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"Though there were times when your paper annoyed me and even grated on my nerves, the positive outweighed the negative."

Steve Lewis
Denver

"Into the Scrum" was a great article! I have been playing rugby since college; it's a great game for those guys who cannot give up playing contact sports. I felt I wasn't big enough to play football in college, so rugby was a great alternative. It's a very social sport and deserves to grow. It's popular in Europe, and I hope it catches on in the States.

Thanks for the coverage.

Daryl Jackson
Denver

"From Russia, Without Love," Jared Jacang Maher, NOVEMBER 2



Porn in the USA

The article about the rape porn that is being channeled through University of Colorado at Denver computer systems describes a scene in which a victim is portrayed as bloody, beaten or dead. If this originated from any of the Eastern European countries that Jared Jacang Maher listed -- such as Russia, Ukraine or Bulgaria -- then the victim was more than likely bloody, beaten and dead. This scene described a "snuff film."

This particular material is not legal in the United States, and is more than likely used as instructional videos in the country of origin against victims who are being sold off into the sex-slave industry: If they don't comply, they will in effect meet the fate that is portrayed. For confirmation, read Victor Malarek's The Natashas. When a Eastern European hacker identified himself to local, state and federal law-enforcement officials in 2002 and warned of possible gateways being opened for such activities and other clandestine security threats, their attitude was at best passive. How dare an outsider conduct better detective work than the respective agents holding a badge?

Octavian Gogol
Denver

Don't you think that listing the links to these rape-porn sites perpetuates the sickness? I believe in freedom of speech, and I think that we, as readers, should have all the facts, but don't you think there should be a line drawn somewhere when it comes to this kind of evil? Don't you, as the media, feel some moral responsibility? Just curious.

Sean Stark
Denver

"All Grown Up," Jessica Centers, October 19



Grate Expectations

Reading "All Grown Up" (which included my life story), I was disappointed. When interviewed, I was told the article's focus would be solely on Bridging the Gap and the Chafee program. However, it appears that Jessica Centers's intent was instead to focus on our personal life stories. I feel that some of the information included was unnecessary and excessive. I believe I was lied to about the final intent of the article. Rather than a positive advertisement for these programs, the article turned into a salacious and at times untrue documentary of our lives. I am saddened that something I thought was going to be positive turned out to be negative.

Kayla
Lakewood

I am an avid Westwordreader and one of the youth from the article "All Grown Up." I just wanted to give you guys an update of what is going on with me. I was the homeless youth sleeping on the Denver City and County Building heating grates, and I am happy to say that I am no longer homeless. Bridging the Gap has helped me get my own apartment by matching my rent for a deposit. I am completely grateful for this program and am glad that it exists. Thanks, Bridging the Gap. And thanks to you, Westword, for your awesome newspaper (and tell Dan Savage he's my favorite). Please have a nice day.

Dannie Goff
Denver

"Dizzying Heights," Tuyet Nguyen, November 2



Dark Victory

Tuyet Nguyen's article regarding the legal issues of Hawthorne Heights and its less-than-scrupulous record label was great. Several rumors have circulated about Victory Records president Tony Brummel and his lack of business ethics; one is that he supposedly licensed several songs by Victory bands to a porn company for use as sexin' soundtracks. Calling him the "Suge Knight of Hardcore," however, might not be a good metaphor. I mean, Suge Knight dangled Vanilla Ice off the roof of a hotel until he agreed to sign away half of his "Ice Ice Baby" publishing rights. Suge Knight also punked Dr. Dre out of the ownership of the masters of 1992's "The Chronic," along with any ownership in Death Row Records at all. Suge Knight is a serious intimidator. Tony Brummel, while no doubt being a music-industry sponge, might be better compared to a Morris Levy type of record executive -- one whose accounting is a bit creative given his less-than-savvy artists.

It's good to hear about these types of legal issues among the lesser parts of the music industry, though. So much of what's available out there on the business focuses on the major labels and their multimillion-dollar lawsuits. It's more tangible when reading about the "independents" and their smaller artists and smaller incomes.

Ty Blosser
Denver

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