By Hooker by Crook
My friend and I passed through Denver and happened to read part one of "Trial and Tribulations," Steve Jackson's article on Joanne Cordova.
I just read part two, from the November 26 issue, on the Internet.

I am writing to offer high praise to Steve Jackson for his writing. The story was fascinating and was rendered at a depth that is rare in journalism these days. The story immersed the reader in a way of life that most of us have no exposure to. The story should be submitted for a journalistic award; the writing was direct and vivid, and an enormous amount of work went into that series.

Juliette Jordan
via the Internet

I know Joanne Cordova, and she is indeed a worthwhile person from a good family. I am just sorry that no one saw what was happening to her and that it all escalated to this point. It can happen to anyone, and sometimes we are not strong enough on our own to stop the ball. Let this be a reminder to all of us not to get so self-absorbed that we miss another's cry for help.

Keri Awada
via the Internet

Wow. Steve Jackson's piece is one of those rare stories that transcends mere local human interest. My most sincere compliments on a fine piece of writing. Please let Ms. Cordova know that our prayers are with her on her journey back.

Robert Poulk
via the Internet

I know the people who found Anita Paley and was really intrigued by the courtroom testimony. Too bad that Robert Riggan Jr. may not die for what he did to her. Thank you for the coverage of this story that never got much publicity except at the time of the trial--and then only if you knew to look for it.

M. Mintz
via the Internet

Although I no longer live in Denver, I often read Westword via the Internet. Steve Jackson's recent article on Joanne Cordova's experiences was well-written and should be a wake-up call to all crack users.

I now reside in a small Southern town where crack cocaine is as abundant as Christianity. Even here, where crack was once thought of as an urban problem, I personally witnessed an attempted rape of a young woman by a crack user. A call to 911 brought the police to the scene while he was still in the act. What was frightening about the crime was that the attempted rape was taking place in broad daylight, in the front yard of a neighbor's house, while four to five elderly church ladies were shouting for him to stop.

I'm proud that Ms. Cordova testified. Additionally, I'm proud that she is attempting to point her life back to the family fold.

By the way did the police ever locate the knife?
Name withheld on request

Editor's note: No, the police never found the knife used to cut Anita Paley--but during deliberations, jurors remembered that Joanne Cordova had seen a knife in Robert Riggan's van that could have made such a wound. For the complete text of Steve Jackson's story, visit www.westword.com.

Age Before Duty
Thank you for Gayle Worland's good article about Ash Grove Senior Center ("Wreck Center," November 19). I wish it could have been printed a lot sooner so maybe the Denver Department of Parks and Recreation could have taken this job more seriously. Seniors, in my opinion, have been abused with all this gobbledygook they have been feeding us. Yes, we were told that Cook Center would open in September, etc. What bothered us is that Ash Grove could have stayed open during this period. I feel sorry for those who do not drive and couldn't attend centers in surrounding areas. They forget this is such good therapy--physically, socially and mentally--for senior citizens. Many activities that were held in the afternoons at Ash Grove are not held at other centers. This left out a lot of people.

Thanks again for your article. I wish it could reach the mayor's office.
Name withheld on request

She's Got a Beef
Juliet Wittman's article about mad cow disease and elk/deer ("Mad All Over," November 12) was very unsettling and informative. We are at a much higher risk of getting CJD than I had ever wanted to believe.

Why isn't this information in either of the other large newspapers in town?
Jeri Basko
via the Internet

I wanted to thank you for Juliet Wittman's "Mad All Over." The article gives some information on the horrific disease of CJD but cannot truly describe the full helplessness one feels when a loved one contracts it. This disease seems to fit into the same mold as other forbidden topics, such as Gulf War Syndrome, the study on syphilis on black men back in the Forties, and the effects on citizens from nuclear fallout in Utah.

Of course, at present this is not of the same magnitude as those particulars, but it could have the same sort of effects eventually--the only difference being certain, immediate death versus prolonged illness and disability. The public needs to be aware--not to panic, but to have knowledge that such diseases do truly exist and to demand that research be done to definitively decide what causes it and what doesn't.

We have a right to know! My family and I will continue to seek out information and push for science and medicine to research the cause and eventually the cure of this "thief of life."

Name withheld on request

Let Us Pray
I'm the guy at the beginning of Stuart Steers's November 12 "Look Out Below!" who turned the process server away from Christ of the Canyons church. While I'm not affiliated with either side of the issue, I was a little hacked that a multi-million-dollar corporation sent a process server to interrupt my church service in the middle of nowhere. All I can say is that the whole thing was a bit surreal.

Thanks for the article. It was thoughtful and well-written.
Bryan Zug

Roberts: A Hole in One
I know people like Michael Roberts: bitter, cynical, full of spite. They worked at McDonald's in high school and spend nights alone on Fridays. But when Michael Roberts lets loose his lethal pen on Denver's sacred cows, it's pure poetry. I rarely agree with what he says, but his takes on the Grateful Dead, the Lilith Fair and, in the November 19 Feedback, the opening of the Hard Rock Cafe remind me how much I depend on Westword to breathe life into Denver journalism.

Michael Roberts: He's an asshole--but he's a great asshole.
Andrew Hood
via the Internet

A Stern Talking-To
Regarding Michael Roberts's November 26 Feedback:
Howard Stern is not for everyone, but all I ask is that you give him a week of your listening time. After that week, most of you will stay and some will go--it's your choice. I visit the Denver metro area three or four times a year, and it always hurts me to see such a large market with such lousy morning radio. (Although when KBPI's crew busted into the mosque, it was pretty funny--glad I could hear that one.) Soon everyone in Denver will be saying Ba Ba Booey and F-Jackie just like millions across the country.

Aaron Veldheer
Zeeland, MI

There's No Place Like Domo
I want to thank Kyle Wagner for writing a negative article on Domo (Mouthing Off, November 12). Not because I agree, but so hopefully, many annoying people will stay away. Her opinion is very typical among those with their me, me, me attitudes. Take a little deeper look at Domo. Do you really think Gaku Homma is out to set the restaurant scene on fire? Notice the small, intimate dining area, the small foyer, the small parking lot, no reservations. Getting the hint yet? Slow service, you say? The waitstaff tells its customers to feel free to take a walk through a Japanese museum and water garden. Why? Because good food takes time. It was actually nice of Domo to provide its customers with something to do while they wait. (Apparently having a conversation prior to a meal is too difficult for some people.)

Is Domo anti-children? Let's see: no children's menu and a high minimum order. Little Alice doesn't see anything on the menu she likes--can she just get some French fries? This isn't Burger King, people!

My wife and I used to eat at Domo often before "the word" got out. Now we don't go, because of the rude and obnoxious customers. We were always treated wonderfully and as if we were company and not customers. Please do not go to Domo if you're in a hurry or if your children can't handle sitting idle for a while and have to deal with eating real food. Then maybe Domo can get back to the unique place it once was.

To Domo, I say: Keep up the spirit; some of us get it. To potential customers, I say: Try to look at things from different viewpoints; everything is not meant to cater to you.

Jim Hood

Editor's note: For a Domo update, see this week's Mouthing Off.

A Night To Remember
I would have to say that while I agreed with Kyle Wagner's review of Pagliacci's, a wonderful Denver institution ("Red Alert," November 19), I find her examination of Santino's far too lenient. I took my family to the LoDo restaurant for a Father's Day celebration that left me enraged at the manager and embarrassed at my choice. Our food was dismal and served in pitifully small portions. Our server did not know what merlot was, much less if they had any in the restaurant. To top off the abysmal night, the manager was unresponsive to my complaints, becoming defensive and offering only a coupon for a free appetizer upon my next visit. I can assure you I will never set foot in that place again!

Brian Houtz
via the Internet

It's Not Nice to Rule Mother Nature
This may seem late to comment on Eric Dexheimer's November 5 "Pour VAIL," but it is pertinent nonetheless. That Colorado is being destroyed bit by bit is of concern to those of us who live here, but it is only an indication of what is going on worldwide. Those who study the demographics of populations say the earth's population did not exceed one billion until the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, which started in England about 1767. Before then, nature's law was that humans must live in a balance with nature, taking of its life only what nature could replenish. One could go down to the oceans and catch as many fish or seafood as one could, and the supply was never less. One could cut as many trees, and the forest was always there.

With the Industrial Revolution, for the first time man could alter the earth in significant ways, harvesting the oceans and land of their abundance, and human populations increased and people lived longer and had better lives. It has been said that the way to ruin a country is to make it rich. It would appear riches are a road leading to self-destruction. A recent article in National Geographic concerning the world population explosion says the oceans are dying because of over-fishing and population. Down in the tropics, the rainforests are being bulldozed to clear land for cattle.

Forests have always been shelter for plants and animals, which are today becoming extinct by the thousands. A good guess would be that the human "good life" has reached the top of a bell curve and will be seen sliding down the back side. Once upon a time, the new generations could look forward to a life better than what "old Dad" had. The future doesn't look so bright for today's upcoming generation, and they seem to instinctively know this and react with a "what the hell" attitude.

Burning down Vail may have been an act to save the pristine beauty of Colorado, if there is any left, but it will not change the course of events. More mountains will be shaved for more ski runs. Nature looks to us to be at one with her. One can only wonder when she will say enough is enough.

Robert Wickboldt

The arson on Vail mountain was reprehensible, but this violent act should not overshadow the facts of why Category III should be protected from development. Category III is a 4,100-acre tract of land that, according to the Forest Service's Environmental Impact Statement, is "one of the few remaining large blocks of land which has not been subject to activities such as timber harvesting, mining, road construction, ski area development and urban growth." Cat III is the home of 72 species of mammals, 202 species of birds and 5 species of amphibians. It also offers 722 acres of lynx habitat and is in the area of the highest concentrations of lynx sightings historically in Colorado. Cat III is a beautiful wild area, covered in old-growth spruce-fir trees, aspens and high alpine meadows.

Vail Resorts has received approval from the forest to turn this beautiful pristine wilderness into part of its already enormous ski area. That is our land--we pay for it with our tax dollars. Is this how we wish to see it used and abused? Of the 400 letters the forest service received regarding the expansions, 394 were opposed, while only 6 expressed support.

Is that democracy?
Emily Wolf


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