Yee-haw. I wouldn't have thought that Kenny Be could top his "politically corrected" guide to the Stock Show on the cover of the last issue--but then I saw his Worst-Case Scenario about "high-speed skier safety headgear." I'm sure you'll get complaints from all those tasteful folks out there, so I wanted to be the first to say: Kenny Be rules!
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What gives with Westword's obsession with cows and everything Western? It's 1998, for chrissake. Grow up--Denver did. This is no cowtown.
Loved your article on the Stock Show! I'm still laughing.
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The Spice of Life
The January 1 Year in Review boiled down to one good day of laughter as I read it. I read both the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post nearly every day (parts of them, that is) and so am fairly news-savvy. I'm sure this "inside knowledge" of the subtle and not-so-subtle humor in your article enriched my appreciation of your comments on the year's events. The quality of the writing was superb, I thought, and frankly superior to most (or all?) of what I've been reading in the News and the Post. Perhaps it was the irreverent spice that made it so enticingly dicey and entertaining to read. A little madness is a fine method, indeed, as the bard once said.
So here's to you and Westword for a fine upcoming year. Thank you very much for freedom of the press.
"365 Days of Rage": Loved this piece! Please give the author kudos; I would love to read more of his outrageously incisive style.
Meesh Rheault Miller
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Your "365 Days of Rage: Hate State Sets New Record" was brilliant. As is often the case with brilliance, it was funny and profoundly sad at the same time. I occasionally teach writing and tell students that writing is really thinking--and it is the quality of the thoughts that makes good writing. In this case, the thoughts cut to the core of our "culture" and, thus, the writing was incisive and, yes, brilliant.
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If anyone is responsible for Colorado being labeled the Hate State, it is yellow, journalistic hate rags like Westword.
Living in Boulder, I found your glorifying the Hill riots--like saying the rioters "were fighting for their right to party"--and deprecating the police to be the height of journalistic irresponsibility. Did the "party" include the trashing of businesses on the Hill and the people and police officers who had to receive hospital treatment, not to mention the cost in taxpayer money? Would you have said that if the rioters had ended up killing a merchant, police officer or innocent non-rioter?
I just sent off your latest hate article, Kyle Wagner's "A Bitter Pill," in the January 8 issue, to Dr. Norm Resnick, so he and Don Weideman can see for themselves what you had to say about them. Besides being a Christian, I am also a member of the Colorado State Defense Force militia (it is not a racist, anti-Semitic hate group) and am proud of it. (George Washington, Daniel Boone, Andrew Jackson, Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, John Tyler and even Abraham Lincoln once served in militias.) As long as you continue to publish hate propaganda against Christians and conservative patriots, I will continue to raise hell with you in such a way that would have made General George Patton proud.
Plumbing the Depths
Steve Jackson's December 18 "Changing of the Guard," about the probate system spending $500,000 attempting to decide whether a mother/ son relationship was too dysfunctional (for whom?) and what care an 82-year-old woman needs, was as revealing as it was sad. If the legal system's goal in Letty Milstein's case was to leave her better off, the legal system has evolved into megalomania.
Jackson's article reports on mutual back-scratching among professionals as, gasp, a conflict of interest. Acting in one's self-interest is the norm; the legal system's big sin is its hypocrisy in maintaining the legal fiction that the professionals are disinterested. If the person who owned the money controlled it, Milstein fees would have never gone beyond $10,000.
How disputes are resolved is big business in the U.S. We pay lip service to arbitration and mediation but still follow the legal lobby into court, where only expensive lawyers can do the talking and the outcome is always dicey. A lot of court work is inept social work masquerading as pricey legal work. How many problems merit litigation? Certainly not Milstein's case, and it is not the exception. Yet intractable social problems are treated as "legal" problems in which millions of dollars are spent so judges and lawyers can "decide" the outcome. Plea bargains and half-million-dollar fees are obvious concessions of the system's limitations.
At least when you hire a plumber, he fixes your sink, charges you $60 and leaves. The legal community is beginning to appreciate the public's negative attitude toward the court system--lawyer jokes have been around longer than Westword.
What's Good for the Goose ...
It is with great sadness that I read of the Goosetown Tavern's closing (Marty Jones's "Closing Time," December 18). I came to Golden for the first time one year ago and fell in love with the town--the people and places seemed to be genuine--a welcome departure from my previous experiences. My realtor and now very good friend, J.W. Hunt, took me to the Goose. It made me feel like part of the community right away, that introduction to insider Golden information.
I had never seen an authentic Western tavern that reeked memories and stories the way the Goose did. I had never before met such kind and interesting people. Granted, there was not a lot of time left, but hardly a day went by that I did not stop in for lunch or, if my schedule permitted, an afternoon brew of Coors's finest.
Dave Adams Jr.
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Zen Will It End?
In her reply to Eric Dexheimer's December 18 article, "Karma Crash," neighbor Stephanie Lynch takes issue with the reference to my RAID membership. Specifically, Dexheimer's article states that I "recently quit RAID in protest over the group's tactics." To clear up any misunderstanding about this, I supported RAID during the summer of 1996 and then broke off my affiliation with the group in the fall of that year.
If Stephanie or other RAID members feel this does not constitute membership, I will be happy to honor their wishes.
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In your article about inappropriate development in Four Mile Canyon, your reporter stated that Naomi Rachel doesn't have any pets. I need to correct that statement, since I am Naomi's cat. It is true that I am black and I have a tail, so I thought I'd pose as a squirrel just to see how easy it might be to fool the press. I guess we have the answer now. I also know where Eric Dexheimer got the false impression. Betty Gibbs's cat, Petty Gripes, said her owner thought it would make Naomi seem more radical. Since the article came out, I've been talking with the clutter of cats who reside in Denver, and in cathouses throughout the city I've heard that Westword decides on the slant for a story before doing the interviews. In my feline opinion, that is dog-food journalism.
Editor's note: Mr. Cat's letter carried the return address of RAID headquarters.
Mutt Ado About Nothing
Westword is noted for its diligence in protecting minority rights, victims of sex discrimination and those falsely accused. Even when we have political payoffs in the Capitol or City Hall, Westword is there to champion the public's right to fairness.
However, in his review of As Good As It Gets ("All Jack and No Play," January 1), Bill Gallo describes the first scene--"When first we see Melvin Udall...he's stuffing his neighbor's pesky little dog into the garbage chute of their Manhattan apartment building"--and makes no mention of whether this action is good or bad. Two months ago in Iowa, teenagers came into a cat shelter and killed 29 cats with baseball bats. Their defense attorney said, "Well...boys will be boys...what can you expect?"
It has been shown from Ted Bundy to Charles Starkweather that those who abuse animals as young children later commit serious crimes against the public. I am sure that many on the Westword staff have a dog or a cat and would not like to have their pet thrown in a garbage can without an "I am sorry."
The Sporting News
Bill Gallo ends his January 8 note about the Broncos with these words: "Look out."
Look out, indeed. Denver is about to display embarrassing boosterism--and that's just from the sports reporters.
Thank God we have someone like Gallo to remind us that sports is more than the final score and that sports writing is more than just stringing a few adjectives together.
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Attention, cheapskates of Denver: To those of you out there opposed to everything that involves a tax, we would like to inform you all of a major current event in the Denver metro area. It involves our beloved Denver Broncos. We all know about the stadium issue: to build or not to build, remember? We here also think that Pat Bowlen is a greedy, self-absorbed tyrant. We all know that even with all of his money, he, despite the fact, wants us to pay for the majority of it. Now, we know that you taxpayers work hard for your dough and you people hate this idea because you don't want to open up the ol' billfold to fork over yet another city tax for something you may or may not support. We too are taxpayers, but we have discovered something that will enable the city of Denver to build a new stadium, with no cost to the taxpayers.
Now, if we haven't completely pissed you off yet and you're still reading this, we have one major point that should steer you all in the right direction. Remember the Rockies? We paid for their new stadium, and now we can help pay for the Broncos' new stadium. What the hell are we talking about? Well, what many of you don't know is that since the Coors Field tax will be paid off in half of the time calculated, the remaining money could go over to the $180 million allotment of the proposed Broncos stadium. The only thing that needs to be done is to vote yes on election day. See, it's not that hard.
Let's face it--Mile High is nearing its end. To ensure that a community asset stays in Denver, we have to build a new stadium. We, the people of Denver, have nourished the Denver Broncos for 37 long years; to ensure that they stay here for another 37, the people of Denver need to show their support and provide the team with a new place to play.
Sabrina Anthony and Ryan Kumar
To Plug or Unplug
I take exception to Jeff Conn's December 25 letter and his comment that "Denver DJs in general aren't very talented."
Has he tried turning the knob to other stations? There are a few talented DJs out there. I have been a DJ for five years on an NPR station, KUVO/89.3 FM. I consider myself a talented DJ. However, our program director does not allow obscenities on-air. Any irregularity in any way is reason for dismissal.
I would think the FCC would frown on such language and/or behavior.
I myself am not on the air for the purpose of "almost" offending the audience. My purpose is to play music that listeners like. I take great pride in preparing my playlist, knowing there are some satisfied audiences out there.
Maybe Conn should listen on Friday nights between 7 and 9 p.m. and hear what a talented DJ sounds like.
Nanny of the Above
Regarding Richard Williams's November 27 letter about Patricia Calhoun's "Sitting in Judgment," in the November 13 issue:
I agree that these "absentee" parents share a large measure of the blame for the problem in general, and I'm sure that, in many cases, they take advantage of young girls whom they hire as nannies. However, the killers must take all of the blame for the deaths. I believe that if you kill someone, either intentionally or through negligence, you should be punished. That the judge in the infamous nanny case would reduce a conviction and sentence to "time served" is beyond my capability to express.
That child's life meant nothing to our so-called criminal-justice system and meant less than nothing to the nanny. The nanny should be punished in kind.
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