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Letters to the Editor

Stalk of the Town

End of the words: Regarding David Holthouse's "Stalking the Bogeyman," in the May 13 issue:

There are no words that could accurately describe how strongly I feel about David Holthouse sharing what I am positive was such a horrid memory of his childhood. David, your courage left me speechless.

And Patricia Calhoun, your professionalism and approval of the story should be commended as well. I am a faithful reader of Westword, and I felt this was the most powerful issue to date.

Thank you, David, for sharing your painful story! Please know that your readers are behind you.

Jodee Ayn Wright
Denver

Editor's note: The letters about David Holthouse's "Stalking the Bogeyman," and his recent arrest for stalking, keep coming in. With this issue, we're moving the discussion to the web until it's time to publish the next chapter in the story. To read Holthouse's original piece, go to www.westword.com.


The Rapes of Wrath

And the hits just keep on coming: Patricia Calhoun's "Greatest Hits," in the May 27 issue, was a big hit with me. Using Hunter Thompson's ga-ga-gonzo description of Denver (the problem is that there's nothing cowboy left about this city), she connected everything from Columbine to JonBenét Ramsey to the insane cheerleading in Boulder for the University of Colorado football team.

Hit 'em again! Hit 'em again! Harder, harder!

Les Michaels
via the Internet

The last laugh: What a state. Aren't you people glad to be from the colorful state of Colorado? If you're a native, you knew that Gary Barnett would get off, just like Eagle is getting all this free publicity and making all this money off the Kobe Bryant case when everyone knows that he is innocent. This state is a laughingstock on Jay Leno's show.

Frank Sandoval
Denver

Every dog has his day: I just read "Greatest Hits," and although I normally find Patricia Calhoun's column informative and well-researched, this time I just thought it was catty. What's her ax to grind with Hunter S. Thompson? So, great, you guys reported this story a couple of years ago. Well, since then, Thompson got involved and the state Supreme Court decided to review the case. Vanity Fair has a slightly bigger circulation then Westword, so why not get the word out? So Calhoun's going to criticize Thompson for telling people to call the Post instead of their local reps, and then she's not even going to give the contact info for these reps? Give me a break. Everybody knows they can contact local reps, etc.; this is a democracy. As for the line about the woman getting raped right in front of your eyes, that was a metaphor.

Obviously, Calhoun's not the only dog who knows how to bark in this state, so she shouldn't get nitpicky just because there's one that's louder.

John Peabody
Boulder


The Gang's All Cheer

All stalk, no action: Regarding David Holthouse's "Bring It On," in the May 27 issue, I have a suggestion for Zoe Williams. If she would like her organization and viewpoints to be taken seriously by anyone (other than those who, like her, are on the extremist fringe), she might be wise to enter into intelligent discourse to defend her positions. When offered an opportunity to do so, she tucked tail and ran, accusing Mike Rosen of being a "stalker" merely for taking her up on her promise to call his show. Personally, I think Rosen would dismantle her in a matter of minutes, and based on her non-response, I would guess she feels that way as well.

Here's an idea for Zoe: Instead of using hit-and-run shock tactics, why don't you back up your words? Rosen is merely finishing what you started. Keep staging your protests where you can't or won't be challenged, but some of us see you for what you are: afraid and unable to put your money where your mouth is.

David Frisbie
Denver

Pep talk: I love the Radical Cheerleaders. You should write more about them, because they are really great. Great article, too.

Darline Cunnings
via the Internet

Pukes of hazard: Here is a prime example of college kids with far too much time on their hands, with their skulls full of mush from the liberal propagandists. They're way too silly for anyone to take seriously, and most thinking people would consider them to be a laughingstock.

They don't need to barf; I feel the nausea rising just thinking about these overwrought, unshaven princesses wasting the college's resources and Daddy's money. Zoe Williams's thing with Mike Rosen is pathetic. She's (cluck cluck) chicken to debate a serious mind, so she comes up with the stalker angle to deflect Rosen's team trying to get her on his show. If she has a message to impart, she would be on KOA, with its huge audience, in a New York minute. She apparently has nothing to say, but we knew that. She also realizes that those of her ilk get exposed for the lightweights they are on talk radio every day.

 

To Williams and the rest of you clowns: Grow up, get over yourselves and get a life. Serious people are on the line defending your right to make jackasses of yourselves in public, and you are merely objects of derision.

Pat Desrosiers
Denver


Anyone for Tennis?

Advantage his: I appreciate Eric Dexheimer's tennis articles -- both "Opening Volley," in the May 27 issue, and "Rallying With God," the Andrea Jaeger story in the April 29 issue. Over the years, Bill Gallo has been the only other local journalist to occasionally write about tennis. Kudos to Westword.

Gary Williams
Denver

Net gains: Eric Dexheimer paints a bleak portrait of the state of tennis in "Opening Volley." His recitation of lagging equipment sales and decreasing memberships at private clubs belies what is truly going on with the sport of tennis in Colorado: Seventy-five thousand kids in 150 schools in Colorado have been introduced to tennis through the USA School Tennis program in the last year; junior-league play has tripled since 2000, and now totals 7,000 participants statewide. According to the Colorado High School Activities Association, 7,500 boys and girls played high school tennis last year, a growth of 37 percent over the previous year and a gain of 70 percent from the mid-'90s. USTA adult league play has climbed steadily since 1999 and now boasts close to 23,000 participants statewide; it's one of the largest tennis programs in the country.

This is not to say that tennis doesn't have its share of challenges. The recent survey results indicating that close to six million played tennis for the first time in 2003 are tempered by the fact that nearly as many quit because they found the game too challenging to learn. With close to forty Tennis Welcome Centers in the Denver metro area offering discounted tennis instruction for people of all ages and abilities, it is our goal to not only recruit new players, but to make sure they stay players for life.

Therein lies a huge difference between tennis and many other recreational sports. Tennis is truly a sport for a lifetime. It can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities, and not just by a "doddering gang of lobbers and dinkers," as Dexheimer refers to players over fifty. Perhaps tennis doesn't dominate the sports landscape as it did in the '80s, but through the efforts of local and national entities, we expect tennis will continue to thrive here in Colorado.

Fritz Garger, executive director
Colorado Tennis Association


School for Scandal

Bush-league journalism: Julie Jargon is a muckraker of the same ilk as Jerry Springer -- no substance, all sensationalism. Did anyone else notice that in the May 27 "It Won't Fly," she did not present any new facts or perspectives that have not been said countless times by other authors? Aside from rehashing the scandals in an effort to smear President G.W. Bush, I cannot see her motivation for writing this article.

In "It Won't Fly," Ms. Jargon ridiculed the positive actions taken by the USAF and USAFA leadership and labeled them as ineffective or politically motivated. I would like to know specifically what educational, training and policy changes she would recommend as a result of her extensive investigative research. In my opinion, the fact that she has won several awards and been nominated for another does not say much about those institutions or credible investigative journalism.

Kudos to her for cutting and pasting entirely recycled, one-sided articles into a letter to President Bush using only a few phrases in opposition. That's what I call exceptional journalism!

Michael J. Flynn Jr., USAFA Class of 1995
Baltimore, Maryland

Editor's note: On June 8, Julie Jargon's series on the Air Force Academy won first place in national reporting in the Livingston Awards. For details, www.westword.com.


Something's Funny

Our daily dread: Regarding Michael Roberts's "Stripped," in the June 3 issue:

To be honest, I knew that something like the pruning of the Sunday comic pages was going to happen after the JOA. Comics are a tool for competition, and since there is no longer any competition, there is no need for the major papers to spend money on such frills. Wonderful world we live in, isn't it?

 

This, among others, is a reason why I refuse to subscribe or even purchase either of the major Denver dailies.

Of course, both newspapers have screwed over the average comic reader for years. This includes the Post's publishing for only a few weeks of "Liberty Meadows" and the News's short runs of "Dick Tracy," "Batman" and "Terry and the Pirates," which showed a general contempt for those of us who are fans of the comic strip as an artistic medium.

For those of us with Internet access, we have solutions. The 'net is full of great comics like "Sluggy Freelance," "PvP" and "User Friendly." So I, for one, no longer want or need either daily paper.

Allen Jordan
Boulder

Strip tease: I was very pleased to read your column about the downsizing of the comics in the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post. I had also recalled that when the papers consolidated, they had touted that their HUGE comics section would be a benefit of the JOA era. I am glad that you took the time to put the facts in line.

I participated in the comics survey, and my favorite comic, "Prince Valiant," got the boot despite my vote. I plan to cancel my subscription to the paper at the end of my present term due to the loss of one of my main reasons for subscribing to the paper. I can get my news and my Prince Valiant for free on the Internet, and that is what I plan to tell them.

I noticed that when they downsized the comics, two pages were lost the following week. It felt to me like the readers were getting further screwed by the JOA. In a few years, we can probably expect the paper to be down to one section of comics.

Another loss to the community caused by the JOA is the huge increase in the cost of a classified ad. It now appears that the only people who place ads are used-car companies and real-estate agents.

I understand that comics like "Rex Morgan," "Spider-Man" and "Prince Valiant" probably don't appeal to someone seeking a quick laugh. But isn't there room in the paper for comics that provide a continuing saga? I guess the answer is "no" in Denver.

I am saddened by the direction the papers in Denver are taking. If you read the Saturday News and the Sunday Post, they have about 90 percent of the same stories in each. Talk about monotony.

Perhaps Westword should consider adding some of the lost comics to their pages. Again, kudos to you for a job well done!

Tom Needham
Denver


Cafe Society

Sweet-talking man: Regarding Jason Sheehan's Bite Me, in the May 27 issue:

Boone's Farm has two strawberry wines. The most popular -- and likely the one Sheehan meant -- is the Strawberry Hill. They also offer a Strawberry Daiquiri "wine." In either case, furry SweeTart teeth is the most accurate description I've ever read.

Many high school sophomores would still be virgins at marriage were it not for the magicians at Boone's.

Rachel Watson
via the Internet

The worm has turned: Over the years, I have read/browsed through Westword. Recently, I became a regular reader. I must say, I'm impressed with Jason Sheehan's regular features, Cafe and Bite Me. I love his take/viewpoint on life, and his style of writing. I, too, lived back East, in Buffalo and the D.C. area, and grew up in the restaurant business. So I can identify to some degree with his take on issues in the food-service industry.

Hence, I look forward to getting Westword each week to read Sheehan's musings. I must admit, I care more about reading him than I do what he is writing about: He could write about earthworms and their social concerns and I'd still look forward to reading it.

Sam Oden
Denver

Something's rotten: I love the way Jason Sheehan writes -- he's like Tom Robbins on mescaline in a bakery. But I haven't been in a restaurant in eight years, and everyone I know who enjoys going out for dinner hates all the appetizers and spice and personal biography.

So here's my response to Sheehan's most recent review (or any Sheehan review): It reminds me of my birthplace of Rochester, Minnesota -- Olmstead County, to be precise, the origin of the name Olmstead is unknown to me but Jason probably knows it...St. Mary's Hospital was maybe the first rotten food I had (in 1954 the cooks were from Northern Poland and Czechoslovakia, and most everything they served was nuanced with this "I want to be invaded" flavor) -- perhaps it was caraway, but I know it was BEIGE or gray like the long ugly winters when people struggle to get their cars started and find themselves stuck and miserable in a lifetime sentence, not unlike a Jason Sheehan restaurant review, asking again and again, Why Am I Here?, and I care if he had a pimple on his butt in 1977 while he served Hungarian food to New Yorkers?, but I was born during an electrical storm in July, which brings to mind the crab cakes served with the best side dish by a guy named Leroy in Tahiti, did I mention I was not breast-fed?, but Leroy seemed to recognize that 49 years later?

 

Let me tell you about Leroy -- his mother worked at Target in New Jersey for 28 years...

John Sturtz
Denver

Food for thought: I want to thank Jason Sheehan for his extremely entertaining reviews each week. They truly give me something to look forward to when I get my Westword on Thursday mornings.

Lynda Mizrahi
Englewood

Giving credit where edit's due: Jason Sheehan, keep up the good fight. I understand many are displeased with your restaurant reviews; however, I absolutely love your commentaries. The writing tends to be a bit long-winded, but the storytelling and obvious "been there, done that" knowledge of kitchen work and the service industry make it a must-read every week. Cafe reminds me of one of those movies that was never edited and the director just decided fuck it, we'll include it all. I love a good laugh as well as a good dining experience, so your reviews are always an educational and entertaining must. Keep up the honesty, humility and humor.

Jen Frese
Denver


Good Dial Job

Variety is the spice of life: Michael Roberts did a nice job with his "Dial Another Day," in the May 27 issue. It's become so difficult to find a good station or even a little variety in this town, it's hard to believe we refer to it as a city. He skipped over KTCL (or 93.3, if you wish) in his review -- not that they haven't gone the way of all the other "retail" stations out there, but at least they sometimes hark back to their days as a college radio station, albeit not very often.

A quick reference guide to what I think this city is truly missing:

1. Electronica. Almost every major city out there has a great underground dance station, and while we had 92X for about two seconds, it never had a clear signal and was gone before anyone knew it was even here.

2. Non-conformist indie-rock station. Can't we have a little bit of the Smiths, Portishead, the Sundays and some other unusual stuff? Throw in some retail to keep the corporate types happy, and that would be the best (and most popular) radio station in Denver.

3. Last but not least, we have to have a new leader in the retro scene. There are so many stations playing the exact same type of '70s, '80s and '90s songs. You know what? I don't need to hear "Tainted Love" anymore. Not that it's not a good song, but I can rattle off eight or nine stations that would include that song on their playlist. What about different stuff like some of that strange '80s Freestyle music (Stevie B, Jaya, Nu Shooz) or some old-school hip-hop (Beastie Boys, Tribe Called Quest, Run DMC)? Different hours of programs to quench your thirst for the strange and beautiful music of the retro era.

Come on, Denver, let's grow up. We're a big town now.

Seth Fraser
Denver


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