Letters to the Editor

From the week of January 8, 2004

As described in the article, the surrounding area already has extensive damage from drilling. If the top of the Roan Plateau is to avoid that kind of fate, it's essential that Colorado residents weigh in on the area's Draft Environmental Impact Statement during the public-comment period later this winter. For the latest news, I encourage citizens to sign up for e-mail updates at www.saveroanplateau.org. Together, we can make sure the Roan Plateau's natural values will continue to benefit the local economy and amaze future generations of Coloradans.

Eric Johnson

Green acres: Many thanks for your Roan Plateau story. It is very well done, and I very much appreciate your emphasis on the many non-environmentalists who support protecting the Plateau. I suspect that this dynamic -- locals and greens and others all wanting similar things -- happens far more often then we experience or see reported. Folks so often get caught up in the conventional story of greens versus industry long before anyone can figure out that many of the values at stake are shared much more widely. Our Roan Plateau campaign has been very gratifying because we built the relationships before everyone adopted the customary hostile positions. The result is self-evident: a broad coalition spanning ranchers and environmentalists, rural Western Colorado folk and Front Range inhabitants, conservatives and progressives, hunters and hikers, and local governments, all of whom strongly support protecting the natural values of this remarkable place.

Jacob Smith, executive director
Center for Native Ecosystems, Paonia

Big Max Attack

Hamburger helper: Regarding Jason Sheehan's "The Kid's Not All Right," in the January 1 issue:

First, the disclosure: My connections to Max Burgerworks consist of one meal there several months ago and frequently riding my bike past the restaurant from work to my home in the Central Platte Valley. Second, the question: What is this piece? I read it straight through, continually waiting for Jason to drop the hammer on Max in the next paragraph, waiting to learn that Max served bad food, that the service was bad, or that it was dirty. Instead, buried deep in the jumble of plays on words, cheesy synonyms and criticism were actually the most important compliments for an upscale burger joint: good food, great service, clean facility.

Jason's beef is that Max doesn't have enough pizzazz, so he shoots down a local restaurant with a unique menu and theme, likely sending diners elsewhere. Families might get a burger at ESPN Zone or the Cheesecake Factory for a couple bucks less, but what does that prove? Jason's review discourages local businesses from chancing it downtown; it leads Denver entrepreneurs to believe that unless their business has more flair than T.G.I.Friday's, it won't be successful.

I don't think the kid that needs to grow up is Max.

Josh Rubin

Deli dally: I get so nauseated reading Jason Sheehan's prose that I don't want to read his reviews. However, since the lead-in of smut and attempted kewl didn't take up the first half of the Cafe page in the January 1 issue, I read it. Sheehan's right on! I am a loyal regular at Zaidy's, but I have to admit that Gerard Rudofsky was a day late and a dollar short with the Max menu and concept. I like the decor, but not as an updated '50s thing. It could be chic if it weren't trying to be what they've made it into. I've suggested to Gerard that he change the menu and rename the place Maxime's on Cherry Creek. Wonder what the plate du jour selections might be?

By the way, the insider's comments on what goes on in the kitchen are enough to make me want to cook all my meals at home. Please spare us the gory details.

Laura Lewellen
via the Internet

Review Master

To Av and Av not: A big "oops!" on your Year in Review Pop Quiz. While it's true that Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya joined the Avs because they wanted to play together, only Selanne can be characterized as a "Finnicky Finn." Kariya is a citizen of our own continent, a Canadian of Japanese descent.

Josh Graham

Null and void: In your Year in Review Hall of Shame profile of Jefferson County Treasurer Mark Paschall, you ridicule the "theory" of jury nullification.

The rights of jurors are the most forgotten rights of all. Indeed, from before the Revolution up through the Civil War, jurors had the power to judge not only the facts of a case, but also the law pertaining to that particular case. If a juror thought the law under which the defendant was being tried was unjust or just plain stupid, that juror could vote to acquit, and the defendant would walk.

Consider the stupid laws on the books today and how we could combat them if jurors only knew their rights. Imagine someone on trial for violating a federal tax law that not even a Harvard-educated tax attorney could understand; imagine a doctor on trial for prescribing marijuana to cancer and AIDS patients who had exhausted all conventional medical avenues; imagine a woman who uses a gun to ward off a rapist and then faces charges when it is discovered that said gun is unregistered.

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