Our Neighbor From Enron

Letters to the Editor

Lou Pai, go home: I would like to thank you for "The Mystery of Pai," Alan Prendergast's exquisite April 18 story regarding Lou Pai and 77,000 acres of the most beautiful land in Colorado. Everyone who read the story should be outraged with Mr. Pai's behavior. It is stories like these that grease the wheels of government, and I applaud you for bringing this situation to light.

On a more personal note, I believe I speak for every man, woman and child in the state of Colorado when I say to Mr. Pai: "You are not welcome here. Sell your ranch and get the fuck out of Dodge."

Chris Woodruff

Crouching ambiguity, hidden profiling: Alan Prendergast's fascinating coverage of the la sierra case left me with deep concerns about the real issues at hand. In an opening paragraph, activist Shirley Otero says the fight is now about globalization, about Enron. Yet Prendergast fails to ask how Pai's involvement really relates to Enron and whether Enron is really about globalization -- or just about greed, corruption and shoddy regulation. The globalization angle also implies a subtle role for Pai's Chinese identity. The cover art, the title of the sidebar ("Crouching Greed, Hidden Losses") and the reference to Pai's stripper wife ambiguously exoticize the sources of his greed and dismissiveness, miraculously distinguishing him from previous greedy/dismissive owners of the ranch, yet Prendergast never directly addresses the race issue.

The shame (and the mystery) of la sierra transcends globalization, and it most certainly transcends Lou Pai. It's the shame of a nation unwilling to honestly face the consequences of our Manifest Destiny. It's the shame of a helpless legal system. It's the shameless egos of wealthy and powerful men. But above all, it's the shameful threat to the legacy and livelihood of a threatened community.

Why not leave the racial profiling to the reader's imagination and put the long-suffering people of Costilla County on your cover?

Randall Kuhn

Metal of Honor

Ore, please: I found Stuart Steers's "An Either Ore Situation," in the April 11 issue, a refreshing change from Westword's usual crime, corruption and oddball-characters lineup. I learned more about titanium than I ever thought I'd want to know and enjoyed every minute. Thank you.

Sheila Randolph

A monumental blunder: Further proof that you are living in a "world-class" cowtown: Denver hires another out-of-town architect to design another shortsighted, taxpayer-funded monument undoubtedly already scheduled for demolition to make room for another unnecessary taxpayer-funded convention center or sports arena with bad seats, inadequate bathrooms and lousy food.

Obviously, even the movers and shakers in Denver are hicktown rubes who let the whores run the show. Oh, well, at least it will be world-class wasteful and expensive.

Ancel Phelps

Titanium lasts forever: "An Either Ore Situation" was very thorough and interesting. An important medical use that Stuart Steers did not mention is in prostate-seed implants. The radiation material is inserted in titanium capsules; the radiation material (there are several options) decomposes within a short time -- e.g. weeks or months -- but the titanium stays there forever.

Wade Biggs
via the Internet

Butt Seriously, Folks

Five grand stand: Well, I had to respond to David Holthouse's April 11 article, "The Hot Seat," about the Broncos screwing a hundred people in the elite "whine and cheese" section. Why anyone in his right mind would shell out five grand to Pat Bowlen after he butt-fucked the City of Denver in the "naming rights" fiasco, I can only fantasize about. If Don Olguin gets to keep his five grand, I can tell him how he can save face this season. Do like the other two million of us "poor" fans: Buy a case of beer and some chips, and sit your ass in front of the TV! It's the best seat in the house, and no ten-minute wait to take a piss. Best of all, the only beer line I see is my nice cold beer lined up in the fridge.

I agree with these people: They got deceived. I just can't believe that there were 8,000 of them in Denver stupid enough to sign a five-year deal with the Broncos.

Steve Grahame

A matter of Coors: My wife and I really appreciated "The Hot Seat." I just wanted to give you some feedback from our perspective.

First of all, we think there are a lot more people out there just like my wife and I, who are unhappy with the Club Level but paid the money because we knew we were in for a legal battle and didn't have the time, resources, etc., to "buck" the system. In fact, I did e-mail the Broncos and ask to move back to our seats in the north end zone, and they reminded me in a very straightforward manner that we still had two years on our Club Level agreement and they would not release us from it.

We believe the Invesco Field Club Level did not live up to its advertised description of "the ultimate in luxury seating for those who do not desire a private suite." Most of us had experienced Club Level at Coors Field and made a poor assumption that since Invesco was charging a much greater premium for its new Club Level, it would be even better than Coors Field's Club Level. This was a terrible assumption, and now we feel like we are being held hostage by an inferior product.

Coors Field has set a Club Level standard in our community that Invesco didn't come close to attaining. And the cost difference is criminal. Coors Field Club Level costs about two to three times more than similar seats just below or above in the ballpark. Invesco costs five to ten times more and doesn't come close to providing the amenities of Coors Field. Most of this David Holthouse pointed out in his article: the food issues, the bathroom lines, no in-seat service.

Another thing that the Coors Field Club Level did was send a yearly questionnaire to patrons. And the Rockies listened. We asked for different wines and beers, and the next year they provided them. We asked for special Club Level events, and the next year we had them. Coors Field did an excellent job of listening to the seat-holders.

Invesco hasn't asked for our opinions, but we still offer them -- and find they ignore our opinions very well.

Larry Crisco
via the Internet

Club dread: What a sad day in a great sports town. Being a Denver native and lifelong Bronco fan, I find it pathetic that people are complaining and trying to squirm out of their dues in regard to the Club level.

Welcome to the club, folks, if you think your lines are long and your hotdog is cold. It's not much better up here. But no one forced you to join the elite portion of society where you can eat crab, sit in padded seats and walk on carpet...at a Broncos game! How quickly people have forgotten the real Mile High: steel and iron, PERIOD! I've always felt the true fans are those in the cheap seats, so I don't feel sorry for those who were willing to pay $5,000 a seat per year for five years.

It's this type of crap that moves teams from city to city and leaves true fans without a padded pot to (you know what) in. Pay up.

Mark Almquist

Editor's note: Attention, all Club Level holdouts (and reporters from local TV stations and the dailies): The Don Olguin quoted in David Holthouse's story is not the sole Donald Olguin listed in the White Pages -- a Denver firefighter who's getting tired of the calls. The Don Olguin upset with his Invesco Field accommodations is a mortgage broker who would rather not have his phone number published here; David Holthouse will be happy to put you in touch with him.

Crabby Apple

Vocal local: The Apples in Stereo are a treasure, and I hope they continue to play in Denver, despite the relocation of Robert Schneider and Hilarie Sidney (Backwash, April 11). And Laura Bond is a great writer, and I hope she stays put. But I also wish Westword would champion more local acts outside the low-fi, punk and other less accessible genres. Westword seems too often to adore niche music and then gently backhand the music-going public for not flocking to it. If Backwash's theory of the under-rated local artist is true, the local media is partly to blame for writing off anything with a mainstream sound as crap.

I think Beavis and Butt-head had it right: In the end, there are no genres and references. Either it's good or it sucks.

Eric Shiveley
via the Internet

Mean Streets

Lights on, nobody home: I read with interest your review of Dave's Place in the Best of Denver, and while I agree completely with your assessment of the facility, I was disappointed that you included the address.

These folks have certainly made mistakes, but they are now taking positive steps to learn to live, instead of die, with HIV. You made it clear that some may not be supportive in that process. Why encourage those less-than-tolerant people by including an address?

Perhaps if you were to meet some of the Dave's Place residents and hear their stories, you would be more sensitive to the struggle they face in a community that is not always cheering them.

David Alexander, vice president
Colorado AIDS Project board of directors

Editor's note: No good deed goes unpunished -- or unpublished, apparently. Best Reuse of a Historic Building, the very heartfelt Best of Denver award given to Dave's Place in our April 4 issue, honored the fact that the Gates Mansion, an architectural landmark in the heart of Capitol Hill, had been turned into a residence for previously homeless people living with HIV. And while the project has garnered much publicity (including coverage in the dailies and prominent placement on the Web site of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which contributed funds), it's collected no NIMBY-type complaints from its neighbors -- another situation worthy of our salute. Like those neighbors, we welcome Dave's Place -- and its occupants -- to Denver, and certainly intended no disrespect with our award. And by the way, unlike safehouses for battered women, whose locations are kept secret for obvious reasons, the address of Dave's Place is listed in the phone book.


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