Letters to the Editor

From the week of February 26, 2004

Mister Write

Great expectations: It had never really fazed me, how much I enjoy this fine paper we are all so lucky to have in this town. It was maybe the third time reading the February 19 Worst-Case Scenario, "Right and Righter," that it hit me. (That was probably the funniest Worst-Case I have seen, by the way.) I look forward to picking up Westword every Wednesday at a location near my house. Over the next day or so, I will read the paper from cover to cover, starting with Kenny Be. The variety of subjects chosen for cover stories and features by your writers sometimes has me feeling like I am reading the transcript to a This American Life show.

The coverage of local politics, art/culture and music, combined with award-winning authors, make for one great paper. I know I hold Westword up there with the many other wonderful things Denver is known for. Keep up the good work!

Rick Miller

Mister Wrong

Bill bored: As an avid Westword reader for over twelve years, I can't begin to describe how dismayed I was to pick up your February 19 issue and see one of Denver's least-creative local bands on the cover -- Rogue.

Upon reading Dave Herrera's "Bill to Last," I was further disgusted. It is increasingly frustrating to me that Westword bills itself as an "independent" source on entertainment, yet continues to ignore the plethora of amazing local bands whose music and performances are engaging and wonderful and instead focuses on a cut-rate Kid Rock. Contrary to what seems to be popular belief, there is a vital and exciting local scene. It is simply being overshadowed (both literally and figuratively) by "musicians" such as Bill Terrell.

Out of pity for Mr. Herrera, I'll now provide him with a cheat sheet so that he may find more interesting subject matter than the boorish, coarse frontman of Rogue: Nightingale, Red Cloud, Jay Munly and the Lee Lewis Harlots, Pinkku, Planes Mistaken for Stars, Vaux, Fear Before the March of Flames, the Swayback, Love Me Destroyer and Black Black Ocean. Even outside of those acts, there are wonderful things happening here. World-renowned DJs spin regularly at the Church and other nightclubs. Where's the story about them?

There are better stories out there, Westword. You simply have to look in your own music section to find them.

Sarah Burns

School for Scandal

A capital idea: Patricia Calhoun got it right with her February 12 "Sex Marks the Spot." Colorado is indeed the "sex-assault capital of the world," and that is not a title to be proud of. Worse, we could have avoided it. With all the fallout over the Air Force Academy rape scandal over the past year, it is beyond belief that the University of Colorado did not take a more proactive response to rape accusations at that school. To use his own words, Gary Barnett "was awful," and the rest of CU's administration is no better.

Julie Ferris
via the Internet

Guilt by association: I am a second-generation CU student. I will graduate in May. I never thought the day would come when I would feel shame and humiliation at the association of my name with that of the University of Colorado. If recent allegations are true, the university has fostered an environment in which the unfettered sexual availability of women is seen as an earned perk of athletic ability and just reward for whatever benefit these athletes bring to the university.

I understand that bad things happen. In the testosterone-soaked realm of a college football team, it's doubtful that 100 percent of the players will be as respectful as one might hope. What terrifies me most are the reactions to the allegations. The administrators over this team should know and understand that the nature of their positions gives them a fiduciary responsibility to take any allegations of this nature very seriously. When Coach Barnett responded to Katie Hnida's allegations with an indictment of her kicking ability, it became apparent that he does not possess either the leadership abilities or the basic value system that any university would want to be associated with. He has the duty to represent the standards and values of the university. I think I speak for the better part of the student body when I say I do not want Coach Barnett representing me. This man needs to be fired immediately. It is chauvinist, anachronistic reactions like his that force women to continue to live in fear of sexual assault and keep victims shrouded in shame and secrecy.

Every student attending CU and every taxpayer funding CU should be irate. Students, do you want your potential employers to look at your diploma and think, "Oh, the Rape School?" Coloradans, do you want the rest of the country to know us as the Rape State? We need to inform this institution that we will not tolerate this kind of culture in our state or our education system. It happened at the Air Force Academy. It happened in Boulder. At what point do we say "Enough is enough"? Why do we continue to accept this?

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