From Cradle to Grave

Letters to the Editor

Left shaken: I am a mother of a six-month-old and a 21-month-old, and Alan Prendergast's "The Death of Innocence," in the July 31 issue, made me cry -- always a nice way to spend nap time.

I wanted to let you know that I am very impressed with the amount of research that Alan did for the article. He did numerous interviews and learned the details and controversy about Shaken Baby Syndrome. I admire how he presented both sides of those involved. Good article!

Lila Schow
via the Internet

Krystal, cleared: I feel it is obvious that Krystal Voss is innocent. Patrick Ramirez should be locked up and Sergeant Harry Alejo must consider apologies and retirement; I question his competence. I had known the mother and father during the pregnancy, and both always presented themselves as being clear-headed. I have a very difficult time accepting that Krystal could have harmed her beautiful son.

Also, I feel that this family should be in touch with the American Civil Liberties Union regarding the investigation. I think it's quite obvious that Ramirez resorted again to his methods of plea bargaining to try and maintain his freedom. He should be under full investigation, and the case should be moved from the area for a fair, unbiased trial.

Thank you for the objective point of view and giving all sides. God bless this family, and may Kyran rest in peace.

Leslie Harvey
Kihei, Hawaii

Playing the Race Card

Nag, nag, nag: Regarding Bill Gallo's "End Run," in the July 24 issue:

If anyone really believes that Arapahoe Park will just disappear and let millions of dollars of simulcast revenue go down the drain, I've got some swampland in Arizona for sale. Uninformed idiots have been predicting the track's demise since it reopened in 1992.

God forbid that you could run an article about the people who like racing in Colorado every summer. Or maybe a few comments from fans who really do think it's a beautiful facility. I've been to many major tracks around the country, and from a comfort standpoint, I can't think of too many places I would rather watch races from. I really can't understand slamming this place every year. You must be hurting bad for stories.

Rick Floyd

Denver Goes Hug Wild!

His reach exceeds his clasp: Regarding Patricia Calhoun's "All Together, Now," in the July 24 issue:

I have evidence that there are non-huggers among us. We could, perhaps, seek minority status.

On Sunday, it had been two whole days since I'd seen a picture in our local papers of John Hickenlooper hugging someone. Maybe I'm going through withdrawal symptoms. Perhaps someone could produce a John Hickenlooper Hug-a-Day calendar? I especially like photos where non-huggers, repulsed and embarrassed, can't stand the thought of their mayor spending city money to hug someone (notice the averted gaze, attention elsewhere or gagging).

I really miss Wilma Webb. And thanks to Kenny Be for "Mayor Hickenlooper's First Nine Days," the July 31 Worst-Case Scenario.

John Sturtz

Zoom Service

Putting his life on the whine: To that "zoomie" who responded so angrily last week to Julie Jargon's July 17 "Honor Rolled," a story he (or she -- the name was withheld from the letter) felt depicted him (or her) in a negative light with respect to the sexual-assault scandal at his (or her) beloved Air Force Academy:

My daddy always told me that if you aren't part of the solution, then you are part of the problem. Since the 99.9 percent of the student population that you feel you represent and refer to was a co-contributor to creating an environment in which victims did not feel comfortable coming forward, well, I'd say you were, indeed, clearly part of the problem.

Also, I see you were too spineless to reveal your identity, which makes me wonder if you have what it takes to properly serve on my behalf. Kind of like those cowardly politicians who all bailed out of the Capitol during the anthrax attacks, rather than stand up and show leadership. Our Founding Fathers, many of whom lost entire families, houses and personal fortunes during the Revolutionary War, must be so proud of what our leadership (ahem) has become.

I thought that inscription in the hallowed halls of honor used to say "Bring Me Men," not "Bring Me Cowardly Whiners." As you make your way through your career, remember everything about you that I helped pay for: your plane, your fuel, your uniform, your housing, your food and those 2000-pound laser-guided missiles you so bravely drop onto machine gun-equipped Toyota pickup trucks from 10,000 feet as you blaze by at 500 mph.

I thought the academy was supposed to provide you an unparalleled education. I'd say you didn't get your money's worth. Stick with me kid; I'll help you sort it all out.

I'm in the book. Feel free to call me anytime to chat.

Brian Kennedy

Kobe's Beef

California schemin': I have followed with some interest Kobe Bryant's misadventures in your "fair" state. I have also heard many voices say that Bryant cannot receive a fair trial in Colorado because he is African-American. I wish to refute that opinion.

Kobe Bryant will not receive a fair trial in Colorado. The reason will not be because of his descent; rather, it will be because of his current residence. That's right, he won't get a fair trial because he is from California. In fact, I would place his African-American ancestry at the bottom of the list, behind being from California and being a celebrity. All told, though, that's three strikes against the man from the beginning.

I know this is true from firsthand experience. I moved to Colorado in 1994 as part of a corporate relocation from San Francisco, settling in Longmont. While I lived there, I had neighbors turn me in to the police for maintaining my California registrations on my cars. I lived in Longmont for two and a half years and was finally so desperate to get out, I took a job in Los Angeles. To this day, I still prefer to be anywhere but in Colorado.

There is one thing that Bryant can be thankful for. He can be thankful he is not Cheyenne or Arapahoe. If he was, I would expect the good settlers of Eagle County and Colorado as a whole to dispense with the formality of a trial and merely slaughter Bryant, mutilate his body and string the body parts across the Denver Opera House like their ancestors did. And if I hear that the judge is named Chivington, or if I hear that members of the 3rd Colorado Regiment are hanging around, I may have cause to rethink even that.

Then again, Alferd Packer was from Colorado, wasn't he? Serving his fellow man since 1869.

Richard Scott
Pasadena, California

Tarnished Silverman: I had a lot more respect for Craig Silverman when he was a Denver prosecuting attorney. Now, as a legal analyst, he discusses how Kobe Bryant might even get his case dismissed if he finds enough "dirt" on his accuser. I thought Silverman possessed some professional virtue and a belief in our legal system and due process, rather than the use of malicious hearsay and rumors.

Craig, in case you don't remember this: Trials are to be conducted in a court of law and presented to an impartial jury that will review the facts of the case -- not all the pretrial publicity, hype and propaganda. You should know better, and I thought more of you!

Dennis Hammond

Love is all we need: Syndicated talk-radio host Tom Leykis says he revealed the name of the woman accusing Kobe Bryant of sexual assault because he doesn't believe you can have a fair trial where you know the name of one person and not the other. This was inappropriate in every way!

This woman and everyone like her could probably use our support right now. I will not turn on her and assume that she's lying. And another thing -- I refuse to be baited by the media's enthusiastic titillation of our cultural fascination with the sexual prowess of black men. I want this story to stop being portrayed as if it is about sex and lies: Rape is not sex. Rape is about power and control.

Ain't love what violence demands we spread, not persecution?

Wendi O'Neal
Takoma Park, Maryland

A Matter of Corpse

A body of work: It was interesting to read the July 31 Off Limits blurb about the Rocky Mountain News posting corpse photos of the Hussein brothers on its Web site. I don't suppose the News's office was flooded with cops from four metro agencies, as happened to me when I took corpse photos while working in the funeral industry in Denver several years ago. Aside from "violating" the dead, the big complaint was that I "added" to the scene by placing signs near the corpses with slogans such as, "Happy Halloween" and "Time's Up." I suppose that was way worse than the U.S. military shaving the corpses to make them look the way that suited their purpose best. I did it as an art project and admitted I was wrong to do it. Don't expect to hear that from anyone involved in these new "corpse-abuse photos."

In other news, can I add that although I live in New York State now, lately it feels like I still live in Denver. I read all the NYC papers daily, and thanks to Kobe Bryant, I am seeing nonstop quotes attributed to the Denver dailies. And it ain't like the scandal at the Air Force Academy, Columbine aftermath and the Ramseys don't pop up here and there, too. Denver really is getting bigger.

J.T. Colfax
Binghamton, New York

Don't Mess With Texas

Arms and the man: I am a staunch believer in the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. I live in Texas but read the news and belong to Rick Stanley's e-mail list (Off Limits, July 24). The papers in Colorado are no different from those in most metropolitan areas: sickeningly limp-wristed. An armed citizenry that knows how to and when to use arms is essential if we are to keep this country free.

You people up there better wake up and support Stanley from the same bureaucracy that will step on your neck when you least expect it to. From a Texas point of view, it sounds like you have allowed too many tea-sippers to take over your state. The safety of the little valley could come to an end and people like Rick will keep you safe when the bulletproof-vested ninnies have thrown in the towel because of overtime disputes. For God's sake, get a grip on that judge -- that is, if there are any men left in what I used to consider a man's country.

I guess I will have to rethink my northern neighbors. I guess the commune just spread out. Love and peace, man; nice roach clip, dude. If that is all that is left, all I can say is: "Run, Rick, they are not worth the effort."

Fred Cummins
Freeport, Texas


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