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From the week of June 27, 2002

Lots of Luck

His passion is in tents: Regarding Laura Bond's Backwash in the June 20 issue:

Who thought a DIA-looking tent plopped in the middle of a parking lot next to the highway was a good idea? Who decided to pitch the Cirque du Soleil tent right next to it, so that the music from the concert would overpower the show? And whom do I thank for sitting in line for over 45 minutes to leave at the end of the night because both shows broke at the same time? To whom do I give credit for this brilliant planning?

No matter that Alegríais transient. The audience, if not the performers, deserved better, and my sympathy goes out to disappointed patrons of upcoming shows who will suffer the same noise pollution.

How many concert venues do we need in this town, anyway? And why, so we can have B-level players come to town? Maybe the view is better than at, say, Red Rocks?!

Just a loyal Westword fan blowing off an opinion of our latest entertainment treasure.

Mike Riter
Denver


Loose lips:I presume that David Holthouse's quotes from Lieutenant Governor Joe Rogers in the June 20 "Waiting for Joe" are accurate.

That being the presumed case, it amazes me that no matter what it was that the Lieutenant Governor Man had for lunch, he spit out waffles. Was the guy actually elected? I do hope that each and every voter in District 7 reads this article. Thanks.

Jim Bahrenburg
Wheat Ridge


Heart and Home

Warm memories: I appreciated "Ashes to Ashes,"Robin Chotzinoff's thoughts on what matters in a time of fire, in the June 20 issue. As someone whose house burned down in the 1991 Oakland fire that destroyed some 1,500 homes, I know for sure what matters, because I know what I miss, what was a pain in the neck to deal with, and what I haven't given a second thought to. I was away from home when the fire roared through my neighborhood; my housemates had ten minutes to grab their things and get out. I was left with the contents of my wallet.

What I learned: Life can be put together from the ground up; it just takes a while. The job would have been a heck of a lot easier if I had been able to rescue my papers, including past tax info, insurance info, medical records, passport, etc., etc.

What is harder to reconstruct is the past. I lost twenty years of journals, photographs, beloved mementos. It's amazing how comforting it is to draw one's history around like a blanket; it is surprising how much I still miss those things and how little I miss most of the other "stuff" that was part of my life then.

When I think back to the fire time, what stands out most clearly for me is the incredible kindness of people -- friends and strangers -- who took me in, gave me clothes, furniture, help, sympathy. The outpouring of generosity toward all 3,000 shell-shocked fire homeless remains a truly outstanding memory for me, long after the trauma has faded.

Let's make sure the victims of the fires burning today are ultimately left with memories of kindness and generosity to carry them through the hard parts.

E. Hertzman
via the Internet


Sink or Swim

Neighborhood botch:Julie Jargon's "Shape Up or Ship Out," in the June 13 issue, was a great article! It's self-serving assholes like Kathi Anderson (who lets seemingly insignificant things like towing her neighbors' cars "roll right off her back") that cause neighborhood people to despise the so-called Unsinkables.

Jargon perfectly exposes this group for what it is: ineffective. If you really want to see the neighborhood when it's scary, Kathi, you'll have to be out there after 11:45 p.m., and maybe not just a night or two a week. And not just in the spring.

But then, this is a group that thinks street sweepers can clean up the problems in the neighborhood.

And while Snake Pit nightclub owner Tom Oberbroeckling may come off as harsh in his criticism of the group, he at least has room to talk. He's not some absentee owner who occasionally walks the neighborhood. He's out there every day (and night) of the week, every week of the year, and not just until 11:45 p.m. If you think his presence in the neighborhood isn't appreciated, you need only talk to anyone who works in the 7-Eleven at Pearl Street and 13th Avenue to be set straight. His hiring of uniformed police officers three or more nights a week at the club, and the way they patrol not only the grounds of the club, but neighboring churches and parking lots, are probably more responsible for the area's improved standing than the Unsinkables.

Another measure of the group's effectiveness would be visibility, and as the manager of the Snake Pit four out of the previous six years, I can count the number of times I saw the group on one hand -- and I worked every Friday and Saturday night. But maybe I didn't see them because I didn't run in the same circles as the group. I wasn't busy towing my neighbors' cars; my security staff and I were usually walking the alleys and parking lots trying to actually do something about the problems in the neighborhood.

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