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Letters to the Editor

Big Smack Attack

Putting the cartel before the horse: After reading David Holthouse's "The Chiva Game," in the October 7 issue, about the illegal aliens selling heroin to the yuppies downtown, I just had to write in.

Holthouse worked diligently to make sure we understood that Enoc wasn't a bad guy, that he was just trying to feed his family back home. I am sure this rationalization could also have applied to the leaders of the Medellin drug cartel. Hey, they had families to feed, right? Selling drugs is illegal for a reason. Just because the yuppie junkies are ready and willing to gobble up heroin, that doesn't justify selling it to them.

I am also tired of the perpetuated myth that drug use is a victimless crime. This is simply not true. Maybe they aren't dying from heroin overdose in droves, but that's almost too bad -- because plenty of these losers also have families that depend on them. I feel sorry for their children. My parents were also pathetic junkies who held down careers but never had as much time for me as they did the needle.

As far as Delia goes, she is dumber than she is stoned. That B.S. about being in control is more of the same junkie dogma I have heard for years. How much control do you really have? Why don't you lay off for a day or two? Can you do it?

Rick Steves
via the Internet

Cleaning up downtown: I live near Skyline Park and walk past it every day. This area of downtown Denver is 99 percent free of drug dealers and their customers. Police commander Deborah Dilley and her officers have done a wonderful job. Thanks also to the watchful eyes of the security staffers in the numerous office buildings and to the employees at stores and restaurants. The Downtown Denver Business Improvement District organization and its purple-shirted cleaning crews have also helped. We now have a real neighborhood.

John Cassella
Denver

Street wise:"The Chiva Game" was a well-researched view into the heroin street scene. Many articles only manage to cover the surface issues or different points, but David Holthouse managed to bring out all the interesting aspects of selling and buying drugs, and from many perspectives.

Susan Cook
Asheville, North Carolina

No deal: Although I don't disagree with David Holthouse's account of the powerful incentives for poor immigrants to participate, even at a very low level, in the drug trade, his article doesn't adequately report the risks that they face. Under 18 USC 1326, someone deported for a drug-trafficking offense who returns to the U.S. faces up to twenty years in federal prison. Sentences of between 77 and 96 months are routine, depending on the individual's prior record. Moreover, even on a first drug-trafficking offense, the federal penalties for guys like Enoc can be stratospheric, if the quantity and/or purity is high enough. I have too many clients prosecuted in federal court who can't believe they face a minimum of ten years for making a couple-pound delivery on behalf of a supplier who knows better than to take the risk himself. And when that happens, their Prada-shod clientele just cycles through the neighborhood supply of dealers.

Cynthia Lie
Berkeley, California

An American tragedy: Westword is kind and sincere when it discusses illegal immigration. I know Westword has to try and show balance. However, sometimes too much emphasis is placed on illegal immigrants and their hardships, with very little emphasis on what this illegal invasion is doing to low-income American citizens, and the social unrest this country will harvest from this continued underclass that has no regard for the rule of law. So few people do not see the future; so few people even care about the future. One has to ask: Where have all the patriots gone? That's what is tragic in itself.

Jan Herron
Evergreen

The needle and the damage done: Thank you for David Holthouse's very informative article about heroin use in Denver. Although David mentioned HIV and injection-drug use, I was hoping to also see data about the rates of injection-drug use and hepatitis C. This dangerous virus, which is spread by contact with infected blood, is four times more common than HIV and very easily spread by sharing needles and other injection paraphernalia, like cookers or cottons, or by sharing straws while snorting drugs. It is estimated that injection-drug users have a 50 percent rate of hepatitis C infection if they have been injecting for more than six months, and 80 percent rates of infection after five years of injection -- a very serious public-health issue.

I appreciate your efforts to increase awareness about heroin use in our community and the fact that drug use affects people from all walks of life, race and ethnic group, age, etc. Keep up the great work.

Kathy Jensen, director
Information & Community Outreach Hep C Connection, Denver

Just the facts, man: I would take David Holthouse's article more seriously but for certain facts:

1) Westword supports John Kerry for President of the United States of America.

2) John Kerry is supported by billionaire George Soros.

3) George Soros wants to legalize heroin within the United States.

4) Westword, then, supports the legalizing of heroin.

5) The editor of Westword, Patricia Calhoun, condones Peter Boyles, the host of Channel 12's Colorado Inside Out, being a coke addict.

"The Chiva Game" could have been an article of importance, but since Westword is too busy supporting the illegal drug trade and traffic in the United States, you blew it.

The next time someone blows away his life with a needle in his arm, remember: You are responsible for that death owing to your lack of morals and ethics on the matter.

James C. Hess
via the Internet


Queen City of the Plains

Charity begins at home: I just want to commend your paper for shining the spotlight on a wonderful group of people, the Denver Cycle Sluts, in Laura Bond's October 14 "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." It's nice to see a story about gays doing good in the world at a time when the Christian right tries to smear them and depict them as evil deviants.

It would be nice to see these so-called "loving" Christians keeping themselves busy with charity work instead of spreading hate.

Brian Smith
Denver

Shock value: The Cycle Sluts are such an amazing and generous group who give so much back to the community, and it's good to see them finally receive some of the recognition that they rightly deserve. I've been a fan of the Sluts since I moved to Denver in 1997. They have filled many a stage and nightclub with gasps and laughter for many years, and I hope to be around to witness shocked audiences 25 years from now.

Arthur Gilkison
Denver

Open-door policy: Thank you for a great article on the Denver Cycle Sluts. I'm glad to see that Westword has kept the journalistic door open to diversity. It's always a sigh of relief to know that, during an election year, with all the loud barking of the narrow-minded "mental-fundists," I can still count on someone writing a dose of lighthearted reality. Thanks for keeping it open and fun -- and for reminding the masses that difference, in the realm of positive, is a good thing.

Bill Ashworth
Edmond, Oklahoma

Recycling hate: Your friends the Cycle Sluts appeared the same time as the AIDS epidemic. How odd.

Gay activists have blocked the closing of gay bathhouses and responsible sex for decades, spreading AIDS to bisexuals, intravenous drug users and their partners. This has led to a worldwide scourge of death and suffering that compares to the Nazi genocide of sixty years ago. What is "gay" about genocide? What is "proud" about the irresponsible killing of millions in the Third World?

Think about this during the next "Gay Pride" week.

Dan
Denver

Right and wrong: I and about eleventy million others love, love, love Nuclia Waste and the Denver Cycle Sluts! They put on amazing performances and raise money for many charities. I have had the great fortune of meeting David/Nuclia up close, and let me tell you, two years later and I'm still swooning! The Sluts deserve a medal. On the other hand, I'd like to give the religious right a medal, shoved up their... oh, excuse me. Forgot my manners for a minute. The RR can put on an "amazing performance," too, but you and I commonly refer to them as "fundraisers."

Hmmmm, let me see. Do I want to send some of my hard-earned money to the Cycle Sluts for their charities, or do I want to help Jim Bakker launch yet another slush-fund tee-vee show? Not a hard question to answer, at least for me.

If loving the Sluts and embracing them with open arms (all the way from Mississippi, no less) means that I am religiously wrong, so be it. I'd rather be in the wrong with Nuclia and her pals than be caught dead in the religious right.

Julie Chaney
Jackson, Mississippi

Sluts machine: Last week's "Life Is a Drag" cover was no drag! I absolutely loved the article about the Cycle Sluts and the drag community in Denver! I personally know all the people Laura Bond mentioned, and they work so hard and contribute so much to the community and to so many charity organizations. Denver is lucky to have such hardworking people. Thanks for sharing their stories with the rest of Denver.

Dave Caldwell
Denver

Nice guys finish first: Your profile of the Denver Cycle Sluts and the history of drag in Denver was fantastic. While I am not a drag queen, nor do I play one on TV, I found "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" to be quite informative and illuminating. In this age of anti-gay legislation, both locally and nationally, it is nice to see some legitimate and positive information about the gay community. They are constantly bombarded with anti-gay sentiment, yet they are still out there striving to improve the community in the face of all the hatred directed their way. I'd say that's a lesson we can all learn from.

John Gracey
Denver


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