Letters to the Editor

From the week of March 14, 2002

Bored Stiff

The battle of the bulge: Well, I enjoy clever penis references as much as any other stiff, and Patricia Calhoun and Westwordobviously are interested in giving rise to them. So out comes Westword, unzipped and all, to extend El Dildo Bandido's fifteen minutes of fame and spin a longer yarn than Robert Rowan might on his Web site ("The Peter Principle," February 28). Of course, yours is much bigger than his (the metaphors sort of spasm out of me at this point).

And enough draping your story in the absence of flags; you're fanning the flames with empty hands. It's been common knowledge that (a) a row of flags atop high flagpoles spans the block between the Boulder Public Library and the city government building due east, and (b) the scale of the proposed interior flag was deemed overkill for the space.

The only thing you're arousing with this column is your own bulging storytelling desires. If "Rowan's fifteen minutes of fame should have been up last fall," the only hot air around this issue is your own extended panting.

Bart Windrum
Boulder

Holding firm: After reading Calhoun's column and then hearing that Robert Rowan has again refused a plea deal, I can come to only one conclusion: The penis pilferer is a dick.

Sam Ffeifer
via the Internet


Shame Is the Name of the Game

Truth or consequences:I hope all the legislators who voted against having a commission investigate Columbine read Alan Prendergast's "There Ought to Be a Law," in the March 7 issue. They should be ashamed of themselves for being such cowards.

What's wrong with wanting to know the truth?

Joanne Foster
via the Internet

Shrink to fit:The Columbine tragedy continues, and all the lawyers must be getting rich!

My concern: Ever hear of someone getting off scot-free? So far, the therapists who treated those responsible for the Columbine massacre have never given an account. Isn't that getting off scot-free?

Maymie Rolfs
Denver


When Worse Comes to Worst

Bug out! I don't always agree with Kenny Be, but his February 28 "As the world-class city turns" nailed one right over the centerfield fence. This guy Oglesby needs to have his wings clipped. He is a symptom of a much greater problem: the corruption that's endemic, top to bottom, in our big-city machine.

Thank you for continuing to shine the light on our own herd of cockroaches.

Pat Desrosiers
Denver

The art of the deal: How's this for a Worst-Case Scenario? Lockheed Martin wins the right to place the first sculptures on the moon. The company commissions Ed Dwight to create 120-foot-high bronze likenesses of Wellington and Wilma, to be viewed via public telescopes ($1 per fifteen minutes, to be metered by John Oglesby), strategically located in the Plex Sculpture Garden.

Does this make Wellington a candidate for Man in the Moon?

Enquiring minds want to know.

Name withheld on request


Boot Suit

Yeah, that's the ticket: Usually I agree with most of what Patricia Calhoun says. However, there were some inaccuracies in her March 7 "Boot Hill." First, she stated that "from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m....parking trucks are on the prowl." Well, this may be the boot-only trucks, because I've seen those white Cherokees in Capitol Hill as early as 5 a.m. They do this to get those marginal parkers who leave before business hours begin.

Second, she says the booting process is "fair." Well, permit me to share a story with you.

Being a contractor, I rely on my truck for my livelihood. One Friday, I went out to get into my truck and found a yellow Denver boot on it. Hmmmm. I walked to the Denver City and County Building to track down my offense and wound up talking to that referee. I took off my hat and went in. She said I had four tickets: two for parking violations and one each for expired plates and emissions, totaling $160. "Well," I said, "I remember one ticket, but I thought I paid it. No idea of the other. As for the expired plates and expired emissions, I got those, and they're wrong."

I showed her my registration stating that my truck wasn't expired. "Why didn't you resolve this earlier?" she asked.

"I did. I found one of your officers in the white Jeeps and asked him what I should do. He said I should make a copy of my registration and, along with a letter of explanation, mail it back with the two tickets."

"We have no record of receiving those," she said.

"Well, okay, sometimes stuff gets vaporized in the mail. Here's my original copy of my registration to prove my truck's good. And I lived in Elizabeth at the time, so no emissions are required down there."

"We have to go by what the officer saw."

"Even if I have a government document in my hand saying it's wrong?"

"If you want to challenge it, you can pay a deposit of $297 and go to court."

"That's crazy. I'll pay for the parking tickets and any late fees, but not the other two that I have government proof here are wrong."

"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 Westwordenough 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
Littleton


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
Denver

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 Westwordarticles. (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.

Name withheld on request

The truth will set you free:In Michael Roberts's "Going Public," the part on Colorado Public Radio's bid for radio station KUNC misstated that Thomas Sutherland was "a former captive in Iran." Thomas Sutherland was held captive in Lebanon, then taken and released in Beirut by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah. The damages he was awarded were from monies the U.S. government seized from Iran.

Jeff Konrade Helm Westminster


Uh-O

Soggy Mountain breakdown:Thank you for David Hill's great article on Dan Tyminski and the O Brother, Where Art Thou? phenomenon ("Union Man," February 7). My husband and I have been fans of Alison Krauss and Union Station for several years, and we've enjoyed their music as well as the music on the O Brother and Down From the Mountain soundtracks.

Please forgive one small correction: The band in the O Brother movie was the Soggy Bottom Boys, not the Soggy Mountain Boys.

Lisa Jackson
Fayetteville, West Virginia

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