I was amazed by Eric Dexheimer's January 31 story, "Double Trouble," on Douglas Pichon. I knew him as Doug, a classmate and friend of mine in high school in Colorado Springs 25-plus years ago. I have not seen him since.
In high school, Doug was bright, well-liked, respected and an excellent athlete, though a bit rambunctious back then, too. Still, I am surprised that he could have become mixed up with the criminal laws in any way.
Even today I can remember that Doug had that kind of rugged, high-school good looks, fast talk and piercing eyes that stay in your memory (as your profile of him reveals). I could easily identify him for you on the spot.
If any of our local police departments would like my help in identifying their man as being Doug Pichon or not, just ask them to call me anytime, night or day, and I'll make the ID.
And good luck, Doug.
David Lugert, Criminal Prosecutor
State Attorney General's Office
Editor's note: Doug may need all the luck he can get. According to the Denver Police Department, Kansas still has a warrant out for Douglas Pichon's arrest.
Be vs. Applebee's
Recently I received a copy of the January 17 issue of the Westword newspaper. In reviewing the paper, I was shocked and offended by the two-page editorial cartoon on pages 20 and 21, "Colorado Dreamin'," by Kenny Be. Also, in discussing this matter with our trademark and litigation attorneys, I believe that your depiction of the Applebee's restaurant was malicious and actionable.
In the editorial cartoon, your newspaper used the federally registered trademark of this Company and maliciously and without cause depicted it as a "Hashish" bar, expressly implying to the reader that Applebee's restaurants either supported or sold illicit/illegal drugs. In reviewing the remainder of the cartoon, I find no mention of any other actual restaurant or business (i.e., all other references are to fictitious businesses).
As indicated, this Company owns federal trademark registrations for the trademarks "Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar" and "Applebee's and Design," the design being the race track surrounding the word Applebee's with an apple located in the top center of the design. We are also known to the public and have taken great care to be considered a neighborhood, family restaurant serving good food and beverage in an attractive, fun and upbeat setting. Without our permission, you illegally used both of these marks and in turn associated our otherwise good name with a drug house, supporting the legalization and illicit use of hemp/hashish.
We expect an immediate apology and public retraction of your editorial. I am fully aware of, and as an individual support, your freedom of expression and a newspaper's ability accurately to print news and opinion. However, as stated, I believe that the editorial cartoon goes far beyond the bounds of legal expression.
Robert T. Steinkamp
Vice President/General Counsel
Quit Horsing Around
Kudos for Eric Dexheimer's "A Sweet Deal," in your January 3 issue. A copy of this outrageous conduct should be placed on the desk of every legislator in the state of Colorado.
The tax dollars that slip through the hands of the assessor's office as a result of such practices should be a priority issue. Every county assessor in the state should take the initiative to go the limit and demand the legislation to curtail this "cheating" and get better control. It would appear that the additional investigators and legal costs incurred would be more than offset by making landowners pay their fair share.
Further, the matter of small ranchers boarding horses needs to be addressed. In 1985 legislation removed this from the criteria of agricultural status in order to penalize the one-acre horse owner who took advantage of the reduction in taxes. It hurt the landowner with moderate-sized parcels (ten to twenty acres) who continue to board horses because it is the only alternative for the land in certain areas.
This is the West, and horses are historically and traditionally an important part of this culture. I would hate to be a New Yorker and come all the way out to Colorado only to find the tradition gone.
Come to the AIDS of Your Countrymen
Thank you for the two AIDS articles in your February 7 issue, Steve Jackson's "Addicted to Love" and Bill Gallo's "A Magic Bullet for AIDS." I'm sure that Jackson's story informed people that children who suffer from AIDS not only suffer physically, but emotionally because of a lack of compassion and understanding from neighbors, schoolmasters, etc.
Magic Johnson has done much to inform young men and women that just because you are an athlete, you can still get AIDS.
Many of us came out of retirement to write for AIDS newsletters, do fundraising, and undertake a massive effort to educate the population. We will continue to write as long as AIDS causes suffering to mankind.
In response to the letter from Susan W. Hiatt, director of the Kempe Center, in the January 31 issue:
Wake up, Ms. Hiatt, and smell reality! Your letter directed at Michelle Dally Johnston of Westword for writing the expose regarding Kempe evaluator Clare Haynes-Seman stands as a feeble attempt to vindicate Kempe of horrible wrongdoings.
You state that Colorado taxpayers began funding your "research" director to ensure that assessment procedures and protocols are valid and reliable. That is more money wasted. Look at the new cases. More lawsuits in the offing?
We believe Michelle Dally Johnston's article was factual and correct, and we thank the publishers of Westword for having the courage and perseverance to bring issues such as the Clare Haynes-Seman situation to the reader's attention.
Susan W. Hiatt assumed the role of director in attempting to explain away the actions of her employer. One of the philosophies that the Kempe Center supposedly represents is truth. Are we really reading the truth, or is this again another attempt at misstating the facts?
Many families have experienced severe trauma caused by the Kempe Center evaluations and their employees--in spite of Hiatt's statement that the center's work is "aimed at making life better for abused and neglected children and their families." Life is not better for these families torn apart as a result of the invalid evaluations by the Kempe Center. Clare Haynes-Seman's name stands out front and foremost on many of these.
Is it now time to proceed with defunding the Kempe Center? The fact that 15 percent of state tax dollars fund any activities of the Kempe Center is appalling. Private practitioners are available and accountable for their actions. The Kempe Center answers to no one and has no accountability for its actions.
Brad and Glenda Jones
Editor's note: The current issue of the Advisor, published by the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, includes a review of Clare Haynes-Seman and D. Baumgarten's 1994 book, Children Speak for Themselves: Using the Kempe Interactional Assessment to Evaluate Allegations of Parent-Child Sexual Abuse. Reviewer William Friedrich, professor of psychology at the Mayo Clinic, concludes: "In summary, this book inappropriately attempts to simplify a very complex process. The authors' perspective on its theoretical underpinning is dated, and the conclusions are overdrawn and unrepresentative, presenting an untested methodology as a valid procedure. This is extremely inappropriate. This book should come with a warning label."
Out to Brunch
This is in response to Kyle Wagner's "The High-Priced Spread," her February 7 review of brunch at the Brown Palace. I'd like to gently suggest she get her own life.
Ms. Wagner spent an excessive amount of space in her review with a critique of other people's apparel and conversations. At first I found her recapitulation of one woman's ordeal semi-interesting, but was quickly bored, then completely annoyed and disgusted. It takes quite a bit of gall to publish a criticism of someone else's private conversation! As if Kyle herself were a brilliant conversationalist, and anyone unable to perform at her lofty level should just keep their mouths shut.
Perhaps this restaurant critic should keep more interesting company, and thus avoid having to eavesdrop on others. In any event, stick to talking about food and service, and mind your own beeswax.
Phyllis Wagner (no relation)
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Westword's biggest stories.