Letters to the Editor
Milking the joke: Adam Cayton-Holland, you fucking kill me! I'm serious -- I still have your side-splitting bit on Carmelo's plate-tectonic hydroponic chronic saved in my favorites. Last week's What's So Funny on Mile High Milk was likewise pure hilarity.
Keep it rolling -- you're a badass.
A welcome distraction: Thanks for some laughs.
Amelia Langer's August 25 "Another Roadside Distraction" was welcome after a day of reading about great Colorado dads blowing away their three-year-old's brains, molesting children, etc.
Jackpot: Regarding Michael Roberts's "Jacked," in the August 25 issue:
Yeah, I've listened to Jack. It's homogenous and at times very cheesy, but it's better than so many Top 40 stations.
What it's not better than is the Mountain. Roberts talks about the 2,000-song playlist on Jack like it's impressive. The Mountain's playlist is ten times that, and not nearly as cheesy. Reminds me (somewhat) of AM radio in the '70s, before everything got splintered. Charlie Rich, followed by Bread, followed by Deep Purple, followed by America, followed by the Eagles, etc., etc.
Just my opinion. Nice piece, by the way.
Life lessons: I read "Screwed for Life," Patricia Calhoun's well-written column in the August 18 issue. This is an astounding situation, and it's sad to have someone's life ruined by overly ambitious, politically motivated people. I am the mother of three adult, college-educated children; any one of my children could have been in the same situation as Kumbe.
We were lucky; Kumbe was very unlucky.
Making a list: Patricia Calhoun's "Screwed for Life" angered me tremendously. It angered me because I personally know a man who downloaded hundreds of files of child porn on his computer, yet when the law and social services found out, he never had to be on probation and he never was entered in a sex-offender file. The reason? I think it has to do with a statement his lawyer made to the district attorney: "You can't prove my client downloaded those files. His wife and children could have downloaded them!" (Both of his children were under nine.)
There is very little justice in this world: People who shouldn't be on the sex-offender list are, and people who should be there aren't. The sad thing is that too many parents think a sex-offender list is all they need to keep their children safe. They don't realize how many people have escaped justice.
Name withheld on request
Data rape: In her letter last week, Tamika D. Payne of the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault wrote that "only 2 percent of rape claims are false allegations." Does this include the hundreds, if not thousands, of folks like Kumbe who copped to a "guilty" plea on the false promises from a broken system that would, they mistakenly thought, allow them to just (eventually) get on with their lives rather than get dragged through endless legal costs and a possible prison sentence for something they didn't do? And she has the gall to accuse Westword of a "lack of facts"?
She states, if I may paraphrase, that CCASA (or is it "CCACA"?) promotes active communication between young people who are going to engage in sex. That's amazing. So besides skewing facts and pointing out the obvious to young folks who are ready to get it on, does CCASA actually do anything? Or is it yet another worthless, politically correct, bureaucratic organization run by half-wits and rejects who seek lifelong revenge for their own inadequacies and personal, tragic history on the short bus to school? Much like the same organization that unfortunately has the law on its side as it forces people like Kumbe Ginnane to jump through hoops eternally for a crime he most likely never committed?
Furthermore, I fail to see how Westword's pointing out the race issues in this case is discounting anything, as Payne states. Race is obviously an issue, especially at the University of Colorado and especially in Boulder, both in this case and in many other disturbing Boulder happenings over the years.
The local irony of this whole fucked-up social issue is that the very same political correctness that emanates from Boulder like bacteria from the center of a cesspool is the foundation of twisted logic that keeps any real justice from occurring, and that Boulder consistently is the location where these types of events keep happening.
Lie detector: No question, Kumbe Ginnane lied.
At least seven times. He lied to Detective Tim Delaria of the University of Colorado police when he was asked if he sexually assaulted a number of women at CU-Boulder during the 1990-1991 school year. He lied to the Boulder District Attorney's Office. He lied to the jury. He lied to his family. He lies in his book, From Regret to Rape. He lies on his website. And he lied to Patricia Calhoun, editor of Westword.
Kumbe Ginnane, rapist, was convicted of one count of first-degree sexual assault and one count of third-degree sexual assault in 1992.
I am the victim of that third-degree sexual assault -- a humiliating, painful experience for me. I am also the first victim to come forward, first to the CU housing department, then to the police. Ginnane would have you believe that there was only one victim, who accused him of rape out of regret, spite and envy. But there were three victims who went to court. And there were other victims who gave statements to police, but for one reason or another, their cases did not result in prosecution. The third victim to press charges told the detective Ginnane liked to grab women's crotches regularly. "Maybe it's like a handshake to him," she told police.
He went to trial on four counts of sexual assault of varying degrees and one count of harassment.
I remember testifying against him, what I wore, how it felt, how much I wanted to throw up. I shook so hard that I kept stepping on my own feet as I sat on the stand, hoping to stop them from trembling. I wore a purple silk blouse and a black wool skirt. Pantyhose. Black loafers. I faced a hostile courtroom full of his supporters, and I told my story. I had only one reason to put myself through it: He assaulted me. I wasn't allowed to see the others testify.
The jury found him guilty on two of those counts. He was sentenced to six months behind bars in my case, and eight years in prison for the gang rape. When Judge Joseph Bellipanni released Ginnane on probation six months later, he swore on the Bible that he was sorry for his crimes and promised that he would never recant his guilt.
He recanted. And failed to comply with sex-offender treatment. And had anger-management issues that came to light in therapy. He went back to Cañon City for a reason.
Ginnane would like you to believe that he is a victim of the system, but if you look at the facts of this fifteen-year-old case, you'll see that he leaves out facts that don't benefit him, makes up other facts and twists even more facts. Ginnane was offered a deal if he'd plead guilty to third-degree sexual assault. He declined it, now telling Calhoun he refused "because it involved the word Œsexual,' and he believed he was innocent of sexual assault," but my guess is he was playing the odds.
There had never been an acquaintance-rape conviction in Boulder, and possibly all of Colorado. At the time, it seemed unlikely that he would ever be convicted. Why plead to anything if he thought he could get away with it?
Ginnane told Calhoun, "If you are going to have sex with women, don't be rude to them." But this was never a matter of rudeness; it's been a matter of rape and sexual assault. What Ginnane did to me was far beyond rude; it was sex acts without my consent. He didn't penetrate me (thank God), but what he did do was pretty damaging to me. Two weeks into my college career, Ginnane changed everything. I never knew how vulnerable I was, even in public, until I met him.
That was not what my parents had hoped I would learn at CU. My youngest sister is just beginning her freshman year at a university in Colorado. I can only hope that our landmark case makes it a safer place for her. I just hope no one's gullible enough to believe a proven liar. It might just turn the clock back fifteen years.
Name withheld on request
Porn again: Regarding Patricia Calhoun's "Comic Relief," in the August 11 issue:
I've never read or even looked at the so-called Spanish porn that has caused so much controversy at the Denver Public Library. However, I have read quite a few "romance" novels written in English. After reading all the stories and letters concerning this subject, I get the feeling that the two genres are pretty comparable. The romance novels have some very racy story lines, and some of the passages are downright pornographic. So why is it okay for the average English-speaking person to read this "trash," but not for the average Spanish-speaking person? It sounds to me like it's coming down to the same old reason that we should have gotten past by now: racism.
This really comes across as petty. Don't the local radio blowholes have more important things to talk about?
Queen bees: Michael Roberts is completely insane or tone deaf, because the Flaming Lips' version of "Bohemian Rhapsody" is the worst song on the Killer Queen CD (Playlist, August 11). It is not even in tune with the original song. It is completely awful and, in my opinion, an insult to Freddie Mercury.
It is obvious Roberts is not a fan of American Idol, which in my opinion makes him very biased. Constantine Maroulis's rendition of "Rhapsody" is the best song on that whole CD. Believe me when I say that Roberts is in the minority with his idiotic assessment. Constantine sang that song with great emotion and passion, and if Freddy is turning in his grave, it is not because of Constantine, but rather because of the Flaming Lips. Constantine's version was a copy of the original, because that is what he was asked to do. They already had a version that differs from the original; it made sense for there to be a similar version also added in remembrance of Freddie.
Maybe if Roberts had done a little more research, he could have discovered this himself.
Mercury's rising: Was Michael Roberts listening to the same album I was? I actually love Killer Queen (a few songs that I didn't especially care for at first have grown on me), save two tracks: "Bicycle Race" and the Flaming Lips' "Bohemian Rhapsody." The latter is unlistenable, in my opinion, and sounds like Muppets on speed. Somewhere, Freddie Mercury is rolling over in his grave. On the other hand, Constantine Maroulis's version (with the outstanding cast of We Will Rock You singing backup), while faithful to Freddie in many ways, is also different enough in its own right...and a fitting tribute to Queen and Freddie Mercury. I also like the cuts from Sum 41, Breaking Benjamin and Josh Homme.
I had to write because I think Roberts missed the boat, and that sentiment is echoed by everyone I know who has listened to the CD.
Elk Grove, California
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