Letters to the Editor

From the week of November 4, 2004

Escapable Humor

Making the grade:I am a registered Republican, and I enjoy reading Westword. I appreciate many of the excellent articles done by talented writers. I have found Kenny Be to be often entertaining with his "worst-case" imagination, and I really liked the building-department exaggerations.

When Kenny ventures into politics, though ("Planning Your Bush Victory Party," October 28), I often wonder if the thought crosses his mind that maybe conservative readers outnumber those who are liberals. When Kenny's political humor becomes mostly vindictive, I smile at the thought that many readers with a sense of humor above the third-grade level (sorry, third-graders and below) are driven by embarrassment and logic to the conservative side.

Mike Meyer
Denver


Pimp Our Rides

The greatest skate: Jared Jacang Maher's "Skate Nation," in the October 28 issue, was one of the best articles that has ever appeared in print! As a lifelong skateboarder and skatepark activist, I can assure you that the facts are right on. We just want to have good stuff to ride, you know? I live in central Nebraska, and we make regular trips to skate the parks outlined in Jared's article. Ever since the completion of Trinidad and then Carbondale, we only skate the other parks on the way to those cities.

Thanks again for this article -- it will be used as a tool to get where we want to be!

Chad Balcom
via the Internet

Slab rats: I just wanted to comment on Jared Jacang Maher's article about skateparks, and specifically, Lakewood's new "park" (for lack of a better term!).

First, I'm a skater from way "back in the day," in the early '80s, when pretty much all the skateparks had been torn down. I'm absolutely shocked that after I was denied any skatepark at all (well, we built a half-pipe in my buddy's back yard that kicked butt!) due to lawsuits, now cities are building these dangerous, defective skateparks. I can understand crappy due to safety concerns, but crappy and defective? You gotta be kidding.

As for Lakewood's park, there's more than one, and the "Frankenstein's Monster" Jared described can't be the worst. There used to be a little park along Alameda, west of Union in Green Mountain; it was quite modest, but attracted a decent amount of traffic and looked like it would be reasonably fun. A new shopping center is being developed on the site, and the developer struck a deal with the city to move the park around the corner. The new "park" has to be the most worthless piece of crap I've ever seen. It basically consists of a slab of concrete with a set of stairs at one end flanked by narrow banks. Then on one side of the slab, there is a little concrete quarter-pipe. And that's pretty much it; I think maybe there is a parking block or two and a little rail set into the ground. I have yet to see a person actually skating it!

Chris Moore
Lakewood

Park it here: Thanks, Jared. That is the best-written, most authentic article I have ever read on the subject of skateparks and skateboarding. Your point of view is perfect; the tone is right. I'm sure that many of the kids and adults who are asking their elected officials for skateparks will want to read "Skate Nation."

Chris Gilligan
Chattanooga, Tennessee

Veteran's administration:It's great that your paper talks about skateboarding in Colorado, but you fail to talk to anyone from Colorado. As a veteran with twenty years in the Colorado scene, I have seen it all -- from the days of no cops or hassles to the present skatepark explosion. I would appreciate any future stories regarding skateboarding in Colorado to be run by me. I am a wealth of information.

Jimmy Snyder
Lafayette


The Hole Truth

Far from heaven:Regarding the October 28 Off Limits:

Thank whoever that the 7-Eleven at 13th Avenue and Pearl Street is gone. I mean, a vacant building on a dark lot is far superior to a well-lit business that's open 24 hours a day. Way to go!

Sarcasm aside, the situation in this neighborhood has gotten markedly worse in the past six months, and I fail to see how closing the 7-Eleven is really going to improve things. As the bar manager at Cafe@Netherworld, I bear witness to the problems of this area on a daily basis, and I can't stand it any more than the residents here can. And now I'm concerned that, with the Sev gone, attention will turn to my bar next.

So I want to go on record in a public forum stating that my establishment neither condones the drug activity nor caters to those who proliferate it. To the contrary, I've even been accused of racism by a journalist's investigator for refusing service to these people. (For the record, I've had more white folks arrested for drug issues than those of other ethnicities; the drug problem is color-blind, people.) If the Unsinkables really want to see this neighborhood improve, maybe they should start driving out some of the sources rather than the symptoms -- like the slumlords whose buildings do cater to the crack dealers/users.

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