Rental-Health Problems

Letters to the Editor

Last but not lease: Jonathan Shikes's "Past Due," in the July 4 issue, was a great article.

I had similar problems with tenants in Virginia while living in Europe, but I wasn't so lucky. It cost me over $26,000 for repairs and took six months. We almost lost our house over this and ended up having to sell it because of the financial toll. My insurance only covered the carpet and six broken windows. These tenants from hell left me with eight months' worth of utility bills (they had the county forward them to a Jennifer Jennings in Tennessee). I also got slapped with federal wetland violation fines because they were dumping rubbish and animal litter in a protected wetlands area on our property.

We are moving back to Virginia late this summer. Can't wait to confront the witch at her place of employment and hand her a bill!

Jennifer Jennings
via the Internet

No deposit, no return: I am a white professional, in my late forties, who has been renting for ten years due to divorce, a (lost) war with the IRS and three kids in college. I've been a meticulous housekeeper and in ten years (four landlords) only called a landlord once -- to fix a water heater that was about to blow and ruin his hall carpeting. Even though I paid my rent on or before the due date, fixed small problems myself and kept the place clean and tidy, every landlord except one has tried to keep my security deposit -- upwards of $1,500 for each apartment/home. I've always gotten my security deposit back in the end, after a persuasive but time-consuming and distressing argument (I'm a paralegal and know my rights).

What really makes me angry is that Colorado landlords think the security deposit is theirs from day one and that all landlord-tenant law is in their favor. I daresay they keep deposits because they spend them immediately rather than put the money in escrow, like the law says. How many of your featured landlords (whom the Manchegos screwed) have routinely kept security deposits from previous tenants? One particularly greedy and dishonest landlady of mine said she was keeping my $1,500 deposit because the place was "dirty." However, I caught her (too easily): She advertised the place the day after I left as a "meticulously clean, executive home." I pointed this out, argument over.

Maybe the Manchegos are karma. Hee hee. Sorry. I had little sympathy for your landlords -- I believe in Universal Law.

Linda Sanders

Invest in peace: So you can't invest in stocks or mutual funds -- and now it looks like rental properties are even riskier, judging from Jonathan Shikes's "Past Due."

What an interesting article! I can't believe the hell those landlords have had to put up with because they fell for the Manchegos' sob story.

Harriet Williams
via the Internet

Editor's note: For all of the other Manchegos who raised the roof over our July 4 story, the "Tenants From Hell" depicted on the cover were Juan and Brenda Manchego, and only Juan and Brenda Manchego.

Blow Job, Snow Job

Just say no: Regarding Stuart Steers's "This Job Sucks," in the July 11 issue:

Matthew Jay should be ashamed of himself. He's a money-grubbing opportunist, incredibly naive -- or both. So some big talker dazzles him with money, employment, entrance into the lifestyles of the rich and famous...and the occasional blow job. Like that's the first time that's ever happened. Whatever happened to "No thanks, you're not my type"?

If Ortega was a Capitol Hill dumpster-diver, would Matthew Jay be suing him? Doubtful. I'd like to suggest another map Matthew Jay can make and sell: the scenic road to a couple of small towns called "Discretion" and "Common Sense."

Joe Falco

Bringing home the bacon: I'd rather eat cold sandwiches than eat food made by a pig like Johnny Ortega!

Beverly Maes
via the Internet

Venus Rising

Shorts shrift: What, one may ask, is the most beautiful sight in this universe? Swirling galaxies? Fields containing multitudes of colorful flowers? Colorado's mountain scenery or smoke-enhanced sunsets? No, the most beautiful sight in this entire universe is a big woman in tiny shorts (or in a miniskirt).

Now, everyone is entitled to his opinion. But I must respond to Kenneth C. Beaudrie's letter in the July 11 Westword, attempting to shame women who are not young, not thin, and not without "blubberous thighs" from keeping cool in this summer's overbearing heat by wearing revealing shorts. For the real shame is that any woman would feel unattractive due to this letter or due to society's misplaced attitudes in general, when she is, in fact, very attractive indeed.

I think I can speak for every man who has ever found pleasure in glancing upon the feminine thighs of a woman of above average width-to-height ratio, found pleasure in glancing upon beauty itself incarnated as a (somewhat immodestly dressed) mortal Venus.

Leroy Quet

Go, Team, Go

Nicked name:Regarding Michael Roberts's "The Name Game," in the July 11 issue:

With the plethora of Denver sports teams, I submit this name for the arena football team: UNNECESSARY!

Marcia Wolf

Play Is Hard Work

On the move: Bravo! Eric Dexheimer's July 4 "No Sweat" was an amazing article. I work in PR for a chain of family-oriented athletic clubs and am busting my brain trying to figure out how to get the kids of parents in the door and to get those kids moving and having fun. It's such an uphill battle. When was going out to play a chore?

Sue Ossmann

A walk on the mild side: I'm writing just in case Eric Dexheimer hasn't heard from any urban planners regarding his statement that "even when activities are close enough to walk to, urban planners unknowingly conspire to keep kids inactive."

I have a feeling he already has, however.

I'm an urban planner, and I like sidewalks. A lot. And most of us do. Actually, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find an urban planner (at least one who deserves the title) who doesn't. We're all about promoting walkability and compact development. More realistically, it's the developers, local elected officials and misguided homeowners (who think sidewalks will bring evildoers to their neighborhoods) that are the culprits. Most urban planners are fighting the good fight to get people to walk, for numerous reasons.

Jennifer Edwards

One on One

No kidding: In reference to the July 4 Worst-Case Scenario and the line "Death sentences are to be made exclusively by a jury of Colorado citizens who possess birth certificates that list only one man and one woman as parents":

Someone ought to inform Kenny Be that politics and personal preferences aside, it still takes one man and one woman to create a child.

Mike Waldron
Rapid City, South Dakota

Ill Will

Sickening story: Stuart Steers's June 27 "A Healthy Paycheck" was an interesting article, considering that hospital staff has to fight for pay and equipment.

Jon West


It's an ad, ad, ad, ad world: I am no longer able to remain poised and silent on Michael Roberts's June 27 "A Brewing Disagreement" and the letters that have followed. I enjoy reading Westword, and though I don't always agree with Roberts's columns, I understand (and completely support) his right to his opinion. However, it is simply his opinion of the situation.

Hello, kettle? You're black!

I wonder if Westword would publish an ad from me if I wanted to take out a full page of exploited propaganda and hate-slanted opinion toward NIPP or the Church of Regis? Would you, Westword, slap one of your most faithful and one of your largest ad clients for a onetime wham-bam-thank-you slam? Even if it were a question of ethics?

Newspapers are business, bottom line. And as a successful GLBT business, it would have been asinine for Out Front to print a hate ad against one of its largest (I'm assuming) clients. Out Front has been supporting the GLBT community for over 26 years, and to even propose a boycott of the newspaper, as Jon Langoni suggested in his July 11 letter, is just as dimwitted.

Perhaps Jon wasn't a resident of Colorado when the state suffered the consequences of Amendment Two and the subsequent boycott. The GLBT community itself suffered greatly from that boycott -- which we were all out struggling to overturn while the rest of the country turned their backs and left us to fight our battle alone. It made our community stronger and, I thought, smarter.

The Coors Foundation is full of rot and decay, as most foundations are -- but do not be foolish and misguide your anger toward such a staple of community support as Out Front. Refuse to drink the beer if you will; boycott their products, or, better yet, go get a job at the brewery and try to change things from within their own dilapidated system.

It is too darn easy to gesture toward the messenger and throw your stones. But be careful, Mr. Langoni: One day those fingers might just be pointed at you.

Stephanie Shearer

Michael Roberts responds: We don't have to worry about other ads offending our advertising clients; our stories already do that. For the record, the column noted that Coors didn't run any ads in Out Front in 2001, nor has it in the year to date.

Room at the Top

Without reservation: Keeping working people under control is considered the primary function of government and the mass media by the wealthy capitalist elite. In the June 6 "No Reservations Needed," David Holthouse has clearly shown one small local aspect of the global capitalist control mechanism.

If working people are ever going to live in a society free from the upper-class psychological control mechanisms of government and the mass media, then they must organize behind these two non-negotiable demands:

1. Reparations of over 25 trillion dollars from the wealthy capitalist elite, 5 percent of the total population, who have violated the spirit of the U.S. Constitution and have waged a 200-year silent and devious class war against all working-class Americans.

2. Total and complete working-class control over the entire U.S. economic system. By creating the world's first double democracy (political and economic), we provide a wonderful role model for working people in all nations, everywhere.

John Cassella

A Touch of Glass

No wine before its time: While I appreciated Juliet Wittman's review of -- or more like ode to -- John's Restaurant ("Family Affair," June 20), it never ceases to amaze me how often reviews of good restaurants fail to mention their wine lists. Perhaps if she had (or if she had gotten advice from someone who knows about wine, if need be), her review would have been slightly less fawning. I admit to not having been to John's for about three years, but in the past, he has not had a terribly interesting wine list, certainly not a match for his food. Nor have there been very many by-the-glass choices. And if this situation has changed, it would be nice to know, as other people may have noticed this in the past and decided not to return.

As a former sommelier and wine buyer and now writer, I'd be happy to advise Juliet or any other reviewer you have in mind on wine in the restaurants they are examining.

Marc Killinger

Editor's note: Our thanks to Juliet Wittman and the other Westword writers who filled in with stories (not reviews) on local restaurants during our hunt for a Cafe critic. Jason Sheehan is our new restaurant reviewer; see page 65 for his debut.


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