There Blows the Neighborhood

Letters to the Editor

Hell, no, we don't grow: I read with interest Stuart Steers's December 13 "Howdy, Neighbor," wherein city planner Ellen Ittelson is quoted as saying that "most people realize Denver needs to grow to stay competitive." Competitive? With whom or what? And for what purpose? On what basis has the assumption that Denver's citizens support or even condone such competitiveness been drawn? Perhaps a poll is in order to actually determine whether constituents believe amassing more money in the city's coffers is preferable to not enduring more traffic, pollution and other nightmares. As it is, the lungs of Denverites serve as air filters in order for SUV carburetors to have sufficient oxygen.

If history is any indicator, increased revenues from growth would likely be given away to support Denver's real leaders (those in the sports industries), anyway. Is that what Ittelson meant by competitive? Go Broncos.
Dolly Zander

A Bad Wrap

Control yourself: Julie Jargon's "New Life," in the December 20 issue, was a nice article -- and I know some of these people at CAP and PWA Coalition personally.

But I must voice my opinion of the condoms that CAP was handing out a few months ago. They were crap! I hope that, along with new people heading the biz, they've opted for a different brand. Color selection was nice, for whatever that's worth. I'm a white, HIV-negative hetero female who expects a qualified product from such organizations.
Lucy Roucis

Blame Is the Name of the Game

Name-dropper: Regarding Michael Roberts's "He Got Game," in the December 20 issue:

Dan Issel shouted a slur at a fat, drunk Mexican. Is that the truth or not? The guy is fat, was drunk and is a Mexican. People mistake the truth for racism. Issel had been a bad coach for a long time. He should have been fired for that, not for this trivial incident.

Just what, exactly, is a "Chicano"? Is that a real word, or a made-up word that people use to feel important? Moreover, just who, exactly, represents the "Latino" community in Denver? Is it a bunch of bloated egomaniacs who puff out their chests and act like they truly contributed anything to the "Latino" community?

These "Hispanic" leaders acted like the sky was falling with this Issel incident. It's all a big facade. Besides the Columbus Day B.S., this was the only thing these "Chicanos" could jump on to play the role of the poor little victims.

Why should the Nuggets be a large financial sponsor of Latino community programs and events? Why should any sports team cater to the Hispanic community? The last time I looked, the Nuggets gave a huge amount to the general Denver community. Why should the Hispanic community get any special treatment because their heritage comes from south of the border?

I am "100 percent Hispanic." I don't hyphenate my name like these idiots do. I am an American, period. My "Hispanic" father fought in WWII. When the Germans tried to kill him, they didn't see a "Hispanic" or a "Latino," they saw an American.
Allen Garcia

A day at the races: I would like to congratulate Dan Issel for bringing us all back to reality. I was under the impression that since September 11, all divisions had magically disappeared. Well, I guess the illusion of a colorblind society didn't exist prior to September 11, nor does it exist now. After the Issel incident, individuals questioned why the Latino groups were so outraged, and they attempted to dismiss the seriousness of his ignorant statement.

Issel's hateful outburst was more than just an accidental misuse of words. It struck a chord that most Latinos know far too well. It painfully reminded Latinos of the historical discrimination that sadly continues today. Issel also reminded Latinos that no matter what valuable contributions you have made or what social position you inhabit, you are still viewed as an inferior person.

Any attempt to dismiss the verbal attack was just a ploy by individuals who refused to acknowledge the reality of the situation. When the president and coach of a corporation makes such statements, it casts a cloud over it that will only dissipate with the termination of the offender. Issel was in a powerful position that could affect several levels within the Nuggets corporation.

Did his mentality reflect the corporate culture at the Denver Nuggets, or was he just an anomaly? The next question is how many other corporations have individuals like Dan Issel within their ranks. It is one thing to have his mentality, but when you can influence a person's career path based solely on his or her skin color, the matter has bigger implications.
Richard O. Delgado

The real piece of shit: Just to heap more onto this blundering fool and his ignorance of the world around him, I have a personal tale to tell.

On two occasions while driving to work in the morning, I have seen Dan Issel curb his dog in the middle of the grassy parkway that extends south of First Avenue/ Speer on Downing Street (just west of the Denver Country Club). The first time I watched, he did not pick up after Fido. The second time, I yelled from my car and said, "Pick up after your dog, coach!" Within seconds, his middle digit was raised, and a hearty "Fuck you" was lobbed toward me.

Class guy.
Joe Schafbuch

Love, American Style

It's a date! Eric Dexheimer's story on date rape ("Friend or Foe," December 13) could be summed up as "he said/she said." Still, no means no, and a man should respect the fact that a woman does not want sex. Yet what if they have had a few drinks or a few smokes and an hour of foreplay in the nude, and he is hot to trot and she calls a halt to the last hour of petting -- and even the bird thinks he is watching a grade-B movie? Takes a lot of control, doesn't it? What if she wants just to tease him so that the angle of the dangle equals the heat of the meat? Do circumstances ever circumvent a "No"?

We have all sorts of excuses in society to cover things up so that we will not have to look at the reality of rape, murder and robbery. One of the best of these coverups is from the new-age/new-thought "philosophy" found in many liberal churches and bookstores. According to these nice, friendly, smiling people, our soul chooses our parents at birth and chooses all the experiences and circumstances that happen during our life. I do not believe this, for it is a simple answer to a complex question. Eric Dexheimer did a good job on his article, but he left out the fastest-growing "philosophy" in America, for they have the answer to why people get killed or raped, or why they happened by chance to be in the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11.
David Walton

Laid to rest: Dexheimer's "Friend or Foe" was a nice story about our changing culture, but that's about it.

"Last week, the DA declined to press charges": End of story! Sarah is a little prick-teasing slut with the brain of a thirteen-year-old. Did she get thrown out of school? How did she get into college to begin with?

Rape or sexual assault is the exact same thing as "making love"; the only difference is the attitude of the female involved. Why should Mike or anyone else be destroyed on the whim of some slut? Forcible rape is a serious crime with serious punishment, but when Sarah turned off the lights and jumped in the sack, the fact that she was about to get laid was a foregone conclusion.
Robert Seeber

Equality time: Marty Goldstein's December 20 letter regarding the CSU "rape" case is truly a cheap shot at feminism. Why is he picking on feminists? I am a longtime feminist, and I have never once heard anyone in the movement telling women to cry rape when it hadn't happened. Much more frequently, women who truly have been raped have had to be encouraged to come forward and file charges.

Hasn't Goldstein noticed that our entire society has become a collective group of victims? Women are no more likely to duck responsibility for their actions than men. So poor Mike comes forward with his "I'm the victim" story, using his real name. He apparently wants us to feel sorry for the raw deal he got. But his actions show he behaved like a cad, just like Sarah did. If there was ever a couple who deserved each other, they were it. Too bad they didn't keep their tacky little affair (and I certainly don't call it "rape") a secret. But again, that's not the present way of doing things. Now everyone tells the world everything.

Sarah and Mike shouldn't have climbed into bed with each other. Mike shouldn't have taken advantage of the situation. Sarah shouldn't have cried "rape," and she should have used her real name for the story. CSU shouldn't have expelled Mike. Looks like everyone involved did things they shouldn't have. Why this is feminism's fault is a mystery to me.

By the way, Marty, Margaret Thatcher is not my idea of a great feminist. She played a traditional old boys' game with traditional old boys. How about Gloria Steinem, who stuck her neck out in a courageous "let's-make-new-rules-that-include-women" way?
Carol Carpenter

On the Move

School for scandal: I just wanted to congratulate Alan Prendergast for his fine work on Columbine, especially his "I'm Full of Hate" story in the December 6 issue. Judging from the letters that followed that article's publication, some people think it's time to stop talking about Columbine, to move on.

To do so, however, would be to ignore the lessons that could teach us how to avoid such horrors in the future. And the dead would have died in vain.
Julianna Hill
via the Internet

Waiting for justice: I read Sue Cole's letter about Columbine in the December 13 issue. She is so misinformed and uninformed about my family and my son that no response to her comments is necessary.

I do, however, take exception to her suggestion that we all "move on." It is unlikely that you would move on if your child had been wounded or murdered at Columbine, and you then discovered that the police had lied to you and that the governor, the judges and every other person in power refused to help you find out the truth.

Perhaps you are willing to live in a world where the sheriff, John Stone, lies to you and withholds information. Perhaps you are willing to live in a world where the victims of the Columbine tragedy are denied legal discovery and their day in court to discover the truth. Perhaps you are willing to live in a world where policemen are allowed to stand outside of a school where children are being murdered while they, our protectors, listen and do nothing to intervene. Perhaps you are willing to live in a world where our corrupt politicians, judges and court system do nothing. Perhaps you are willing to live in such a world, but I am not.

How weak is our society, how corrupt is our moral standard when we do not even demand that the police must protect our children and that they must be held accountable when they fail? Lower standards than that for the government of a civilized society do not exist.

If you won't take a stand to protect the innocent children, where will you take a stand?

It is time for you to get involved. Write your congressman and the governor. Demand and implement changes in the laws. Demand and obtain justice for the victims and their families. Then you can move on, not before.
Randy Brown

Sealed With a Kiss

Brush up your Shakespeare: Just one question: When did Juliet Wittman see Kiss Me, Kate? ("Porter Done to Order," December 27). You see, if it was the first week of the Denver run (first four shows), then it was not Chuck Wagner she heard opposite Rachel York, but understudy Michael Lackey (me), who is also Rex Smith's understudy. Mr. Wagner was on vacation. Since December 29 is the first day he's been back when Ms. York was not out sick, I believe I should thank Westword for the flattering review...of me.

Thank you so much.
Michael Lackey
via the Internet

Juliet Wittman replies: You're welcome, and my apologies for missing the opening-night substitution.


Lord, have mercy: As an aficionado of Tolkien's trilogy, I waited for Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring with high hopes and low expectations. (Look what was done to Dune!) I read the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News with keen anticipation -- and found reviews that praised with faint damnation from writers who took pride in either disliking or avoiding Tolkien's epic work.

Westword's review ("Force of Hobbit," December 20) "feels" right, from the inflection marks Tolkien scattered about to Gregory Weinkauf's sly comments on gaffes in both the book and the movie.

Have I seen the movie myself? No, but with your familiar, flippant and fond review, I will -- tomorrow!
Andrew Skeehan

Tribal Rituals

Smells like Phish: I appreciate Melanie Haupt's "Transcend This," the Sound Tribe Sector 9 article in the December 20 issue.

But as a fellow writer and fan of the emerging genre of music from bands like STS9 and Lotus, I have a few comments about Haupt's work. Please do not lump all the bands that have a "Grateful Phish" sound or similar fan base as the same. It is a different time. And wherever you got the info that Deep Banana Blackout is even in the same world as STS9, it's false.

Keep writing and evolving.
Brent Kado
Elkhardt, IN


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