Letters to the Editor

From the week of March 14, 2002

"You can pay the $297 or pay $140 right now and we'll take your boot off by the end of the day. You should have taken care of these another way."

"Well, I really didn't count on my nephew being blown in two with a shotgun in Florida, so I've been gone, doing other things."

"Well, you have until Wednesday or it'll be towed."

"Let me see if I've got this straight. I pay you $140 and can get my vehicle back and can go free. Or I pay you $297, and get my vehicle free, but now I have to take another day off of work and come back down here and plug your meters to challenge what I have proof of is wrong?"

"Those are your options, sir."

"Well, if I had $140, I wouldn't have slept in my garage last night."

Also, my father had recently died, so it hadn't been a wonderful last six months. Oh, well, your "fair" parking was just the cherry on top.

Gary Bernoulli
via the Internet

Green Acres

Going, going, gone: I cannot give Westword enough praise for Eric Dexheimer's insightful story into the Honorable Jerry McMorris, who received $262,000 million in legalized plunder from taxpayers to help with farm subsidies ("Farmer on the Dole," February 28).

Your cover of Jerry, the owner of the Colorado Rockies baseball team, riding a tractor in an expensive Italian suit, smoking a Havana and watching his corn crop actually sprout money, rivals the great political cartoons of Thomas J. Nast. Dexheimer's great muckraking reporting of Jerry McMorris now getting another two million made me sick. I have to borrow money at high interest to pay my meager taxes, and if I do not, the IRS will take my old Volvo.

Of course, other rich Denverites like the Gates family and Monfort meatpacking also get taxpayer money, and we pay for their small second homes in Vail or Aspen. So why should the waitress, the firefighter and the taxi driver have their tax money taken by force to be given to the rich fat cats? We have socialism for the rich and capitalism for the middle class and poor. Oh, well, it was a liberal program to help the public, but which public, and at the expense of whom?

One thing Westword missed in its excellent story was that Jerry had a large interest, if not ownership, in Nation's Way Trucking, which went belly-up several years ago. Thousands lost their jobs, got no final paycheck and had their 401Ks disappear. The profit-sharing and pension fund were depleted, gone, vanished, hidden, or...?

David Hester

Let's Dish

Spot removal: Kudos for Kyle Wagner's February 28 Bite on restaurant peeves. One of my main gripes was addressed by Deborah McDaniel, who wrote about waitpersons in even the swankiest bistros who ask, "Are you still working on that?" It's a very unattractive phrase that conjures up employing a hammer and chisel on a piece of meat or undergoing the meal as an ordeal.

My other gripe is the whisking away of plates before everyone is finished. I can understand this at Pete's Kitchen, but not at high-end establishments like Sullivan's and others I won't mention. Having spent many years in Europe, where this is considered a breach of good dining etiquette, I wonder why wait/buspersons don't understand how impolite it is for some diners to be looking down at a vacant spot on the tablecloth while others are self-consciously finishing their meals. In Europe, people use their cutlery to signal to the waitstaff when they are finished. The knife and fork are usually placed parallel on the plate, vertically in front of the diner. Given that table service is not regarded as a profession with exacting standards here as it is abroad, it is management's duty to inform its staff about the basics of decent service as, alas, in Denver one cannot expect it to be good, much less excellent.

Thomas Edmonds Hardy

It's a guy thing: I was pleased to see Kyle Wagner address the habit of waiters and waitresses who call restaurant patrons "you guys." About three years ago, I called Warren Byrne's restaurant show to complain about this same issue. I regularly go to dinner with a group of ladies, all over sixty, who worked together in the Book Gallery in Tamarac Square years ago. It always offends me when we are referred to as guys! It's such a simple thing to correct, and just replacing guys with "ladies" or "folks" (if it's a couple) would show some respect to people patronizing the restaurant.

Keep harping on it in your dealings with restaurant managers!

Marcia Wolf
via the Internet

Captive Audience

Classical gas: Michael Roberts's February 21 "Going Public" caught my eye, and I read it entirely, something I rarely do with Westword articles. (They are often too long and "diluted"!)

I was aware of some of the politics behind the debonair CPR public "face," but Roberts's in-depth research enlightened me considerably on the subject. It did not increase my love for that organization. I am an old follower of Gene Amole and was, for thirty years, a staunch supporter of the "real" KVOD, where I had several very good friends. I had the pleasure of contributing to some programs for eighteen years. I miss KVOD sorely. Why, I even miss the commercials! Although Roberts's article does not delve extensively into the quality of the programs, it does confirm what I already knew: that most everything is pre-recorded. The result, of course, is that much of the announcing sounds like a cold fish. Indeed, one does not hear stumbles or "ums," but that was precisely one of the charms of the old KVOD: One knew that the person was really behind his/her microphone. The feeling of "live" broadcasting was comforting, even evoking an occasional laugh. One could call the station and, with some luck, reach the announcer if he/she was not on the air at the moment. Try that with CPR! On the other hand, I confess that I have my radio tuned to 90.1 much of the day and, always hoping for improvement, I am nevertheless grateful for what we still have. It surely beats a rock station or "oldies but goodies." So let's keep our fingers crossed and hope that, regardless of all the politics, we shall keep at least one classical radio station in Denver, albeit one in need of spiffing up.

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