Kenny Be is so right on. His May 24 "Valley of the Cars" should be mailed to every Denver city planner, along with a stink bomb, an $80 monthly lot fee and a permanently renewable parking ticket. They've created a mecca no one can get to, or at least park near...even now. I know.
As fifteen-year business residents of LoDo--Platte River Art Services--my employees, clients and I will be part of the exodus from what was once a charming neighborhood. The urban village alluded to by Federico Pena, Wellington Webb and their staffs has already become a tragedy, all for the want of access. "Imagine a Great City." Yeah, right.
Robert J. Pietlock
Sealed With a Kiss-off
Regarding Eric Dexheimer's "Pushing the Envelope," in the May 17 issue:
In case some of Westword's sophisticated readers are only amused by Dexheimer's story about incorrigible postal employees, they should try to muster shock. The personnel practices of that 700,000-employee agency seep into the entire economy, and the U.S. Postal Service, alas, is not a good model. It is the Denver Public Schools system times two hundred. Hear a former postmaster (more in sorrow than in anger):
When President Kennedy issued an executive order giving federal employees the right to bargain, he also appointed enforcers to carry it out. The clique that ruled postal headquarters sent labor-relations executives into the field with instructions to require even small post offices to negotiate local contracts--whether the employees wanted one or not. The idea was to train them in union lore and to explain win-win and I'm OK/You're OK to postmasters. It worked so well (on the union side) that over the next three decades, the dispute-resolution system written in Washington broke down. It is now clogged with thousands of cases. Inexplicably, the parties that negotiated that failed system continue to renew it, even as they appoint committees to clean up after it.
Believing that more heat on managers and supervisors is what is needed, the postal brass have made "success" in avoiding employee dissatisfaction a condition for pay increases and promotions. It's the wrong heat; 20th Street Station is one in hundreds of such conflicts, and supervisors should get points for firing troublemakers. The majority of postal employees like their jobs, work hard and are outraged when bad guys are given their jobs back by high-level, win-win, I'm O.K./You're O.K. bushwah.
There are plenty of managers throughout the agency who could fix problems like the 20th Street Station. All that is required is for Mr. Runyon to put the heat on his headquarters apparatchiks to change the complex rules that tie field managers in knots.
We Are Not Amused
Thank you for bringing to light the AMC lease deal currently under consideration by the AHEC board for the Auraria campus (Patricia Calhoun's "For Your Amusement," May 17). If signed, this lease would expand the Tivoli 12 into a 24-theater entertainment multiplex. This expansion is neither wanted nor warranted by many in the community.
To think that anyone would even consider desecrating an institution of higher learning, as AHEC is attempting, calls into question the ethics and morals of the group behind such action. To say that this would be "good" for Auraria is also a misnomer. This does not benefit students, faculty or anyone, except possibly the members of AHEC and the Auraria Foundation. Since when were we, the students, supposed to benefit them? Isn't it supposed to be the other way around?
The students at Auraria deserve the same respect in their endeavors as students at the University of Colorado and the University of Denver. Would anyone even consider placing this type of situation on these campuses? I think not.
Is Auraria to become part of the LoDo redevelopment? If it does, we would be sending the message out that we favor monetary return on our investment over the long-run dividend that higher education brings.
This lease should not be signed, and we need more of the community to get involved. Take a moment to notify your representative that this issue needs further examination.
Brett M. Haselton
Regarding Michael Paglia's "The Zeckendorf Follies," in the May 17 issue:
In order to preserve Zeckendorf Plaza, why not elevate the structure to the top of a high-rise so that it will be visible to more eyes? The land could then be built on!
Michael Roberts: After last summer's flood of recycled heavyweights (or was it just overweights?), it was refreshing to hear an original treatment of old favorites. In an area where Encomium fell disappointingly short, Page and Plant were able to break new ground. The concert that you reviewed ("Getting the Led Out," May 17) bears little resemblance to the one I attended.
Were you, perhaps, still in the parking lot, trying to strike up a conversation with the wine-cooler mama? Perhaps you were the guy snoozing in front of us? In any case, it's obvious your ears weren't treated to the same innovative music that I experienced. For the first time since May 25, 1973, Denver could enjoy Zeppelin music, and the people I observed were, indeed, full of enjoyment! (Yes, 1973--I checked my ticket stub. Where were you then?)
At first glimpse, your review appeared to be just a critic's pan of a fan's favorite; however, you made several unreasonable remarks, some of which I cannot leave unchallenged.
"...kvetches together retches together." Clever, but betraying of a prejudice against those who treat any concert as an excuse to party. Sadly, many fans tarnish or even ruin their experiences by indulging to excess--but tell us something new, something that justifies your position as a rock critic. If I want cheap rhetoric, I'll switch to talk radio. (For what it's worth, "kvetch" has five uses as a verb, none of which fit your usage. If you borrow carelessly from a culture, you just come off as a bulvon.)
"...scheme was a compromise [and that's] what they delivered..." Jimmy Page has been called a marketing genius, and he has made many decisions that support that claim. Zeppelin, however, never just "talked the talk," and these boys can still deliver. Calculated or not, a performance that requires frequent trips to the Gatorade (Plant) or the oxygen mask (Page) is clearly not a compromise.
"[Page] looked puffy and bloated..." Did you breathe hard on your binoculars, thinking of that woman with the wine coolers? The man I saw looked healthier than ever--not the rail-thin, weak, drug- and life-abuser who barely survived some Zeppelin tours.
"...labored and dull...which Zeppelin never was." On the contrary, this show was full of surprises: Plant signing "Shake My Tree," the Coverdale/Page tune; a wonderful rendition of The Cure's "Spiderman"; the return of Page's bizarre screaming antenna device; brief glimpses of roots and inspirations, including "Break On Through."
"`Kashmir,' yet another deliberate drone..." What else was it, ever? A bombastic, self-indulgent composition that disproves your contention that Zeppelin was never labored and dull. Granted, it's a great song, one that demonstrates Page's impressive compositional and production skills. The droning, by the way, is typical of music of the Middle East, which, after all, is both the subject of and the inspiration for "Kashmir" (and many others).
"Before seeing the band in 1974 [sic], they'd no doubt downed bottles..." Again, the anti-party theme! Lest you dismiss this diatribe as the ravings of a man suffering from impaired memories, let me assure you that I enjoyed both Zeppelin concerts naturally--mesmerized only by the music and musicians, not controlled substances.
In closing, I cannot begin to imagine what prompted you to attempt to denigrate one of the better shows to hit Denver in the Nineties. Of course, aren't you the same lame-o who opined that Ween was the best band on the bill last Friday night? As in, better than Freedy Johnston (not in my book) and Big Head Todd?! Puhhh-leeez! Don't get me started (again)!
P.S.: Can a music critic's "license" be revoked?
Birth of a Notion
Regarding the May 24 Off Limits:
Mayor Webb received the Colorado NARAL PAC endorsement because he has demonstrated a profound commitment to women's right to choose while holding this office. His commitment to ensuring police protection for Denver clinics and medical staff has earned him the right to be supported by Colorado NARAL.
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While we regret the reaction of Mary DeGroot to the endorsement decision, the staff of Colorado NARAL have not spent our time abusing Mary DeGroot with colorful metaphors. We have been clear with our members and voters that Mary DeGroot is 100 percent pro-choice.
Colorado NARAL is an organization made up of thousands of pro-choice volunteers and members. It's possible that some individuals may have made negative comments about DeGroot. However, we have people in leadership roles in this organization working in both campaigns.
We urge pro-choice individuals to stay focused on the real challenges to choice, like clinic violence and anti-choice legislation.
Pat Blumenthal, Executive Director