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Letters

Matthew Davis

Denver

A smoking deal: Wow, could it be another holier-than-thou diatribe from our favorite shrill liberal (and I mean that in the worst possible way), Westword editor Patricia Calhoun, regarding the evils of guns? If Westword is so concerned about saving lives, how about issuing a moratorium on tobacco advertising? Last I checked, cigarettes kill about twenty times as many Americans per year as firearms. Oh, I forgot -- that might be something that would actually involve taking a real stand on something that could affect your bottom line.If nothing else, please spare us the maudlin closing line: "And the blood, like the traffic, flows on." Is Steve Jackson ghostwriting for Calhoun this time?

JR Armstrong

via the Internet

One last potshot: After reading the letters in the May 18 issue, I have to ask: Why do pro-gun people always respond so violently to an opposing opinion? Just wondering.Joni Brown

via the Internet

People who read people: I enjoyed Juliet Wittman's story on Ed Bryant, "Fright for Life," in the May 11 issue. Although Bryant is the author of horror stories (and proved it with his very scary "Doing Colfax" piece printed in the same issue), I found the article very enjoyable reading. Westword should publish more stories about this town's more noteworthy people!Renee Rodriguez

Denver

Crime shockers: I thought it was interesting that you had Patricia Calhoun's obviously biased anti-gun column in the same issue as Ed Bryant's story about a woman being abducted and murdered (with a screwdriver). I suppose in your mind, if the woman had a gun and prevented her own murder, she would be a "gun nut." The facts are that there are hundreds of thousands of cases each year in which guns prevent crimes. This is not propaganda; I've checked the stats at the library (a place I suspect few Westword reporters frequent). If guns aren't useful for preventing crime, then maybe police should not carry them on and off duty. I'm glad that the truth about the effectiveness of concealed-carry laws is coming out, despite biased news sources like Westword.

David Collins

via the Internet

The parent trap: Eric Dexheimer's tragic story in your May 18 issue, "The Mother Country," illustrated very well what so many of us have had to learn the hard way. If your life is empty, it is not a child's duty to fill the void. If you are not at peace with yourself, you should not be a parent. Jordan Ryan

via the Internet

Privacy, please: As the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) since June for the minor child mentioned in Eric Dexheimer's "The Mother Country," I was shocked and dismayed to read her real name published in your magazine. I respect the Thomases' right to make their ordeal a public affair, but I believe that as an innocent, dependent, vulnerable child, she deserves privacy. She is the named victim in the criminal proceedings against Denise Thomas. I do not feel that changing her name would have altered the content or effect of the story, and that would have provided her some degree of confidentiality. Please, show some journalistic integrity and make ethical efforts to protect child victims. She has made such strides in attempting to attain some semblance of a "normal" childhood over the last year; the media involvement is damaging and has victimized this child yet again. I am angered by the lack of foresight into the detrimental repercussions any article on the subject would have on this child, and disgusted that the smallest steps were not taken to protect her. By printing her name, you showed no concern or consideration for this little girl. In the future, use discretion and protect victims' and children's rights, and provide them the dignity to be anonymous. Kate Sandel

via the Internet

At your service: One important aspect has been left out of Eric Dexheimer's article: the Colorado adoption agency. Colorado law requires that a family receive a homestudy and adoption preparation training from a Colorado agency (which might then cooperate with an out-of-state agency to find a child). This Colorado agency is also required by law to provide post-placement support. What Colorado agency approved this family? What did it do to help? Why was it left out of the article? Why did the agency officials not see the red flags that the author of the article saw? Why weren't they there to help this family through the struggle? Adopting an older child is indeed a challenge, and this family should have had intense professional help. Your public deserves to know which agency failed this family so that another family can be informed when selecting an agency for adoption.

Marjorie Bluder  

via the Internet

Eric Dexheimer responds: The Thomases worked through a licensed agency called the Adoption Centre. The agency's sole employee, George Esposito, did a short homesite visit but left Colorado two months before Elena arrived.

JOA, DOA: When Michael Roberts wrote his May 18 "Don't Bogart That Joint," his first of what will undoubtedly be many columns on the JOA between the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News, he forgot to mention another potential casualty of a newspaper truce: himself. When the war's over and Michael Roberts doesn't have two dailies to kick around, what will Michael Roberts write about?

Randy Riley

Denver

Jock bitch: Woody Paige couldn't carry Bob Kravitz's jock, much less write columns at the level of Kravitz. Kravitz is the best sports columnist in town, bar none. It would be a shame to see him leave the community.Michael Ortiz

via the Internet

He's nailed: Regarding T.R. Witcher's "Don't Mess With the Finger," in the May 11 issue:Officer Mark Walters, why are you trying to ruin an entire family's life because of your "chronic ulnar collateral ligament strain with surrounding inflammation"? It's a sore finger! I know it seems like an easy way to get a titanium putter and extra smooth Sea Ray so you can follow the water skiers around, but don't take a family's house for that. True, Rogers Ekiko may have given up one half of his house on purpose, but you don't know that for sure. If you pull up to a house on a noise complaint and you hear no noise, why don't you leave and arrest the reason people need car alarms in the first place? You're a cop, willing to give up your life in the line of duty. You should feel lucky you have a sore finger and not an amputated finger or something worse. Officer Walters, why don't you quit crying and be a man? You're a cop and supposed to be tough. Can you imagine if Dirty Harry or Baretta complained about an "owie" on his finger?

And to you neighbors who hate living by these people: How do you think any teenager is going to react to unfriendly neighbors who ignore them? They won't give a shit, either. Yet if they thought you were cool and were slightly interested in them, they might slightly respect you.

Name withheld on request

Denver

A flawed sentence: Lisl Auman was wrongfully prosecuted and convicted. Foolish young girl, bad judgment, naive? Yes. Responsible for Officer VanderJagt's murder? No. Orchestrating a burglary? No. Deserving of a life sentence without parole? NO! The "facts" surrounding this case -- so smugly defended by the district attorney's office on a recent Reggie Rivers show -- were so twisted, falsified and stretched out of proportion at the Auman trial in July 1998 that they can be summarily dismissed as outright lies and colorfully depicted suppositions. The politics-driven trial and conviction of Lisl Auman, based on these "facts/lies" that were then presented to the jury led to one of the most atrocious miscarriages of justice I've ever heard of in my nearly 75 years. Here was a "political judge," with full discretionary powers in sentencing, who arrogantly imposed the maximum sentence under a weird, flawed law (wisely abolished by the British, who wrote it hundreds of years ago). I wonder if Judge Rice -- who was subsequently promoted to the Colorado Supreme Court -- is as "comfortable" with her sadistic decision as the DA's office is with its gleeful, ill-gotten victory?

I have watched this case intensely from its inception and am constantly haunted by this girl's wrongful prosecution and malevolent sentencing. We have a really scary justice system! Congratulations to Juliet Wittman for her well-researched Westword articles, most recently "Murder by Death," in the April 20 issue.

Lillian Norgren

Denver

Elvis lives: Michael Roberts thinks he knows everything about 'N Sync ("Sync or Swim," April 27), but he doesn't know much about them. Mr. Roberts thinks that 'N Sync is evil and creepy and too sexy for young children and youth. I think that 'N Sync is inspiring and lively. If I were to listen to Elton John or any other older guys, they wouldn't have that young liveliness that 'N Sync has. I have to admit that they are cute and I have their poster, but that doesn't mean much to me. Mr. Roberts says that "waggling" your "keister" is bad, because his young daughters are six. I am young (eleven), and I dance, and my keister happens to move. Does your keister not happen to move when you dance, Mr. Roberts? I've seen an 'N Sync concert, and they don't hump the floor! I never feel like kiddie porn after I listen to their songs. Mr. Roberts, does the name Elvis Presley ring a bell? Michelle Fielding  

via the Internet

Abba dabba do! As is often the case, I really enjoyed reading Michael Roberts's critical piece on 'N Sync -- and his daughters' comments, too!As we have a five-year-old daughter (and a two-year-old one, too), we are sort of in the same boat as Roberts: stuck listening to lots of kid-oriented music. We're still in the "kids' songs" stage and less into the "pop kids" stage. But Disney songs can get old real fast, so about a month ago, I put together a compilation tape that I can listen to with them and actually have a good time, too. One of the highlights for the kids (and me) is a selection of Shonen Knife songs off of Happy Hour -- good pop-rock songs about innocuous subjects like hot chocolate, sushi, fish eyes, banana chips and snails. Abba and Southern Culture on the Skids are other highlights for us.Roberts might give these a try with his girls. Well, maybe not the Abba.

Thanks for the music articles!

Jeff Moline

via the Internet

On the go: I just wanted Kyle Wagner to know that I love Tasteez takeout ("You Go, Girl," May 4). I have gone there for the bread and for everything else. It's much better than the Red Lobster that was there. Also, I read Kyle's column first out of all of Westword. It's the most informative on all things dining. Keep up the good work.Luigi Buscemi

via the Internet

Vocal local: Westword is unfortunately the only "paper" in town that provides a wide variety of local music reviews. Why is it that the local press always makes weird comments about local bands? I never include a Westword review in my press kit. For one thing, whenever I release a new CD, Westword finally reviews the one I released the year before -- it's happened twice! And in Westword, I have been compared to artists I sound nothing like.My CDs are played and sold around the world: To everyone else, I am just a musician, not branded a "local" musician. For one thing, I've only lived here for three years, but my songs have been on the radio for fifteen years. If some chart-topper like Springsteen or some other popular musician moved here, would they be treated as "a local"?

Name withheld on request

Sophomore slump: To Laura Bond and the other reviewers: Why is an artist never allowed to record or release a second album? It's always a "sophomore" album. Since the late '60s, at least, record reviewers have been using this term to sound sophisticated. Well, it's hackneyed. Let some bands put out a second album for a change. They seldom refer to a first album as a "freshman" album and never refer to a third of fourth album as "junior" or "senior." And why does everyone say "The Westword"? On the front of the paper, it just says Westword. "The" Westword bugs me. It's just Westword.

Dave TK

via the Internet


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