Letters to the Editor

From the week of August 15, 2002

The Fight Stuff

Boxed set: Regarding Harrison Fletcher's "Cruz Control," in the August 1 issue:

I've lived in Denver for over 22 years and I've read Westword regularly since the mid-1980s. I am continually amazed at the quality of writing and the compelling subject matter that Fletcher and his fellow writers ceaselessly mine from our city, state and region. I'm starting to believe Westword is not just a regional gem, but a national treasure.

Will we ever see a "Best of Westword" anthology? I'd like to place an advance order.

Joe Falco

Two live Cruz: I just wanted to compliment the article about Terri and Arturo Cruz. I have sparred and worked out with Arturo on a few occasions and he really is a great, kindhearted person. I had no idea that he had so much . . . background.

Chris Morris

To Serve and Protest

The bottom line: I guess I am at a loss here. Are we supposed to feel sorry for Jonna Cohen and Michael Sobol for breaking the law? (Alan Prendergast's "Crossing the Line," August 8). I was fine with them demonstrating. It is the right (and/or duty, depending on your view) of every American to speak out against what they believe to be wrong. However, breaking the law in the process oftentimes makes you just as bad as the persons whom you are protesting. Laws are in place for a reason, even trespassing laws. They ensure that a level of civilized interaction can occur in society without its complete breakdown. If lawlessness were allowed to go unpunished, imagine the lack of safety we would have, and the ensuing chaos that would take place in our society.

If Cohen and Sobol wanted to be truly informed on the issues they were protesting, they should have taken the opportunity to go through the classes, even the ones in Spanish, and then fought the system with at least some knowledge of what goes on in those classrooms. That would have provided them a moderate level of credibility. As it now stands, they will be fighting the system as convicted miscreants -- still possessing only secondhand knowledge of their cause.

David Holmes

Forgive us our trespassers: Thank you so much for the article on Jonna and Michael's struggle. So many people in the Denver area have joined this movement, both attending the protest as well as serving jail time, and very little press has responded. I think it is crucial to know how our own country funds terrorism, no matter what side of the line you are on. The actions of our government before September 11 should not be ignored now that we have experienced the effects of terrorism ourselves. We need to take reponsibility for our own compliance in paying taxes to support dictators and torture techniques that have threatened the people of Latin America for fifty years.

Jennifer Roberts

Rocky Mountain Snooze

Temple services: So, Michael Roberts waits two years for an interview with Rocky Mountain News editor, publisher and president John Temple ("In the Temple," August 1), and when he gets the chance, serves up batting-practice pitches such as "I feel the Rocky's photography is superior to the Post's, and I'm guessing you agree" and "Do you feel your broadsheet is better-looking than the Post's?" that Temple can easily hit over the fence with replies we can all find in his weekly, self-congratulatory column in the Rocky. The first example isn't even a question.

While I'm sure Temple is pleased with the results, Westword readers would have been no worse off had Temple kept ignoring Roberts's entreaties.

Stick with what works best for you, Michael: spreading gossip passed along by newsroom wags.

Keith Morse

Paper tigers: Thanks for "In the Temple," an excellent piece of journalism. I've felt for many years that the Rocky is the best paper in the country. Conversely, the Denver Post . . .sucks! Oh, by the way, I'm very fond of Westword as well.

Dave Maxon
Kansas City

Job security: Michael Roberts has apparently lost his edge. His usually healthy cynicism and skepticism about the Rocky's fearless leader, John Temple, were MIA. Temple's ego and vindictiveness drove off the paper's best reporters and editors -- some of whom went on to achieve national recognition once they left his vise. And why did they need to go? Temple can't stand to have anyone around him who is as smart, strong, capable or ambitious as he thinks he is. He is not the Joe Goodfellow portrayed by Michael Roberts. This is one hell of a fraud. Is Roberts vying for a job at the Rocky or something?

D. Belmont

Take a letter, Mr. Roberts: After some years of reading Michael Roberts's hype and outrage over how Rocky Mountain News poobah John Temple regularly ignored his requests for comments, I was primed for a real interview. Unfortunately, what transpired read like an ambitious exercise in hagiography and dogged stenography on the part of Mr. Roberts.

That said, I found a couple of details of interest. One was the mention of a photograph of the late, great Rocky columnist Greg Lopez's "children" that Mr. Roberts notes in his worshipful opener describing his admittance to Mr. Temple's Secret Bat Cave. As far as I know, Greg and his wife Kathleen had two children. The first, Mary, was stillborn in 1994. The other daughter, Calla, was born after Greg's death in 1996.

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