The Gang's All Here
Regarding Steve Jackson's current series, "Dealing with the Devil":
Each time I read about Brandy DuVall, the savagery sickens me.
If I could make a deal with the devil, it would be to purge that whole family, as well as eternal damnation and excruciating pain for the tres stooges; Uncle Jose wouldn't be forgotten, either.

And now Danny, the soon-to-be "ho," is whining that "he just wants to go home." What is that all about? Enjoy your "new" home, boys, hopefully on death row. You are a disgrace to the Hispanic heritage, as well as to humanity.

John Rael
via the Internet

After reading about the horrible kidnap, rape and murder of Brandy DuVall, I am sickened at the thought that her killers will most likely live long, safe lives. With three meals a day, clean sheets, books to read, free health care, probably a TV to watch, maybe a pool table. At the absolute worst, they may be forced to lie down, be injected and peacefully go to sleep, never to wake up again. If the worst does happen, it won't be for years or decades. In the meantime, they'll sleep on clean sheets and spend the days watching TV and know that we, the foolish, tax-paying public, will foot the bill. Does this kind of justice deter this kind of violent crime? Obviously not.

Justice for a crime this heinous needs to be public, swift and painful. I suggest we take them home to the neighborhoods that bred them, where they failed to learn right from wrong. Where no one bothered to teach them the value of human life. Where no one stopped them, by whatever means necessary, from going down the wrong path. Then they should be castrated, their screams calling out to their friends, families and neighbors to come see them die. Their bellies should then be slit open, like a fish, so that their entrails come running out. They should then be hung from a pole and left on display for at least a week, so that rapists and gangbanger wannabes can look up and see the flies and smell the stench and know there is a heavy price to pay for unacceptable behavior.

Name withheld on request

Girl Power
Thank you, Patricia Calhoun, for your March 4 column, "Low Blows," which reminds us that there's more to the Monica mess than a Gap dress and Barbara Walters. And to Beth Faragher, who took her sexual-harassment claim to the U.S. Supreme Court and won, I say: You go, girl.

Donna Randell
via the Internet

Kudos to Calhoun for her March 4 column and to Kenny Be for his "Premier Male-Free Ski (P.M.S.) Mountain," in the same issue. It's about time that women were really taken seriously--both on the slopes and in the workplace!

Joie Frankel

Denver on the Rocks
Kenny Be's February 25 Worst-Case Scenario, about the renovation of Red Rocks, was a real beauty. As usual, Kenny showed his understanding of the situation and dealt with the real issue concerning Red Rocks. He showed what could happen if those who stand to profit--due to the growing yuppie trend sweeping Denver--are allowed to manipulate a wonderful place.

People go to Red Rocks to feel its integrity and authenticity, to hear great music played by great musicians. But when seats are split into general, reserved and box (bleh!--box seats at Red Rocks!), when a trading post (gift shop) is inserted into a place it has no right to be, and when restaurants and visitors' sections are thrown around, we must ask whether we are getting a good deal or instead trading Red Rocks for a tourist trap.

Denver is a great city. It will continue to change as it moves into the millennium. But these changes should not come at the expense of the city's culture.

Maybe Denverites can fight this--at least there is no Pat Bowlen threatening to move Red Rocks to another state.

Jesse Gilbertson
via the Internet

Swingtime in the Rockies
I really enjoyed Marty Jones's "Headbangers' Ball," in the February 25 issue. There's a lot of dancing here in Seattle, and we have run into some of the same problems with aerials. People see that gosh-darned Gap ad and think that's what swing dance is all about. What they don't understand is that the real thrill in swing dance is not the acrobatics. It's the connection with my partner and the music that gives me a zing! The best moments are when you try something you've never done before and it works, or when you find yourself really expressing the music. For me, swing dance is not about trying to be the center of attention. It's just between me and the person I'm dancing with.  

Adria Klotz
via the Internet

That was a great article on swing injuries. I am a teacher in Knoxville, Tennessee, and teach ballroom, swing, modern, ballet and jazz. I don't teach aerials for many of the reasons listed in your article. After all, you have to learn how to dance before you can fly.

Angela Hill
via the Internet

How sad that something so fun to watch and so much fun to do is reduced to this level! As with everything today, too many people are out to impress and not to have fun. When this dance originated, it was done with class--let's hope we can get that back.

Terry Harper
via the Internet

I am a lindy hop instructor and just read Marty Jones's excellent "Headbangers' Ball," about the dangers of inexperienced dancers and aerial steps. I recently had a frightening experience on a dance floor when a fellow dancer sent his partner up and over his head and nearly crashed her heels into my head. Thanks for such a great job in the treatment of this subject. I love the lindy hop, and I want to live at least as long as Frankie to enjoy it. I don't like having human missiles thrown at me when I am out for a night of social dancing.

John Tomeny
via the Internet

Foster Parent Trap
Regarding T.R. Witcher's "Family Values," in the February 18 issue:
I have worked in the mental-health field for ten years and have observed many truly horrible stories/events. However, I have also been able to participate in two very good, small CPAs, which do not keep 75 percent of their income for themselves or administration. Instead of owning fancy cars or paying high salaries to staff, both of these agencies have a collective outlook, with the best interests of the children truly being the motivating factor. The agency I am currently working for is designing our own outcomes research to assist our knowledge regarding what services actually benefit specific client types. Both agencies provide their own teams of qualified, knowledgeable, caring, supportive therapists for the foster children and the foster parents.

My agency is growing, due to the demand for quality foster homes and appropriate treatment and services. We require our foster parents to acquire eighty hours of training per calendar year in the areas of general foster care, diagnosis of specific treatment recommendations, medications, etc., and we provide all of these services for a lower-than-average cost to the county, again because we do not believe in pocketing money for ourselves. The dedication to the client and the foster parent that my agency exhibits is found in very few agencies, especially those that are more business($)-oriented.

Yes, the juvenile corrections system has several problems that need addressing. Yes, some counties or CPAs license people as foster parents who should never be given the responsibility of caring for a cockroach, much less a human being. However, there are some agencies out here that are doing excellent jobs, assisting kids to work through their abusive childhoods and become productive, self-sufficient adults.

Name withheld on request

"Family Values" needs further clarification.
Nationally, there was one foster home for every two foster children in 1982 and about one for every five to seven children in the early '90s. This decline directly followed the rise of inappropriate family preservation that hurt children.

We sat and watched the migration of foster homes from counties to CPAs through the '80s and '90s, knowing the real solution was free: partnerships with advocating foster families and better kids' outcomes (as shown by surveys).

Colorado's fairly good foster-home supply exists because CPAs caught the homes leaving counties. CPA homes receive the "leftover" children county homes will not take.

Taxpayer reimbursement costs to county versus CPA homes is about the same, and every CPA of which I am aware is a nonprofit.

Also, Arapahoe County is doing an admirable job of creating partnerships, adequate reimbursement and good children's outcomes with its county homes. Other counties can follow suit.

Only with awareness of the child-centered history of this problem can we work together to create real solutions for children's sakes.

Adoree Blair

Hum a Few Bars
I enjoyed Robin Chotzinoff's January 28 "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Law Revue," about Bill Thom. I am at the point where I can echo his quote: "It's gotten to the point where we've noticed that writing and performing is more fun than practicing law." I have "hummed a few bars" in my time, having helped produce Gilbert and Sullivan's Trial by Jury for the annual meeting of the Colorado Bar Association and other Bar Association shows.  

Here is a parody of Trial by Jury written for the impeachment proceedings and trial:

Hark, the hour of ten is sounding/
Senators with anxious fears abounding/
Hall of Senate crowds surrounding/
Breathing hopes and fears/
For today in this arena/
Summoned by a Starr subpoena/
Lewinsky shortly on video will appear/
Today impeachment is the only agenda/
Bill is now in absentia/
Sleeves berobed in gold, Rehnquist, the judge presiding/
With sexual issues overriding

Hark, the hour of ten is sounding/
The words of our country's founders grounding/
Manager Hyde and Counsel Kendall around the clock/
With only the president's neck now on the dock/
Don't bring our president to sorrow/
Who loves this young intern today and another tomorrow/
Now consider the moral we pray/
Nor bring our Bill to sorrow/
Who loves this young intern today and loves another tomorrow/
Justice Rehnquist, please give us an answer to this nice dilemma/
We have here/
The question is one not of sex but perjury!

All legal furies seize you/
No proposal seems to please you/
He can't sit up here all day/
He must shortly get back to the Supremes/
Only after this mess he cleans.

The end.
Richard D. Dittamore

There's a Stage Leaving Denver
I wanted to take a moment to say how much I enjoy the reviews of Jim Lillie. As a former Denver actor, I started reading him online as a way to keep up to speed on the various theatrical projects of faraway friends. Due to Mr. Lillie's always insightful commentary, I have continued to read his reviews even though the familiar names are getting fewer and further between. Mr. Lillie's writing is of such quality that it has me reading reviews about plays I cannot go see performed by actors that I do not know for a theater company half a continent away from me. Keep up the amazing work!

Amy Roeder
via the Internet

Join the Clubs
Regarding Michael Roberts's February 18 Hit Pick:
I myself have been shocked by the upcoming support for local music by some of the venues. I hope it does continue, but the expectations in terms of numbers (attendance) can only grow if the venues allow the music to continue until the newer bands are drawing more and the knowledge that venues will be throwing down great shows is out on the street. Too often, club owners don't give their venues enough time to build a draw. I hope this doesn't happen to the Lodo Music Hall, which can hold so many people but can only expect a growing draw, not an instantaneous one.

Chuck Fishman

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