From the week of December 17, 2009

"On Board," Colin Bane, December 10

Chairman of the Snowboard

This is a rock-solid look at everything leading up to and long past 2010. I continue to be amazed at how far snowboarding has come since the horrible conditions in Nagano (um, competition in the rain...).

Steve Fisher's technical ability will likely not impress like the circus style does or die tricks a la double corks, but his consistency is known far and wide. Here's hoping Steve gets into the Games and lives out his dream.

Jonny Burns

Posted at

In Colin Bane's "On Board," concerning Steve Fisher's battle against the mighty 1080 double cork, he quoted Ricky Bower as saying, "It was amazing to see, once Shaun did the first double-cork 1080s, how fast it caught on." It would be worthy to note that Shaun White did not perform the first double-cork 1080, though he may have been the first to perform it in a halfpipe in an official contest setting. I'm not sure who was the very first, but pro snowboarders David Benedek and Travis Rice have hefty amounts of footage doing 1080 double corks as early as 2005's "91 Words for Snow" (for Benedek) and 2008's "That's It, That's All" (for Rice). Shaun may go on to popularize this trick in the halfpipe, but he certainly hasn't invented it. 

On a more uplifting note: I enjoyed reading this article, as I have the majority of Westword's work. I have invested all of my remaining hopes and dreams for print media in your publication.  Everyone else is dead to me.

John Nord


Editor's Note: Steve Fisher finished in seventh place in the Men's Halfpipe Finals at Copper Mountain on December 13, picking up 180 points toward his spot on the Olympic team. Shaun White leads the pack with 500 points, followed by Louie Vito (400 points) and Zach Black (300 points), a Breckenridge team rider; both White and Vito landed double-cork tricks in their Finals runs. For full results from the event, visit

"Rx Marks the Spot," Patricia Calhoun, December 10

Green Achers

I wanted to thank Westword for its ongoing coverage of the medical marijuana issue — from Patricia Calhoun's recent "medical marijuana matrix" (my favorite name from that chart: Greener Green Greenery) to the medical marijuana reviews to the continued updates on the Latest Word blog. That's another appropriate name, because when I want to learn the latest developments in the field, I rely on Westword.

Jaycee Schmidt


Westword's many contradictory articles on medical marijuana in Denver are helpful in only two ways: inking in empty space between ads for dispensaries, and mocking an industry recovered from crime and incompetent government regulation by people whom Patricia Calhoun still seems to believe are all lazy stoners.

Denver's media coverage of this topic is about as enlightening as national coverage of Tiger Woods's bad month. A slow news day (or inability to cobble together a coherent opinion) is no excuse for the masturbatory cannibalization of stories already told from the same old angle. Westword should consider a moratorium on the subject of medical marijuana until it can provide new information or opinions that are less one-dimensional than an Anslinger-era editorial cartoon depicting toked-up jazzmen and hippies dancing off cliffs.

Or you could just continue to fill space between ads by printing out the dialogue from Reefer Madness.

Name withheld on request

Editor's note: Citizens for Medical Marijuana Regulation will host a town hall meeting with state senator Chris Romer on the evening of Thursday, December 17. Find details on the Latest Word blog.

"Shlock and Awe," Patricia Calhoun, December 3

Creche Landing

I'm writing in response to the curmudgeonly suburbanite named Amanda who wrote a lengthy scrawl against liberals in your last issue. First of all, as a liberal who has never paid a single tax in his life, I want to thank her for all the social services her conservative taxes fund. If it weren't for her, I would have never been able to pay for all those abortions. Second, her letter was rife with errors, and I would like to correct them:

1) They are not called "holiday" or "Christmas" lights; they are "paid-day-off" lights.

2) We are not taking away her rights, we are merely "politically correcting" all the stupid things she does.

3) It's not known as "America" anymore; now it's "elAmerica," which is a liberal word that roughly translates to "Land of the Mixed Race."

And 4) the reason people don't assimilate is because not everyone wants to be a petty, whiny white suburbanite who thinks much too highly of herself. Thanks, Amanda, and may you and your family have a merry paid day off.

Brian Polk


Christmas is great, and I'm glad it's here. One thing, though, and here's the straight dope: Christmas is a secular holiday celebrating the winter solstice. The United States of America, when all is said and done, is not about exclusionary holidays celebrated by an exclusionary religion; rather, we make room for religions and their holidays, but the greater nation doesn't stamp these with government legitimacy.

But before you think I'm "reassigning" Christmas to another flavor of religious faith, know this: This "passing," as it were, has nothing to do with a pagan Maypole bacchanalia; it's a noting of the low point in nature's cycle and the hopeful feelings people have when they realize such a boundary is crossed. It's a victory celebration, and the Christian flavor of the moment is only a label. Merry Christmas, Amanda, and everybody else!

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