Letters to the Editor

From the week of June 5, 2003

And yet, there are many released felons who succeed, sometimes heroically. The John Inmann Center cost-efficiently offers the options and pathways to rising from the destitution of cold prison release. Having a reasonable option toward normative life and living is perhaps a moral choice and obligation. Even in a depressed economy, there is always the possibility of giving motivated men and women the option toward gainful employment and eventual improvement. Giving incentives to private industry to partner in such endeavors is a clear obligation of government. A company that knows it is getting a motivated and committed employee, who happens to be a released felon from a prison, can only gain and profit from taking that person on its staff.

After years of parole work, I often describe parolees in the following manner: One-third are persons who messed up, know they messed up and how, and now desire only to do what they need to do on parole to get it over and done with and get on with their lives. They have no intention whatsoever of going through the experience again, and for some of them, in some ways, prison was actually a positive growth experience.

The second third are the sad types with the drug addictions and self-perpetrating behavior, figuratively going through life peeing and crapping all over themselves. Sometimes, however, they snap into focus, catch on, clean up and join the first group of successful parolees.

The last third are the types that the first and second groups, as well as all knowledgable parole officers and criminal-justice professionals, unanimously agree should never have been let out of prison!

Max Winkler

Clothes Call

Fashion victims: Regarding "Rant of the Week," in the May 29 "Off Limits":

The handle "GMan" seems apropos, given that this guy comes off like a pollster for the GOP. In a city occupying 153 square miles (not including the metro area) with a combined metropolitan population of nearly 3 million, he makes a beeline for the one street in Denver with probably the highest per capita concentration of bums, hobos and drifters (excepting maybe certain sections of Colfax). He spends a few minutes people-watching and broadly concludes that Denver is the least fashionable city he has ever visited.

First of all, fashion is overrated. There are too many overly fashionable people in the world, the country, the state and this city as it is. There are far more important things to worry about than whether the latest shade of sweatshop-produced lipstick matches that oh-so-now, outré, sweatshop-produced handbag. And I'm not a big fan of caps, but are there no jocks or regular guys in Broward County, Florida, who wear a cap, T-shirt, shorts and sandals to go get a couple of suds downtown on a hot afternoon? What do they wear, three-piece tuxedos with sueded top hats?

But if it's fashion GMan's after, did he bother to visit the rest of LoDo or Cherry Creek -- just to name two conspicuous examples -- or any of the hundreds of other places around town where scads of the fashion-conscious are likely to turn up? How about the peanut gallery in front of Paris on the Platte, where the ultra-goth wing of the Denver fashion elite -- in recent years sporting the $20K motorcycles waxed to a dazzling sparkle, Gucci watches and fashionable downtown lofts so germane to the goth lifestyle -- have been heckling less-modish passersby on the finer points of sartorial sensibility for over a decade? How about the dozens of yuppie meat markets, like Sushi Den, where you can't go take a piss without being checked out by at least a couple dozen conspicuously self-conscious people?

Anyway, he's certainly right about the parking and the pork-barrel dollars dumped on unnecessary "urban improvements." As if that's news to anyone who lives here, or unique to Denver. And where did this guy learn English? I'm surprised Westword only appended "sic" to a single word. Listen, we have a lot of problems in Denver right now, one of which is overpopulation. So, GMan, please move somewhere else, or stay in Broward County and wrestle alligators, or play shuffleboard, or screw up presidential elections, plunging the world into an unprecedented, bilious morass of neo-conservative totalitarianism, or whatever it is you people do for fun down there. We already have too many whiny transplants who come here with unrealistic expectations and then can't stop complaining about how much better it is someplace else. The only problem is, once they get here, those people never seem to LEAVE.

Steve Sedlmayr

Thongs a lot: At first I thought that GMan from Broward County, Florida, had a lot of nerve dissing our fair city's sartorial style. Doesn't Broward County lead the nation per capita in white patent-leather shoes and belts for men, women who are grotesquely suntanned to the point that their skin could pass for saddle leather, the mullet and the thong (in each case for both sexes), and Miami Vice pastel sportcoats?

But the more I thought about it, I realized that GMan is absolutely right. We're worse than even Broward County. Our current mayor wears tennis shoes with a suit. The top contenders to be the next mayor were a guy who looks like he has a skunk growing out of his head and a guy who asked a Great Clips stylist for "the Bill Gates."

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