lack of advance planning, I am even more disappointed with Laura Bond's description of Denver's local talent in the December 21 Backwash. I have to say, I would rather listen to these local acts on the mall than pay ridiculous ticket prices for so-called major performers. Opie Gone Bad and Hazel Miller are more significant to Denver's culture and Denver in the new millennium than any national act.

Drew Peterson
via the Internet

Bond on the run: So what's with Laura Bond? All I ever hear from her and about her is negative stuff! Does anyone know anything this writer does that benefits the arts and entertainment industry in the Colorado scene? I'd like to know! Seems like Westword, the magazine that most supports the Colorado music scene, ought to have a writer who can be a little more positive and supportive of our local shows and artists (we struggle so hard to get these baby steps taken, as demonstrated clearly once again by this New Year's Eve situation), rather than one who can only demean and degrade those of us who actually stick our necks out to make those baby steps happen in hopes that someday something even more substantial and exciting can grow from our efforts.

Opie, don't let this kind of negativity stop you from continuing to blaze the trail for locals yet to come in years ahead.

Jennifer Sweete
Conifer

That's enough: I was very surprised to learn from Laura Bond's December 21 Backwash that my band, Opie Gone Bad, was to play at the New Year's Eve celebration downtown. Although it would have been fun to "rock just enough" at the big bash, we had already scheduled our own New Year's show almost a year ago.

Please take care to proof your facts so there is no confusion. Or do you "proof just enough" to make your deadline?

Scott Davies
Denver

Laura Bond responds: Apologies to anyone who joined the mall throng on December 31 expecting to see Opie Gone Bad; the band headlined at the Little Bear in Evergreen, not the stage at Glenarm Place (that gig went to Nina Storey). And my particular apologies to Opie -- I'm sure the band rocked more than enough on New Year's Eve. I'd mentioned the "tentative" possibility of the Opie booking because the band was repeatedly named as the most likely candidate by local music sources, including some involved in the planning of the event; at press time, the Mayor's Office of Art, Culture and Film had yet to confirm the identity of the fourth artist (or return my two calls asking for information).


Stand Up and Holler

Go, team!Random thoughts regarding Justin Berton's December 21 article on Eaglecrest, "Three Cheers for Cheerleaders": I'm glad to see that tumbling and gymnastics are being incorporated into the cheerleading routines so that girls can be physically fit. I also like to hear of their enthusiasm for being part of a team with other girls and struggling for recognition. But cheerleading is still not a sport: As long as they are judged on elements like "eye contact" and "facial expression," we're talking about a type of entertainment -- one that is a sexual stereotype, to boot.

Do these girls appreciate that things like team spirit, the thrill of competition and athletic excellence could be theirs on a basketball, soccer or tennis team, along with so much more? And that people would come to those games to watch them, not the guys? And that when they were competing, they could look like it -- frown, grimace, grunt and yell? Do they know the excitement of going out on a court or field to face other girls playing the same game at the same time, reacting instantly to that other team's moves, going head-to-head with them, mixing it up? Now, that's a sport, and these girls should be in one.

I would have given anything when I was their age to be on a girl's team in a real sport. As much as they deserve a hand for their cheerleading, no monies should be diverted from real women's sports to fund what is actually a performing art. Those budgets are skimpy enough.

S.P. Williams
Lakewood


May the Farce Be With You

Parade rest: After reading the December 21 letters by Bryant DeAngelis and Carlo Amato about Kenny Be, I had to write. Columbine (gag) and the Italian Day parade (by the way, does this mean neo-Nazis can have a Hitler Day parade now?) are two subjects that I personally am completely sick of hearing about. (Do you think I'm alone on this? I doubt it.) Hooray to Kenny for pointing out some of the multitude of farces that thrive on these two subjects like bacteria.

Just to respond to those letters, what kind of "model of perseverance" are we talking about here with Frank DeAngelis? Perhaps persevering to look away any time jock bullies beat on insecure geeks who finally snap, as long as the Columbine football team can win state? I dare you to prove me wrong on that point, by the way. No one snaps like that without unbelievable pressure from peers.

In the second letter, Amato sounds like a fine Italian specimen. Statements like "Russell Means and his tribes would still be hunting buffaloes and living in tepees" make me appreciate Italian culture and logic so much more. Thank God that in Columbus, we had the divine light of a cannibalistic freak and his sideshow from Europe, complete with venereal disease (after all, love and romance is yet another thing that the Italians are supposedly so good at, according to Italian sheep, anyway), to help us Europeans (and last I checked, that would include Italy, unfortunately) move in and start killin' all dem injuns that were just taking up good mall space. So if all that America has to offer is bubble gum and Pepsi (which I don't necessarily disagree with, unless you start trying to look deeper, like before the Italians and other Europeans showed up), and Italy has such a vast heritage to bask in, why the hell are you here? I know I wouldn't have any objections to you putting on your Guccis and moving to Italy, the country where they celebrate new governments almost as much as the new year.

Sam Coffman
Lakewood


Creede Between the Lines

Back on the train gang: I just read Stuart Steers's December 14 "The Whistle Stops Here," on Shank and his Creede railroad plans. What is lacking is any input from us good folks in the maligned town of Silverton. We never wanted to be like Aspen; now we don't want to be like Telluride. So when we heard this past summer that Creede didn't want to be like Silverton, we took it as a low blow. We have not been subverted by the Texan element, as have Creede and Lake City. We do run our businesses more than an hour and a half a day; people do indeed ride the train to Silverton specifically to spend the night; and I personally don't know where cotton candy is sold in this town. The Creede mayor's remarks are ill-informed and factually wrong.

Fritz Klinke
Silverton Creede's credo: Thank you for your very nice article in Westword. There are just a couple of inaccuracies I would like to clarify.

If Shank was so concerned at the "lynch-mob mentality" of citizens of Creede asking important questions of a stranger coming into town, and was so "concerned" about his safety, why did he go to the local bar afterward and have several drinks with a dozen or more of those very citizens? Yes, people had some very important questions for anyone proposing what Shank was proposing -- things like business plans, schedules, lack of facilities in Creede for restrooms, restaurants, etc. -- and yes, they got pushy when Shank would never answer a question with a straight answer. Lynch-mob mentality? Read the recorded minutes of all the public meetings held in Town Hall -- I don't think you will find any evidence of such a thing.

As far as the fence situation goes, the "seventy-year-old-woman" is actually only 65 and is one of the more prominent citizens of Creede and a very proper New England lady. But you know those New Englanders: Push them too far, and they'll dump your tea in the sea!

The city council did not call a special meeting to consider the situation. The meeting referred to had been scheduled for almost two weeks regarding other issues. The fence issue was added to the agenda after the meeting started.

Also, it seems unfair to label people who have been named by a snitch "vigilantes" until they have been proven guilty! (Guilty until proven innocent?)

Sandra Wright, town clerk
Creede

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