Another Crest-Fallen Reader
I guess Robin Chotzinoff could be a male, but somehow I feel that's not the case. Anyway, I loved her May 25 story on Crest Distributing, "A Facade in the Crowd."
I have passed that place so many times and yearned to go in. Usually it was at night and it was closed. I pressed my nose against the dingy glass and wanted to go in and rummage through all of those dusty containers and find whatever treasures lay therein. I thought what a great story it would make. I guess you did, too.
We Are Poor Lost Lambs...
Westword covers Colorado as if the state's greatest threats are neo-Nazis and fallen priests. At least every other edition features this fetish in some overly dramatized form. The coverage represents an all-too-familiar exercise by progressive, "cutting-edge" journalists whose ambition is little more than to display their supposed courage and piercing investigative skills. But the stand is gutless, lacking any possibility of a threatening, organized response, and the features are ultimately tiresome for their inconsequence, repetition and transparency of motive. Once in a while, let's see you write candidly of the street demons daily making this community an increasingly uncivil place to live and work, and then stand and face the organized assault sure to follow from their apologists.
Are you sheep in journalists' clothing?
After reading Patricia Calhoun's "A Piece of Work" in the June 1 issue, I finally understand why Denver International Airport is such a mess. If the Denver Department of Public Works can't supervise a few street workers, how can it build a baggage system? Wouldn't the city's energy and money be better spent fixing the problem rather than taking Channel 9 to court? Richard Vigil
These are troubled times for Denver, and we all must pull together if we are to survive them. That is why the Park Hill neighbors should allow the airport to open at least partially, and that is why Paula Woodward should voluntarily give her tapes to the city
I won't waste my breath suggesting that Westword try--for once!--to cooperate.
As if it weren't contemptible enough that Public Works employees are malingering on the job, to divulge that they spend their time at burger joints and donut shops only accentuates the offense. Not only are we being gouged financially now, but we'll be hit later when we have to pay for bypass surgery to clean out the fat-laden arteries of these guys. At the very least, Mr. Musgrave should plan routes so these folks can dine responsibly at Alfalfa's, Vitamin Cottage or Pasta Pasta and spare us some expenses down the line.
Practice What You Teach
I want to compliment Westword on two recent articles about how persons with disabilities and their families are being treated. Most of the media gloss over these issues or glorify the struggle of people overcoming handicaps.
The first article, Karen Bowers's "Wild at Heart," in the March 9 issue, accurately shows that people can die when schools and community cannot figure out how to support families like Rose and Mike Collier, rather than pushing them away into more and more segregated places. The irony is that when their son, Casey, was killed by the six-person restraint "takedown" at Cleo Wallace Center, society didn't care and no one was accountable.
In the second article, "Separation Anxiety," in the May 25 issue, writer Eric Dexheimer thoroughly examines the controversy around inclusion in Jefferson County. You have to admire parents like Charlene Willey and Diane Cox, who risked possible covert retribution by coming out and trying to battle Colorado's largest school system. It was ironic to read Margaret Walter's principal, Ron Marquez, describe his "personal commitment to inclusion for most kids." Two years ago when I met him, he told me he would not want a handicapped child in his children's classroom.
Keep up the good reporting!
Congratulations to reporter Eric Dexheimer for a thoughtful, thought-provoking piece on educating children with special needs, "Separation Anxiety." Dexheimer did a good job explaining the complexity of this issue and presenting all sides.
Our goal in Jefferson County Public Schools is to provide the best possible educational opportunities for each child. We believe that offering a wide range of choices and services best meets that goal. We will continue to evaluate our educational programs to ensure we are serving all students well.
Kay Pride, Senior Executive
Jefferson County Public Schools
Fourteen percent of the Jeffco public-school students are considered handicapped. Why so many?
I want to compliment you on the objectivity and sensitivity demonstrated in Eric Dexheimer's "Separation Anxiety." This is obviously a very emotional and complex issue that parents and professionals must work together to manage. I had a professor once who stated that the United States was the only country in the world that attempted to "educate all of the children of all of the people." I can assure you that in my 28 years in this profession, the task has become more cumbersome and complicated. I appreciate your taking the time to present all sides of this issue.
David L. Spinks, Principal
Fletcher Miller Special School
Gallo, on the Rocks
I was frustrated after reading "All Wet," Bill Gallo's May 18 review of When a Man Loves a Woman. I too have seen the movie, and I disagree with your poor rating. As a recovering alcoholic woman, I felt that the movie was very real and resembled my life before and after recovery.
When will our society realize that alcoholism is a disease and that the disease has no boundaries? Alcoholism is not prejudiced, it is not biased, it does not discriminate sexually and it doesn't care about your age, socioeconomic status, education level or profession. Even yuppies can get it.
Not all alcoholics live under the bridge. At 26, I admitted I was an alcoholic and sought help. I never got a DUI, went to jail or drank from a brown paper bag. On the outside my life appeared normal--I owned a house, a new car and closets full of clothes; I was climbing the corporate ladder and attending college. However, I was drinking until I blacked out, and I was frustrated, confused and miserable.
It's past time that our society wake up to the fact that alcoholism attacks all groups of people--even yuppies. Not only do the normal drinkers of our society need to wake up, but so do all of those people who think they are not alcoholic because they haven't lost everything--yet!
"The real horrors of alcoholism" don't have to destroy our lives before we seek help to recover. I found recovery before I had to sleep under the bridge or, worse yet, six feet under. You should attend a couple of open AA meetings to see that even well-groomed, well-educated, professional people suffer from alcoholism.
Name withheld on request
Open letter to Bill Gallo: Your unqualified attempts at ruining movies for Westword readers have at long last forced me to write. This is not about your qualifications as a reviewer or your opinions about any movie you deem worthy of review. It concerns the content: namely, including in your reviews pieces of the movies that have no bearing on the reviews themselves.
A very good example of this occurred in your review of Schindler's List. Halfway through, you decided to let all of your readers in on one of the more striking aspects of the film: Spielberg dropped a touch of color into an otherwise colorless film. If you had mentioned just that much, it would have been acceptable, but you went on to tell us about the dress, the little girl who wears it, etc.
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This is comparable to hearing details of a movie from some jerk standing in line who thinks it's fun to give away quality pieces that the moviegoer would like to experience firsthand.
In most respects, as a reviewer you are quite competent, which is saying something considering some of the shlock most critics pump out. I used to honestly enjoy finding out what you think--until your remarks started to unnecessarily work against the movies you reviewed.
Take one bit of advice: While watching a movie, if you say to yourself, "Aah, I didn't expect that," give someone else a chance to be amazed. Leave it out of the paper.