Mall in the Family

Letters to the Editor

Governmess: Many thanks for Jared Jacang Maher's timely "Malled," in the October 20 issue. The fierce competition between cities for sales-tax revenue is not confined to the northern metro area, however, as my city, Lakewood, tries to steal shopper dollars from Wheat Ridge, Golden, Arvada and Denver (as they do to us). The results are municipalities that act more like Nike and Adidas than governments, calling for better marketing, branding and product placement. Lakewood's current tax proposal (No. 2A on the ballot) is less a need to cover a budget deficit than to get seed money for redeveloping West Colfax into wall-to-wall malls and housing projects, and it has gutted its zoning code in order to do so.

This madness is driving sprawl like a wildfire and could only have been crafted by real estate developers. The current developer fad is Mixed Use Development (or MUD, as I like to call it), where a city makes damn sure it captures enough shopping dollars by erecting high-density housing in the middle of a mall (or maybe it's a mall in the middle of a housing project!), so that people can step out on their front porch to get the morning paper, trip and fall into a Starbucks or a Waffle House. Not too many of us in Colorado want to live like that -- noise, clutter, crowding, commercialism --though I understand New York City is pretty popular (in New York).



This urbanization dynamic is not written in stone, though, and we can change it by voting down tax measures such as Lakewood's; supporting legislation coming up that curbs the taking of private property by government for anything but a public purpose, like a hospital or a highway; and asking your representative to change the way sales tax revenue is charged in Colorado. Cities can go back to being cities (instead of governmess) and focus on jobs and services for their residents. Residents can wake up in the morning knowing their homes or small businesses will not be taken away from them by their cities and they won't, knock on wood, have a mall smacking them in the face.

Susan Williams

The Moron the Merrier

Be prepared! Once again, another whining moron with no answers. I refer to Adam Cayton-Holland and his October 13 What's So Funny, about emergency preparedness. Seriously, this is the type of response that should have ended with the columnist saying, "We should do something about apathy, or not?"

At the very least, someone took the time and initiative to bring to the attention of Colorado residents that we have to be responsible for our own lives regardless of the situation, and to not get caught with our pants down or standing around waiting with our thumb up our ass for the government to show up. Regardless of who organized the campaign, Prepare Colorado makes sense -- but this moron felt compelled to trash the attempt to prepare residents for a possible natural or man-made disaster. It amazes me how Cayton-Holland gave no examples of any intelligent alternatives, just made unwarranted attacks on the mayor and lieutenant governor and the typical sky-is-falling reaction -- i.e., discussing disaster possibilities at the workplace.

As an example, he gave the employee announcing to surrounding co-workers that he/she would like to discuss natural disasters. What an idiot response. Most human resource departments are mandated by law to discuss sexual harassment, yet no one stands up and screams, "Stop looking at my tits!" In the workplace, race relations are also discussed, but no one stands up and screams, "Whitey is the man and he is keeping me down" when he is speaking to a supervisor or human resource representative to bring awareness to the workplace. So why is discussing a natural disaster any worse? The moron who wrote this article is looking for another hate-the-establishment knee-jerk reaction (no alternatives, just finger-pointing and sarcasm), but I guarantee when something happens, he will wish he had prepared. I can only hope that Darwinism is correct, and this moron gets caught with his thumb up his ass waiting for government aid that might not come.

Brian Thomas Cox

If the Shoe Fits

In the pink: I love my Crocs, and I loved Alan Prendergast's "A Really Big Shoe," in the October 13 issue. I have pairs in six colors, including the pink that was on the cover. Although Alan could not find a pair that worked for him, I encourage him to keep looking. He won't be disappointed.

Stacy Hanover

Croc of shit: A seven-page article about Crocs? Are you kidding? Seriously, Alan Prendergast has to find something else to write about. I got to page two and found it incredibly boring. I can't imagine reading the whole thing.

Can you say "overkill"?

Scott Mickels
via the Internet

Vroom With a View

Park and chide: Flipping through the October 6 Westword, Jared Jacang Maher's "Scoot!" caught my eye -- something about the phrase "Peoples and Vespas." Maybe it's the fact that scooters have always been a bit of an annoyance to me. Naturally, I thought the article was either going to bash them or praise them, so I decided to take a look, and I found myself getting rather irritated with a fellow student.

Every Monday and Wednesday, I commute from southwest Denver to the Auraria campus. Many of my friends and family call me crazy for doing so when I already pay a transportation fee in my tuition, which means I have unlimited access to light rail and the bus. When the cold weather rolls in, though, I find it hard to make myself wait outside for light rail to pick me up, so I suck it up and pay the $3.75 to park in the garage conveniently located next to my classroom. (I'm not going to lie; finding an extra $7.50 a week just for parking isn't easy with gas prices and other expenses these days.)

When I read that there were students complaining that they have to pay $2.75 to park their little scooters with the other "motor bikes," I became upset. I think it's great that they're saving gas and are being pious and making a statement on the war, but I'm a struggling student, too, and I'm not lobbying to fight the campus police, or, I'm sorry, the "Nazis" that I never really see around campus anyway. And when I do, they don't bother me and are just trying to do their jobs and execute the rules of the campus, which is a pedestrian mall, by the way. (If you can't skateboard, you shouldn't be able to bring a motorized vehicle on campus, right?)

Once the whole Vespa trend dies down, I'm sure we'll all stop hearing about the little "art display" on Speer, and hopefully we'll start hearing about more important issues on campus -- like tuition fees rising.

Nadine Delongschamp

Chile Today, Hot Tomorrow

Pot calling kettle: Patricia Calhoun's "Blow Hards," in the October 6 issue, was an awesome article. I talk to a lot of people who feel the same way about illegal immigrants and the direction our country is going, but are afraid to voice their opinions for fear of being looked upon as not "politically correct." I think PC is just another ploy by our oversized and overpowered government to keep honest peoples' mouths shut so they can keep running over us and raping us of the very rights that are supposed to make us free.

I emphasize "illegal" because I want to make it very clear that I'm in no way opposed to anyone coming here from another country to pursue a better way of life -- as long as they do so legally and respect our traditions, language, laws, holidays and way of life. Let's face it, unless you're a Native American, your ancestors came from some other country. But when my ancestors came over here, they made it a point to be as American as possible. They respected and participated in our holidays. They not only learned English, but only spoke their native language in their home. They respected our traditions and our religion. Now we have all kinds of illegal and legal immigrants coming to this country because they want something better for themselves and their families, but they insist on pushing their language, culture and beliefs on us. If we resist, then they say we are racist. This is a bunch of crap. This country is one big melting pot, but the chefs (our forefathers) long ago already said we are making stew. Now all the new immigrants want to throw their ingredients in and say we're making chile. I don't think so. We're ending up with some slop that no one wants to eat.

We have a lot of immigrants who have come here and influenced change. Now that it is getting out of control, we are all bitching and moaning and blaming the immigrants. We should be blaming ourselves. One, for being so self-centered and not paying attention to the world around us. Two, for not teaching the immigrants that they can't impose on us and influence us.

Brady Kelly

The wages of sin: This is in response to Chris O'Leary's October 13 letter denouncing the Minuteman patrols. I'm Hispanic even though my surname is not, and I disagree with the open-border proponents. If a total stranger broke into your home or walked in and helped himself to your possessions, that person would be arrested for burglary and trespassing. The illegals who sneak into our nation without abiding by immigration laws should be deported without any chance of amnesty. I grew up sixty miles north of the Mexican border, and the majority of longtime Mexican-Americans don't agree with illegals sneaking into America, since it lowers wages for all working-class Americans.

Mr. O'Leary, I don't know what you do for a living, but from my observations and experience, the left is stupid and the right is wrong. Yes, employers of illegals should be severely fined, since their greed blinds them to the future consequences of their actions. Government is a reflection of society, and we are getting what we deserve. The framers of the Constitution forewarned us on everything that is happening to America politically, economically and socially.

David P. Fosca

Good Luck!

A matter of choice: This is in response to Phranque Wright's letter in the October 6 issue:

Choices: that is what freedom is all about. I personally believe that the Bible is "right on." I completely disagree with your opinion about God and the Bible, but I accept his opinion; please accept mine. The Lord gives every one of us a choice. We can chose Him or we can deny Him. We also must be willing to accept the consequences of this choice. He doesn't force anyone to accept Him. With regard to the Bible in schools, I feel we should not ban any books from libraries, any library. If you feel the Bible should be banned, what other books should be banned? Why is it so many are afraid of the Bible? I also get the impression that you feel Bible believers are "a threat to society, and all that is good." Please define good. What is good? Who sets the standard for good? Many people I see have varied views of what good really is to them.

Thank you for your allowing me to express my contrary view, hopefully without "fear of damnation."

Mark Wennstedt


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