Petty Is As Petty Does
Trust Westword to mock the Denver Post's Snapshots of Colorado. Ward Harkavy's "They Came from Denver!" in the May 21 issue was a sorry excuse for journalism. At least the Post is trying to make this state a better place.
What is Westword doing?
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Ward Harkavy's "They Came From Denver!" was a typically juvenile Westword stunt. In other words, I loved it! If Westword had a town meeting, I'm sure you'd get more than ten people to come--especially if Kenny Be were there. (His Worst-Case Scenario in that same issue, "Two-Way Streets Help Build Better Neighborhoods," was hilarious. But he forgot to mention how those traffic jams would be a perfect place for people to hawk the Denver Post!)
I'm moving out of New Mexico back to Denver, and you're scaring me--not really. "They Came From Denver" was a great story; I enjoyed it.
Westword has really come into its maturity. Keep up the good work!
The Cheese Stands Alone
Belated congratulations to Patricia Calhoun for her May 14 column, "The Big Cheese." It is outrageous that while everyone else, including the rest of the media, jumps to the defense of more affluent neighborhoods (does the Firehouse Car Wash story ring a bell?), residents of northwest Denver must suffer in silence. Yes, Leprino Foods Company has been there a long time--but other people who live on that block have been there even longer!
Let's be clear here: Because of the city's new "mediation process," a long-established business must postpone plans for over a year while it talks nice with neighborhood groups. Not only is the delay costly, but it is time-consuming.
The result? The neighbors still badmouth the business, and the business has to start the same process all over again.
Do you call this progress?
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It is worth noting that the three expensive Jefferson County houses sliding down the hill were built by Mike Leprino, as has been reported. Given this disregard for people who can afford half-million-dollar homes, it seems it's no coincidence that Leprino Foods would be treating its Denver neighbors badly, too.
Name withheld on request
Is There a Doctor in the House?
I want to respond to Judith Graham's "Separation Anxiety," in the May 14 issue. I appreciate that this article was written and think it was well-researched and carefully presented. However, what doesn't come through is how ludicrous, how absolutely ludicrous, it is that any of this is happening.
The idea that doctors would even consider this, let alone take the risk of actually building a hospital, speaks volumes to the extent that they are engaged in battle with the managed-care, for-profit industry. Testimony by the ex-CEO of a major health-maintenance organization in front of the U.S. Senate revealed that it is openly said within the managed-care industry that they are at war with doctors and patients. Realizing that doctors are spending at least half of their time now just trying to survive and trying to find a way to continue to treat patients and pay their own bills hopefully will serve as a loud wake-up call to America. Believing that creating managed care--a new, for-profit industry that makes its money by denying service to the patient and refusing to pay the doctor--will somehow magically reduce the cost of health care is beyond ludicrous. More for less? Wake up, America! It's time to listen to your doctor. The doctors at Rose Medical Center are shouting at the top of their lungs.
Achieving the best health care for every American is a societal value that I endorse with all my soul. But doctors don't owe us anything any more than you owe me anything. Don't let an ill-conceived, for-profit industry deny you the care that your doctor can provide or allow yourself to believe that it is okay to let managed care deny payment to your doctor.
Gary A. Fenster
I know the health-care system is a mess, but how will having the doctors at Precedent cream off all the lucrative services and rich patients help? Although I applaud their courage, it seems these doctors are adding to the problem rather than solving it.
Pay As You Go
Eric Dexheimer's "Foreclosure Encounters," in the May 21 issue, is one-sided and does not give correct information on foreclosure investment. When someone is about to lose his home to foreclosure, investors step in and pay back mortgages and fees. In exchange, the investor acquires ownership and sets up tenants in a lease option to pay back money plus a service charge. This keeps their credit from becoming seriously damaged, and they stay in their property instead of being displaced. We also do job placement and budget planning so that if we do have to evict them and fully take over their property, we do it with a clear conscience.
The investors in your article violated so many laws, I hope they get fully prosecuted. This type of investing attracts its share of amoral dirtbags, but the foreclosure business is more legit than it appears on the surface.
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Eric Dexheimer's article about foreclosures was very interesting. I hope the women in the Denver Public Trustee's Office, Caroline Sandstrom and Anita Dubas, get the credit they deserve for watching out for scam artists. And I hope the courts are able to help Hortense Ross. Her story was very sad and probably all too common.
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Ready for Takeoff
Your April 30 Off Limits on the debacle at DIA (Dumb Irrational Airport) brought to mind my experiences at the Commerce City and Ranum High School "citizen input meetings" for the proposed new airport in the late 1980s. As a former manufacturing/production engineer responsible for designing and building semi-automatic production machines, I knew full well the propensity for mechanical devices to fail at the most inopportune times and how persnickety computers can get. It was my intention to express, among other things, concern over the fabled underground train as the only way to reach concourses.
After most of the time allotted for the "citizen input meeting" was consumed by six windbags on each of the two panels pushing the airport concept by claiming all the jobs and other economic benefits that would allegedly materialize, the meeting was opened up to those of us who had signed up to speak. However, we were told that no commentaries or statements would be allowed. We would be allowed to ask one question each, and that would be it. Any question posed would be addressed in a very roundabout manner with no option for the questioner to restate the question in an effort to get a straight answer. It was but one of several concerns I wanted to express, and I never had a chance to address it because a commissioner rambled on in regard to the first concern, which was never addressed, either.
(Another problem I wanted to address, being originally from Minnesota where they have "real winters," was the location so far out and little provision for dealing with snow. The airport screwup last October 25 was no surprise, either.)
The meetings were a farce, because they were only a formality to "appease the masses" while the dictators imposed their idea of an airport so that they and their minions could make a lot of money. As a result of the official attitude relative to the airport, they will be plagued by problems.
Mind Over Subject Matter
I was amazed by all the response to Tony Perez-Giese's "The Bum's Rush," in the May 7 issue. As Colorado continues to grow and gentrification continues to affect some of our older neighborhoods, such confrontations will become more and more common. I hope we're mature enough to deal with them. Judging from many of the people who wrote to the paper, though, we are not ready for a civilized dialogue.
A quick note to recognize the few good people willing to share their minds in an intelligent manner. I believe that Marc Freiberger (Letters, May 21) speaks for more than himself. My hat's off to a man who still holds firm the rights of the innocent.
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Who wrote about big summer concerts in the Denver area ("Summer of Love," May 14)? Michael Roberts at his least interesting.
If the Dave Matthews Band is the '90s equivalent of the '60s/'70s Jethro Tull, then Michael Roberts is the '90s equivalent of Alfred E. Neuman.
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For whatever reason, Peter Rainer saw fit to destroy the beauty in Deep Impact ("Not Much of a Hit," May 14). This is a thinking man's sci-fi thriller, and it appears that Peter has shown himself a poor judge of the genre. This movie is not about a comet; it's about the strength of the human spirit in the face of destruction. Jenny Lerner is not unscrupulous--she is absolutely career-driven. I would play the same trump card were I in her situation. Also, not all reporters are aliens. (Peter, methinks you are being hypocritical!) And yes, marriage at seventeen (which is how old both Leo and his sweetie are in this flick) is legal with parental consent. Although with the end of the world, rules invariably change! Leo's new parents-in-law had to practically throw her (with mom's new baby) out of harm's way.
When an extinction-level event is pending, you bet nobody over fifty will be on the short list; with two million people as survivors, humans will need all the reproductive potential they can get. There are also background reports of worldwide strife, rioting and looting throughout the movie. Listen more carefully next time, Peter. People are also rioting at the gates of the limestone caves; note that the president invoked martial law to maintain order, knowing people will resent the "chosen"!
I think this movie was a true heartbreaker, and Peter is suffering from Post-Traumatic Titanic Sour Grapes disorder; he just doesn't understand how a sci-fi movie can have so few special effects, so much "human drama," and still survive. Isn't the end of the world all about human drama, Peter? Would you rather it be about Mom having sex with the pool boy as a last fun romp before Armageddon? In truth, most people would prefer closure before they die. Personally, I'd prefer to be hugging Mom at the final moment.
What would you do, Peter? Think about it.
Robin K. Ricca
About James Mayo's "Mob Rules," in the May 7 issue: For once, thank you so much for writing about a talented group. In a time where everyone wants to be like Puffy, the Goodie Mob is definitely a wake-up call.
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Out, Damned Spot
I've been meaning for some time to write regarding Jim Lillie's excellent critiques of our theatrical scene in Westword. Many thanks. What sparks this letter, though, is to agree with Lillie on Macbeth ("Big Mac Attack," April 9), but to take it in a slightly different direction.
The comment that the rousing verison of the play proved to be more melodramatic than tragic is certainly true. I have admired Powell's direction in other productions, particularly Racing Demon, The Dresser and The Last Yankee; his conception of Macbeth was probably good and would probably have worked, but to me, the actors were not believable. Except for McDuff and Lady McDuff, the cast was "reading" lines--yes, reading them very well, but declaiming rather than being believable. The same can be said of the movement, including the fight scenes.
Either the production was under-rehearsed (and if so, should have become better as they continued) or the direction was misconceived or not communicated.
I continue to look to Lillie for the most consistently insightful reviews in our media.
Annabel B. Clark
Why does every headline have to be a pun? You've been doing this for years. Why not try something different?
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He'll Take Romance
I enjoy reading your paper weekly. It certainly entertains me. I look forward to the articles and especially your Romance-seekers. Keep up the outstanding work, and don't let the naysayers get to you!
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