Letters to the Editor

From the week of January 1, 2004

But his attention to detail, the nuances he picked up, I noticed at Triana. I kept tuning in to more reviews and realized that he voices opinions and concerns a guest would want to point out during a meal but won't, knowing that he would ruin the experience for his date or family, thus quenching the good feelings that he might have had at the restaurant.

Sheehan's a great storyteller and keeps me engaged with his writing, as well as his personal and historical references. Keep it up.

Scott Kuhlke
via the Internet

Carpet bombing:Thank you, Kelly Bastone, for your letter in the December 11 issue. I couldn't have put it better myself. Jason Sheehan is a jerk, his ramblings boring (especially about the carpet at Bastien's!) and his language offensive.

Suzanne Hudson
Thornton

Color her world: Love that Colorforms bit in Jason Sheehan's December 11 "Color Coded." Great concept, cleverly conceived. I had to write to tell you that I liked it. Plus, it's true! Good job.

Pat Lefeber
Denver


And the Beatdown Goes On...

The penis mightier than the sword:After reading Dave Herrera's Beatdown in the December 18 issue, I gotta say good job. Most men without penises aren't able to do such a fine job of beating a man at his own game. I don't know all the details or inside info about Blister 66, but from where I stand, Herrera definitely seems to be taking the high road.

Lou Scalmanini
Lakewood

His aim is true: I can't tell you how much I enjoy The Beatdown. It's honest and down-to-earth writing, especially after reading Laura Bond's bullshit about New York and Texas bands for the last year and Michael Roberts's crap on Clear Channel and his infatuation with Barry Fey's and Chuck Morris's promotional crap. It's good to read true journalism.

I feel Dave Herrera's work at Westwordhas just started. Stay focused on the bands recording in Denver and the happening scene, and don't forget the poor, small struggling musicians who read his expert opinion and wisdom on music in the super-trooper spotlight.

Mark Vigil
via the Internet


Lethal Weapons

Fostering abuse:Laura Bond's "Nowhere Boy," in the December 4 issue, is a portrait of many adopted and foster children in our system. As a longtime foster parent and children's advocate, I'm always struck that these children were born with a great capacity to live a giving, useful life. As a nation, we tend to think of children as property of their biological parents. We send newborn babies home with their toxic parents, to damage that can literally turn those babies into lethal weapons against the rest of the world. There are usually many ghosts in these children's early lives who never are obvious when the damaged child comes to our attention but who bear great responsibility. Did the nurses at the newborn unit of the hospital alert social services to signs that these parents might hurt the child? If alerted, did a social worker investigate? Did that worker follow up or drop the case? Did a neighbor, relative, store clerk, doctor, etc., know that the child was being damaged but not seek intervention? It is up to all of us to seek help when children are being mistreated.

We need to ask ourselves when we will finally require some type of minimal skill and testing before people are allowed to parent. We require licenses to drive, practice certain occupations, even to fish. Aren't children's lives valuable enough that we should protect their rights to grow up in an environment that nurtures their ability to give to the rest of the world rather than turning others into victims? Until we begin to seek answers at the core of the problem, our system will continue to produce more damaged, lethal children.

Adoree Blair
Littleton

A leg up:Although I represent seven mental-health consumer agencies, including the statewide mental-health consumer network, the largest drop-in/empowerment center in the state and the largest consumer advisory board in Colorado, I am speaking here as an individual. My son's experiences are so similar to David's that reading "Nowhere Boy" made me cry. I was told by Colorado Christian Home ten years ago that he was "the worst client" they had ever had and to "get out" while I could. But we wanted to stay together, and today, at age nineteen, he is the state's youngest peer specialist, facilitates groups of adolescents with psychiatric disabilities, and is working on establishing an adolescent activist group in Colorado.

I was very disturbed at the covert and overt attacks on Jefferson County Mental Health in Laura Bond's story and the letters published in the December 18 issue. If anything, JCMH is one of the two MHASAs in Colorado most valiantly attempting to maintain optional and consumer services in the face of statewide mental-health budget cuts that have gutted our system in unimaginable ways. Their policy of least-restrictive placement is directly in line with both the most conservative and radical consumer activism groups, in addition to being compliant with the law (reference the Olmsted Act).

Any type of mental-health illness in a child is nearly impossible to diagnose, as anyone with an education will tell you. All avenues must be explored, and in the meantime, community placement is alwaysseen as the healthiest, most empowering placement available. Yeah, I had situations with my son just as bizarre or even more so than those described in the article, and I'm a single mom and had no support at that time. It was a horrible, seemingly endless nightmare -- but we made it.

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