Letters to the Editor

From the week of July 18, 2002

Rental-Health Problems

Last but not lease: Jonathan Shikes's "Past Due," in the July 4 issue, was a great article.

I had similar problems with tenants in Virginia while living in Europe, but I wasn't so lucky. It cost me over $26,000 for repairs and took six months. We almost lost our house over this and ended up having to sell it because of the financial toll. My insurance only covered the carpet and six broken windows. These tenants from hell left me with eight months' worth of utility bills (they had the county forward them to a Jennifer Jennings in Tennessee). I also got slapped with federal wetland violation fines because they were dumping rubbish and animal litter in a protected wetlands area on our property.

We are moving back to Virginia late this summer. Can't wait to confront the witch at her place of employment and hand her a bill!

Jennifer Jennings
via the Internet

No deposit, no return: I am a white professional, in my late forties, who has been renting for ten years due to divorce, a (lost) war with the IRS and three kids in college. I've been a meticulous housekeeper and in ten years (four landlords) only called a landlord once -- to fix a water heater that was about to blow and ruin his hall carpeting. Even though I paid my rent on or before the due date, fixed small problems myself and kept the place clean and tidy, every landlord except one has tried to keep my security deposit -- upwards of $1,500 for each apartment/home. I've always gotten my security deposit back in the end, after a persuasive but time-consuming and distressing argument (I'm a paralegal and know my rights).

What really makes me angry is that Colorado landlords think the security deposit is theirs from day one and that all landlord-tenant law is in their favor. I daresay they keep deposits because they spend them immediately rather than put the money in escrow, like the law says. How many of your featured landlords (whom the Manchegos screwed) have routinely kept security deposits from previous tenants? One particularly greedy and dishonest landlady of mine said she was keeping my $1,500 deposit because the place was "dirty." However, I caught her (too easily): She advertised the place the day after I left as a "meticulously clean, executive home." I pointed this out, argument over.

Maybe the Manchegos are karma. Hee hee. Sorry. I had little sympathy for your landlords -- I believe in Universal Law.

Linda Sanders

Invest in peace: So you can't invest in stocks or mutual funds -- and now it looks like rental properties are even riskier, judging from Jonathan Shikes's "Past Due."

What an interesting article! I can't believe the hell those landlords have had to put up with because they fell for the Manchegos' sob story.

Harriet Williams
via the Internet

Editor's note: For all of the other Manchegos who raised the roof over our July 4 story, the "Tenants From Hell" depicted on the cover were Juan and Brenda Manchego, and only Juan and Brenda Manchego.

Blow Job, Snow Job

Just say no: Regarding Stuart Steers's "This Job Sucks," in the July 11 issue:

Matthew Jay should be ashamed of himself. He's a money-grubbing opportunist, incredibly naive -- or both. So some big talker dazzles him with money, employment, entrance into the lifestyles of the rich and famous...and the occasional blow job. Like that's the first time that's ever happened. Whatever happened to "No thanks, you're not my type"?

If Ortega was a Capitol Hill dumpster-diver, would Matthew Jay be suing him? Doubtful. I'd like to suggest another map Matthew Jay can make and sell: the scenic road to a couple of small towns called "Discretion" and "Common Sense."

Joe Falco

Bringing home the bacon: I'd rather eat cold sandwiches than eat food made by a pig like Johnny Ortega!

Beverly Maes
via the Internet

Venus Rising

Shorts shrift: What, one may ask, is the most beautiful sight in this universe? Swirling galaxies? Fields containing multitudes of colorful flowers? Colorado's mountain scenery or smoke-enhanced sunsets? No, the most beautiful sight in this entire universe is a big woman in tiny shorts (or in a miniskirt).

Now, everyone is entitled to his opinion. But I must respond to Kenneth C. Beaudrie's letter in the July 11 Westword, attempting to shame women who are not young, not thin, and not without "blubberous thighs" from keeping cool in this summer's overbearing heat by wearing revealing shorts. For the real shame is that any woman would feel unattractive due to this letter or due to society's misplaced attitudes in general, when she is, in fact, very attractive indeed.

I think I can speak for every man who has ever found pleasure in glancing upon the feminine thighs of a woman of above average width-to-height ratio, found pleasure in glancing upon beauty itself incarnated as a (somewhat immodestly dressed) mortal Venus.

Leroy Quet

Go, Team, Go

Nicked name:Regarding Michael Roberts's "The Name Game," in the July 11 issue:

With the plethora of Denver sports teams, I submit this name for the arena football team: UNNECESSARY!

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