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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.

Maybe they should garner support from the parents whose children attend Morey Middle School, only two blocks away. I know a number of the kids at the school, and I'm pretty sure their parents aren't aware of how bad the area has gotten. How about working with the local businesses instead of trying to drive them away? I've been here for five years and can count my encounters with the Unsinkables on one hand. Maybe if the whole community was included in their crusade, the environment over here would get better instead of deteriorating that much further.

Dave Reynolds
Denver


Puck You

Sticking it to Gallo:I have to call a five-minute major for sheer stupidity on Bill Gallo's "Ice Follies," in the October 28 issue. How anyone who actually leaves his home and ventures out into the city can call hockey a "game that's reportedly beloved in snowshoe country and obviously ignored everywhere else" leaves me at a loss for words. I guess your sheltered author hasn't heard about how much this is going to negatively affect the cash flow for local businesses.

I think for a while Gallo should stick to the four-walled world he obviously lives in, because right now every hockey fan in Denver thinks he's a moron.

Next time, he should write about a less physical sport with far less passionate fans. Maybe chess is more his speed.

Kristin Goodman
Denver


Dino-Mite

Endangered species:I'm certain that Gregory Hill's "Dinosaurs Versus the President" comic book is side-splittingly funny (Off Limits, October 21), but it seems to me that an artist and social commentator of this guy's stature would want to avoid being laughed at by little kids. My eleven-year-old took a peek at the drawing and wondered where the "stegosauruses and T. rexes"were. She saw a brachiosaurus or maybe (she says) something that could pass for a pachysaurus on a dark and stormy Triassic night, but given the well-known toothsome visage of the T. rex and the unmistakable signature spinal sails of our state's official dino, she was rightly puzzled.

Anybody But Bushers really need to slow down and, as one of their spokesmen, Mr. Rather, suggested, "take a breath." Hateful, dim-witted stuff like this comic book has been coming fast and furious as the liberal desperation level rises faster than Dillon Reservoir during this year's "drought." Hill's comic probably has many libs forcing last-gasp chuckles from behind the gritted teeth in their death's head grimaces, but wouldn't Hill's spending a couple of minutes in a library, figuring out what the dinos he's drawing actually look like, make the "artist" seem at least slightly less stupid? Give it some thought.

JM Schell
Arvada

Editor's note: We're thrilled that your eleven-year-old readsWestword, but might we suggest that she stay away from Savage Love for a few years? As for Gregory Hill's dinos, rest assured that if you look at the complete comic, every species mentioned is there.


Poetic Justice

Slam, bam:Thanks for quoting me in "Grunge Crock," David Holthouse's Billy Corgan article in the October 21 issue. Just to set the record straight, however, I am not a slam poet. I have never competed in slams at all, period.

There is a wide misconception going around that all those who are active in Chicago's performance-poetry scene are "slam" poets. You should be aware of this for future reference. Slam poets are only those poets who compete in the poetry competition known as the poetry slam. Though much of my own work is written with performance in mind, I do not write in the slam style, which puts more emphasis on performance than it does on the literary value of the work.

C. J. Laity
Chicago


From Drag to Riches

The emperor's new clothes: Regarding Laura Bond's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," in the October 14 issue:

I think it is wonderful that the Denver Cycle Sluts have achieved such success and popularity for so long. I would question whether Nina Montaldo ever appeared in drag at the Triangle in the Don Young, pre-1990 men's Levi-and-leather days. The Imperial Court was instrumental in humbling the exclusive Triangle. By the late '90s, Emperor Tom J was declaring a "Leather Imperial Court," and the drag queens were flocking to the "T." True, leather is a costume, but it should retain some autonomy.

Yes, the charity work is noble. But what is the message? That metrosexual mainstream culture has accepted certain gay stereotypes? Yes, it is okay to be a gay hairdresser, interior designer or a chef. In fact, it's expected. And now it's okay to be a drag queen. Milton Berle and Bob Hope were doing drag on the silver screen in the '30s, but it had nothing to do with gay acceptance. What about the gay mechanic, truck driver or construction worker? In an age when the ruling right-wing minority would love to incarcerate all the gays in a modern-day Auschwitz, it is complacent. At the Stonewall Riots of 1968, the drag queens were overturning police cars in protest of anti-gay discrimination. There's an idea for a Cycle Sluts act I'd pay to see.

Brian Foote
Denver

Girl crazy:What an incredible article you produced regarding the Denver Cycle Sluts and some additional information about Denver's "drag" community. I was at the shows and remember when Nina Montaldo had to go through the switch to men's clothes if Nina wasn't on stage. Nina has provided a good role model for those who are considering this form of entertainment. I was honored to be one of the MCs for the Sluts' 25th anniversary show. I have now emceed their Slut Search shows for three years, and they are the best!

Please keep up the great work of informing our Denver and Colorado communities about activities and issues not always covered in the dailies.

H. John Schlegel
Denver

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