Taco the town: I just want to thank you for your newspaper. I look forward to reading it at lunch every week. I love seeing Denver called "Mootown." I love seeing the "white suburbs" being trashed. I love hearing George Bush and Republicans being blamed for everything from the worn-out (see latest U.N. resolution) blood-for-oil premise to some drunk getting a lousy taco after closing time. Your paper's white guilt and self-loathing remind me why I could never be a liberal.
Ire when ready: I want to personally thank Kenny Be for the "Reinventing Granby" pictorial essay in his June 10 Worst-Case Scenario. It saved me from a serious bout of post-traumatic stress disorder. After I saw this tasteless display of journalistic integrity (an oxymoron, if you haven't caught on yet), I just got flat-out pissed off. Anger can be a good and cathartic thing -- when it's not used to destroy lives. Silly me: Stuffing down those feelings of knowing my friends and husband were ducking bullets and flying debris, and then, of course, being separated from my kids, not knowing if they were safe because they happened to be in the care of someone on old Marv's hit list that day. Or if I had to make plans to attend multiple funerals.
Like everyone else in town, I just got on with the business of life until I stumbled across Westword. I'm all better now, thanks to you! You just saved me hours of couch time!
My troubles aside, and for the record: Granby may not be Vail, or fun and exciting smog-ridden Denver -- but we're definitely not the least interesting town in Colorado! Although at this point I'd find it real hard to invite you here to show you what is special about it. Please stick to chiding local politicos and socialite wannabes -- that's more your speed, and a helluva lot funnier than Kenny's cartoon. I've had to wonder where, exactly, you draw the line. Would it have been off limits had people died -- or have you just totally lost touch with human feelings these days?
I'm proud of my town and the response from the community to this awful disaster. I hope Patricia Calhoun is paying attention and sends Kenny back to the drawing board.
All the rage: I respect and admire the pride of Westword's staff for being brutally honest, even if it does taunt and expose our vulnerabilities in our perfect, plastic world. I even appreciate Westword and the other media outlets whose priorities are to seek out injustice and corruption wherever or whatever it is, while the major outlets' priorities are innocuous sensationalism. However, the Granby comic strip was tasteless and out of line.
Instead of making light of a pathetically tragic situation, how about doing an in-depth story? With a stealthy increase of cyberpunks, vegematics and the Left-Behind yearning for a glorious future, rage is becoming a national epidemic that doesn't discriminate against race, age or sex. We the people need to ask ourselves some serious questions. I admit that Kenny Be's Granby comic shed a light on reality, but a shred of humanity would have also been nice.
Big Brother's watching: After reading Eric Dexheimer's "Age Inappropriate," in the June 17 issue, and in light of many similar articles in Westword over the past few years, I am convinced that Orwell was only slightly off with 1984. It's not thought crimes that Big Brother will watch us for, but sex crimes. No one is innocent and everyone is suspect. What is particularly sickening is the realization that private sex-offender therapy companies like T.H.E. are creating perpetual revenue for themselves by advancing the assertion that their clients are virtually incurable. Actually, this is more twisted than Orwell. This belongs to the realm of Philip K. Dick. Still, I couldn't help thinking that if Curtis Franks would only finally admit to himself that he is, indeed, a pedophile, he would be just like Winston Smith finally accepting the truth of 2+2=5.
Lord, protect us from our protectors.
Self-serve justice: I want to thank you and your staff for your honest and straightforward stories on the downfalls of our so-called justice system. Our state -- and I'm sure many other states -- makes it hard, if not next to impossible, for offenders to live a normal life after they've supposedly served their time. After being in a relationship with someone who's gone through the Colorado court system, I know that no matter the severity of the crime, all past offenders are treated as second-rate citizens and have to work three times as hard just to have a normal life. People need to be aware that although our justice system may sound like a good idea, it is not planned to help an individual with an individual's needs.
Plight for life: I find it inconceivable that you would publish a story about the plight of sex offenders without getting any input from others involved in the cases. Even though you publish a photo of Greig Veeder, nowhere in the article do you say that you requested his program's version of what transpired. You didn't request interviews with the probation officers or others involved in the supervision and treatment of these offenders. Perhaps they have a different version of events. Perhaps the victims of these assaults now feel re-victimized by the fifteen seconds of fame you have given to their perpetrators, but you didn't even bother to ask them, did you? I assume that the victims' words may have impeached the stories you got from the offenders, embittered over somebody finally holding them accountable for their actions.
A few weeks after another one of your reporters, David Holthouse, displayed great courage in coming out with the horror of being assaulted ("Stalking the Bogeyman," May 13), you turn around and print a story that only gives the point of view of those who do the assaulting.
Consciousness raising: Another piece of great journalism by Eric Dexheimer! Just want you to know that you have many readers out in the community, and that you are raising consciousnesses and doing a valuable service exposing the depredations of our Orwellian government. Your work is appreciated.
Martin L. Buchanan
The right stuffing: Chipotle rules!
Thank you so much for Julie Dunn's "A Chipotle Off the Old Block," in the June 10 issue. I didn't know anything about Chipotle -- except that it makes the best burrito in the world! And not just the best burrito, but the best food in the world. I'd eat Chipotle for dinner every night if I could.
via the Internet
The white stuff: Chipotle means Anglo comfort zone.
Chipotle is a crock. When you arrive at a Chipotle, look at the faces -- the face of the happy customer, the face of the even happier cashier. And then the faces of the people behind the counter. These faces seem to be a little darker than the ones outside the work area. Could it be that they are Mexicans? Could it be that these people are the ones cooking the food for Chipotle customers? Working with food they have known since birth in Mexico. Mexico, not Haight Ashbury. Not after being thirty-something and going to college. And using eighty grand of your dad's money to start. That is when Steve Ells was able to succeed. I'm glad for him. But I think of the workers. And I think of the history and customs stolen. This is just one more example. Like Cortez to the Aztecs, Custer to the Sioux or Ells to his indigenous work staff. This is progress. The Manifest Destiny continues.
Glad to meet you, white man!
D. Zavala Garcia
That's a wrap: Call it what you may, a big wad of rice in a flour tortilla is not a burrito.
The drools of engagement: Patrick Osborn is a jackass.
I can't figure out how this guy got his column. He thinks starting at 3 p.m. constitutes drinking all day, and all his knowledge about sex comes from watching TV. Buddy, you can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning, and if you shut your mouth, maybe one day you can get a real girl and quit jacking off to Sex and the City.
Osborn's lack of knowledge about partying is obvious when he has to resort to tired male/female stereotypes in a desperate attempt to get a rise out of women so that they will be suckered into reading his drivel. Well, I've been suckered for the last time. Until Westword gets someone qualified to write this column, I give the "Drunk of the Week" award to anyone hammered enough to read this crap.
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Vocal locals: Thanks to Michael Roberts for "Pledge of Allegiance," his June 10 column about the odd and annoying fundraising tactics of Colorado Public Radio. The station's beg-a-thons are not only way too long, they aren't even remotely entertaining. And radio, last time I looked or listened, is an entertainment medium. Never during these fundraising campaigns do the formulaic and predictable pitches by the regular staff people give way to guest commentary or, God forbid, humor! Has the station ever considered having Mayor Hickenlooper or other celebs say a few words (recorded or live)? At least KRMA-TV, which also stretches our patience to the max with its constant fundraising, intersperses its pitches with actual entertainment.
But the fundraising follies at Colorado Public Radio are not the major issue with the station. That is much more fundamental. CPR wants us to contribute more dollars, but management doesn't appear to be too interested in producing a better product. While poorer public stations like KUVO and KGNU take justifiable pride in their local programming, including providing venues for local musicians, CPR has just one locally produced program. It's called Colorado Matters. The show is fairly well produced and covers important topics, but the presentation is rarely provocative. In any case, is it too much to ask the major public radio outlet in Denver to have more than one locally produced show?
I listen to Colorado Public Radio, and I have contributed to the station for years. I'm sure the staff are good folks and well-meaning. But to ask listeners to continue to support the station, even though its primary function is to carry the National Public Radio and Public Radio International signals, is becoming increasingly indefensible. I suspect it would be difficult to find another public radio station in the nation, dominant in its broadcast area, that is as shallow in local programming. When it asks for money I ask what we get in return other than the national feeds. Sadly, not much.