Letters to the Editor

From the week of May 9, 2002

Between a Rocky and a Hard Place

The minor league:Patricia Calhoun's May 2 column, "The Usual Suspects" was right on target. Only two quibbles:

She neglected to mention all the hype and hysteria over The Lion King, which certainly proved her point.

She also neglected to mention that in a town short of star power, even editors of free weekly newspapers become minor celebrities. I'd rank Calhoun somewhere between Rocky the Leprechaun and Officer O'Dell from Rocky's Autos.

Gerry Howell
Denver

Having a ball, wish you were here: Enjoyed "The Usual Suspects." Having visited Denver several times, I suggest washing down those deep-fried testicles and Rocky Mountain oysters with Southern Comfort.

Just a suggestion.

Richard Straughn
via the Internet


Trick and Treat

Westword ho!I just finished David Holthouse's exceptionally well-written article, "Tricks of the Trade," in the May 9 issue.

I lived in Denver (in Capitol Hill) from 1997 to 2000, and your article brought to light what I saw on Colfax whenever I drove toward Aurora at night.

For your information, I have been a newspaper writer and photographer for about thirty years and have won numerous awards for my photography and a couple for my not quite deathless prose. If I would have been handed the assignment to write on the prostitution on Colfax, I would have been proud as hell of myself if I did the job half as good as you did.

You're lucky. In Orlando we have only one weekly paper, and it doesn't come close to sponsoring the journalistic excellence Westword is famous for. I wish it did.

Larry Singer
Orlando, Florida

Law and ardor: How can we get the streetwalkers off Colfax and provide them with a safe, legal way of making a living? How can we protect them from violence? How can we protect East Colfax residents from front-porch blow jobs? How can we put Kid Rock out of business?

Legalize prostitution. That's how.

Or we can just keep on pretending that we can stop the World's Oldest Profession with fines and jail time.

Erik Swanson
via the Internet

Trunk show: If what David Holthouse wrote in "Tricks of the Trade" is at least factual, then why hasn't he been arrested as an accomplice in the investigation of the kidnapping and assault of "Asia"? He graphically describes her abduction, kidnapping and assault by Kid Rock, and his writing more than implies that he was present during her abduction and assault.

I don't get it. I work with an agency -- the Empowerment Program -- that has provided a variety of services for women who work as prostitutes. We know from our experience that this issue is not one that will be solved with a broom or restrictive sentences. There are a number of issues that place women into prostitution and keep them there. Instead of sentencing prostitutes to prison, the State of Colorado and the City and County of Denver might consider providing mental-health and substance-abuse treatment. The majority of prostitutes are living with untreated sexual abuse and trauma. Although some recent prostitution activities have upset inner-city neighborhoods, maybe these incidents have provided people with the opportunity to see what life is like for some women.

Carol Lease, executive director
The Empowerment Program

Ticket to ride: Way impressive article. Westwordis lucky to have David Holthouse on the staff. I always look forward to reading anything with his name on it; this one was especially worth it.

Truly, I can't imagine riding around in "objective" mode with a character such as this and a chick stuffed in the trunk. Bet that was a strange situation.

Anyway, he's a gem. Rock on.

Theresa Cassidy
Crawford, Nebraska

Shelter from the norm: I read David Holthouse's article on prostitution on Cold Facts -- excellent! A painful reminder of yet another aspect of life that most of us are too sheltered from. Thanks for the skillful reporting and artful writing. Awesome piece.

Paul Morley
via the Internet

Get the hook:Outrage. Yes, that is the vituperative descriptive I have chosen to describe how I felt as I read "Tricks of the Trade." David Holthouse's journalistic integrity seems to be nonexistent. Prostitution in and of itself is not necessarily the social evil that the Bible-thumping, hypocritical, Puritan-ethic crowd would have you believe; take Amsterdam as an example.

What really burns my grits is the repeated reference to Denver being somehow lax on pimping. The reporter didn't do his homework. A quick perusal of www.findlaw.com, searching for "pimping" through the Colorado primary materials section, will get you a neat display of all of the Colorado Revised Statutes. Pimping -- CRS 18-7-206 (living off of the earnings derived from prostitution) -- is a Class 3 felony in Colorado. Let me clue you in: That's eight to sixteen years in prison. Pandering -- CRS 18-7-203 (simply offering one to engage in prostitution) -- is a Class 5 felony, and that's two to four years in prison.

The way the prosecutors do it, pandering is a lesser offense included within the charge of pimping. If the defendant didn't cut a deal with the prosecutor, that would give the defendant two strikes.

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