Letters to the Editor

From the week of June 8, 2006

This is a blatant conflict of interest -- but since he is associated with Fox, well, need I say more? A true consumers' advocate cannot claim to protect the public while simultaneously promoting himself like a shameless whore. I realize that it may be too much to ask the people of Denver to use some common sense. But, come on, people, wake up!

Steven Barela
via the Internet

Canceling a check: I'd love to see someone expose the alleged background checks that the Troubleshooter staffers perform. The only thing they care about is whether your check clears or not.

I was the operations manager for a company that advertised with the Troubleshooter website, and our company owner had been convicted of fraud on more than one occasion with his previous business dealings. The only truthful statement made on his application to the so-called referral network was the company name and phone number.

So one slips though the cracks once in a while. The amazing thing was how Tom Martino would call on my former employer to act as an expert when people called into the show with consumer complaints regarding our competitors. I think Tom Martino and staff have been very irresponsible in claiming they offer a safe referral network. Your story was just one more example of this.

Nicole Hunter

Giving Martino the business: It is about time someone wrote about this very dangerous man. Tom Martino is not a consumer advocate, he is a Tom Martino advocate, doing only what is good for him and his empire. I have had firsthand experience of how he almost cost someone close to me their business.

I am glad your newspaper has the huevos to speak up against this guy. Obviously, if you were one of the mainstream media outlets, this would have never been mentioned. Come on, guys, do you think they would go after their own? Keep up the good work, Westword, and thanks for the truth.

Name withheld on request

Band of Opportunity

They don't suck: Dave Herrera's "Phallic Carnage," in the June 1 issue, was an amusing article on a great band. Horatio Alger is getting laid!

Susan Roberts
Boston, Massachusetts

Tour de force: In 2004, I went to the Warped Tour for the first time ever. I walked around looking for the tents of the big bands I knew. As I walked by Dork's tent, one of the bandmembers (I don't remember which one it was) stopped me and told me to check out their CD and take some stickers. After listening to half of two or three songs, I decided that Dork rocked. Unfortunately, they had already played -- but I ended up with their CD.

Deciding to make it a tradition, I ended up at the 2005 Warped Tour. First things first, I go get all riled up in the mosh pit and then go buy some CDs and get free stickers to pile on the back of my 1987 Toyota, and then, walking around, I remembered Dork. I thought, "Yeah, I gotta go see if those guys are around." They were. I stopped at their tent, got a sticker and then ended up in front of the stage when they played. I rocked out so hard I attracted more people to the front of the stage. Eventually, they started singing a song that I picked up the chorus to, and they let me up on stage.

I sang on stage with Dork -- best Warped Tour ever. Thanks, Dork.

Travis L. Rodriguez
Norfolk, Virginia

Real Whirled Denver

The lowdown on LoDo: Loved Adam Cayton-Holland's What's So Funny in the May 25 issue, on what the landing of The Real World train wreck here in Denver will do for our city. It's like when I was a kid and drunk-crashed into the light pole in my front yard and died. It was truly sad, kinda funny, but overall a pretty awesome story to tell!

I'll be 32 this summer. I was raised in Colorado Springs, and due to my life's demographic/geographic location, was raised on both The Real World and the legends of Denver. We would sneak up here in high school to see what the "big city" was all about. In the early '90s, we small-town Springs kids were often warned of the drugs, prostitution and gang violence that occurred on every street in downtown Denver! Of course, our forbidden high school adventures didn't reveal these dangers, but rather a city far more exciting and interesting than our own. I remember walking down Market Street one night to see the future home of Coors Field: "They're gonna put a stadium where!?" The urban area was lifeless, but not quite dead.

So after moving to Denver in 1999 after living in California for a few years, I was amazed at what I found on this very same street. Now in my mid-twenties, newly married and with a fancy new cell phone full of friends' numbers, LoDo was our playground. Every Saturday night it was Gigglin' Grizzly for cheap beer, then on to El Chapultepec for beer and jazz, then on to LoDo's so my single friends could find themselves an attractive woman to reject them...repeatedly. We always had a good time, and we never witnessed more violence than your average bar fight. Sadly, my group grew up and grew apart. When I met some old friends down at El Chapultepec in the summer of 2004, I could tell that both the media and the police were probably sensationalizing the issue. But the damage had already been done, and the vibe just wasn't as fun and, um, vibrant.

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