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From the week of January 27, 2005

Let's just hope that both worlds -- cars and motorcycles alike -- can come together and be more careful and considerate of each other on the roads.

Rosemary McManis
Denver

The people next door:Thank you for a wonderful article about the LaFore family. We used to live next door to Mike's mom and dad on Yates Street from 1978 to 1990, when we moved to Georgia. We got to see the LaFore kids grow up, and our boys, Garrett and Brandon, grew up with them. We were saddened and shocked when we heard that Mike, Chris and Sarah had lost Christian, then stunned when the same thing happened to Jason. We can certainly attest to all that was said in Luke Turf's article. The LaFores are a really fine family. It would be a better world if more people were like them.

Wayne and Teresa Phillips
Douglasville, Georgia


The Pile High City

An open invitation:In Michael Roberts's "On a Wave," in the January 20 issue, he omitted mention of the two most important aspects of this deluge of newspapers.

First, it places an obligation, unwanted and unlooked for, of going outside and picking something up that you have not asked for. Surely this falls under the "no-call" legislation that applies to telemarketers? In fact, I believe this is an attempt to circumvent this legislation.

Second, and perhaps most important, it results in newspapers piling up outside -- since, if you haven't ordered them, how the hell do you know they are being delivered? Many people go in and out of their homes through the garage and never bother to look at the front pathway, or wherever they are deposited. This results in a pile of newspapers, giving the impression that the place is unoccupied and thus an invitation for break-ins.

And what if you are away, anyway? All advice in the travel sections of papers says to be sure to cancel your newspapers before traveling. If this offer were made through the mail and only delivered with your positive response, then it would make sense. As it is, I consider this a grave invasion of privacy. And if burglars break in, thinking a place is unoccupied because there is a pile of newspapers outside, and somebody gets hurt, who is responsible?

George Armstrong
via the Internet

Junk mail:I agree with Marie Kurth: If I didn't subscribe to a given newspaper; if I didn't request a copy of a given newspaper, I do notwant to find it on my property, with due reason and cause: Neither the Denver Post nor the Rocky Mountain News, along with a substantial number of newspapers in Colorado, are worth the paper they are printed on. Not that those responsible for the publication of these newspapers actually care what I, Marie Kurth or anyone else who doesn't work for them or agree with them thinks. We are, as one employee of the Post recently told me, inches from my face, "not worth a damn."

James C. Hess
via the Internet

No free lunch:I have long had a problem with the Denver Post's "free paper" programs. Years ago, I subscribed to the Sunday edition, which then became the "weekend" edition, with papers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If my delivery had been limited to those days, I would have been okay. But as I traveled on business, the extraneous papers arriving during the week advertised my absence. Nothing like returning from a week on the road to find several papers on your doorstep. They also frequently ignored "vacation holds" when I had longer trips. So I canceled! Every few years, I would try again, with the same results.

When my job changed, I started subscribing to the Rocky Mountain News. I still had some travel, but they were quite willing to stop delivery upon request. Then came the joint operating agreement between the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News, forming the Denver Newspaper Agency. Vacation holds once again became meaningless. So again, I canceled!

I have not subscribed to any paper for several years. But I keep having papers arrive at my doorstep. I've called the police about the litter, but since the DNA is providing a service/product, they're not covered by litter or soliciting laws. I've called the DNA several times to complain. And deliveries would stop for a while, only to begin again. The last time I called, I was informed that they would put me on a never-deliver list but that my name would be removed in one year, just like the do-not-call list.

I mentioned their liability for announcing my absence to burglars, but the DNA felt the revenue generated by the advertising issues exceeded their risk.

Steve Shapland
Aurora


Fox in the Penhouse

Leaf him alone:Regarding Michael Roberts's "New Leaf," in the January 13 issue:

I almost choked on a chicken finger when I read the article on Charles Leaf. I happened to be working at WPMI in Mobile when both incidents happened. Not only does this guy have a violent hair-trigger temper, but he's a liar -- and a bad one. The police were called to the TV station after several of Leaf's (and my) co-workers witnessed him punching and choking a photographer. Why he wasn't fired for that one is beyond me. Hmmm, funny how the tape that was supposed to show what really happened was recorded over. Finally, he was fired after another victim of his aggression filed suit against the station and Clear Channel. Trust me, there was no amicable sendoff for him. He walked in ready to go chase another hot lead, and his desk was being cleaned out. Surprise!

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