Letters to the Editor

From the week of August 15, 2002

So if the publisher of the Rocky Mountain News has one picture of both these children in his office, I'd call it "news" or just, well . . ."strange" kinda sums it up.

On a lighter note, I got a real charge out of Mr. Temple's description of his former boss Jay Ambrose as "very bright, driven guy who had a lot of ideas."

Let me put it this way: Jay Ambrose is also the same "very bright, driven guy who had a lot of ideas" who once told a longtime copy desk staffer that he wished he could just eliminate the copy desk. He also is the same intellectual beacon who, as the pope was gracing Denver with his presence for World Youth Day, asked (apparently rhetorically): "What other institution in the history of the world has survived for 2,000 years?" before taking a final, satisfying suck on his pipe and leaving the late, great Rocky smoking room in satisfaction. Those of us who were there kept silent until the door closed and a newsroom wag quipped: "Maybe the religion Jesus came from? Or perhaps prostitution?"

Scripps Howard clearly picks the best minds to oversee the downfall of its papers, and Mr. Temple is no exception.

Letter writer's note: Mr. Mitchell retains the dubious distiction of being fired twice from the Rocky Mountain News. In the interest of fairness, he asks you to consider his comments in this context.

Justin Mitchell
Louisville


When Life's a Drag

Straight to the heart: David Ehrenstein's August 8 "Free Willies" was a wonderful review of The Cockettes, and very touching. I lived in San Francisco in the early '70s and the Cockettes were a total gas. Whether they wanted to do it or not, they helped place "otherness" in a context that straights could accept. And they were so perfectly irreverent! SF Muni Transit buses advertising that, "The Cockettes are brought to you by Uranus Productions," used to bring unexpected mirth to city-dwellers leading otherwise -- how did Thoreau put it -- lives of quiet desperation. Really nice piece of writing!

Thanks!

Tom Goldsmith
Denver


Translation, Please

Never buy bilingual: I knew Julie Dunn's piece regarding the English immersion petition ("What's in a Name?" August 1) was getting off on the wrong foot when the first sentence spoke of Colorado children's right to bilingual learning. While the article mostly dealt with the unlikely charge (made by one person with an apparent ax to grind) that a petitioner effectively offered a bribe to sign the English immersion petition, I think the more relevant issue is the larger philosophical one regarding the initiative itself.

Effectively, bilingual education programs function as a parallel school system, with all the attendant spending and staff. Unions love the extra jobs, while the Democratic Party enjoys the political funding that flows almost unanimously to them via union dues. This creates a disincentive to move bilingual children into English-only classes. These students will subsequently spend years in bilingual programs, struggling with translation problems stemming from various levels of English proficiency while never gaining the strong English language skills that lead to better grades, higher standardized test scores, and the ability to go on to college. The net result is that opportunities to advance into white-collar suburbia are cut off (most notably for Hispanic kids).

To your Hispanic readership I say, if you really love your children and want them to be successful in America, keep them as far away from bilingual programs as possible. Insist that they be transferred as quickly as they can into the English-only track and bristle at any administration objections that your child isn't ready yet.

Kevin Kelley
Boulder


A Matter of Taste

Yuck! Your new restaurant reviewer seems totally inappropriate for Westword: arrogant, nasty language, generally unpleasant. He may be a good cook, but he doesn't seem like a very nice person. Please keep looking for a new reviewer!

Thelma Hutt
via the Internet

Yeah! For those of you who choose to criticize Jason Sheehan's restaurant reviews, let me make an educated guess regarding your lives: You wake up at the same time each day, dress in the same clothes, drive your SUVs on the same roads to the same boring, cubicle-jailed job the same days of the week, eat at whichever trendy restaurants your boring friends will be sure to see you at, and then go home and watch the same boring television shows that you can discuss at your boring job with your boring friends.

I have never made it a point to read restaurant reviews; frankly, the majority of them are chronically boring. However, Jason Sheehan has altered my perception of said reviews. He interjects a human element to eating out, straying from the oft-used redundant manner of bland writing most food reviewers are guilty of. Jason certainly does not need to hear this from me, but he should not change his writing style to appease the cattle element of the population.

Jason, your writing is fresh, funny and refreshingly stylish!

John Rishel
Denver

The road less traveled: For the past few years, I have made sure to make a trip to the grocery store or somewhere I could pick up my copy of Westword on Thursday, turning first to Kyle Wagner's restaurant reviews. They always inspired me to try a new restaurant, or be cautious about some.

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