A Word to the Wives
Juliet Wittman's July 15 "Dead Reckoning" was an excellent story. Well-researched and very evocative as to person, place, time and the circumstances of both women's lives. I loved how a "rough-and-tumble" life such as Robson's was still presented in the context of her value as a kind and generous spirit to those whose lives she touched. Likewise, the loyalty and friendship evidenced by the friends of Deanna Furlong were well-portrayed.

The depiction of Michael Furlong's treatment of Deanna's children, Andy and Jacquie, brought back many similar scenes of public humiliation, physical abuse and emotional and mental torture I received from my own stepfather as a child between the ages of four and ten. It was a minor miracle he never killed one of us.

How the perpetrators of domestic violence continue to go free or nearly free on a regular basis baffles and appalls me. I have no idea why people in the justice system have gotten to be so unwilling to pursue and seek the truth, but they hardly seem to be public servants any longer.

Juliet Wittman is to be commended for her thorough and thoughtful, honest and in-depth reporting of the lives and deaths of these two women. While they both may have been "everywoman" in many respects, they were remarkable to those around them, which is oftentimes high praise indeed.

Kate Sterling

Just read "Dead Reckoning"--outstanding journalism by a lady who is a top-notch investigative reporter. After catching up on her article on Boulder's district attorney, Alex Hunter ("He Aims to Plea," September 24, 1998), I just wondered if anyone ever checked out his campaign contributions--they might shed some light on his ethics.

Thanks to Juliet for persevering on the behalf of victims, for finding the person in the victim, and for finding their humanity and dignity and holding it high above the acts of violence committed against them.

I spoke with Juliet regarding the death of a young woman in my former neighborhood. The response of the DA's office was that she was a known drunk and druggie and had fallen off the balcony at the Broker. In other words, her person had no meaning in light of her obvious shortcomings. It held a regretful likeness to R.A. Ritchie's remark regarding Linda Robson's death: "When it gets right down to the basics, what we have is a young lady who is a barmaid, who has a tendency to imbibe a little too much, has several boyfriends and is a...well, a free spirit."

I hope Hunter and Ritchie share a cell in Hell someday. What is the Scripture? "Judge not...lest ye shall be judged."

Sue Wilson
via the Internet

The Blame Game
As I read about Sam Riddle and others blaming pressure from the media as being responsible for the death of Secretary of State Victoria Buckley, I've assumed that they are talking about Westword's comprehensive coverage of problems at that office, most recently Patricia Calhoun's "Tell Me a Riddle," in the July 8 issue.

It's not right to blame the media, though. The truth hurts--but it does not kill.

Sandy Rodgers
via the Internet

Here's a money-saving tip for Governor Owens in his quest to lower government spending in Colorado and save taxpayers' hard-earned money: Mr. Owens can fill the vacancy caused by Victoria Buckley's untimely death by appointing Sam Riddle to succeed her as secretary of state.

As Ms. Buckley's political handler, Mr. Riddle has hands-on experience in running the department and is most qualified to continue her agenda. And Mr. Riddle's appointment to the full-time position of secretary of state will relieve the state of his $250-per-hour "personal-services" contract with that office.

The State of Colorado will retain Mr. Riddle's valuable skills to fulfill Ms. Buckley's legacy while cutting the overall cost of government services--a win-win situation for all.

K. Ely Tannenbaum

Although I have agreed with Westword's assessment of the politics at the secretary of state's office, I will remind you that bad karma surrounds those who speak ill of the dead.

Name withheld on request

Reading Tea Leaves
I wanted to thank Robin Chotzinoff for her wonderful "Tea and Sympathy," in the July 15 issue, about Denver's Tea Room. In the late Seventies, I worked at various jobs in downtown Denver, none of which threatened to make me rich. For an inexpensive lunch, I often enjoyed going to the Tea Room, where the waitresses always made me feel like I was one of their best customers. I usually sat at one of the big tables communally shared by numerous business types or office workers, but occasionally I would wait for a table of my own. Now I know why I liked the Tea Room's chicken à la king: two fluid ounces of cream and a quarter stick of butter per serving will always make a person feel content.

Regarding Off Limits in the same issue, anyone who can tick off Focus on the Family is all right in my book. But does Westword know where to get a "Focus on Your Own Damn Family" bumper sticker before Focus's attorney hit squad seizes them as well?

Peter Gross
via the Internet

You think Focus on the Family is homophobic? Wait till you meet God.
L. Long
via the Internet

Divided Loyalties
Julie Jargon's article on Columbine Unitarian Universalist Church ("The Black Sheep," July 1) was very moving for me. I just joined the church two weeks ago and have been attending since before Easter. The church is very open, free and uplifting; I love it. The article hit home, though, because my sister is a member of the Foothills Bible Church.

How ironic to be from the same family and to be so divided.
Heather Slovonia
via the Internet

Don't Lose Your Head!
Regarding Stuart Steers's "Twists and Shouts," in the June 17 issue:
I have ridden the Mind Eraser at Six Flags America several times (the park was Adventure World up until last year). I have thoroughly enjoyed this ride, and it is the same ride that is located at Six Flags Elitch Gardens. I have never had a problem with this ride, and neither have any of my friends who have ridden it. It sounds like the lady mentioned in the article did not keep her head back, and that could have caused a lot of the problems that she had. I have not been to Elitch Gardens, but the parks usually give you plenty of warnings on these types of rides.

Conrad Kadel
via the Internet

The Devil You Say!
Thank you for Steve Jackson's series on the death of Brandy DuVall ("Dealing with the Devil," concluding June 3). Of course, if it had been a gang of white youths who had raped and murdered a non-white, you can bet that this story would have been covered coast to coast. Janet Reno would have attended the funeral--and made some statement about how we have to fight the hate in our society. But when a bunch of Mexican gang members run amok and butcher little white girls, well, that just isn't worth covering in the network news. Not that there is any bias in the media or anything like that.

This is also why I have stopped reading the newspaper and listening to news on the radio or TV. Why? Because I know that it is a pack of controlled lies. The mass media couldn't tell the truth if their lives depended on it.

True story: I was at my doctor's office the other day, and I couldn't help but take a look at the newspaper that was there. Of course, the first story I see is an anti-white hate piece about two guys who burned a synagogue. This is on page one. The murder of Brandy was probably covered on page 47 of this same paper when the story first came out. You see, a synagogue is much more important than some dead white girl. You understand how that is, right? Who cares about some dead white girl? There's plenty where those came from. But a synagogue? That's front-page news. I couldn't help myself. I just stated out loud, to nobody in particular, "Look at this--this is why I don't read the paper anymore. This is nothing but Marxist propaganda!" Well, to my surprise, the receptionist behind the counter said, "I don't read the paper anymore either; it's just a bunch of lies." And then another person waiting to see the doctor said, "I don't read the paper anymore--why would I waste my time reading a bunch of garbage like that?" Really! This is a true story!

You see, us dumb cattle out here are starting to wake up to what has been done to us. We are waking up to the fact that our justice system has been perverted by big-money interests, our political system has been taken over by big-money interests, and our media is owned and controlled by big-money interests. What is left to defend the interests of the rest of us?

The fourth amendment is gone, the second amendment is almost gone, and the first amendment is under attack. Rights? You have just as many rights as you can afford to defend in a court of law. Hope you've got a whole lot of cash handy. And we are not happy about it, not happy at all.

Frank Sheridan
via the Internet

How special! A little girl dies an unspeakable death and you've all but got the scum up for sainthood. How does it feel to be part of the liberal lie machine?

Edgar J. Steele
via the Internet

I think that the situation outlined in "Dealing with the Devil" is the result of a lack of family values. Doing drugs around your children is wrong. Smoking pot is bad enough, but shooting dope? In my opinion, acting this way is very selfish--I would never subject my child to this type of behavior.

Name witheld on request
via the Internet

No Excuses
Thank you for the July 8 Night & Day article regarding PHAMALy's latest production, Side Show. I have been a company member for the past seven seasons and would like to clear up some issues regarding Mr. McGoff's statements. First, he stated that we are a company in its adolescence. Ten years of survival proves our standing as a thriving company. Second, he stated that we have "raw talent." I have a BA in acting, years of training and am a professional actress with many union credits. I am not the only member with such training and credits.

Finally, we limit ourselves to musical theater productions and must choose from feasible and available scripts each season. Mr. McGoff is a new addition to our company as production manager. His comment regarding our "taste" shows lack of knowledge as to why each script for the past nine productions was chosen. It also burdens us with the thought of, "Oh my God! WHAT WILL WE DO NEXT YEAR?!?"

I feel adamant that those representing us make no excuses for who we are. We're ready for anything.

Lucy Roucis
via the Internet

Once It Not Enough
After reading Kyle Wagner's write-up of Panzano, ("Bread Alert," July 1), I was shocked that a restaurant critic could be so cruel and cold-hearted. It sounded like she was trying to score a free meal. Plus, if she didn't like it so much, then why did she even bother coming in for seconds, thirds and even fourths?

I reside in Sydney, Australia, and just recently left Denver. During my stay I had the time to stop in Panzano and have dinner. It was not a painful experience like your critic had described; in fact, it was wonderful. The chef was very much involved with what was going on, and the meal I received was full of flavor. If your reviewer had any idea of what food tasted like and how long it actually takes to be prepared, then maybe she might have a clue as to what she was talking about. As far as restaurants go in Denver, Panzano is ahead of the pack.

Leigh Wyckoff
via the Internet

Editor's note: Kyle Wagner always visits a restaurant at least twice before she reviews it--and Westword pays for those meals. For more on Panzano, see this week's Mouthing Off, page 69.

Return of the Native
It's been ten years since I've lived in my native Denver, but upon my recent return, I was amazed to see how much Westword--and the whole city--has grown.

Within five days of my return, I was both tear-gassed on Colfax Avenue while celebrating the Broncos' second Super Bowl victory and nearly arrested by one of Aurora's finest for my "attitude" when some neighbors complained my children were being too noisy! Then the Columbine massacre occurred...

I don't know if it's good to be back or not.
David Seals

For Your Eyes Only
Regarding Hal Hinson's review of Eyes Wide Shut, "Fear and Loafing," in the July 15 issue:

I think that Hinson must have missed a lot of the points that the director made in this excellent film. Istrongly disagree with his analysis and hope readers of his review won't be swayed too much by his opinions. (Although, if they read the review without seeing the film, all of the details that were given away in the review will probably ruin it for them, anyway).

Jeremy Kelley
via the Internet

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:

Westword Letters
P.O. Box 5970
Denver, CO 80217
or e-mail to: editorial@westword.com.

Missed a story? The editorial contents of Westword, dating back to July 1, 1996, are available online at www.westword.com/archive/index.html.


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