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LETTERS

Secret Ceremonies
Thank you, Patricia Calhoun, for reporting the hush-hush national antigay conference hosted by Colorado for Family Values this past May in Colorado Springs ("This Means War," July 6). Shame on the major daily papers for not covering this important meeting.

Regardless of one's sexual orientation or religion, we all need to be concerned when a group of political and religious leaders meets without press scrutiny to map out a strategy for changing our lives, whether we agree with those changes or not. The speakers quoted at the conference in the Springs clearly understand how easy it is to gain power by exploiting ignorance and fear of gay persons.

It's time for people who identify themselves as Christians to stop letting the CFV fearmongers speak for them. And it's time for the press to pay closer attention to influential people in our midst who see political opportunity in the divisiveness of a holy war.

Rob Coldwell
Fort Collins

If someone published secret tapes of Westword meetings, Patricia Calhoun would probably be the first to complain about breaches of privacy. Admittedly, I don't agree with many of the things that apparently were said at the Colorado for Family Values meeting, but these people should be able to speak freely--and in private. Perhaps Ms. Calhoun was just upset that she didn't get her own formal invitation to the conference.

Andrea Parrish
Denver

Washington Perq
Regarding Patricia Calhoun's "Feel the Burn" in the July 13 issue:
Thank you, thank you, Westword, for telling us of the city's plan to use Washington Park Recreation Center as one of the SafeNight sites. We have worked hard to improve our community and don't appreciate having such a major policy change being sprung at the last minute!

I don't want people to get the impression that the people who object to this plan are all a bunch of white yuppies who don't understand urban problems. This is a community of people who care about the city and its problems. If we didn't, wouldn't we all live in the suburbs? We just feel it is our right to have input on the major issues. Thanks again for giving it to us straight.

Susie McDonald
Denver

From Calhoun's hysterical tone in her latest, I can only assume that she's a Washington Park resident--and has a severe case of the NIMBY (Not in My Backyard) syndrome she so enthusiastically criticizes in her articles and on that Channel 12 show. (Specifically, I remember her championing the plan to put the homeless at Lowry.) Am I right?

Ed Mills
Aurora

Editor's note: No. But she does live just a few blocks from one of the other SafeNight sites--in a neighborhood that invited the program to locate there.

Quit Dumping on Kenny
Kenny Be's July 6 cartoon on wilderness pooping was typically outlandish but also included some pretty sound advice.

Granted, I've never heard of a critter choking on used toilet paper or tampons, and I have just a bit of a problem with Kenny's hilarious suggestion that used tampons be tied "high in the boughs of pine trees." Also, Kenny didn't mention that you should never do your business within a hundred feet of a waterway. But Kenny was right on the mark, so to speak, in suggesting that toilet paper be used sparingly, if at all, outdoors.

Kenny mentioned flat rocks or smooth sticks, and there are several other perfectly adequate natural substitutes for man-made TP. Soft sagebrush is good, as is hard, chunky snow. However, cactus, pine needles, sand, poison ivy leaves and pinecones are not recommended.

An entire book has recently been written on the arcane yet important subject of backcountry fecal etiquette. It's called How to Shit in the Woods, is available at many area bookstores, and makes for a surprisingly entertaining read.

Rolf Asphaug
Denver

If people thought Kenny Be's camping cartoon was so disgusting, I have just one suggestion: Turn the page!

Joel Edson
Denver

In His Cups
Regarding Bill Gallo's "Alive and Kicking" in the July 13 issue:
While he had to get in the usual American sportswriter's digs about Americans' not caring about soccer (not true!), I thought Bill Gallo's piece on the World Cup generally captured the essence of the sport that has such a grip on the rest of the world and in certain hotbeds of soccer in this country.

I can attest to Gallo's assertion that one simply must be in the company of Italian soccer fans to appreciate the passion the sport engenders. I flew to Boston to take in the Italy-Nigeria game and spent two hours before the game outside the stadium mingling with a few hundred soccer-mad Azzuris, their faces painted either blue (the team color) or green-white-red (their flag's colors), and waving flags and banners, tooting horns, banging on drums, whistling on whistles, and generally getting whipped into a pregame frenzy. It was a spectacle as exciting as the game itself, making Bronco Mania appear tame by comparison.  

It's not too late for Americans to suddenly develop soccer fever, so I still have hope that the world's game will catch on in the U.S. (I grew up playing all the typical American sports but after learning the game in college, soccer has been "my" sport for the past 34 years. After college, I played with an all-Italian team in Chicago, then joined the Army so I could be sent to Germany, where I played for German teams and could immerse myself in a "soccer culture." I eat, sleep, breathe soccer. I have devoted much of my adult life to playing, coaching, refereeing, watching and promoting the game and still can't understand why the majority of America isn't as addicted as I and my soccer buddies are.) I'm hopeful that the World Cup's visit to these shores will finally give the sport its long-awaited push to "major" sport status here--despite the fears and skepticism of American sportswriters. It sounds, at least, as though Bill Gallo got hooked.

Flint Whitlock
Denver

Texas Tornadoes
This letter is in response to Anthony Rivas from Austin, Texas, whose letter to the editor in the July 13 issue affectionately referred to the residents of Denver as "y'all." I don't know how you can live here and not be aware of this, but Jello Biafra is from Boulder. On top of that, Al Jourgensen got his inspiration from the same Boulder Ramones show that kicked off the careers of Jello and the founder of Suicide, and Al's mom still lives in Colorado. Also, one of the most hyped bands at the last of your darling South by Southwest conferences was a Denver band. Maybe you haven't lived here long enough to shed your obligatory Texas attitude, Anthony, but I suggest you give it some thought the next time you want to ski where everybody else from Texas comes to do it: Colorado.

Spencer Cross
Boulder

I just wanted to write to respond to Anthony Rivas: If you don't like Denver, leave! If Texas is so great, what are you doing in Denver? Go back to where you came from. We blow Texas out of the water.

Krista Waters
Littleton

Mr. Rivas, I would like to take the time to delve into the articulate way you expressed your view of Denver. "Y'all" being from Austin, Texas, must make you a world traveler! I'm sure Paris, Rome, Bonn, Geneva and, of course, Denver must pale in comparison to a dull, lifeless city filled with nothing more than loudmouthed windbags.

Since "y'all" find Austin more appealing, why don't "y'all" move back there. I highly doubt you'll be missed.

And the next time "y'all" are so close to laughing yourself to death, why don't "y'all" finish the job?

Susan Burns
Denver

A response to Anthony Rivas: As one transplanted Texan to another, let me share some thoughts with you (and your attitude). I just took a ten-day trip to the Lone Star state with my son (to visit relatives, certainly not to bask in the culture!) and I've never appreciated Colorado more than when we drove into Trinidad headed north. You and every other out-of-state whiner/braggart should know that if you want "Big City" (i.e. overpriced and usually overrated) entertainment, you are going to have to go to it, because Colorado specializes in things other places can only dream of. In my mind, the scenery and people here make Texas--and all other outside influences for that matter--pale by comparison. Think about it; there is a reason that we are here and not there. So either shut up and enjoy yourself or go back to the state where 54 people died in traffic accidents alone over the Fourth of July.

Kerry H. Neuville
Denver

This is written in response to Anthony Rivas and all the other TTW's (Tiresome Texas Whiners) who unfortunately live in our state. Mr. Rivas, if Austin and Texas in general are such incredibly fantastic places to live, what in the hell are you and all of your fellow Texans doing in Colorado? I'm pretty sure nobody held a gun to your head as you crossed the UT campus and forced you to move here. I'm pretty sure nobody invited you to come here, and I'm even more sure that there are plenty of people in Colorado who do not even want you here.

Granted, I was not born here, either, but I don't run around spouting off about how great the cities of St. Louis or Chicago are, or how much better those places are than Denver and the Front Range. I'm proud to live in Colorado and want to do so for the rest of my life. If you miss Austin and can't stand living amongst us "kiddies," please consult the nearest road atlas for the way back to Texas (that is, if you and your fellow Texans can actually read a map).  

The June 29 Best of Denver issue was great, and I applaud your staff for it. Ironically, I read it a week late due to my being out of town for a business trip--in Houston, Texas, of all places.

Michael Birdsong
Boulder

Best Intentions
I think your 1994 Best of Denver issue was a major dud! With a few exceptions, the petty plastic people go to all the same places and do all the same things. Since when has looking for fun in D-town become so PC? Get out of town and live a little!

Gina Castelli
Denver

I truly enjoyed your Best of Denver issue. I bet it took lots of time and effort. I will keep it all year for reference.

Sam Anderson
Littleton

Down in Front
This is in response to Dee Dee Crawford's July 6 letter:
Instead of whining and complaining about the stadium security during the Pink Floyd concert, perhaps you should look at the other side of the argument, which is what it is like to be working as security at these shows and the reasoning behind the rules at most concert venues.

You complained that even though Mile High was an open-air arena, you couldn't smoke. Well, it wasn't just some security person making up rules they thought were appropriate; it is what their bosses told them was the rule and since they are being paid to enforce rules, they were only doing their job.

Then there was the rubber ball being bounced around. The security person wasn't preventing a riot as you quipped, but stopped something that most people find annoying and a sight obstruction. The reason security is supposed to pop rubber balls is because people complain about them, not because they are going to cause a huge crowd uprising. Again, security was only doing what they were told to do.

You were told to sit down for a simple reason. Did you notice when you peeled out money for the concert, you sere sold a seat for the show? When you are sold a seat for the show, you are expected to sit in it. If you stand up, the people behind you have to stand up, etc. If you feel like sitting down, you're just shit out of luck because the person in front of you is standing up and you can't see. Kind of a shame, since Pink Floyd's show was such a visual one. Hey, wait a minute--I think we just answered yet another question: Why could people stand in the aisles? Why, I can see the light now--it's because those people aren't blocking anyone's view. Ragging on security isn't what you need to be doing with your time. Security simply enforces a particular concert venue's rules, so maybe you should complain to Mile High Stadium (or any other concert venue) about their rules instead of the people paid to enforce them.

I used to complain about the same things you did until I started working at Fiddler's Green as security and saw the other side. Yelling at the little guy doesn't change a damn thing; complaining to the big guys does. This includes any complaints one might have about rules, ticket prices and charges.

Thank you for listening to one person on the other side.
Stephanie Reyer
Denver


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