Letters for the week of September 11, 2008

"Blankety-Blank," Patricia Calhoun, September 4

The Price of Free Speech

After reading "Blankety-Blank," I am filled with shock and awe at the tactics of the Denver Police Department. They need learn nothing from the Beijing police department; in fact, they probably could have taught the Chinese a thing or two about how to clean up their Olympics. It's amazing what the Denver Police Department did to the Other Side Arts gallery and what the Denver anti-graffiti squad did to other places. I'm even more alarmed at the fact that the head of Other Side Arts felt compelled to explain to Westword that their paintings on the outside wall did not contain any anarchist messages.

News memo to the Denver Police Department: Both the Colorado Constitution and the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantee free speech. It is not up to galleries to prove that they don't have anarchistic or political messages on their walls; they are free to do so. It is up to the Denver Police Department to show that these messages were somehow criminal.

I'm ashamed of the Denver Police Department behaving this way. This is not the way true Democrats behave.

Peter Gross

Denver

"Split," Michael Roberts, August 28

our Daily dread

Thanks to Michael Roberts for his report on the demise of the Colorado Daily.  For decades, the Daily was a vibrant part of Boulder, appealing to University of Colorado students, faculty and locals with no university ties who simply appreciated an informative, entertaining, independent alternative to the Daily Camera and the Denver dailies. I got my start as a columnist writing for the Daily under former editor Clint Talbott, who didn't mind running a well-written 1,500-word column. Once a lively forum energized by incisive reporting and the interplay of talented, provocative columnists and intelligent readers who generated excellent letters to the editor, the Daily (now re-christened coloradodaily.com) has been reduced to a pathetic, puerile shell of itself — targeted, apparently, at teenagers who don't like to read newspapers.  It's no surprise that any staffers with a modicum of integrity chose to resign rather than participate in the atrocious overhaul. Were the Daily to have been dumbed down further, each copy would come with attached crayons.

The sports section is now called "Sweat," the op-ed pages became "Rant & Rave," comics are "Time Wasters" and a front-page section featuring oddball news stories is crudely titled "WTF": Coloradodaily.com's effort to attract the coveted sixteen-to-nineteen-year-old demographic. Here's my suggestion: Publisher Manzi ought to finish the job of reducing a once-proud journal to trash and rename the entire paper WTF. Oh yeah, I mean, like, "WTF.com."

Peter Fotopoulos

Boulder

"A Matter of Principal," Jessica Centers, August 28

brain power

In response to Jessica Centers's exceptionally well-written article, please allow some constructive suggestions for every school reformer:

Going to college is a red herring. Yes, all young people must continue their educations, but not necessarily at college. A much better value for many is to learn a real trade.

The problem with most classrooms is that the teacher has never been taught how to teach kids to read, write, listen, speak, organize information or succeed with math.

Want to transform the earth to something gentler and more sustainable? Teach the women to read. Concerned about justice and equality? Teach all children how to read, write, listen, speak, organize information and succeed with math. It's not all that hard, but few teachers know how — or do it. Where would teachers go to learn how to teach reading? Our schools of education? Not usually.

Dreaming is really important. Learning to read, write, listen, etc., is the path. A ton of free stuff about real academic success and achievement is at www.brainsarefun.com.

Thank you, and keep up the great work.

Rory Donaldson

Denver

 
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