Happy goo year: The city of Denver may not have collapsed into a "jellylike mass" at midnight on December 31, but it looks like Patricia Calhoun herself turned into a pile of goo. I always enjoy her columns poking fun (or worse) at Wellington Webb and his cronies, but with the January 4 "Party! Party!" she suddenly seems to be getting all mooshy on us.
Say it ain't so!
Give Ms. Calhoun some fireworks and champagne, and she's a changed person.
Yes, the city has "spent $250,000 in much worse ways" than on a party -- and every time Westword uncovers one of those ill-advised expenditures, I am the first person to cheer Ms. Calhoun and her colleagues on.
Westword, please resolve to continue your muckracking ways in the new year. If I want happy news, I'll turn on the TV. With the JOA approved, we need Westword more than ever. So ignore the insults, stop being nice and get to work!
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A fine whine: If Phillip Klos doesn't like Patricia Calhoun's column, then he should quit reading it! More often than not, what he calls Crusadin' Calhoun's "relentless whining" is right on the money -- literally, in the case of her December 21 "2001: A Spaced Odyssey," on the Mayor's Millennium Commission's failure to raise the half-million that it originally promised it would.
Judging from his letter in the last issue, though, for Mr. Klos to read anything tougher than My Weekly Reader would give him a heart attack.
Midnight express: Patricia Calhoun, thanks for the great article. My favorite part of "Party! Party!" was this:
"By 2:30 a.m., the scene in LoDo resembled Saigon in 1975, when people scrambled to get on the last plane out."
You couldn't have put it better.
After the fireworks, it just became one mess after another. We spent about an hour and a half on the corner of 14th and Stout streets waiting for a light-rail train (I've seen more room in a circus clown car). Just when it was our turn to get on, the RTD gestapo told all us folks that we'd have to move down the street and basically get to the end of the line...again. Hey, have you ever heard every curse word known to man shouted at once? I can tell you, it's an extraordinary experience. The crowd turned ugly and the cops showed up, so we figured it was best to leave: I didn't really want to start the new millenium with a face full of pepper spray. After being separated from our group, a friend and I just got on a random bus and hoped it would get us home. Luckily, the bus was headed down to the Broadway and I-25 park-n-Ride, which was totally cool since we were parked at the Littleton station. And it stayed totally cool until we got stuck in a traffic jam on I-25 because of an alleged six-car pileup.
My New Year's Eve came to a close in the cold at I-25 and Broadway, waiting for my friend's mom to come pick us up at 3:30 in the morning to give our sorry asses a ride home. As frustrating as this may all sound, it was really funny. There's so much I left out -- all the insane people we met and bonded with. The crazy guy on the bus yelling the F-word repeatedly into his cell phone. The two couples behind us waiting for the light rail who were right out of a really bad episode of Blind Date and were trying to start fights with people. The Cameron Diaz lookalike who got off the bus and projectile vomited into the bushes (pretty glamorous). I didn't want the night to end -- I just wanted to see what would happen next. It was an adventure.
I can tell you this: If Mr. Webb decides to throw down again next year, I'll be there!
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Fire when ready: C'mon, Jonathan Shikes! After reading your essay "Shootout at the Not-So-Okay Corral," in the December 28 Year in Review issue, I had to wonder if you and I lived through the same year 2000. Surely something good must have happened in Denver last year!
And what does it say about Westword that you chose to glorify guns and Old West shootouts on the cover of that issue?
Comic relief: Loved your Year in Review issue! And all that Kenny Be art -- wow! More Be in 2001!
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A stirring experience: I just wanted to express my thanks to Westword and Juliet Wittman for producing "Stop, Cook and Listen," the enjoyable article in the January 4 issue. I was fascinated -- not only by the school's curriculum, but by the personal stories of the students and teachers. It was also interesting to see that the ages and backgrounds of the students were so varied. It appears that the only limitation to becoming a student there is the exorbitant tuition -- I think they've superseded even Johnson & Wales. Bon appétit and bonne chance to all the featured students.
Food for thought: I was pleased to see the most recent cover story relating to careers in culinary arts and higher education. Although the article was well written and accurate in its depiction of the life of a culinary student, I was disappointed to see that other culinary programs in the state of Colorado were not mentioned, including Johnson & Wales University, the world's largest culinary educator. I encourage your readers to do some research if this article piqued their interest in a career in food service and explore all opportunities available to them.
Dave McKlveen, director of admissions
Johnson & Wales University, Denver
Cook before you reap: What a pleasure to read "Stop, Cook and Listen." Although I do not particularly care for cooking and could never have imagined reading a whole story on a cooking school, I found that Juliet Wittman captured emotions common to any group trying to attain a new level of achievement. Very inspiring.
We are the word: Have the letter writers who attacked Laura Bond in the last two issues bothered to actually read her work? If they had, they would realize that Laura (and no, I do not know her) brings a fresh new outlook to Denver's music scene and is far more supportive of its accomplishments than Westword's previous music editors, who liked to bash for the sake of bashing. (Perhaps it's a guy thing?)
I hope Laura stands up to her critics and continues to produce the best music section in the region, if not the country. Rock on, Laura!
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We are the people: As a loyal Backwash reader, I was perturbed, to say the least, that Laura Bond's Backwash column did not appear in the December 28 issue. I expected full-scale editorial peristalsis in the form of a year-end Backwash and was left disappointed.
While I no longer live in the Denver area, I have come to miss Bond's plays at literary skill that intertwine music and the well-thought-out flurry of extramusical prose. If Laura is still at Westword on January 1, 2002, she should do her readers a favor and bang out a proper year-end Backwash.
New York City
Leif us alone: I found Sam Coffman's January 4 diatribe against Italians passing strange. Whatever the Central and South American Indians suffered, they suffered at the hands of Europeans from Spain and Portugal, not Italy. And while Russell Means's ancestors had a broader mix of European "discoverers" to cope with, Italians weren't among them. Fact is, about all Italy can lay claim to in the "discovery of America" is naming rights and media credit. It's pretty well established that a bunch of Scandinavians got here first but decided not to stay -- which probably says something about us or Scandinavia, but I'm not sure what.
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Dudes and don'ts: In his December 21 letter, Mr. Amato requested an apology for Kenny Be's "The Best Darn Discovery Dude Parade Ever." I am in total agreement with him. I have never been a big supporter of most cartoons created by Kenny Be.
Mr. Amato noted in his letter that he'd been away in a "Civilized World," and I presume that meant he was celebrating his Italian heritage and accomplishments. There are a few things Mr. Amato should have understood prior to that festive undertaking. We all are descendants from the same boat (Noah's) -- and that boat did not originate in Italy. Don't take my word for fact: Reading is fundamental. (Genesis 2.) Prior to celebrating your heritage, you should consider your African roots: Just remember, you originally came off the boat, then you were conquered by the Moors. Under wartime conditions, we know some of the Moorish heritage was left in your country. Ask any archeologist if the Moors left any remnants of their culture within that country.
Regarding Columbus, one cannot deny history, but it should be put in perspective. To teach that he "discovered America" from your perspective or his point of view is incorrect. You are speaking about a Nation (Russell Means) of people living peacefully in a land and trading with other nations (Africa) for centuries before the birth of Queen Isabella or Christopher Columbus. Don't forget that Columbus was a man lost at sea; he accidentally arrived in the Americas as we know it today, bringing disease and other hardships. Europeans stole this country. I understand why Native Americans have negative opinions of Columbus. Why does this surprise anyone?
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