The man in the moon is a lady: I enjoyed Harrison Fletcher's "Moon Child," in the April 25 issue. He communicates well the complex truths about the various theories of the moon's origin to the layperson. I also appreciate the way he conveyed the intense personality of Robin Canup -- a scientist with a heart who views aesthetically the history of the solar system.
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No satisfaction: I just wanted to thank you for the excellent story on the lunar creation theory and its evolution over time. "Moon Child" emphasized how scientists are never satisfied with the status quo and are constantly revising their theories to match new data. I thoroughly enjoyed the piece and look forward to reading more of Harrison Fletcher's work.
R. Kent Clark
Taking out the garbage: Bill Gallo's "Holy Hollywood," in the April 18 issue, made my day. As a child evangelist/explosives engineer way out in the Southwest (Hobbs, New Mexico), I haven't been to a movie in over a year and had no intention of changing that until I read those wonderful words. Mr. Anschutz wants to change things for the better, and may God bless him. Finally, someone is going to make movie entertainment something to anticipate, not abhor. The horrific garbage that has so infested the entertainment industry has had a terrible effect on children everywhere, so I do hope and pray to see a new trend take place.
Regardless, the billionaire is definitely making a point here, and I do hope it starts a trend for the multitude of kids out there (including this 47-year-old kid!).
Hobbs, New Mexico
Crossed wires: While it's very noble that Philip Anschutz wants to improve the moral quality of the entertainment industry, I would be much more appreciative of his Christian crusade if he would fix my Qwest phone service first. But that would take a real miracle!
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Getting creamed by Starbucks: Regarding Stuart Steers's "Bean There, Done That," in the April 25 issue:
It seems to me that it is time for the little guys to organize a not-for-profit association of coffeehouses so that they can create a trademark or service mark with a logo and buy some national advertising. Otherwise, the corporate giants will eat them all up everywhere.
I personally dislike Starbucks intensely.
Dead alert: I am a faithful reader of The Message and have been amused mightily by the goings-on of the metro dailies in Denver, as well as Michael Roberts's reportage of all things media.
His April 18 column about obituaries, "Dead Lines," hit a resonant note. I've been publishing obits for 24 years in community newspapers like the Montrose Daily Press. I've always been a proponent that they be personal and expansive and played well. My first real job (read: not working at my father's newspaper) was writing obits for the Port Arthur (Texas) News, and since then, I have been smitten with their appeal and the impact they have on readers.
One of the first things I read daily in the New York Times are the obits, and I marvel at how well they're done. There's a book about NYT obits, about their process, and with a collection of obits from the famous and not so famous. Roberts is right about the Post's obit writers and how they've added value to the "life portraits."
We started charging for obits a year ago ($40 for 600 words) and caught some flak about it, particularly from people citing how the Post and Rocky didn't charge. Again, good column.
Stephen Wood, publisher
Montrose Daily Press
Superchunk man: Not to quibble, but I am an obituary writer (at the Washington Post) who has owned all extant Superchunk albums (some of which were stolen during a recent break-in). On that same label, I also own all the Magnetic Fields albums. I hope this clears up this important misconception.
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No whine before its time: I just read Steve Grahame's April 25 letter responding to David Holthouse's "The Hot Seat," in the April 11 issue, about "the Broncos screwing a hundred people in the elite 'whine and cheese' section."
I agree with Mr. Grahame in general. Although I was lucky enough to go to a few games last season, I, too, watch most Broncos games on TV and share in his weekly ritual: "Buy a case of beer and some chips, and sit your ass in front of the TV!"
But Mr. Grahame, be careful of biting the hand that is feeding you. Ever heard of "TV blackouts"? If it wasn't for the 8,000 fans "stupid enough to sign a five-year deal with the Broncos" and the other 69,000 folks filling seats every Sunday at Invesco, the games wouldn't be on TV. The NFL would be blacking them out locally, like they do in other markets where the NFL product doesn't fill the seats.
Enjoy your beer and football at home, Mr. Grahame, but go a little easier on the 77,000 fans paying to sit in the stadium that allow you to do so. Now, crack me a cold one...and go, Broncos!
Best seat in the louse: Good story, but who would be stupid enough to pay that kind of money for football tickets? Furthermore, be aware that these people displaced longstanding season-ticket holders and devout Bronco fans (like me), forcing us to move to inferior seating because we couldn't or wouldn't pay to get our seats back.
Bowlen and the Club seaters deserve each other. They've destroyed the great traditions of Broncomania. Remember, the stadium sold out from 1969 to 2001. It's not sold out anymore.
Look up at the Club seats sometime and see how many are empty. When the weather's bad or the Broncos don't look so hot, these are the first people to leave -- if they come at all. Some fans.
I've supported the team for forty years, experiencing amazing highs and terrible lows. It's people like me that made the NFL a reality in Denver. What happens when we've had enough of Chairman Pat and his inconsiderate greed? Who will he turn to for support? Don't count on the Club seaters to come through for him.
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Game-day farce: My point for contacting Westword was to let people know how the Broncos treated fans who truly enjoy what they have done not only for the local community, but also for the entire state of Colorado. I am not a big corporation, and I am not one of Denver's elite, but I am a Broncos fan -- a Broncos fan whose contract was breached when the Broncos decided not to provide the "exceptional game-day experience" they'd sold.
Yes, I am complaining about the wait to use the restroom and the quality of food (or lack thereof) provided by the vendors. These are parts of an "exceptional game-day experience" that the representatives of the Broncos sold their fans and have not provided. Furthermore, those who decided to purchase Club Level seats were given a personal point of contact, a Broncos representative whom we could contact with comments, questions, concerns, etc. When I contacted my personal Broncos representative and told him I would be more than willing to pay for my Club Level seats when they could provide me with a guarantee of more restrooms and food availability, I was told they could not and would not provide me with such a guarantee, and then he hung up on me. The next contact I received from the Broncos was a letter from their attorney stating that they have provided a "unique and exceptional game-day experience" -- which Mr. Ellis of the Denver Broncos then admitted not living up to in David Holthouse's article, "The Hot Seat."
I feel the Denver Broncos have aided in the development of Denver's professional sports scene, and I would like to continue to support them. Had the Broncos showed a willingness to provide the "exceptional game-day experience" they'd sold, I would not be writing this letter after some granola wrote a letter playing the violin for me. In response to Jan Higa, whose letter was published in the April 18 issue, I do think it is worth paying for the seats if they really provided what they said they were going to. As for her having to make a beer run at halftime, buy more beer the night before the game and you will save on your gas bill, so the next time you go to a sporting event, you will not have to take out a personal loan. What kind of an idiot goes for beer at halftime on Sunday, anyway?
Here's the point. I was offered a premium seat with special amenities, and I paid the premium price. They offered. I accepted. Now they have not performed on the offer -- so why should I be forced to accept an unexceptional game-day experience?
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Lifestyles of the rich and dangerous: Regarding Bill Gallo's review of Gil Evans Plays Jimi Hendrix (Playlist, April 11), how was Jimi Hendrix a "martyr"? I don't like to call writers out for individual word choices, but this is such an emotionally charged one that I would appreciate an explanation in this case.
Lennon, yes, perhaps even Marley, given the mystery surrounding the cause and the enemies of his righteousness. Maybe Jimi died for the right to maximum consumption, hedonism and the tendency toward self-destruction that all young artists hold dear, especially the successful ones? This is just as dangerous as the counterculture canonization of the lifestyles of Charlie Parker in the '50s and Cobain in the '90s...
To B-3 or not to B-3: As much as I appreciated Bill Gallo's review of the dueling organs ("Vital Organs," March 21), he failed to mention that one of the all-time greatest B-3 virtuosos, Brian Auger, was in town that same week at Herman's Hideaway. Heading a new Oblivion Express made up of his two kids, he gave an incredible performance that may never be matched for sheer energy and musical abandon. It's inconceivable that Gallo, whose music reviews are among the finest in this city, could have missed this legendary performer. At the least, Auger deserved a mention as one of the more influential organists of his generation.
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Wyoming or bust: I enjoy Kyle Wagner's columns and have read them regularly for years. She brings a knowledgeable perspective to restaurant reviews, something that's desperately needed in this area, where reviews often read like paid advertisements.
In her April 25 Bite column, she mentions that getting to Sweetwater Station required her to "drive almost to Wyoming." I haven't eaten at the restaurant, so I can't comment about that, but I gently remind you that a lot of people live, work and eat in the northwest suburbs. "Wyoming" to you is "next door" to us. There are a number of good small restaurants in the north metro area. In Broomfield, you should give Cansano's Italian Deli (great sandwiches and gelato from Gelato D'Italia) and Chico's Mexican Food (a family cafe with tasty enchiladas and green chile) a try. Papa Frank's (Italian) and Big Dog Deli (subs) deserve a shot, too.
Please remember that a large segment of your reading public lives north of I-70 and west of I-25, and we enjoy dining out, too.
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Mouth of the border: Kyle Wagner's comments about Sweetwater Station was not an appropriate piece to be running in any worthwhile food column. She appeared to have liked the food, but she put the place down on the basis of it being "halfway to Wyoming."
The fact that a place is far from someone who lives on the southern edges of the Denver metro area is a poor basis for grading a restaurant. The last I checked, Westword serves the metro Denver area. Some of us live up north. Even for people downtown, 100th Avenue and Wadsworth is not that far. It's really a shame that Kyle had to drive all the way up here and not have had manna from heaven. So it goes.
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Frankly, Thai Bistro, her favorite Thai place for three years running, is a real long drive for me, and it's above average, but not worth the drive. But if I were reviewing the place, I would recognize that it's not far for many of my readers and would not complain of it being halfway to Arizona.
We in Denver deserve better than this.
Editor's note: Just a coincidence, Can, but after eight and a half years at Westword, Kyle Wagner is indeed moving on -- although not as far as Arizona, or even Thornton. She's going to the Denver Post. We've already started our search for a new restaurant critic; those readers who think the opening sounds appetizing should check out our ad on page 69.