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From the week of November 15, 2001

Mean streets:I really liked "This Thug's Life." Deep down, I feel bad for Frank, but then again, I don't. It's just funny that in the article he was quoted saying, "I think a lot about suicide...I'm afraid I'm not going to do too good in prison." But in the streets, that wasn't a big concern to him.

I thank the Lord for giving me a family and my parents, who kept me on track. Unfortunately, Frank didn't have that in his life. I hope many young kids read this article and wake up, because there are still many kids who don't care about anything today.

Javier
via the Internet

No excuses:My letter is being sent in response to Augusta Vigil's blatant ignorance regarding Frank Lontine's lifestyle. First of all, you can't blame his family life for his actions. That does not cancel out the fact that on any given night, he would try and convince Andrew Toledo to go and "kill somebody" with him.

How can you say that Frank is not ready for what lies ahead? He shot a man in the chest while robbing him. But he didn't stop there: He tried to make sure this innocent man was dead by shooting him in the face. Think about that man's family. You knew Frank was into gangs. Gang members occupy life's lowest rung. Don't you know what gangs are capable of? Ever hear Brandy DuVall's story? A gang is an atrocity waiting to happen. Frank deserves life for what he did.

If you really want to help Frank out, I suggest you go put some money on his books. It seems his "crew" has ditched him.

Shame on you for minimizing this tragedy.

Justin Melton
Denver

Out of sight, out of mind:Since I graduated from East High in 1993, it was easy for me to think gangs in Denver had all but disappeared. I got on with my life as an adult, and without that portal into urban Denver, I just figured the cops' crackdown after the Summer of Violence cleaned everything up. Sad to see that's not the case.

This kind of story reminds those of us who left that environment that just because we're not there doesn't mean it isn't. A very well-crafted story.

P.S.: Loved Calhoun's column on United Airlines, "Cash Landing," in the November 1 issue.

Dave Flomberg
via the Internet


Soar Losers

Chairman of the bored: Methinks me a better writer/journalist than Patricia Calhoun is an economist/CEO. After the November 1 "Cash Landing," perhaps her next insightful column could address the disparity of salaries amongst the staff at Westword and what makes her more valuable than those who answer the phones and deliver the paper.

Jay Baird
Denver

It's what's up front that counts: Congratulations are in order for Patricia Calhoun's continuing coverage of the airport, most recently regarding United's former CEO. While other reporters were still quoting the company line, Calhoun bared her breast (so to speak) about Argenbright Security's incompetence. She's taken a lot of heat from letter writers in the last few issues, but I appreciate her honest, "up-front" commentary.

Jay Nelson
via the Internet

Defense! Defense:After watching all this security flap at DIA, my wife and I would like to ask this question: When the Donkeys go out of state to play, like to Oakland, California, how much of a security check do these guys go through? I'll bet Patricia Calhoun that they go on a chartered plane and therefore bypass all security.

Vincent Sandoval
Denver

Rave new world: I am writing to thank P.J. Methgarb for his November 1 letter, responding to mine of October 25. I enjoyed laughing at it very much!

I wrote in response to unnecessary "bitching and complaining" about airport security measures. I offered, in a facetious manner, solutions for women who did not feel comfortable being patted down because the metal-lined undergarments they chose to wear set off metal detectors. In Mr. Methgarb's rebuttal, I was informed that I (a 24-year-old professional opera singer whom he has never met) "need to get a life."

My letter (affectionately called "ravings") was not intended to be taken word-for-word, but rather in its entire form (sorta like that thing called the Bible) to remind people of the pettiness of complaining about something that is there to protect them. I understand the fact that some of these security workers are felons and that they get paid minimum wage. It's been all over the news! How could I not know? The most sensible solution (which I pointed out) is that women notgive these workers any reason to touch them (i.e., nometal equals no pat-down).

Before Mr. Methgarb embarrasses himself with another letter, I would like to make a few suggestions. First, get a life of your own! Second, learn how to form a proper sentence. Third, get your facts straight! I am not from Colorado, but am glad to call it my new home. And the last time I checked, airport security does not require you to hand over your undergarments or any other piece of clothing at their checkpoints. Therefore, you can keep your out-of-date "leopard-skin Speedo"!

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