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Letters to the Editor

All the Snooze That's Fit to Print

Zzzzzzz whiz: Rob Simon's "Confessions of a Snorer," in the June 23 issue, was a great article. Where does his wife get the earplugs? I could use some!

Flavia Florezell
Denver

Nap quest: Why doesn't Rob Simon's wife just sleep in another room when his snoring is too much?

My husband thinks that if I love him, I should accept him in all his glory, rip-roaring snoring included. After a year of my not sleeping and becoming progressively less pleasant (although he was trying to control it with nose strips), I realized I needed a place to go to get some sleep. Now I love having a private room and a shared one.

You can publish my letter, but without my name. (My husband isn't comfortable having others know he snores.) Thanks for your article. It was important to all of us who live with it.

Name withheld on request

Keep your chin up: Excellent overview of snoring. One thing you underplayed: the value of a dental mouthpiece. You didn't mention that you do not have to pay hundreds of dollars to a dentist -- you can buy cheap (sub-$75) soft plastic devices that mold to your jaw. For many people, these really work. We list several manufacturers on our "Put an End to Snoring" website, www.putanendtosnoring.com.

Dennis Freeman
Roswell, Georgia


To Be Honest...

Sneak attack: Regarding Alan Prendergast's "Welcome to America," in the June 23 issue:

If Moises Carranza-Reyes was looking for honest work, why didn't he go about looking for it in an honest way? Why did he feel the need to violate American law by sneaking into this country without permission? A former police officer should have known better.

It's hard to tell if this article was about problems with for-profit prison systems or if it was to further encourage the victimization and glorification of criminal immigrants in this country. While I agree that when you have a system that rewards private companies for producing new criminals where none may have existed before, simply for profit, it is very dangerous. I would warn you not to ignore the very real consequences of promoting illegal immigration.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in mid-2004 about 100,000 non-citizens were locked up in federal and state prisons. These aren't simply "honest folks lookin' for some honest work," but real criminals -- some murderers, but most connected with violent drug gangs. When many of them work for cash while here illegally, they do not report income. So not only are they contributing nothing back into the system with tax money, but they often are collecting some form of welfare on top of the public services, such as school and health care, that they are abusing for free.

So my question would be why didn't Moises Carranza-Reyes stay in Mexico and work for an honest living? Why has that seemingly important question barely been touched on?

Michael Jordan
Denver

Getting a leg up: "Welcome to America" brought tears to my eyes. While Mexicans are exploited and persecuted in the U.S., here's how I was treated in Mexico when I arrived in December 1984 with $150 to last until spring: I first went to the bottom of Copper Canyon, where Esteban, a Tarahumara Indian who tended an orange grove there, would visit my camp every day to help me with Spanish for a couple of hours. When I arrived in Puerto Vallarta, an engineer helped me order food and then checked me into a cheap hotel. I took the boat to fabulous Yelapa, where the hotel owner let me live free in a unit that had no water. Piri, then the mayor, let me entertain tourists with my tightrope show over the waterfall at his restaurant, where he fed me daily. He also taught me the local healing plants. A local blind woman, known as a seer, told me I'd find everything I needed there, and she was right. As the poorest gringo in town, I had a home, work, a lovely girlfriend and lots of friends. I returned the next year, and was honored to play Jesus during Holy Week.

Moises deserves a lung transplant from thug/sheriff Wegener, and a leg transplant when that's perfected. Here's hoping Colorado becomes part of Mexico again. Soon.

P.S: Mexico is not only part of America, but all of it this side of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec is part of North America.

Evan Ravitz
Boulder

Putting his foot down: I am sorry for Mr. Carranza-Reyes's loss of part of his leg. But if he had not come over the border and stayed in Mexico, none of this would have happened. It's amazing that because of his illegal activity, he has cost the taxpayers almost $700,000.

I also do not understand why he is still living illegally in our city. Shouldn't he be deported back to Mexico? And how can he get a job here without a social security card? And without a job, how is he paying all these lawyers to defend him for his illegal entry into this country?

I am astounded by the last sentence in Alan Prendergast's article: "He will do any work he can, he says, as long as it is honest." Wait a minute. Mr. Carranza-Reyes is not honest. He committed an illegal act by entering this country, and an employer cannot hire illegal immigrants. Maybe he should go back to Mexico and get a job there.

Mike Edmonds
Denver

Et tu: Thank you for "Welcome to America"! The immigrant bashers just don't get it.

What happened to a Mexican national in one of Colorado's jails could happen to any of us. All it takes is a case of mistaken identity or a traffic ticket that you spaced out, and you too could be in the slammer. Wise up, guys.

Jack G. Mudry
Denver


Big Flack Attack

Whine tasting: I either missed or didn't get the point Michael Roberts was making in "PR 101," his June 23 Message about Ray Gomez and Elizabeth Mattern Clark. He took so long to get to the meat of the story, perhaps that's understandable.

I don't know if Gomez is good at what he does or not. Same with Elizabeth Mattern Clark. But it's another ridiculous case of thin-skinned media members overreacting, when they dish out far worse every day and expect those on the other side to accept it. Gomez did something stupid, but it wasn't saying what he thought of a reporter. Is he not entitled to his opinion? Does Roberts never write catty e-mails? And never in the piece did he address the issue: Well, is Gomez right? Is Elizabeth Mattern Clark not the sharpest knife in the drawer?

His stupid act, of course, was hitting the wrong button or typing in the wrong address in a brainlock and sending his assessment to her. Maybe a highly paid PR person should be immune to such brainlock. But it happens. So what? Come on, we've all at least come close to doing that, or we imagine it happening to us. Can't she take it? And the Camera's reaction is childish, petty and laughable. So is the rest of the media's falling into line on this as some sort of fiasco. A PR guy belittled a reporter. It's no different than being overheard. So what?

Maybe in Roberts's next piece he can explore some of these issues instead of going along with the whining media pack.

Eric D. Danielson
Highlands Ranch

PR 411: I read with interest Michael Roberts's column on one of our alumni, Ray Gomez. First, I would like to clarify that William Kostka & Associates is not defunct, but actively serving our clients as Kostka Gleason Communications, to which we changed our name eight years ago when Cynthia Gleason became president and CEO. We would appreciate it if you would set the record straight with your readers.

I remember hiring Ray nearly thirty years ago because he showed great potential. When he moved on, I was very pleased to hear reports from time to time about his progress. He is an outstanding professional and I have followed him with great interest since he returned to Colorado and the University of Colorado. Ray represents a long line of alumni from our firm -- including Dana Crawford, the late Bruce Rockwell, Bill Saul, Ned High, Brian Thomas, Mark Severts and many others -- who have gone on to establish excellent reputations for themselves in business.

Our firm celebrated its 56th anniversary in April and the integrity of these people and many others over our many years contributed greatly to our success.

Bill Kostka
Kostka Gleason Communications


Prepare to Meat Your Maker

A healthy disagreement: Regarding Jason Sheehan's "Changing Course," in the June 23 issue:

What is it with Westword's anti-vegetarian bent? I tried to hold my tongue when the Best of Denver 2005 voted a restaurant in Boulder (Sunflower) -- which serves venison, among other items -- as Best Vegetarian Restaurant. That's the same as voting a Chinese restaurant as Best German Restaurant. And Jason Sheehan's review of WaterCourse was both insulting and elitist.

I'm sorry, but being vegetarian for over twelve years, and my wife being vegetarian for over nineteen years, we were somewhat put off by his off-the-wall labeling of vegetarians as having a " sickly pallor." Most vegetarians I know are shining examples of pristine health. Our friends' children are being raised vegetarian, and in their nine years on this planet I have yet to see them get so much as a sniffle. Why don't you write a review about a steakhouse and point out that the patrons are a bunch of fat lard-asses with pacemaker scars? Oh, but you wouldn't want to generalize.

Being vegetarian is a way of life, and we don't envy or drool over your disgusting chicken sandwich. We see it as dead food, and when you consume death, what do you think you are doing to your body and mind? You should probably travel outside of this cowtown to see that vegetarianism is catching on big-time around the States. And guess what? The food is great, and people are not missing the meat. My praises for WaterCourse, one of the only places in town where people can come and enjoy a meal devoid of the horrors and atrocities committed by the utterly wasteful and destructive meat industry.

Read a bit, Jason, and maybe you'll see the destruction and genocide that your diet causes. In fact, put your money where your mouth is and challenge any hardcore vegetarian to do a health analysis alongside of you, and we'll see who has the "sickly pallor" after the results.

Ian Welling
Denver

His bark-eating is worse than this bite: Jason Sheehan, thanks for being kind to WaterCourse last week. It is so refreshing to read you cutting a veggie restaurant slack. You're a brave man to chow down on any veggie burger, in that they are generally not so much bad as simply boring. Next time you're feeling brave at WaterCourse, I hope you'll try the seitan parmesan, and have 'em swap out the veggies for kale. It truly is the restaurant's finest offering, and pretty damn addictive.

I'll be the first to admit that most veggie places are lukewarm in the outstanding food category: I'm there for the health, not the chicken karma.

Ken Paul
via the Internet

Hemp and haw: I read the review of WaterCourse Foods with a mixed reaction. Half of me was glad, but not surprised, to read that Jason Sheehan was impressed with WaterCourse. After all, judging from my many previous years as an omnivore, WaterCourse easily stands on its own against any restaurant and exceeds most restaurants in culinary delights to be enjoyed. The other half of me was rolling my eyes at some of the stereotypical tripe that self-proclaimed "carnivores" spew about vegetarians, and especially vegans, about how awful vegetarian food generally is and how pitifully deprived vegetarians are of a healthy and good gustatory life.

Real carnivores, like lions and tigers, eat the animal raw because they have the proper teeth and claws to rip through the skin and tear off a hunk of fresh warm, bloody flesh. Humans evolved as omnivores, leaning very heavily vegetarian at that. It is only because of the cruel world of factory-farming that humans have lately been digesting a "lion's share" of flesh, resulting in heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. If factory-farming is so cruel that we cannot even look at it and excess meat and dairy consumption is causing so many health problems, should we be supporting it with our dollars and eating habits?

Speaking of habits, the only way to adequately judge a vegetarian or vegan diet is to try it long enough to learn your likes and dislikes and develop vegetarian habits. Our eating habits are very much like other habits we develop, such as smoking and drinking: They are highly conditioned by our past. Once we develop a habit, sticking to it is like flying on auto-pilot. Give up or cut way back on meat and dairy food for a year or two and not only will you be healthier and feel better, excess meat and dairy food will lose their appeal.

Finally, the vegan animal-rights activists I know, myself included, are just as rosy, tan and dark as our omnivorous friends. The main difference is one you probably can't see: Our vegan cholesterol readings are usually about 50 to 150 points lower than the omnivores' and more in line with "ideal." The hemp sandals? Well, that might be the fairest stereotype brought up in the review, but this vegan activist doesn't own a pair and instead has a good supply of khaki pants and golf shirts.

Dan Cudahy
Avon

A matter of Course: Jason Sheehan's review of WaterCourse was his most entertaining review to date. His back-handed compliments were laugh-out-loud funny. However, his comment regarding pork not improving pancakes was totally incorrect. A few pieces of thick, crisp bacon can improve just about anything. Come on, Jason, you know that. Look past the BBQ.

Chris Bader
Denver


Closed Call

He's with stupid: How is it that every time I look into Westword and read a music critique and it makes no sense, at the end of the article it always says "Roberts"???

I really wish, with Michael Roberts's opinion on music, that he'd stick with MTV and pop music and stay away from the more intricate styles of music, i.e. bluegrass, because he has obviously not been able to get his closed mind around such styles.

He might like to know that I do get some amusement when I read his articles -- as I laugh out loud at the stupidity of his reasoning.

Chris Swain
Denver


Dance Fever

Presence and accounted for: In Dave Herrera's June 16 Beatdown on Christophe Cranberri, he mentions several times how everyone says "Christophe has a certain presence" on stage.

Has Herrera ever seen him dance? He has a certain presence there, too.

Barb Wasko
Englewood


Have a Heart

Woman in front: Thanks to Jason Heller for writing about the Heartless Bastards in the June 16 Now Hear This. They were definitely worth going to the Lion's Lair. It is cool to see a (good) band fronted by a woman. The group that opened for the Heartless Bastards, American Relay, really blew me away. How can two guys make all that music? Talk about talent!

Mary Cook
Denver


Summer in the City

I just loved the Westword 2005 Summer Guide! It was so refreshing and very entertaining!

Rosemary McManis
Denver

Editor's note: If you missed our Summer Guide, a special section inserted in the June 9 issue, you can still find all of the stories and calendar listings online at www.westword.com.


Domo on the Range

What a way to go: What a pleasant surprise to open the June 9 issue and read David Kawamoto's "Way of the Warrior." Domo is one of Denver's best restaurants, but I never realized it had so much history. Now that I know about how Gaku Homma wound up here, I'll appreciate my nights at Domo even more.

Leslie Ryan
Denver

Sensei and sensibility: I very much enjoyed your article about my dojo, Nippon-kan. Through my practice and travels with Homma, I have learned countless lessons and I hope to continue my practice until I become a Sensei.

Diego Rodriguez
Denver