Who's on First?
Regarding Patricia Calhoun's column "Last Call," in the February 7 issue:
Calhoun can dish it out, but she can't take it. When she wants to criticize a person or a business, she wraps herself in the First Amendment. When the city is critical of her paper, she wraps herself in the First Amendment again.
Is this a case of the empress having no clothes?
I was horrified by what I read in "Last Call." Having the city dictate what newspaper businesses can advertise in is only one step away from having the city dictate what papers we can read.
But then, we know that the city would rather we didn't read Westword! Heaven forbid we should know what's really going on in Denver.
I acknowledge that the reference to Westword in the stipulation was not necessary. I was presented with a stipulation that the attorneys spent quite a bit of time hammering out and to which both sides agreed.
The offer to not advertise in Westword was made by the attorney for the nightclub in a letter containing his offer of settlement. If there is a First Amendment right here, it belongs to Foxes, and its attorney is the one who offered the stipulation, apparently believing that not advertising in Westword would help them change their clientele. It was their idea.
I take responsibility for signing the agreement; it was a settlement of a case by two opposing sides. The Westword reference was but a small piece of a greater effort to allow the bar to continue to operate but in a fashion more acceptable to the community in which it sits. We were successful in that effort. The only "bitter" complaints involved were those of the neighbors surrounding the bar. We responded to their requests and served the community in which the bar sits in a very effective fashion. The community is grateful for our action.
Elizabeth H. McCann, Director
Denver Department of Excise and Licenses
Be Here Now
I thought the February 14 Worst-Case Scenario, "Mr. and Mr. Kenny Be's Really Big Show(Down)," was the most riotous item I've read in any paper in quite awhile. Until, that is, I read Robert T. Steinkamp's hilarious but ill-mannered response in the same issue to an earlier Kenny Be cartoon ("Colorado Dreamin'," January 17). It just gives me another reason to avoid Steinkamp's "restaurant" chain and its unappetizing promotion of corporate thuggishness and lifeless monoculture. I wouldn't go to "Crapplebee's" even if they did have a hash bar. Okay, maybe I would, but I certainly wouldn't eat the food! Thanks, Westword, for standing up to those bozos, and thanks for Kenny Be. I hope you keep him happy. Satire will prevail.
Your February 14 Letters section confirms beyond any shadow of a doubt why zillions of rational human beings express intense distaste for corporate lawyers. The same people maintain unyielding and active aversion to these types of chain restaurants that claim to be part of the "neighborhood" while serving the same old crap from the back of a Sysco truck. Patrons can taste the frozen cardboard in every bite of stringed hash browns. Meanwhile, another crackershack chain restaurant goes up along the neon strip they created just two or three miles from the other restaurant of the same name.
Go, Kenny, go. Kenny Be good.
Left High and Dry
Thank you for Stuart Steers's "Dry County," in the February 7 issue. The information was greatly needed as developments keep mushrooming throughout Douglas County.
Driving along Quebec Street heading south from County Line Road to MacArthur Ranch Road, there are miles of laid soil, with hundreds of trees (not native) bordering these developments that have to be kept alive by irrigation. Do I understand correctly that the water is coming from wells of the Denver Basin aquifer? What disregard for the future of our great state!
Urban development should be denied when the water supply is based on non-renewable groundwater.
It should be mandatory that Douglas County commissioners, state legislators and land developers view the National Geographic special "Last Feast of the Crocodiles." They might even pick up on the fact that the biggest, fattest, greediest crocodile eventually suffers the same fate as its victims.
Our water resources are limited.
Name withheld upon request
Stuart Steers's article was well-written and well-researched. But when he wrote that someday the Douglas County aquifer will run dry, he missed an opportunity to remind readers that all the world's largest aquifers are already dry. Experts estimate the groundwater here will last a hundred years. I doubt the world will have enough water to support our burgeoning population for another eighty years.
My point is that Douglas County's population problems are a small part of the world's population problems and that we should use engaging articles, such as Steers's, to remind people that overpopulation threatens our very existence. If we produced fewer people, we would need fewer houses. Maybe we could grow food on that land!
A Scar Is Born
In Michael Roberts's January 17 article "The Envelope, Please," he said some very disturbing things. The comment that upset me the most is what he said about Seal. In case he has forgotten, I will remind him. He said that Seal should be "Best spokesman for proper skin care." This to me is a very rude, obnoxious, unnecessary thing to say. Seal was in an accident and that is why he has a scar.
I also believe that if something could have been done about it, then maybe he would have had the surgery, or maybe Seal decided not to have anything done about it because he just does not care what people think. Either way, that is his decision and I give him a lot of credit for not being a coward and hiding away, and instead going on with his life.
I understand that Roberts was trying to be humorous, but by choosing to make fun of something serious and possibly sensitive to someone, it no longer is funny. When people make comments like the one that Roberts did it takes away a person's sense of security, courage and confidence in the choice that he made, and I believe that no one should have to feel that way.
As for his comment about Hootie and the Blowfish, they are more talented and intelligent than Roberts ever will be. For future advice, "Don't mess with the bull, young man, you'll get the horns."
Regarding Elana Ashanti Jefferson's "Up Against the Wall," in the February 7 issue:
The major goal of the Hall of Pea Colorado Convention Center was to affirm the total dominance of business interests over the people of Denver. The Federico Pea administration hailed it as the forerunner of DIA, as a symbol of public/private partnership whereby the public put up the funds and the private sector reaped the benefits. While goody-goody liberals would have been appalled had a Don Bain or a Bill McNichols made such a program the keynote of their administrations, they readily lined up behind Pea because, as a Hispanic, he was supposedly a great liberal. Moreover, they were easily duped by the administration's promises that the building would be a work of art. What they have reaped from their faith in this great project is seen in the moanings of Barbara Jo Revelle, a self-proclaimed "left-wing character" from New York.
The art at the convention center naturally reflects the core of the building: cosmetics on an arrogant imposition on the citizenry of Denver. The site of the structure was carefully selected to destroy the last low-income section of downtown. Though the developers promised that it would lead to a thriving retail and entertainment industry near the center, ever more department stores closed in its wake. The only nightclub to have flourished nearby is the Diamond Cabaret, a striptease emporium.
Your story relates how there is no description of who is who on the mosaics that are carefully hidden away behind the Welton Street loading zone. To do something about this, the city wants Dr. Colorado, Tom Noel of the University of Colorado at Denver, to get Revelle's research to write a fluff piece on the portraits. Nothing is more appropriate.
In recent years, Noel has stood out as the man whose primary mission is to apologize for the city's robber barons while transforming episodes from Denver's past into circuslike events. The editor of Westword has been among those prominently joining with Noel in these ventures as the class struggles, nefarious real-estate deals, devious politicians and corporate giveaways are defined as the eternal virtues of Denver's past, present and future. Noel is to be hailed for his willingness to assure that Revelle's left-wing balderdash is appropriately buried in the trash bin along with the illusion that Pea, the Democrats and their corporate sponsors have anything in common with a free, emancipated society.
Editor's note: Tom Noel's last such "venture" for the Colorado History Group was the retrial of noted robber baron Alfred Packer last September. Adding insult to historical injury, Patricia Calhoun played the part of a Denver Post reporter.
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