Letters to the Editor

From the week of August 26, 2004

A Rocky Road

Raiders of the lost art: All those debating who was on the swift boat when it did what should look at Patricia Calhoun's column about Jon Lipsky, the FBI agent who led the raid on Rocky Flats ("True Lies," August 19). He is a true American hero -- the Paul Revere of this generation, warning us about dangers just down the road -- and his patriotism is beyond debate.

Ellen Adams
via the Internet

Bombs away: Just a question. Will Patricia Calhoun ever quit writing about Rocky Flats? Hasn't she ridden that horse long enough?

H.E. Wilkins
Denver

Patricia Calhoun responds: Well, H.E., let's hope the life of the Rocky Flats story is a little shorter than the 24,000-year half-life of plutonium. I'll quit writing about Rocky Flats when the government finally releases the relevant grand-jury documents, the jurors themselves can tell their story -- and FBI special agent Jon Lipsky is allowed to speak. Last Tuesday evening, as Lipsky was driving into Denver (and after my column had gone to press), he received a call from the FBI, warning him not to talk about the case. "So I can't tell you what I came here to tell you," he told the people who gathered the next day for a press conference on the dangers of turning Rocky Flats into a wildlife refuge/recreation area.


The Young and the Restless

Blood will tell: Regarding Michael Roberts's "Young Blood," in the August 19 issue:

It's too bad that Jared Polis didn't get to run for Congress this year. Listening to him would be a lot more fun than listening to the same old guys who are running instead. I'll bet Polis wouldn't wear a cowboy hat, either.

Jazi Reynolds
via the Internet

Snail mail: I have to wonder, seriously, who really gives a rat's ass what Jared Polis is all about or who he is. If you could find a more boring or insignificant subject for a cover article, I would truly be surprised. I don't know the guy personally, nor had I ever heard of him until your article, but I feel no shame in my ignorance of his work.

Could you do me a favor in the future and not waste any more paper on do-gooder rich folk with pointless personal agendas? Is that too much to ask?

Perhaps I could find the transcripts of the play-by-play for the latest snail-racing championships so that you can print something a little bit more meaningful.

And by the way, I usually love your work.

Dustin Foster
Edgewater

Seeing into the future: Michael Roberts's "Young Blood" was a real eye-opener. I depend on Westword to tell me things about this city that I might not know otherwise, and I cannot believe all of the important things he is doing!

As chairman of the Colorado Board of Education, he plays a very important role in the future of this state. As a young man with a lot of money and ideas, he can really make things happen.

I wish him the best.

Roger Torres
Denver

Seize the day: Advice for Jared Polis of the Colorado State Board of Education:

Please, sir! Make it clear to the citizens of Colorado that schools are under attack by neo-fascist, anti-democracy, right-wing capitalist dictatorships. Students are their prime target. They calculate that if they can capture the minds of students, they will continue to maintain and expand their system of oppression, domination, wage-slavery and exploitation over the rest of society and, eventually, over the entire world.

Mr. Polis! We need a leader who will never kneel to the capitalist power elite, who will organize and mobilize and seize the moment in history to save our democracy. The whole world is waiting!

John Cassella
Denver

The wild ride: Michael Roberts writes: "Within minutes of my getting together with Jared Polis, he almost killed me -- twice!"

Shame, shame, shame on you, Jared Polis, for remaining "entirely unruffled" when you could have killed "what looks to be a substantial family" in that minivan. The way you handle a car on the road with clearly no respect for human life makes me ill. And you are on the Board of Education, working with children! Please be so kind as to explain to me what example you are setting for the students you claim to care so much about with your erratic driving!

You see, Mr. Polis, I am an operating-room nurse (for 27 years). I am one of the persons who works on the family in the minivan for many hours, desperately trying to save their lives. Do they all survive? Of course not! Do we look at the poor, dead little child on the OR table and cry? Yes! Many, many of these accident victims die because of neglectful, careless, "entirely unruffled" drivers such as yourself. Obviously, you don't care to understand the pain of the human condition. Do you realize how many broken hearts are left behind when a loved one passes on due to a senseless car accident?

Choice is the father of freedom and the voice of the heart. Anyone can choose the course of their lives -- I can only hope, Jared Polis, that you will begin to make different choices when you put yourself behind the wheel of an automobile. Remember also that personal power, an almost indefinable proactive force, gives you the power to control your life, but you must take responsibility and then take action. Change your driving habits!

By the way, Michael Roberts, if you examine statistics involving automobile accidents where one driver is driving erratically, you will discover the persons in that car usually walk away from the accident scene. It's the "substantial families in the minivan" who pay the price.

Deborah H. Albert
Denver


The End of the Line

Making sense of suicide: Thank you so much, Eric Dexheimer, for writing such an honest and insightful article about Tony Dispense ("An Athlete Dying Young," August 19). As a friend of his sister's, I, too, thought that his suicide didn't make any sense. It seemed more like he was trying to rid himself of an alter ego that had emerged from his car accident.

It is hard to talk honestly about suicide. Thank you for commemorating such a wonderful man, with a wonderful family. Thank you for helping me to remember the beauty of Tony's life.

Andrea Weeks


Longmont

High hopes: What a wonderful article on my grandson. Tony and I spent many wonderful hours together as he was growing up. I told him many times not to worry about being small, because lots of great athletes were not large men. We fished and golfed together in Montana when he was so small that he used his mother's clubs.

I was very close to Tony.

Vic Chambers
Anniston, Alabama


Trial by Ire

Blood on the tracks: Wow! I can't believe Patricia Calhoun managed to find something about Kobe that hadn't already been covered! Granted, she wrote about an old railroad stop in Colorado named Kobe ("Kobe or Not Kobe," August 12), but by the time Kobe Bryant is done suing everyone who's screwed up this case, he could own the entire state, and it might as well be named after him.

Thanks for a welcome break from all the sensational coverage of this case.

Ricky Valdez
Denver

Who, what, when, where, why: Several years ago, my journalism instructor at Metro, the late Greg Pearson, told us that the most essential thing for an investigative reporter was skepticism: Question everything.

So I've waited for an article answering my questions about the Kobe Bryant case. Is there a Bryant fan in the court leaking the anti-defendant stuff? Did Mackey, et al., pay someone off? Are the leaks the prosecution's way of getting out of an over-their-head situation? Why did the judge let Mackey get away with repeatedly using the accuser's name in open court? Is he Bryant-biased? Is the Eagle County District Court really just that incompetent, and, if so, why?

I don't expect much from the Post and the News -- the Post suing to get into the (details of the) accuser's pants and the News publisher saying that was "newsworthy" were what I expected. But where is Westword?

Bob Smith
Denver


On the Road Again

Segway or the highway: I just read Laura Bond's "Slow Ride," in the August 5 issue. I loved it. I live in Dayton, Washington. Our town has a population of about 2,500. I have the only Segway in town. I have owned mine just over a year, and one Segway on Main Street has caused quite a stir.

I had the opportunity to meet these wonderful people. When they arrived, the town went wild. Dayton is on the Lewis and Clark Trail, so quite a few different people have been through town in the past year. Dayton made them welcome. As they left going east, I rode with them until my batteries went dead. The support team brought me back to town. About two and a half hours after they left here, I drove their route and found them about where I thought they might be. Soon after I caught up to them, it was battery-changing time. About a mile down the road after that, it was gas-up time for the support/flag car. I stayed with them until the next battery change, then turned around and headed home.

Bill Burke
Dayton, Washington


War of the Words

F marks the spot: I agree with Keith Hughes's letter in the August 12 issue. These days, the word "fuck" is used more as an adjective than a cuss word. Years ago, I remember my dad, a church-going man, whilst under the hood of his car shouting "Fuck!" as he dropped a wrench somewhere into the bowels of the engine. I pretended not to hear. On joining the RAF in WWII, I heard "fucking" used as an adjective many times but never with such panache as when a drill sergeant once admonished an airman on church parade with the unforgettable command: "Take yer fucking hat off in the house of God."

Unfortunately, the Anglo-Saxon word is now used by comedians of both sexes to the extent that it overwhelms their wit. Movie scripts are drenched with the word, and I, for one, am bored to tears with rappers whose command of our national tongue is so limited that "fuck" seems to be their only utterance.

Let's have a "Don't Say Fuck" day.

Bill Evans
Louisville


Boulder Field

No mall at all: Westword's letter writers are sure an embittered, sarcastic bunch. Especially interesting has been the fallout over Jason Sheehan's July 15 review of the Kitchen, "Boulder Blahs." Maybe that's because the review was padded with so much opining about Boulder. Boulder seems to hold a peculiar fascination for people who don't live here, so many of whom seem to get all stirred up and lathery in curious ways and babble foolishly at the merest mention of the Enchanted Kingdom.

The strangest thing about the letters in response to Sheehan's piece is that no one, Sheehan included, seems to have noticed that the restaurant is not, as he writes, "sitting right there in the middle of the Pearl Street Mall."

Not only is it not in the middle of the Mall, it's not on the Mall at all.

Earl Noe
Boulder


Life Is Buddhaful

In center field: Regarding Laura Bond's "Across the Buddhaverse," in the July 29 issue:

I want to thank Laura Bond for such a sweet and moving summary of the Shambhala Mountain Center's history, replete with rich detail of what it is like today. I was moved to tears more than once by the beauty and poignancy of the language Laura Bond used to capture the atmosphere there. Keep up the great work!

Will Van Derveer
Boulder

Wait watchers: Nice article. But Laura, you don't have to wait several hundred lifetimes. Try asking yourself "Who am I?" wherever you are when the thoughts crowd in during the day (or night).

James Francis Kettering
Boulder


It's Geek to Us

Programmed for boredom: Let's talk turkey regarding Dave Herrera's August 12 Beatdown. I am a producer/artist here in Colorado notoriously known for my musical composition skills.

I have been to other states, listened to the radio and heard their disc jockeys support and play their local talent. Colorado's 107.5 is a joke, from the DJs to the program director. I had a friend who used to work for another radio station, and he could not play anything but what the program director allowed. Get these people out of here.

A DJ does not need a program director, and if he/she does, they do not need to be on the air. Most of these program directors are geeks or nerds with no idea about music except for MTV or the local rave. Hip-hop came from the streets! White, black, it doesn't matter, because they will all tell you the same. Ethnically speaking, urban means black! So if 107.5 is an "urban" radio station, why are the black DJs a minority and a bunch of wannabes are the majority? I bet you money that not one of their DJs has seen the five boroughs of New York, been to any of the wards in Texas or stepped a foot on the Compton blocks of California.

Someone needs to have the balls to run Jefferson Pilot out of town. Why do we only have one hip-hop station, numerous country stations, a growing number of salsa stations on the rise and talk-radio stations? The best thing hip-hop ever had going was the KDKO years before Dr. Daddy-O, and even he sold us out for the cash. What happened to unity in the community? There ain't none. Why does SWAT have to show up after the Let Out of Club Purple? I have never seen them show up at Rock Island.

Where will hip-hop end up in Colorado if we cater to ignorance and follow commercial markets? We are truly lost.

Phillip "800 the Jewell" Embry
Denver

The white stuff: Dave Herrera misses the point about the vicious LoDo assaults of June 13 and a similar attack that occurred one week earlier when he tries to morph the attacks into a hip-hop issue.

The real issue is that the assaults by a dozen black men who videotaped themselves beating up innocent people are about black-on-white crime. Also of major concern is how Denver's so-called mainstream news media and city officials have caused a virtual blackout about these attacks. More than sixty days have passed since the assaults, and even though the police have identified at least five of the suspects, not one has been arrested. That's incredible!

European-American civil-rights activists, including the European-American Issues Forum, have demanded -- without success to date -- that Denver's mayor, city council and DA take steps to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of these outrageous acts to the fullest extent of the law. European-Americans are victims of hate crimes in the United States, according to Department of Justice statistics. Attempts to trivialize the seriousness of Denver's LoDo attacks, or to twist the facts to claim white racism against black hip-hop music, is behind any efforts to report on the attacks, and an insult to the victims and Americans who believe in social justice for all.

Louis Calabro, president
European/American Issues Forum
San Bruno, California

Dave Herrera replies: You missed the point, Louis. In the August 12 Beatdown, I said that "ignorant, immature people do stupid shit, regardless of what music they're listening to," and that pretty much summed things up. Judging from your letter, though, I should have noted that stupid people come in all colors and are equal-opportunity haters.

And speaking of things I should have done: In last week's Beatdown, I said All Star Entertainment was the crew behind Bash's new night. Magic City is actually the work of Bash Entertainment, in association with Pleazure Entertainment; Johnny Fantastic is not a part of either group. My apologies to all.


Music to Their Ears

Crazy like a Fox: Thanks for David Holthouse's article on DJ Fox ("Old Chicago," August 5). I've been a fan for years, and I'm glad he's finally getting the recognition he deserves.

Brook Bollinger
Denver

Core values: Thanks for Jason Heller's review of Loadstone in the August 12 Playlist. I recorded the album, and I really think that these guys deserve to be noticed. Heller's a good reviewer who knows his stuff. I don't think most people get where Core of the Earth is coming from.

Jamie Hillyer
Denver

Kittie litter: Regarding Rick Skidmore's piece on Kittie in the August 12 Now Hear This:

Kittie rules! Their vocalist has really great power in higher ranges, a trait desired by a lot of bands these days. They sell out shows most all the time and made it to the pinnacle point of hosting MTV's Headbangers Ball recently. A lot of rockers look down on them, but all considered and given their ages, they really rock!

Eddy LaBarr
Montrose

Panic attack: Excellent work in the August 12 Playlist by Nick Hutchinson and his descriptive dialogue on Widespread Panic. Putting it into words is an art form, and I enjoyed his perspective! Keep up the great work, take good care, and, of course, peace.

Heather Cosby
Brevard, North Carolina

Flaming the fans: Regarding Jason Heller's review of the Fiery Furnaces in the July 29 Playlist:

Jason Heller is a retard! The Furnaces rock!

Zach Heathwaite
Manchester, New Hampshire

Rack and ruin: I strongly disagree with the review in the July 22 Playlist. This record is a must if you are a 311 collector like myself. I know Graham Webster is entitled to his opinion, but please don't let him put down the band by saying that you can find them on the dollar rack at the used-CD store or something! 311 is the best band of all time!

Dan Regan
via the Internet

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