Duty to Di
Was Kenny Be's Princess Di Hip Tip, in the September 4 issue, really necessary? I enjoy reading Westword, but I think that cartoon was tasteless and disrespectful.

Dana Murphy
Your last issue was another one avoiding all important life-and-death issues: this time, the untimely death of Diana, Princess of Wales, on August 31.

Instead, we are expected to bypass the most tragic and untimely moments of the century in order to be sucked into yet another fairy-tale romance, this time not even with a person but with a trend (T.R. Witcher's "The Spin Crowd"), and merrily trot over to Old South Gaylord Street and tango. Another Denver native told me last year he thought that street was more fun when it was boarded up.

Bob Seger's "Get out of Denver, baby" lyrics have come back to haunt us all here today.

Mae Eckles

Duty and the Beast
Regarding Tony Perez-Giese's "Forest Bumps," in the September 4 issue:
Must we suffer through another "love the perks" governor of Colorado's wild places? Who will Lyle Laverty love most: those with a bag of tired but true tirades about preservation of wild places, or those who dole out free skiing, executive lunches and lodging at Colorado's finest resorts? Lyle is from Washington, D.C. Let's face it--this guy will be drugged from the goodies bonanza poured out from the recreation-industry carafe. He will be bored to tears by emotive pleas for such non-revenue makers as pure, untrailed, beast-inhabited wilderness (if it still exists). What is the use of bringing back grizzlies or wolves if they will be harassed endlessly by techno-clad brain-dead bikers, off-roaders and the anti-enviro forest-abusing glee club?

Maybe the problem lies not so much with Lyle Laverty or Elizabeth Estill. Perhaps the capitalist need to find uses for the unused, to see the money through the trees, is Colorado's inherent problem. Our spiritual guides in government can't seem to leave anything wild alone. Lyle will likely succumb to "perk stupor" when he shakes hands with the smiling well-wishers in the ski and outdoor recreation industry. Colorado wilderness will disappear like the steak and lobster devoured at Vail and Aspen "power lunches." No wonder the ski industry and other abusers are so giddy over Lyle's arrival. The lynx are being terminated, the wolves have all been shot--now let's charge a fee and start the party! See ya at Vail!

Ed Jahn
via the Internet

Mine Eyes Have Seen the Gory
I have just finished reading Alan Prendergast's feature about Victor and the open-pit mine ("It's the Pits," September 4). I was raised in Victor. My father was a hard rock miner who was killed in 1959 in the Ajax mine just above Victor.

I have seen the destruction the mine has wrought. I roamed those hills all my growing years. I sold a house at a loss in Victor because of the mine activities and the new face of Cripple Creek. I feel like a stranger in Cripple Creek; I feel that Victor will soon be the same.

Fran Ward
via the Internet

Room to Glow
Regarding Patricia Calhoun's "While You Were Away," in the September 4 issue:

Although I appreciated the update on the Lace House (Black Hawk officials and anyone else who supports this scheme should be dropped down a mine shaft), is anyone else getting as tired as I am of the Rocky Flats grand jurors? They had their fifteen minutes of fame; now it's time to move on.

The Cold War is over, for crissakes. Let's get the place cleaned up, and then everybody can finally shut up!

Terry Collins

Calhoun, finally you're getting in touch with the Colorado that I grew up in--that's the good news. The bad news: Is Colorado still sucking?

Name withheld on request
via the Internet

As a Colorado resident, I am deeply concerned with the Department of Energy's proposal for a ten-year cleanup at Rocky Flats. While expedited cleanup is an admirable goal, I have some questions as to what we get at the end of ten years. Plutonium is one of the most toxic elements known to mankind. It remains dangerous for 240,000 years. How clean will Rocky Flats be at the end of ten years? Has the cleanup plan been offered for public review? Will cleanup be done safely? Cleanup of nuclear-weapons facilities is a new prospect. All that I ask is that current safety protocols be reviewed and modified or developed as needed by members of the public.

Matthew Crozier

Since Westword has taken the lead on the Rocky Flats grand jurors' attempts to reveal the documents supporting their call for criminal indictments at the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant, why is it that Westword soft-pedaled documentary evidence made available to you concerning plutonium dumping by Rocky Flats outside of the nuclear-weapons plant, in a landfill in Aurora where developers now plan still more subdivision homes? Why is Westword more interested in the "he said/she said" type of reporting that typifies the dailies in this town instead of exposing the real evidence of environmental crimes when it comes into your possession? Who is Westword really serving by this type of journalism? In Stuart Steers's "Sister Sludge" story, in the July 24 issue, Westword seemed more interested in who was slinging mud at whom than in the facts of the case.

P.S. There is plutonium in the Lowry Landfill. Citizens, workers at the sewage plant and eastern Colorado farmers have united to call for an investigation of the EPA Region VIII office for fraud, malfeasance, negligence and coverup, and criminal investigations appear to be warranted as well.

Adrienne Anderson
via the Internet

Editor's note: In "Sister Sludge," Stuart Steers quoted Adrienne Anderson at length regarding her claims that plutonium has been dumped at Lowry Landfill. So far, though, Westword has not found "documentary evidence" that would confirm those claims. For more on Rocky Flats--including the first story about the Rocky Flats grand jurors, originally published in Westword in September 1992--visit www.westword.com

There Auto Be a Law
Congratulations to the employees of Frontier Honda who had the courage to call the cops when they recognized the domestic violence on their automobile lot--even when the perpetrator was Keith Weinman, a well-known media personality (Patricia Calhoun's "Once Upon a Mattress," August 21).

The public is too often frightened and intimidated by predators and afraid of retaliation if they blow the whistle on them. So we look away and pretend not to see it. If more businesses followed Frontier's example and displayed zero tolerance for domestic violence, we could sanction batterers and help women stay alive.

KOA could take a lesson.
Mary Dreger, Executive Director
SafeHouse Denver

Blackboard Bungle
Regarding Kenny Be's August 28 Worst-Case Scenario, it's ridiculous and out of order for Denver police officers to be in Denver Public Schools. How can DPD management justify pulling officers off the streets in an already high-crime neighborhood to sit at a middle school that has security personnel?

These kids already have a mistrust of the police; now they're being monitored at school and in the street. This distrust is going to be directed at the school, which should be a safe zone. As for being role models, that's the job of the parents. This sounds like another gravy-train job for soon-to-be-retired police officers.

Daniel C. Martinez Sr.

Error Jordan
The only U.S. ally in the Middle East, tiny little Israel, is surrounded by 70 million Arabs, most of whom would like to see every Israeli floating face-down in the Mediterranean Sea. To Victor Padilla and Peter Kent, whose letters were published in the September 4 issue, I would like to say that there already is a Palestine. It's called Jordan. Jordan is Arab Palestine; Israel is Jewish Palestine.

If it weren't for men like Sam Sterling, there would be no Israel today, and Jews would be at the mercy of the anti-Semites, of which Hitler is but the most extreme example.

Brian J. Moriarty

In your last issue, a sanctimonious letter writer condensed his knowledge of history, anthropology, religion and linguistics into two paragraphs consisting of many slurs and fabrications against Israel and Jews. Most of these errors are obvious, but two of them are too common. 1) Judaism is a religion, not a race, so we have very blond and very black Jews. I wish we had more Asians, to whom he refers contemptuously, saying that modern Jews are converted Asians. That's supposed to be bad? 2) "Semitic" refers to a language group, not a race or ethnic group. It's a term coined by a nineteenth-century German. The correct term for anti-Semitic is "Jew-hater" or, if one needs to be fancy, "Judeo-phobe."

Ida Uchill

Big Deal
This may be too little, too late, but I just read Kyle Wagner's review of the Cheesecake Factory ("Factory Reject," August 28), and I couldn't help but sit down and add my two cents to the story.

Not only is the review right on target in terms of food quality, quantity and price, but wait--there's more. The Cheesecake Factory is a corporate monster in disguise, feeding on our city while pretending to give us what we always wanted: our money's worth. This may seem to be an exaggeration, but it is important that we recognize these things when they happen.

Everything about the restaurant is huge: the floor, the helpings, the staff and the menu. It is all to hide the small-mindedness that goes into running such a restaurant. If you talk big enough, and if people know that they can leave home and go anywhere in the country knowing that there is a Cheesecake Factory and that they can still feel as if they are at home, then there is big money to be made.

We are nothing more than a bunch of numskulls, hoping that we will never have to think in order to get through life. The food doesn't have to be good, just as long as there is plenty of it and it doesn't cost too much. Thank god Mommy still calls me home to dinner, even if she has to use a vibrating beeper these days.

Andrea Welte

Kyle, you have no idea what this business is all about. I have worked at both the Claim Jumper and the Cheesecake Factory, and I like the Factory better. If you have a better product and sell it for a reasonable price, you win. The local places, of anybody, should know this. If you're looking for a fun place to go with kids, go to McDonald's.

Chris Blair
via the Internet

Yippee! I was so excited to read Kyle Wagner's review again in Westword. Is she back for good?

Connie Sherman

Regarding Nick Mello's August 28 letter about Kyle Wagner and the food reviews: Baahhh!

If you think Westword readers/diners and writers are sheep as far as knowing a) what we find, food-wise, is excellent, and b) how to write a restaurant critique, please write us all a guidebook as to what we should be understanding about either, in your estimation.

Also, perhaps you could write a cookbook. And for all of us Denver sheep, please feature a mutton recipe! Thank ewe, Mr. Mello.

Reyn Bayard

Teenage Wasteland
Regarding James Mayo's "There's a Riot Going On," in the September 4 issue:
Here's a news flash for Atari Teenage Riot's Alec Empire: Paying lip service to revolutionary psychodrama didn't change anything then, and it's certainly not changing anything now. Your music is the aural equivalent of spray-painting an anarchy symbol on the wall of your high-school bathroom. Of course, I'd probably be a lot more sympathetic if your new music wasn't total crap, more suited for a Surge commercial than for the serious music listener.

Jonathan Armstrong
via the Internet

Bass Behavior
Regarding Linda Gruno's "Out of the Shadows," in the September 4 issue:
I have not been a member of the Pan Jumbies group since the summer of 1994. A very talented gentleman named Eric Thorin is the current bassist for the Jumbies. I have been trying for some time to put some distance between myself and the Jumbies group--or cult, if you prefer. Musical anarchist Don Prorak travels around the metro area with his band in a Volkswagen bus, filling the air with a twisted blend of soca-calypso. Yikes!

Furthermore, the five smolts that make up the Always...Patsy Cline band aren't neurotic enough to be called an orchestra.

Bob Underwood

Letters policy: Westword wants to hear from you, whether you have a complaint or compliment about what we write from week to week. Letters should be no more than 200 words; we reserve the right to edit for libel, length and clarity. Although we'll occasionally withhold an author's name on request, all letters must include your name, address and telephone number. Write to:

Letters Editor
PO Box 5970
Denver, CO 80217
or e-mail (include your full name and hometown) to: editorial@westword.com

Missed a story? The entire editorial contents of Westword, dating back to July 1, 1996, are available online at www.westword.com/archive/index.html


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