Letters to the Editor

From the week of April 6, 2006

Beer Today, Gone Tomorrow

Never on Sunday: Jessica Centers did a great job with "Last Call," in the March 30 issue. Blake Harrison isn't alone in wishing he could buy a six-pack of his favorite brew on Sunday. I can't remember the last time my buddies and I tipped a couple on a weekend afternoon, but last Sunday we did. Yep, I had to drive over to my local liquor store on Saturday night to get ready. Sure, I'd like to buy my beer on Sunday. I also understand why the fellow who owns the mom-and-pop I use doesn't wish to give up his family time on Sunday. However, a law allowing the sale of liquor on Sunday doesn't mean that fellow has to be open. That is a business decision, and it rests in his hands. There have always been restaurateurs who have chosen to be closed on Mondays; that becomes their family time. They still seem to be plenty busy the other six days, and remain that way by giving good service and offering a popular product.

The owner of the Bonnie Brae Wine and Liquor Mart worries about the intrusion of the "Wal-Marts and Safeways of the world," but if independent liquor-store owners would allow their lobby to lighten their opposition to Sunday liquor sales, fellows like Mr. Harrison would not be forced to promote the tangential issue of liquor sales in the chain stores. Beer lovers all have their favorite liquor stores and are not interested so much in buying a six-pack at Safeway as they are in shopping in the familiar environs of their favorite store on Sunday morning. The chain stores enter the equation solely because they provide the political clout needed to take on the liquor-store advocates on Capitol Hill.

Let's hope Blake Harrison's stubborn perseverance frees up Denver beer drinkers to pick up a six at Bonnie Brae some Sunday just before the Broncos kick off.

Jim Regan
Denver

Through a glass, darkly: So little twelve-year-old Blakie had a dream to serve the public interest and let Bud drinkers buy their beer seven days a week, thus being spared the admittedly minor hassle of stocking up on Saturday. Sounds reasonable. Of course, Blakie didn't realize that Wal-Mart wasn't going to stock the strange microbrews I like, like Stone Levitation Ale or Old Scratch.

I guess I am not part of "the public." And the families of all the microbreweries that go out of business, they aren't "the public," either. And the families of the thousands of bankrupt liquor stores, they aren't "the public." Even the Bud drinkers will have to pay more for their beer, due to reduced competition. They must not be "the public," either.

The only people who clearly benefit from the plan are the owners of Wal-Mart (unless you think Wal-Mart cashiers will get the profits). I guess that, once again, what is done in the name of "the public" will end up benefiting about ten very rich people. But first it will be put to a vote, in which "the public" will vote for whoever spends the most money on an emotional propaganda campaign. Will MADD and the mom-and-pop stores have more money, or will Wal-Mart and Target?

I guess you win, little Blakie. Is it too late to have this request reviewed by, say, a thirteen-year-old?

Mark Jonjak
Berthoud

A really super supermarket: Several years ago, my husband and I visited a small town upriver from Baton Rouge and rented a cottage just down the street from a little neighborhood grocery. I remembered that Louisiana grocery stores can sell beer, wine and liquor, but I'd forgotten that they can sell them apparently any old time they please. Our first morning there was Sunday and the grocery opened at 7 a.m. We walked down to get breakfast supplies and came home with andouille sausage, eggs, milk, a pint of picked crab meat, some good California wine and a six-pack of Dixie beer. The shopper ahead of us in line had picked up a fifth of Glenlivet Scotch and a loaf of French bread. Talk about your one-stop shopping.

I told the checkout clerk that we lived in a place where you can't buy alcohol on Sundays and okra costs $5 a pound. Her response: "Lah, honey, who in the world would want to live in a place like that?"

Who indeed?

Shay Lynn
Centennial


No Funking Way

For whom the Belmar tolls: Regarding Jared Jacang Maher's "Urban Flight," in the March 30 issue:

Belmar funky? No. Belmar synthetic, corporate; Belmar second-string big-box; Belmar structured, planned and branded. But funky? Not even the minds behind it.

S. Williams
Lakewood


The Rest of the Best

The crime of your life: As a Colorado native and a club DJ for the past ten years, I just wanted to express my extreme disappointment with your selection for Best Radio DJ. It seems to me that the readers definitely had this one right. I think it is a sad state of affairs when our city puts someone who plays (almost exclusively) rap made by gang members and criminals on a pedestal. There is plenty of forward-looking hip-hop out there, but it is not made by murderers and other criminals.

The Radio Bums play anything but underground or forward-looking hip-hop, as they have been playing the same criminally oriented music for the past five years (at least). They continually play the same songs over and over, without any regard to new music -- unless it is made by a famous criminal. How many times can we hear 50 Cent's "In the Club"? Can you say tired? The majority of the music they play encourages drug use, drug-dealing, mistreatment of women and any other act that will help you "get yours" without actually getting a legitimate job or education. It may appeal to some of the urban community, but in reality it is just helping to desensitize the community to the regular drug-dealing/use, gang involvement, intolerance and violence that seem to "inspire" almost every song played by KS-107.5. If you take the profanity and references to illegal acts out of this "forward-looking" music, what is left? An instrumental, that's what.

If this is our Best Radio DJ, then I am the President of the United States.

Name withheld on request

What the Hill?: Drew Bixby is clearly a newcomer. There is no "The Hill" in Denver. The only place with "The Hill" is Boulder.

Ah, yes, back in the day you could push your way through the crowd on a Friday night to the sound of street barkers: "Lids," "Hundred Lots," "Grams of Lebanese Blond." Made a high schooler's head spin.

Doug Scott
Broomfield

The plot thickens: Decomposition is one thing, but incorporation is another.

While we appreciate the Best Place to Decompose award, we need to clarify for the sake of the Prairie Arts League's IRS status that the role of that group is to educate, and is totally separate from Prairie Wilderness Cemeteries. The Prairie Arts League may not, and does not, offer grave sites for sale, and never will. In order to fulfill its mission of educating, there was need for research, and unfortunately one of the last items uncovered by the research was the fact that the IRS has a category especially for cemeteries. As soon as that information arrived, Prairie Wilderness Cemeteries incorporated and registered with the State of Colorado; the IRS application will soon be in their hands. And then anyone will be able to buy a grave site from Prairie Wilderness Cemeteries (a 501c13), and the Prairie Arts League (501c3) will continue its mission of arts promotion and education.

Laina Corazon Coit
Prairie Arts League

Trial and error: I can't imagine I'm the first person to write to you about this, but in the Best of Denver issue, there were (at least) two errors.

1) The drawing of the library/new wing of the art museum showed the street running between them as 14th, when in fact it is 13th.

2. The Captain Cook apartments are at 1311, rather than 311, Cook Street.

I read Westword regularly, but given the amount of flak that you all give to the Denver dailies, I was surprised to find that no corrections to your own errors showed up. I may have missed them, of course.

P.S.: This was a good Best Of issue, but the 1986 issue was the best ever.

D.A. Strandberg
Denver

A crack in the system: I'm not sure what has happened to your Best of Denver edition. Best Place to Buy Crack? As if the crackheads don't already know -- are you giving the yuppies in suburbia a road map? Your readers used to be able to vote on everything in this edition. Best Place for Drunken Monopoly? Best Place to Role-Play Brokeback Mountain? Please! It's not informative or funny or even good journalism.

Cindi Gardner
Golden

Editor's note: That was Best Place to Get Caught on Tape Buying Crack, which is less a tip for crack consumers than a tip of the hat to the Colfax business group that got cameras installed at the corner. And for the record, Westword has never asked readers to vote on every category included in that year's Best of Denver -- our readers' poll always includes about a fifth of the final categories. But D.A. Strandberg is absolutely correct that the Captain Cook Apartments are at 1311 Cook Street. And the illustration accompanying those wonderful essays by Alan Prendergast and Drew Bixby (although definitely a cartoon rather than a piece of cartography) should have shown the street as 13th Avenue, rather than 14th.

Now for the blunders Strandberg missed: The Best Monthly Club Night description for Rockstars Are Dead omitted one of the resident DJs, DJ Wesley Wayne. The Best Band Reunion wasn't: Although the act was advertised as Baldo Rex, it was actually a new band featuring former Baldo leader Ted Thacker. And finally, while LoDo's Bar & Grill is definitely the best place to scribble something witty on the bar- and dining-room walls, where it's even encouraged, graffiti is not welcome in the bathrooms. Our apologies for the errors.


Pizza the Action

So near she can almost taste it: Jason Sheehan and I both got to Denver around the same time, but I left for Atlanta a couple of years ago. That hasn't stopped me from reading his columns, though. Where I used to read for places to try, now I read because I really like his writing, especially the interludes/anecdotes that used to piss people off when he first started (and maybe still do).

Well, I was recently in Denver on business and got to read two consecutive issues like I used to -- in a restaurant as I ate. Even though I usually won't get to taste what Jason describes, that doesn't make the experience any less enjoyable. That night for dinner: The Oven in Lakewood, on his recommendation. Looking forward to going back.

Chris Boyles
Atlanta


Heller on Wheels

Pack a Picnic: In the past, the only newspaper cartoons I have bothered to clip are the ones where Ms. Buxley's nipples and cleavage are featured in multiple frames.

Jason Heller's This Ain't No Picnic strips excite me in a different way but still draw me to Westword each week. Great stories and great Denver history: They're fridge-worthy.

Eric Allen
Denver


Charting a Course

At least they can take direction: Regarding "Jay Bennish's New Improved Lesson Plans," Kenny Be's Worst-Case Scenario in the March 16 issue:

Here's another geography lesson from Jay Bennish and all the furor: When talk-show ratings go south, in what direction do talk-show hosts go? Far right.

Joanne Marie Roll
Denver


Groom With a View

Feel the love: I am one of the men in Luke Turf's "From Denver, With Love," published in the March 2 issue. I wish your readers could see the many positives of our trip to Thailand, especially the men in my group, the Thai women we met and the incredibly positive, enriching opportunities provided to us. Luke's article was fun, and it certainly captured a colorful side of our trip. However, it did not highlight the greater balance of happiness, love and meaningful experience gained in meeting Thai women, finding life-mates, learning Thai culture and touring Thailand.

Richard and Seow make impressive efforts to match American men with top-quality Thai women. They take time to know each man and each woman, applying many screens to ensure quality people and quality matches. They select Thai women with good hearts and good personalities who believe strongly in the traditional values of marriage, family, monogamy, mutual respect, loyalty and dedication lasting a lifetime. Richard himself is a wonderful "mother hen," always striving to protect the feelings and integrity of the men and women on the tour. He introduces the men to around seventy or more Thai women in three cities, always watching closely to match couples who show magic chemistry and greatest promise.

Thai women are the most heavenly angels ever to walk our planet. In general, they easily surpass and compete with American and European women with respect to beauty, courtesy, love, respect, honor, intelligence, fun, dedication and hard work. Thai women have hearts of gold, with a refreshingly wholesome spirit and good, old-fashioned values of monogamy, marriage and family. Thai women care deeply about their husbands, their children and their parents, and they show it every day through tender love, affection and hard work. Thai women do not care about the age or looks of their husbands, but they do care dearly about their man's heart and his general well-being.

I am amazed at how easily a beautiful, quality Thai woman can unselfishly enter the heart of an American man. At the age of 45 years, I experienced this myself, and I am now happily married to a very pleasant, attractive and caring 27-year-old Thai woman. I am confident our relationship will last happily the rest of our lives.

The men on our particular tour are all good guys who deserve a lifetime of happiness with the right life-mate. We all can speak of a number of bad experiences with American women who take advantage of nice guys, women who have lost the true meaning of relationships and the values and qualities described above. As American men, we grew tired of the games many American women play, so we went to Thailand to find mates who know what is truly important in life, love and marriage. And guess what? We all actually found very kind, beautiful, intelligent and generous mates, thanks to Richard and Seow of Thailand Romance Tours.

Name withheld on request


This Millionaire Minds

No scam: In the March 16 issue, Drew Bixby wrote an article titled "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" about New York Times best-selling author T. Harv Eker and his Millionaire Mind Evening. Drew is welcome to his opinion that "motivational speakers are a cunning and creepy bunch," and it is obvious from his opening paragraph that he has an ax to grind. However, he clearly crossed an ethical line when he deliberately misquoted and misrepresented me in order to support his opinion of motivational speakers.

Drew wanted to call Harv's Millionaire Mind Evening a scam, and I said sure, you could call it a scam if you wanted to call all marketing a scam. Marketing is about getting new customers to come give you a try, and if they like what you have, they will come back for more. That's why Westword runs big, bold, grabber headlines. They want you to come on in and try a little bit, and if you like it you will come back for more, and then they can justify their advertising rates. It is business and marketing.

I literally know hundreds of people who are grateful to people like Harv Eker, Jack Canfield and Tony Robbins for the contribution these guys have made in their lives. I wonder how many people are grateful for the contribution Drew Bixby has made in their lives?

In fact, the March 22 Millionaire Mind Evening was so successful that we are going to do another one on May 3.

Jonathan Manske
Denver

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