Armchair Quarterback

Letters to the Editor

Consider yourself part of the furniture: Again, a bravo for Kenny Be's wry wit. Not unlike his "Arnold for Governor of Iraq" Worst-Case Scenario, the October 7 "John Elway Home Collection," complete with wooden Elway, is a keeper.

I'm still smiling.

Joseph Green
via the Internet

Heavy Petting

Hoarder in the court: I'm sure you will receive a truckload of letters responding to Eric Dexheimer's "Pet Peeve," in the September 30 issue, stating something to the effect that pet hoarders should be forced to live in cages full of excrement and eat each other. As for myself, I have a more sympathetic view of the people involved.

It would be fair to call me an animal-lover: I volunteer for the Boulder Valley Humane Society, have kept dozens of pets in my lifetime and currently own three dogs. As deeply saddened as I was to read about their animals' living conditions, I was even more troubled by the psychological states of the pet hoarders themselves. The profound loneliness and unmet needs that drive these people to collect one pet after another are staggering. Getting a new puppy or kitten is a thrill; apparently, that rush can become like crack to an individual whose life is otherwise empty.

Laws that set arbitrary limits based merely on numbers of pets are not going to solve the problem. If anything, they will just push these people further underground, deeper into the hills and prairies and farther from the mental-health resources that could help them.

Thanks, Eric, for an excellent article.

R. McNamara

Tough love: I struggled to keep my composure while reading Eric Dexheimer's appalling and heartbreaking "Pet Peeve." To think that this animal abuse is so widespread and practiced by the same people over and over again! It just can't go on, and I hope the proposed statute passes and these people get the toughest sentences possible.

The story brought to mind my late friend Mildred Martindell, better known as the "Dog Lady of Park Hill." This incredible woman was quite a crusader for animal rights decades ago and a pioneer in the "field" of dog rescue, as well as the ethical treatment of these precious creatures. Her love for them was undaunted. I wish someone of her caliber was in existence today.

Rosemary McManis

Play Misty for me: "Pet Peeve" was a harrowing, horrifying and fascinating read.

My mother's black Persian cat, an apparent purebred, was rescued by the local mailwoman, who discovered a pet hoarder keeping scores of cats in cages in a trailer in rural central California. The vet identified this cat as less than two years old, and they decided to try to save the small cat with the matted coat. Mom's e-mails told me the story of how Misty (short for Mysterious) slowly adjusted to her freedom. When I met Misty while taking care of Mom during her illness last year, the previously neglected cat was a beautiful animal with a clear gaze and a calm temperment.

She had become the pet she was meant to be. She brought my widowed mother much joy in the last few years of her life (Mom passed away this January), and I'm grateful the cat with a horrible beginning has since found another good home with a friend of Mom's.

Patricia Dunn

Free Advice

Calling Dr. Laura: In the October 7 issue, I was asked for advice concerning using the name of individuals as tags for bills. According to the Off Limits item, the 2001 bill that provided mandatory therapy for one year for divorcing couples with children, except in situations of abuse, "sank like the Titanic once it was tagged the &'Dr. Laura Bill.'" That is incorrect. The bill was defeated because of the liberal mentality which minimizes family obligation and responsibility if immediate personal gratification is postponed.

The association of bills with "celebrities" brings attention to a in the anti-American message of many current Hollywood types.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger
Sherman Oaks, California

Cheap tricks: I am very disappointed in the new look of the old Muddy's building, as described in the most recent Off Limits. I thought it could have been restored very tastefully. As it turns out, it looks cheap and homely. Too bad people with cheap taste can change a nice old building like that.

Nikka Herber
via the Internet

Take Cover

To swerve and protect: Why am I not surprised that there was a Columbine cover-up? I want to know how our elected officials can expect the residents of Colorado to have faith and respect for the judicial system and police officers when they're more interested in concocting ingenious new reasons to fine, rather than to protect and serve, the people. I want to know where the protection is for the thirteen dead, 24 wounded, and countless lives altered or destroyed.

After reading Alan Prendergast's "Anatomy of a Cover-up," in the September 30 issue, I honestly don't think I can ever look at the judicial system or a police officer without feeling insecure or creepy. Just thinking about this preventable tragedy makes me violently ill.

Michael Claxton

Trickle-Down Economics

Talk about wet clean-up! "Contamination Castles for Sale to Curtail Costs and Consequences over Criminal Cover-up in Colorado" might have made a better headline for Eric Peterson's story about attempts to sell off the contaminated Titan missile silo on the former Lowry Bombing Range to unsuspecting private parties ("Home Security," September 23). Any potential buyer on a lark for a luxurious lair had better not look at the documents in the EPA or Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's files, where he might learn of the real legacy around Lowry -- Coors's other field -- where records show that they, Rocky Flats, Martin Marietta and other polluters dumped poisonous wastes, some of which have a half-life of over 24,000 years. They might also want to check Westword's archives for Eileen Welsome's excellent 2001 series "Dirty Secrets," on the Lowry Landfill Superfund Site, before sinking cash into this "hot" property.

Adrienne Anderson, former boardmember
Metro Wastewater Reclamation District, 1996-1998

Burning Issues

Let's talk turkey: Regarding Laura Bond's "Smoke Detector," in the September 16 issue:

What a fiasco. So the state wants to raise taxes on cigarettes. Why? To teach children the evils and perils of smoking, and also to help the poor! Where is all the money the state received from the tobacco-company settlement?

After smoking 45 years, I quit cold turkey. The doctor said I was a very healthy man. Now it's going on nine years, and I don't miss cigarettes at all. Habit-forming? Methinks not; it's all in the mind. Anyone can quit. I did.

Frank V. Sandoval

Out of His Depth

Jason the obscure: In the October 7 "Wing Men," Jason Heller writes, "Its six songs slice through warm beams of guitars, loops, beeps and beats that call up images of Modest Mouse being mutilated by the Postal Service."

Does Westword even try anymore? While a hipster bloodbath does sound appealing, isn't there a more inventive way to categorize a band than to toss in a lazy comparison of two genre-leading bands that have inspired leagues of tight-pants-and-wristband-clad smokers to stand up and rock? Will your review of the next solo male artist cite Jeff Buckley and Beck? Where are the references to obscure bands that Westword readers have come to expect?

Give me Jason Heller's job, and I will cross-reference bands with names of groups no one has ever heard of. An audience hungry for manufactured depth will thank me.

Lorien Nettleton
via the Internet

Strike Up the Bands

Amateur hour: Regarding Rick Skidmore's Now Hear This on Gris Gris, in the September 30 issue:

It's so typical of the Denver music scene and its ambassador, Westword, to do an article on a band from who-knows-where by the name of Gris Gris, which is on its way to who-cares-where, when the local band Gris-Gris has been trying for six years to get someone at Westword to acknowledge it or, at the very least, just check it out. (I'm the drummer.) While Denver is not known for being a music town, what with competition for sports and cowboys, it still never ceases to amaze me just how unprofessional, amateur and befuddled the people who claim to be part of a music community really are.

Garrett Evans

Head alert: Regarding Jason Heller's Playlist review of Wolf Eyes' Burned Mind, in the September 23 issue:

As John Olson's mother-in-law, I feel I need to give credit where credit is due. It was John whose thick skull was penetrated by a mace, not Nate Young.

Betsy Bierhanzl
via the Internet

He'll take Romance: In his September 16 Playlist review of Joshua Novak's album Five Day Romance, Michael Roberts offers the reader a fair criticism of the album's production, though in so doing falls short with regard to the experience itself. To those typically unsympathetic to this particular genre (such as myself), these songs may seem foggy; however, Novak successfully conveys tacit signifiers to his audience. This album is meant to sound as it does; its expression is then to be seen as paramount. Novak is indeed a promising singer-songwriter. His EP, given the above suspension, is a remarkably powerful work.

Jack Redell

Read Alert

Masterpiece theater: Congratulations to Juliet Wittman for "Making a List," her brave and insightful review of Trumbo: Red, White & Blacklisted in the September 9 issue. The review was a mini-masterpiece.

Barbara Moe

Don't be afraid: I ran across this Edward R. Murrow quote in the program of Curious Theatre's exceptional production of Trumbo: Red, White & Blacklisted. Perhaps it bears repeating:

"We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty ...We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine and remember that we are not descended from fearful men -- not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular. We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home."

Tupper Cullum


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