The mural of the story: I cannot believe the balls of the City of Denver, being somehow aghast at the new Terabeam mural (Jonathan Shikes's "The Writing's on the Wall," June 28). They sell the rights to a stadium owned by the people -- Pepsi, Invesco -- and they allow the city to be sleazily lit up like a Las Vegas strip club by those Qwest signs. God forbid we have a beautiful mural of the Rockies, though.
Is the problem really the picture, or is it that no one on city council's pocket was stuffed before it was put up?
The big chill: I am just at the end of "Dead Reckoning," the last installment in Steve Jackson's June 7-28 "Penalty Zone" series, and the chills down my spine made me write. I heard the account of Peyton Tuthill's murder before this, but the shock value goes on and on. I am against the death penalty when guilt is not conclusive. In this case, there is no doubt. Who are these judges to denigrate the horror she went through? I and many others do not see the death penalty as the best sentence for all murders. But if any deserve it, this is one.
Murder most foul: I was a member of the jury for Donta Page's murder trial and was absolutely appalled at the decision of the three-judge panel. I was devastated by their ruling. Where the hell has our justice system gone? Why waste taxpayers' money to seat a jury when justice is not served, anyway? We found him guilty on all counts.
Please withhold my name, because this Donta Page is so screwed up, he might find someone to hurt me.
Name withheld on request
Tales of the city: However horrible the murder of Peyton Tuthill, Colorado's solution was typical bureaucratic overkill. As described in Patricia Calhoun's "Shelter From the Storm," in the June 28 issue, in trying to keep one hypothetical murderer away, Denver's proposed ordinance would have put a hundred more criminals out on the streets. The shelters in this town do an important job, one that government is unwilling (or unable) to do for itself. If Denver City Council does not allow the shelters to continue offering those services, the city had better be ready to offer them itself.
Have faith: I find it ironic that while President Bush wants "faith-based" organizations to step in and fill the charitable void, the City of Denver wants to make it harder for them to do so.
via the Internet
Gimme shelter: As Patricia Calhoun wrote in "Shelter From the Storm" (a Bob Dylan epic composition): "Had Donta Page never come to Colorado, Peyton Tuthill would be alive today." I couldn't help but think that after two years, why bother bringing her name up again? There are a lot of "sick fucks" out there, and we will always be threatened by them should we dwell on the unlikely.
Additionally, eulogizing Tuthill ad nauseam only fuels the issue of the death penalty -- and for me, there is no issue. It is illogical, barbaric and primitive. Tuthill's murder was just as heinous as other murders: Murder is murder, regardless of the murderer. Our government and our people need to be reminded of this concept ad nauseam.
J. Matthew Dietz
The end zone: I would like to comment on a couple of items in the last issue.
Steve Jackson's "Penalty Zone" series was excellent. He put together a comprehensive package that showed how complicated it is to mete out a death sentence in Colorado; it should be. However, allowing the judges to compare the convicted murderer in front of them with someone who is already on death row, and to compare this specific crime with another crime, is in itself a form of cruel and unusual punishment. Mr. Jackson's work will hopefully get the people who can do something about this discrepancy to come up with a better idea of how to approach the problem and find an equitable solution. Kudos, Mr. Jackson!
Kenny Be's Worst-Case Scenario about Fourth of July fireworks was exactly on the money. The best part was the warning on the bottom about the Denver Police Department evidence room. Hey, at least Jerry Whitman won't have to worry that it's cash that's missing! Keep up the good work, Kenny!
The art of the matter: I just wanted to drop a line to let you know that Kenny Be's work is a damn fine example of good, clean American paper art. I'm an artist myself, and I like to think I have a handle on what's good and what's a sack of crap, and Kenny doesn't fit the stinky sack-o-poop profile.
I was pretty pissed off when I read the feedback he got about that whole thing with that damn cat in the last two issues of Westword. It was crazy that those kids did what they did, but even crazier that Kenny's June 14 strip got people to write in about it. I wonder if those were the same people who sent the money to have the feline in question brought back from the brink? I wonder if any of those people ever sent money to a local homeless shelter, etc.?
Anyway, Kenny does a damn good job. I honestly don't know if I would read Westword if Kenny and Derf's The City weren't there to keep it afloat. Rock on.
Local vocals: I just finished Laura Bond's article on Jason Janz and his futile crusade to try and "censor" (cancel) Marilyn Manson's appearance at Ozzfest ("Face the Music," June 14). I'm not a Manson fan, but I'm heavily opposed to this or any other kind of censorship. Reverend Janz and the Citizens for Peace and Respect are going about their crusade all wrong, and it's typical.
The focus isn't Manson, you morons, it's the schools your precious "overachiever" children attend. You're just picking on Manson because he's an easy target. You feel that if the world were a certain way and only "positive" messages were sent out to the kids, then everything would be perfect. What you need is a bitch-slap of reality. It's so easy for people like you to blame rock music for the problems of today's teens. Well, guess what? You just can't do that anymore. It's time to blame lack of parental supervision and support for the teen.
I'm offended by Janz's hypocrisy, too. He said at one point, "We would be doing this with or without Columbine." But you know damn well that's the whole reason (or at least most of it) behind this stupid crusade. Manson had a concert scheduled just after Columbine happened, and he was asked to cancel in respect for the massacre. He did. Here it is over two years later, and Janz and people like him are still going after Manson and attacking him. Give it a rest! Oh, and another thing: I had a good laugh over the part where Janz said he was "still repenting for his misguided days of listening to 'anti-authority' bands like Bon Jovi and Def Leppard." Hey, Janz, since when was either band "anti-authority"?
I feel sorry for people like Janz, because they have nothing better to do with their time than to try to control what other people do. Get a life!
via the Internet
Citizen's arrest: Marilyn Manson is a phenomenon with which we have to deal on a yearly basis at most. It may come as a surprise to many to find that we have a similar threat right in our own backyard, with direct access to our children on a nearly weekly basis.
My family and I live in Colorado Springs, and my seventeen-year-old daughter recently asked if I would allow her to attend a Saturday-night concert of a local up-and-coming band. I almost gave my permission sight unseen, but out of curiosity, I asked the name of the band. "Vox Demona," she replied. I'm not the smartest father in the world, nor the most educated, but my old Latin verses came rushing back from high school (when they used to teach things like Latin in high school). Vox is "voice"; demona is "demon." Voice of the Demons.
Of course I instantly denied my daughter permission to attend the event. But I sure went.
While CPR and citizens in general are now fully and strongly united over the Marilyn Manson issue, it would be productive to continue our mission on a local level and fight so-called musicians (more like cult leaders) such as Vox Demona and bring them to the light of reason before more and more of our children's lives are damaged or even destroyed.
Remember, these people are local. They could very well be your neighbors. Every day they are around your children. Imagine if Marilyn Manson lived in Denver and we had the chance to stop him before he caused all this misery in the first place. We would be foolish to wait. Contact CPR or your local news outlets to protest this local outrage.
Robert Avery Sr.
via the Internet
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For the record: Is it Memorex or live?
Bill Gallo ends the May 24 "Ripple Effect," his piece on Ken Burns's effect on jazz, in this manner: "...the band plays on." But his emphasis was not on live jazz and its real essence, but on record sales! In other words, the industry/commercialism that Burns represents is what people now perceive as jazz.
I need to ask, therefore, as part of a presenter in Denver (Creative Music Works), why fewer people are coming out to hear the music presented seriously with artistic freedom in mind? I noticed that Laura Bond's Backbeat column in the same issue didn't utter one word about the only jazz band playing at the Westword Music Showcase. Jazz (aka creative music, regardless of its style) cannot afford to be substituted with business data. CDs are complementary, just like radio; they are not the definition of jazz. If listeners are just as scarce (scared?) as the industry and media are in covering jazz, then we might as well turn live performances into jazz raves with DJs playing acid and smooth!