Dead to Writes
After reading her October 2 column, "Father Knows Best," here's what I want to know: If Patricia Calhoun is ever found murdered in Boulder, what do you think the cops will call it?

The answer to their prayers, maybe?
Art Berg

Face it: Justice will never be done in Boulder murder cases as long as Alex Hunter is DA. His reluctance to indict and punish criminals puts him in their same class. It is outrageous, and with the attention to the JonBenet Ramsey case, now the entire country knows that Alex Hunter is guilty of, at the very least, misfeasance of office, if not malfeasance. That he has been elected five times doesn't say anything positive about the people of Boulder.

B.E. Clark
Parsons, Kansas

Your story regarding Susan Baley's death was very well-written. I'm so glad you have a cyber-news Web and that we, as human beings, now have instant, uncensored global communication. In this instance, and hopefully many more to come, the isolated "good-old-boy" networks and insular self-serving small-town politics will have international light shed upon them. Might even raise some consciousness out there--or consciences!

The Baley family can begin a wrongful-death suit against the suspected perpetrator. They can then subpoena all relevant documents thirty days after filing of the suit. Pursuing it in civil court may force the criminal action: DAs are political animals.

S.L. Johnson
via the Internet

JonBenet and children who are victims of senseless, violent crimes everywhere are much too young to have experienced those heinous things. This poem, "An Innocent Young Angel," is in honor of her and others like her:

Oh, our little JonBenet,
You gave the world your loving smile.
You were brighter than a star,
If only for a while.

Full of talent, charm and grace,
You were already heaven-bound.
But the nation's heart did cry,
When we heard how you were found.

An innocent young angel,
You should not have left so soon.
Taken by the devil's hand,
Beneath a Christmas moon.

In one night those six short years,
Endured a lifetime's worth of pain.
Only her eyes saw the beast,
Closed in death they can't explain.

An innocent young angel,
You should not have left so soon.
Taken by the devil's hand,
Beneath a Christmas moon.
Danita D. Oakes
via the Internet

Piercing Commentary
The September 25 issue gave me a good laugh. In her column, "The Last Writes," Patricia Calhoun quotes a judge's decision that if the Denver Post loses its seat at the execution of Gary Davis, then the Post's "representation" that its reporter will be there will become an "inaccuracy," and the paper will "lose credibility."

Then I turned a few pages and read how the Post published a story about John Elway piercing his nipple--a story that turned out to be false.

Hmmmm. Just how much credibility does the Post have to lose?
P.S.: Congrats to Calhoun for that column, and especially for her last line, about how "usually the vultures wait until a body is dead before they tear it apart."

J.T. Parker

A Slow Burn
After reading Andy Van De Voorde's article, "The Jet Set," in the September 25 issue, I was completely aghast at the information it revealed. Why is it that government (on every level) continues to believe it can accomplish what it cannot: trying to play the role of private industry? In doing so, precious tax dollars are squandered...business as usual. Is it any wonder, with the level of salaries paid to the SDC board of directors (e.g., president Andrew Barnes at $179,000), that the going is slow? The gravy train will always do the minimum speed limit.

How did such people get appointed by Mayor Webb at such salary levels? With the city remaining in control with regard to how Stapleton will be developed, what have they to fear from private-industry bids? Mayor Webb's first responsibility is the efficient use of taxpayer dollars, moneys that his constituents continually sweat to earn. The coming months should prove interesting. Will Mayor Webb elevate the needs of Denver's working class over the needs of his nine friends, the boardmembers he appointed at SDC? It is no wonder that politicians despise true tests of character!

Howard Sklar

Chunk Change
Regarding Stuart Steers's "A Dry Hole," in the September 25 issue:
I do not think Mr. Gable is all that smart. If he is, he would have been in with the crooks who control Denver, and he could have had a chunk of DIA. He would have made more on that one deal than he ever could in oil, even at $60 a barrel.

Larry Mooneyham
via the Internet

Disorder in the Court
Regarding Tony Perez-Giese's "The Court of Lost Souls," in the October 2 issue:

Maybe they should film these court scenes and then broadcast them on the local public cable TV stations. (I won't be surprised if the network affiliates pick up the broadcasts, considering the truth they show today.) That way, maybe the public will see and might understand the consequences of abusive behavior.

Sana Mountainpeak
via the Internet

A Case of the Willies
Regarding Ward Harkavy's "Free Willy," in the October 2 issue:
Thank God for Will Perkins and all the other normal people in Colorado. What is happening to the values of this world makes me want to puke.

Fred Webber

Where There's Smoke, There's Ire
Yeah, I thought I saw a little hypocrisy in the October 2 issue, what with the Marlboro ad on page 72 and then one of your judgmental stories about politicians taking cigarette money (Scott Yates's "Pack Contributions"). Seems like the cigarette money is good enough for you, yet it looks like politicians can't take the same money that you guys lap up.

Why don't you do a story on your own hypocrisy?
Name withheld on request

Space Invaders
Eric Dexheimer's "Spaced Out," in the September 11 issue, not only saddened me, but I was also appalled at some of the items in the article. Although it was well-written, I have to go against the sources that Dexheimer used to get the point across that Colorado is experiencing a very rapid growth period. I believe that if he had used native Coloradans' viewpoints, the article might have had a stronger impact on readers as to the issue at hand and not made them so angry that they wrote letters.

To me, it is people like Craig Lis who have helped with the influx of people that turns into the development of the land. Mr. Lis moved into a new home only four years ago. He moved there for the view, but maybe he didn't realize that the house he moved into was once part of the nice rolling fields of grasses and flowers that he now has come to love being out his back door.

There is a tragic truth to growth, and that is the destruction of serenity. But if Mr. Lis wants open land to view, he can travel about a hundred miles east on Colorado Highway 14 out of Fort Collins and see a little town called Sterling, population less than 15,000. A town that has not, for all intents and purposes, grown much in the last five to ten years. There he can be assured that there will always be great fields of corn and wheat and other crops to view that will most likely not be developed until after his children, if he has any in the future, are his age.

But then again, Sterling is not in the mountains and so is not Colorado to most people I have met from out of state or from anywhere close to the mountains in our state.

Bill Nab

I'm pleased that so many people responded to Eric Dexheimer's "Spaced Out" but am troubled by the conclusions arrived at by most respondents. Since I abhor a vacuum but appreciate informed debate, here are some facts and my comments:

1) The solitary walks and quiet evenings on Springfield Green alluded to by Eric sound wonderful; unfortunately, they never occurred. 2) We are transplants, like most Coloradans, and have lived in Colorado for fifteen years; I attended college here and found that I liked the people and the mountains. 3) Springfield Green is not in our backyard, although the residents across the street have that privilege. In fact, under the proposed development plan, our view would not be obstructed in the least, since the existing homes accomplish that already. 4) The home we purchased was built for a previous buyer, who backed out of the contract; the bids we placed on resale homes were unsuccessful. 5) We are not anti-growth, we are for responsible growth, and there are many places in the metro area that are suitable for in-fill development without encroaching further on Green Mountain Open Space, Dinosaur Ridge, Bear Lake Park, Red Rocks and Matthew Winters Park. 6) Rhonda and I love children, who are the future, and believe that those who would attempt to dictate who can have children and how many they can have are committing the greatest hypocrisy possible. Lest you forget, we were all children once. 7) A loan for development of Springfield Green was the main cause of the failure of an S&L during the infamous nationwide collapse; the developer who was involved still owns land in the area and is active in the Mount Carbon Metropolitan District. 8) The district has filed for bankruptcy, which, if successful, may deny the remaining bondholders any returns on their investment. 9) The developer, Rielly Homes, is a major landowner in the district and has a representative on the unsecured bondholders' committee--is it coincidence that the district filed bankruptcy in August? 10) Rielly Homes does not have adequate water to supply the development. The existing well, water lines and infrastructure, which are in disrepair, would not suffice even if completely replaced. 11) Rielly Homes may file a lawsuit, but case law demonstrates that down-zoning in itself is not a taking. They must prove that all potential to make a profit has been removed due to the down-zoning and that the potential existed in the first place. For example, you may believe that your used car is worth $1,000, but can you prove it if no one buys it? Even if the initiative passes, Rielly may apply to rezone the land six months after the initiative goes into effect. 12) The initiative to rezone Springfield Green must be passed by a majority vote. The initiative process is guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Colorado Constitution and is democracy in its purest form.

Yes, we are concerned about the area we live in, but our concerns are greater than you perceive. We should all be concerned about our neighborhoods and be actively involved in the issues that affect us. Stating that you are a part of the problem may be more accurate than you realize if you do not become informed on the issues and make yourself a part of the solution. Letter-writing may exercise your vocabulary, bashing people you've never met may give you a perception of superiority, and criticizing solutions to problems about which you are uninformed may give you self-satisfaction, but what have you done lately? In taking that first step, you may realize that we all have similar concerns and that only through open discussion can we arrive at win-win solutions, which by definition are beneficial to all.

Craig M. Lis

Club Feat
Come on, Westword. This Peter Rainer guy does not like any movie unless it's some foreign play. Where did you find this guy--at some country club?

Wayne A. Cordova

Out of His Mind
Michael Roberts's October 2 review of Bob Dylan's new CD, Time Out of Mind, was way off! Though I don't love everything Dylan's ever done, this particular CD is a real masterpiece! All of the elements that make a true classic are in Time Out of Mind. I'm sorry you don't have the good taste and sensibility to sense that.

Sandie Pettee
via the Internet

It's one thing to duck the disgorged contents of Michael Roberts's toxic musical digestive tract, to endure those endlessly snide, dismissive and shallow "critiques" of virtually all music except "rap"--which isn't music--in which case he indulges his bad taste. One naturally wonders if Roberts actually likes music or would perhaps feel more at home with a career move where he can pose the question, "Yo, you want fries wit dat?"

It's quite another thing, however, to be subject to Roberts's ignorance about that which he scribbles. In his "review" of Bob Dylan's powerful and long-awaited new recording, Time Out of Mind, Roberts not only insults Dylan--who obviously needs no defense, nor Roberts's approval--he states that Time Out of Mind is Dylan's first recording of original material since 1989's Oh Mercy.

Someone ought to pass the collection plate at Westword to send Roberts to Music History 101. Bob Dylan's last album of original material was in fact Under the Red Sky, released in 1990.

No doubt Roberts was too preoccupied with some headache-inducing adolescent rap drivel back in 1990 to have taken note.

Peter Tonks

Showcase and Tell
About your Westword Music Awards Showcase supplement, in the September 18 issue: Super, then! I believe there is more to music than what "the media" chooses to write about! Thanks for writing about other local bands!

For once!
via the Internet

Good news: Denver has the distinction of being home to some truly world-class musicians worthy of high praise. Bad news: Most of these fine artists were again ignored by the majority of nominating panel members for the annual Westword Music Awards Showcase.

With a few exceptions, the Westword Showcase, as in years past, has largely reinforced the status quo of "what is good music" based on what is popular among beer-drinking bar-hoppers and by jumping on the bandwagon of those who have achieved some kind of meaningless national commercial success--neither of which signifies world-class talent.

Instead of rising to recognize and seek out truly inspirational musicians of imagination, creativity, substance and character, the Showcase reminds me of a small-town high-school popularity contest. (I limit this criticism to the Showcase; as a newspaper, Westword seems to go out of its way to support unknown, anti-establishment people in general.) It is shocking to me how many absolutely great musicians I know of in this town who have repeatedly escaped the Showcase selection process during the past three years, and it is frightening who is recognized as "the best." The jazz/instrumental selections are particularly annoying and revealing.

But I guess that's what practically every poll does, anyway--crowns the mediocre "king." Keep trying, Denver--you'll get it right eventually.

Neil Slade

I was wondering: What exactly is winning the Westword Music Awards based on? I was under the impression that the bands that got the most votes won; I am now under the impression that your awards are based on who knows who. If that had been explained in the first place, we would not have wasted our time filling out ballots hoping that our favorite bands would get a fair chance in the very small Denver music scene (and maybe even win). Next year I hope the Westword staff tries a little bit harder to make it less obvious that the music awards are rigged.

M. Berg

Editor's note: As with winners of the Best of Denver Readers' Poll, the winners of our Music Awards Showcase are determined solely by the number of votes placed by local music fans (and they placed thousands of them--we have the ballots to prove it). The nominations that appeared on those ballots--five acts in each of thirteen categories--resulted from an earlier poll of several dozen people on the local music scene.

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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