Letters to the Editor

From the week of September 23, 2004

Profiles in Discourage

Cadillac jack:Regarding Jared Jacang Maher's "Catch and Release," in the September 16 issue:

We purchased a Cadillac Escalade EXT truck for our son back in May 2002. Between then and this July, he was stopped by Colorado police agencies -- Denver, Commerce City, Thornton, Adams County sheriffs and Federal Heights (mostly Federal Heights) 24 times. The police would ask him: Is this your vehicle? Is this vehicle stolen? Are you working?

As parents, we should have made a sign for the back window stating "We bought this vehicle for our son." Once I was driving the Escalade, coming back from the gas station. An Adams County sheriff's deputy followed me to my front door and gave me a ticket. He said I didn't stop at a stop sign.

The tickets ended up being paid, and my son's driving record was tagged with operating a defective vehicle. His license was suspended for six months. We feel that he was harassed by those police agencies. We finally got rid of the truck. It's just a crying shame that we couldn't buy our son a safe vehicle to ride in.

Dave Gallegos Sr.
Denver


Clean Up or Clear Out

There blows the neighborhood:When the mayor of Erie ordered residents to clean up, he apparently also removed their sense of humor. Kenny Be's "Erie, But True" Worst-Case Scenario, in the September 9 issue, was hilarious. And even funnier, it was true! I have friends who live in Erie and are still laughing over how the mayor had to backtrack on code enforcement.

Jayne Kaizer
Denver

Backyard barbecued:So much for alternative journalism. Kenny Be's September 9 Worst-Case Scenario was a tasteless and pathetic reflection of the depths to which your paper has sunk. Yes, Erie is proud that its Vista Ridge neighborhood was selected for the Parade of Homes. Yes, Erie is proud that it received an award for an exemplary budget. Why shouldn't we be? Why would you slam our town for these accomplishments and for having a section of town that needs some clean-up? Is there any town or city in this country that does not have a section that could use some improvement? Is there any town or city in this country that has not had to make tough budget choices in these economic times? There is great support for our new mayor, Andrew Moore, and his open communication style and efforts at making Erie an even better place to live. Those of us who live in Old Town consciously chose to live where there is a sense of community, history and socioeconomic diversity. We intentionally choose notto live in a neighborhood where homeowners' associations tell you how to live and every house looks like the next in a sea of beige.

And a note to Kenny Be: Next time, before you decide to judge a book by its cover, why don't you take some time out of your busy cartoon-drawing schedule to become better informed, get the full story, and get to know the people of Erie instead of perpetuating stereotypes and making shallow, ignorant and offensive insults? Old Town Erie is full of beautiful, historic homes with attractive landscaping and gardens. Why don't you come back to Erie and I'll show you the rest of town, which you obviously didn't see?

Kerri Shea-Beers
Erie


Unsafe at Any Speed

Legal restraints:After reading David Holthouse's "License to Kill" in the September 9 issue, the heartbreaking story about Sonja DeVries and the nine-time (!) drunk driver who killed her, I propose that our Colorado Legislature immediately pass a "Sonja's Law" that severely stiffens the penalties for those who are busted for multiple drunk-driving convictions. I can't think of a better way to honor her life than to have a law named after her that may save other innocent lives in the future.

Joe Falco
Littleton

Struggling to understand: I just want to thank you for David Holthouse's "License to Kill." Sonja DeVries will be missed. I live in New Mexico and met her the same day that Noah met her. She was beautiful, fun and warm. I, too, felt an instant connection. She attended my wedding in October. Just her presence there was wonderful -- her smile, her love, her compassion. Many of us seem to be struggling with the concept that "there are no accidents" and then finding fault with this man and his drunk driving and obvious murder. We realize that she would still be alive had he not been so careless. However, we have compassion and love for this man. It is difficult to find fault and blame and yet love unconditionally at the same time. It is a struggle.

I do think that Colorado's laws need to change. And I do think this man now realizes the consequences of his actions. Unfortunately, he will have to deal with this being on his shoulders. Again, thank you. David Holthouse is an incredible writer with wonderful artistic ability and compassion. He is appreciated.

Krista Claflin
via the Internet

It's an ad, ad, ad, ad world:While reading "License to Kill, I couldn't help noticing that less than an inch from the photos of once-living vehicular-homicide victim Sonja DeVries was an advertisement for a self-proclaimed "DUI lawyer." I've noticed many of this lawyer's ads in Westword over the years, and why not? His business, which consists primarily of getting demonstrably drunk drivers like Ramon Romero behind the wheel of a car as quickly as possible, is undoubtedly assisted by the advertising you sell him. In return, the money he gives Westword helps you publish articles decrying the horror of repeat DUI offenders slaughtering innocents. I wonder, does anyone at your publication understand the word "irony"? How about "hypocrisy"?

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