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Letters to the Editor

Regarding Patricia Calhoun's "Hold, Please," in the March 2 issue:

Why don't you guys interview some of the US West employees and write an article exposing Sol Trujillo for the schmuck that he truly is? Everyone I have talked to seems to think that he shelled out the company, stripped away most of the beneficial departments, took the money, defecated on the people that do the majority of the work at this company (not the middle management), and ran. It's no wonder he decided to bow out of the Qwest merger picture: They had no openings in the pirate department.

Don Weiss
via the Internet

The only time US West moves quickly is when a company lobbyist spots a legislator who can be bought off. Or, now that there are questions about the Qwest merger, when US West has to act fast to cover its own incompetent tracks.

Jason Lowell
via the Internet

I want to thank Steve Jackson for writing "Nobody Gets Out of Here Alive," and thank you for running it in the March 2 issue. It is a beautifully written, thought-provoking, inspiring article. Not gay, not AIDS activist -- just human.

Yvonne Carts-Powell
via the Internet

After reading Alan Prendergast's "Unlawful Entry," in the February 24 issue, I wondered how much more wasteful, sloppy, intrusive and violent the "war on drugs" has to get before we can, with great relief, add the adjectives "futile," "lost" and "over."

Perhaps we could rephrase "war on drugs" to read "the campaign against violence, intrusion and neglect" and call it a day.

Rick Franz
Denver

I just moved to the Denver area (Castle Rock). My father told me about what happened to Ismael Mena; then I read Alan Prendergast's "Unlawful Entry." I cried, I was so sad and so disappointed in our so-called police officers. I am sure Mena worked here to support his family in Mexico. I just wonder how they are supporting themselves. I feel so bad that he came to our country for freedom, a chance to better support his family, and my people (our people) gave his family a horrible image of the land of the free.

Dawn Perry
via the Internet

What are the police thinking when they are caught on tape for all the world to see, over and over in reruns? We see them punching, kicking and pistol-whipping suspects who have been handcuffed and are helpless. Innocent people are shot by accident on warrants drawn up on toilet paper, and the investigation finds no wrongdoing. Police themselves get covered up trying to expose coverups. Doesn't the police academy teach the proper procedure on conduct while making an arrest?

Makes me feel proud of our mayor when he said he wasn't going to kick the police around, then no-knocked Chief Sanchez in the ass. Now it is up to the new chief to get crime and violence off radio talk shows, television and out of the newspapers.

Gene Reymundo
Denver

I realize Harrison Fletcher's March 2 column about kombucha mushrooms, "Beauty and the Yeast," was about art. However, Fletcher made several sideways remarks about kombucha tea that beg a response. I am not a doctor, and I take herbal supplements myself to improve my health. But as someone who has worked extensively in clinical research for cancer treatments, I must urge anyone who considers consuming kombucha tea to think about it carefully. I know of many cancer patients, some of them in remission, who died of liver failure after drinking kombucha tea. I don't know if drinking the tea is an issue for healthy people, but I personally would not want to test it on myself. The American Botanical Council in Boulder probably has more information about kombucha and other mushrooms.

Christine Krause
Superior

Regarding Harrison Fletcher's "One Man's Junk," in the February 24 issue:

Many years ago, as an eighteen-year-old in Denver, I met and formed a lasting friendship with Bill Good, a good-natured, fast-to-laugh ex-G.I., a Marine during World War II and proud of it. Bill has always been a fighter, and now he has the temerity to fight City Hall. It is apparent that the City of Denver is trying to quash him because he does not hesitate to speak up and publicize his constitutional rights to property and privacy -- those same freedoms he once defended before any of the city councilmen and councilwomen were born.

Before us is an old-fashioned case of selective enforcement. While the city doesn't hesitate to stow its own eyesore machinery all over the neighborhood, Bill bears the brunt of its wrath.

 

Howard Ratzky
via the Internet

More power to the man. I have visited the neighborhood; Bill Good's house is located near the Asarco plant. I feel that this poses more of a hazard to the people than a collection of vehicles and a man's dream.

M. Deshler
via the Internet

Regarding Michael Roberts's "Sex and the Single Mouse," his March 2 Message:

Kudos to Radio Disney for providing the only radio station in the entire Denver area, maybe the U.S.A., that I can turn on while driving around with my kids. My kids and I welcome the edited songs that Radio Disney puts over the air, as well as all the contests, jokes, birthday wishes and interactive DJs who actually take the time to chat when you call and personally reply to e-mail messages. And yes, I even listen to it when my kids are not in the car!

Westword has no business reviewing Radio Disney. Stick to your own market and leave a successful station like Radio Disney alone.

Derek Mooneyham
via the Internet

In regard to Michael Roberts's "A Sperm's Tale," in the March 2 issue:

Did we attend the same concert? The harmonizing and amazing guitar rock of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young were practically perfect, in my opinion. "Guinevere," "Carry On," "Helplessly Hoping," "Woodstock," "Ohio," "49 Bye-Byes" and "Teach Your Children," among others -- I could not have asked for a better show.

These guys came from a time when music was the center of war, protest and change. They have jammed with legends like Garcia and Hendrix. The '60s may be long gone, but Crosby, Stills, Nash and especially Young are still able to let us relive the music of the days that I unfortunately was not able to experience. (I'm 23.)

As they took the stage at the Pepsi Center, my dad said, "Goddamn, they have gotten old." But damn, they can rock!

My only disappointment was that they didn't play "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" -- and also your ridiculous review.

Michelle Saxon
Denver

Thanks for the review of a concert I had no desire to attend. It gave me the best laughs of my weekend. The Big Lebowski? OUCH!

CSN is one of those assemblages that, whenever I hear one of its outdated/tired songs on the radio, I wonder a little bit about the makeup of anyone who sits in a focus group and continues to push the hot button whenever a CSN song is played. (Have these people even heard the old and new material from groups like Los Lobos?) CSN had one strong album -- the first -- and that's IT!

Another sign that boomer pop culture is on the decline is the desperation shown by the thousands who shelled out an obscene amount of money to hear a band that could be on, but no one ever knows when their perfect harmonies will show up.

Pete Simon
via the Internet

The title of Roberts's CSNY piece should read "Wasted Sperm" and should refer to the birth of your writer, who obviously didn't inherit the hereditary "objectivity gene." Great article...not!

Kevin Burchell
via the Internet

Yes, Stephen Stills's full-rock version of "Seen Enough" lacked some of its earlier acoustic punch. And yes, Graham Nash was a bit lost in his own "history." But generally, I don't think Mr. Roberts was at the same show that I went to. If he was, he should have skipped the "bitter bias" pill and thus skipped the proliferation of his uncontrolled and excessive journalistic discharge. He missed the boat on so many items with his litanies that he exposed his sheer ignorance about the totality of rock history. Jeez, guy, get out of it. Nobody likes a pompous pinhead. And gosh, guy, where the heck were you sitting, and who the heck turned your crank to make you have to be so freakin' bitter? Bad hair day? Surely bad some kinda day! It will be interesting to see what Mr. Roberts says after the VH1 special that no doubt will come out.

G. L. White
via the Internet

Many thanks to Michael Paglia for "Dynamic Duo," his wonderful article on Jim and Nan McKinnell in the February 17 issue. They are extraordinary people, and he has captured the things that make them remarkable. Paglia is an exceptional art critic, and we are fortunate to have him.

Kathryn Holt
via the Internet

I want to thank you on behalf of the McKinnell fans in this community. The unbelievably thorough article that Michael Paglia wrote about these two very special Colorado artists, who have touched so many people, is very much appreciated. The recognition and historical perspective he shares bring smiles to so many who know them. Jim and Nan will always be remembered and loved for their monumental contribution to the ceramic and art community, but most important is how they share and care for all those who have the good fortune know them.

 

Meryl Howell
via the Internet

Thank you for Robin Chotzinoff's first-rate "Curtains!" in the February 24 issue>. Down through the years, I had the pleasure of treading the boards at the Changing Scene on numerous occasions, and thanks to Al Brooks, I got to direct a 21-character, one-act play on that tiny stage.

Handing me the script, Al said, "I have no idea how this can be done, and I'm looking forward to seeing it!"

A lot of genuinely talented people worked there, and everyone was treated like family by Al and Maxine. It was also fun to go back and watch others work, and I remember one play in particular that could have been performed anywhere: Au Revoir, Mirabeau. On that occasion, at least, Al had a hit on his hands and would have loved to extend the run, but every cast member was committed elsewhere immediately after the standard three-week run ended.

It's great news that the posters will be saved and properly displayed. Al took great pleasure in putting them up the morning after a play's run would end, and they're a significant part of Denver's theater history.

Ed Halloran
Denver

The Changing Scene was never a temple to high art -- never a place for those who simply wanted to get dressed up, genuflect before the Gods of Art and then go home feeling a little better about the sacrifice. In fact, Al Brooks and Maxine Munt had very cleverly designed the theater to avoid that type of confusion. It wasn't in a fashionable area. The entrance was down a dark alley, and they posted two sentries at the lower gate -- unblinking iron dumpsters that you had to pass through to enter. No social cachet accrued to you by being there. No, this was no temple to high art and was never intended to be.

And it could -- well, it could get a bit strange in there. You might see just about anything up on stage: weird things, a little unfocused, maybe a little raw and unpredictable. The work might soar there and die there; it might be terrific; it might be completely incomprehensible; it might have you heading for the exit; it might have you hanging around afterward to meet the playwright and everybody in the cast. And for those of us who had the privilege to exhibit our wares in this odd space, it was more: For that dusty smell in the air, that smell of the paint that was slapped on the set an hour before the curtain went up, as annoying as it might have been to those of you just settling into your seats, to us it was the smell of artistic freedom, as open and unfettered an atmosphere for new work as many of us have known.

Not only that, but it was here -- here in Denver. One of a handful of theaters in the world dedicated to new work, and it was right here. And although you didn't have a lot of time to think about it with the 101 things you had to do as your play headed toward opening night, when you did, it was with awe and reverence and wonder. For when it comes to theaters such as this, the statistics are grim. Two, three years and they're out -- gone, never heard from again.

The artistic process is hard to pin down; it is certain, though, that Al and Maxine sowed a lot of seeds and nurtured a lot of seedlings over the years -- more, I think, than they realized -- and that some of these will grow in unforeseen and wonderful ways.

And that is a legacy to dwell on -- and to envy.

It's hard to mourn lives that have been fully lived. It's hard to mourn the stewardship of a theater passing on to other hands when it had such an incredible thirty-year run.

On the other hand, I was at one of the high palaces of theater the other day, and I happened to look down at the arm on my seat and found a brass plaque that said "Pentax Corporation" on it. I think that what it meant to tell me was that the seat I was sitting in was "brought to me" by the Pentax Corporation -- and although it's unfair to say it, for a moment it occurred to me that this was everything the Changing Scene was not and never aspired to be, this pew in the high chapel of art that had been sold to the highest bidder. For the Changing Scene was always just Al and Maxine and an unsullied dedication to theater and dance and a hope for the future.

 

Stuart Boyce
Boulder

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