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From the week of June 22, 2006

Made in the Shade

A new leaf:Inspired by Amy Haimerl's "Civic Duty," in the June 15 issue, here's my version of "Trees" (with apologies to Joyce Kilmer):

I thought that I would never see

A park that didn't have a tree,

But Denver Parks turned down its thumbs:

These trees, they only shelter bums.

These trees provide "unprogrammed space"

For drug deals officers can't trace.

Ignore their branches full of squirrels;

We need to roust the working girls.

A concrete scab will soon replace

The cool and leafy arbors' grace.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But treeless parks are made by committee.

S. Williams

Lakewood


The King Is Dead

Remembering Russell:I had the wonderful pleasure of knowing Russell Enloe (Off Limits, June 15). My brother worked for him for many years, and through him I came to meet and know the King of Broadway, who was one of a kind! He had an amazing ability to bring together people who might never have met otherwise and to call them friends. What a circle he had!

Russ, thank you for asking what I was wearing and when I was going to leave my hubby! See you up there someday, hon. Always will love you.

Beth Lockling
Lakewood


A Capitol Offense

Neighborhood watch:I loved Jessica Centers's article on the Herzoff fella ("Watch and Learn," June 8). He's such a victim, and you did a great job of showing it. How come you never write about the hundreds of narcotics complaints every day on Capitol Hill? Why not an article about the business owners and residents who are sick and tired of the crackheads and homeless having their way with the neighborhood? How about an article showing what the police face every day from the "poor victims" who choose to take advantage of the innocent people who are just trying to live a good life here?

No, we wouldn't want that. Let's just make everyone believe that something horrible happens when the police are not being watched and judged for everything they do. People tend to forget that law enforcement is a dirty job and that people fight, shoot, stab, try to run them over with cars -- and then want their jobs when the police fight back.

When you have a party on parole selling crack on Colfax who sees some attractive female walking through a dark alley, and he decides that he is going to do something to her, who are you going to call? CopWatch? What if it's you? Your sister? Your mom? This is by no means advocating brutality, but when the police get there and try to arrest this guy, what if he fights? Runs? Or shoots? What if the police get this guy before any of this can happen? Are you going to write an article about the great arrest the police made? Guess what? These kinds of things happen every day! Officer Morgan is a great police officer who allows most people on Capitol Hill to feel safe in their own homes.

The only people who don't like Officer Morgan are the criminals!

Mickey Horton
Denver


Way to Go

Last rights:Luke Turf's "Exit This Way," in the June 8 issue, was an excellent, well-rounded article. Much more of this kind of fair-handed approach to the right-to-die movement is needed, and I hope Westwordwill continue to pursue and report on this very important subject.

John Akexander
London, England

When right is wrong:There is no right way to determine what is wrong with the right-to-die debate. The issue itself is a question of who gets to decide what we do with our lives, and our deaths. The right-to-die debate is in the same boat as abortion rights and legalizing marijuana. We like to think we are sailing the boat, but it's hard to believe that when we can't even choose when our time is up on this earth.

Derek Humphry was able to make a choice. He chose the name Hemlock for the non-profit organization that started it all. Hemlock is a very powerful name for a very powerful purpose. Socrates used hemlock as a drug to help him pass away peacefully. Those in power at the time sentenced Socrates to death, and a lot like some people living with unbearable diseases today, Socrates was virtually powerless against them. It took a lot of courage for him to face his fate instead of running away from it. Just like in his teachings, there is a form of irony here.

For those of us in society who have to make that choice, the decision may seem to be out of your hands. But once your ship has sailed, you are within your rights to choose your own destiny.

Whether or not our rights are within or above the law, we have God-given rights. The fact remains that we all have the choice, whether it be right or wrong. And the day will come when politics are liberal again and people will have the right to make these choices for themselves, because life is just.

Amy Cashman
Denver

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