Your (yawn) Best of Denver (yawn) issue had such (yawn) variety from the (yawn) past few years' issues (yawn). It was really interesting (yawn) reading all about Aimee Sporer's (yawn) hair again, and (yawn) all those neato paragraphs by you clever Westword staffers about such (yawn) really cool Best Ofs such as (yawn) the Best Transformation of a Parking Lot (yawn). Can't wait 'til next year's (yawn) issue.
Keep up the work, Westword!
Your Best of Denver 1998 was the best one yet! It reminded me why I love living here. In fact, I'll keep a copy in my car to help me remember all the good things the next time I'm stuck in a traffic jam on Speer Boulevard (not the best synchronized lights in Denver).
Thanks again. Even with the traffic, this town is the best place in the world to live, and Westword is one of the main reasons why.
Thanks to Westword readers for voting me the Best Radio DJ. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your support. With all the changes going on at KTCL since the evil corporate takeover, it helps to know there are still fans out there.
A Word to the Wives
Congratulations are in order to everyone involved with your excellent domestic-violence package, "Hitting Them Where They Live" (June 11 and 18). But I must admit, after such depressing reading, your Best of Denver last week came as a refreshing break.
I'm writing this in response to Harrison Fletcher's columns about zero tolerance ("What a Pane," June 11, and "Look Out Below!," June 18). What's happened in our society is that when our economy moved away from manufacturing, what took up the slack (or was supposed to, according to the economists of the 1980s) was that we started becoming a "service-oriented economy." Unfortunately, the leader in service-oriented jobs is, of course, the government, with laws and judicial processes. Money has to be generated from somewhere, and what better way than to strictly enforce fascist, totalitarian laws? It will be interesting to see how many people will allow themselves to be treated like victims of the state instead of citizens of the state before there is a more complete disintegration of participation in the political processes.
Name withheld on request
This is insane. The police have real jobs: to catch criminals, not fourteen-year-olds firing rockets. My car has been broken into--why not catch those punks instead of kids who're trying to have fun without breaking something?
via the Internet
A Growing Problem
I was so happy to see Stuart Steers's June 11 article, "A Growing Problem," regarding the problem of growth in Colorado. This is an issue that needs to be addressed seriously for the preservation of this beautiful state. I have lived in Colorado Springs for six years and have worked in Manitou Springs for a little while as well. I have watched the rapid and vast growth with disgust and wonder why it seems people care so little for the environment they live in. I grew up in California and witnessed the destruction of the natural beauty that once existed in that state. Most of the orchards, ranches and mountains have been decimated by cardboard housing, shopping malls and widened streets. As an adult, I moved to Colorado due to the clean air, smaller population and open spaces. Not to say I am ignoring the population growth in Colorado; I am just saying that it can be maintained within a certain area so that we may all enjoy the environment we love. With continued expansion, the best qualities will diminish. In addition, we are shrinking the habitat of the wildlife we so admire. I think it is quite sad that places such as Rocky Mountain National Park, which create a safety zone for wildlife, are becoming a novelty. It is particularly sad when you think of the large wildlife populations that existed in Colorado at one time.
Alas, I digress. In conclusion, I would just like to say that I think the proposal by Pat Pascoe needs some intense publicity. People throughout the state need to be aware that this bill exists. I personally might not have known about it had it not been for Westword. (Contrary to what you may have heard, Colorado Springs is not a mecca for free journalism and bright ideas.)
Denise M. Terao
via the Internet
The Wheel Thing
Regarding Tony Perez-Giese's "Free Rides," in the June 11 issue:
Granted, handicapped placards are abused on a daily basis. I have four suggestions to help both the bona fide handicapped patrons and the system.
Solution one: Put a handicap emblem on the handicapped person's driver's license and make the handicap parking meter subject to the card like an ATM. This would also save handicapped people from the two-hour time-limit stress.
Solution two: Put the handicap emblem on the person's driver's license with a photo. If the handicapped person doesn't drive, identify a designated driver and have the photo of the handicapped person placed on the designated driver's license.
Solution three: Place the emblem on the person's license plate, maybe with a photo.
Solution four: Place a photo on the handicapped placard--this may help citizens' arrests and slow down violators.
In defense of handicapped people who are in need of the reserved parking spaces in Denver, I would like to add the following: The city's complaint that there is economic waste due to abuses of the handicapped privilege is legitimate, but its solutions are groundless. Consider that the city cares very little about the varieties of handicapped people in its charge--whether they are disabled, mentally challenged or coming off an injury. Instead of bitching about how handicapped placards are borrowed, stolen or taken and used by non-handicapped people, just issue windshield stickers like the ones used for emission inspections. Obviously, this is a temporary solution--but then, so is the city's.
People are always going to find ways to abuse the privileges they have been given. This matter, however, is not a bureaucrat's responsibility but one of parents, educators and priests.
The real issue, once again, is not about physically challenged people but about fiscally challenged ones. The real issue is not about parking; it's about space and urban planning. If we can get the money to build another stupid washbasin for the Broncos, then we can find the money to secure parking or transport for everyone who pays taxes in Denver. Of course, it's easy to tax the meek--that's why we keep them around.
via the Internet
I don't understand why Michael Paglia is comparing the Jonathan Borofsky sculpture to be installed at the DCPA with the white canopy in front of the Denver Art Museum ("Shaping Up," June 18). The Borofsky work has indeed become a reviled object in the local art world, thanks to Kenny Be and others, but that is not saying very much. Some other reviled objects in memory: the Denver Art Museum itself, and the cowboy and Indian sculpture by Red Grooms now hidden on the top of the DAM. I can even remember when the engineering building on the CU-Boulder campus was a reviled object.
The white canopy at the DAM is an object with no meaningful formal or conceptual content. Although I have not seen a drawing of the Borofsky work in question, I have seen an entire floor of the Whitney Museum in NYC devoted to the artist's work. Has Paglia read any critiques of Borofsky's work or seen any of it? I find Borofsky's figurative work very expressive and appropriate for late-twentieth-century culture. Six stories high? That seems like a good scale for downtown Denver. Why does art have to be dwarfed by architecture?
Send in the Cavalry
As a historical re-enactor and armchair historian, I found Harrison Fletcher's "Battle Cry," in the May 28 issue, an excellent read. This is not why I'm writing, though. Rather, I want to respond to Holly Durkin's letter in the June 11 issue.
No disrespect to Durkin, but where was it stated that the U.S. government sanctioned the Sand Creek Massacre? I was not aware that "Colonel" Chivington and his cold-blooded 3rd Infantry/Cavalry were told by Washington to mow down the Cheyennes. In fact, the slaughter was denounced by many in the U.S. government. Certainly the regular army is not to blame.
The 3rd Colorado was a state militia unit and was never a formal part of the regular U.S. Army. Like many state militias of the Civil War era, it was often lax in the discipline, focus and attention to orders that characterized so many units of the regular army. In my opinion, supported by fact, Chivington arrogantly freelanced his crusade against the Cheyennes. I strongly doubt that he ever gave a damn for what Washington would say.
Ms. Durkin, don't dilute the blame for Sand Creek to include the entire U.S. government. The blame falls squarely on bastard Chivington's shoulders and all who, with full knowledge, followed his orders. The government was not to blame for Sand Creek. I would ask that you go beyond your blanket term of "U.S. government" and find out the truth. It may inform you. Then again, it's probably not "palatable" to our politically correct, Dr. Quinn sensibilities. Oh, well.
A Sight for Sore Feelings
We are surprised and disappointed by Westword's portrayal of Mr. Enrique Garcia Fuentes's experience at Rocky Flats and would have welcomed the opportunity to offer our perspective in your June 11 Off Limits. We are also sorry that Mr. Garcia Fuentes left Rocky Flats feeling as he did.
As a policy and practice, Rocky Flats absolutely is not motivated by prejudice or racism when hosting visitors to the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site. As a former nuclear-weapons production facility and a site that still houses plutonium and classified mate-rial, Rocky Flats has strict security requirements that must be followed.
Let's look at the facts. Rocky Flats sent out a media advisory June 2 alerting all area news media that Secretary Pena would be at Rocky Flats on Friday, June 5. It asked interested reporters to notify the site by Wednesday if they planned to cover the event. Requirements for the visit were specified in the media advisory, including the requirement that all reporters provide picture identification, Social Security number and date of birth and that they be U.S. citizens. Because Rocky Flats is a former nuclear-weapons production facility, visits by foreign nationals are not allowed unless a security plan has been developed. This normally involves a six- to eight-week process, which is why the media advisory limited press to U.S. citizens only.
Following normal procedure, we could have denied Mr. Garcia Fuentes access to the site. Instead, our personnel worked late and came in early the following morning to make arrangements for him to cover the secretary's visit. Since there was not enough time to complete a full security plan as required by DOE order, we did assign one public-affairs staff person--not "three guards"--to accompany Mr. Garcia Fuentes. We also asked that another Metro Networks reporter who was covering the same event maintain possession of the recording equipment. This is because foreign national visitors are not allowed to possess recording equipment without a specific security plan.
Our efforts were aimed at getting Mr. Garcia Fuentes access to the site on short notice so he could cover Mr. Pena's visit along with the other news media, which he was able to do. We were glad to accommodate him but sorry that he apparently misunderstood our security procedures.
Patrick J. Etchart
Department of Energy
Get Up, Stand Up
Regarding Michael Roberts's June 11 Feedback:
Personally, I don't give a hoot who brings reggae to Colorado. I plan on attending both Reggae on/at (or whatever!) the Rocks concerts. I can't believe Bill Bass would make disparaging remarks about Steel Pulse, Lucky Dube, Shaggy, etc., saying his lineup is so much stronger. Seems like he is cutting his own throat by touting his lineup this year at the expense of the artists not playing in his concert. Hell, I think both concerts have great lineups. In fact, I like that I can break up two all-day reggae concerts over the course of the summer. As much as I enjoy reggae, two days in a row is just too much for me (more so the party aspect than the music). So I say, "Lighten up!" This is reggae we are talking about--you know, peace, Jah, harmony.
via the Internet
This is in response to Michael Roberts's review of the Dave Matthews Band album, Before These Crowded Streets, in the June 4 issue. First of all, the song that is similar to Peter Gabriel's style is "Don't Drink the Water," not "Spoon." Alanis also assisted him on that song, as well as Bela Fleck.
You say "the words, meanwhile, are nothing much." Are you really listening? In another Westword, you referred to Jewel as the Stevie Nicks of the '90s.
What I'd love to know is, how did you get this job, since your words are so often "nothing much"?
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
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:
PO Box 5970
Denver, CO 80217
or e-mail (include your full name and hometown) to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.