"New Forecast," Michael Roberts, September 20
I found the "compassionate conservative" pet tricks cute, but I'd be more impressed if Dana Perino could teach the president to be open, honest and truthful.
"Fourplay," Michael Roberts, September 27
Sitting here at Tokyo Joe's reading Michael Roberts's latest Message, I had to comment on David Harsanyi's claim that "Aurora councilmembers have no political affiliation." That's just silly. We are elected in nonpartisan elections (like every other city councilmember in Colorado, per the state constitution), but every one of us has a party affiliation. Ryan Frazier's a Republican, I'm a Democrat; there are currently four Ds and seven Rs on Aurora City Council, and not one councilmember is unaffiliated. Some of us (like Ryan and myself) are quite active in our respective party organizations, others not so much.
Of course, if you lined up the Aurora council on the traditional left-to-right spectrum, it wouldn't be four on one end and seven on the other. I'd be amazed if we were ever to have a vote that divided along party lines.
Aurora City Council
"Duck, Duck, Noose," Adam Cayton-Holland, September 27
During lunch, Scott D. Clarke came up in discussion since he works in our building. I was not aware of Adam Cayton-Holland's What's So Funny column, so a colleague grabbed a Westword, and I proceeded to read it aloud. My three colleagues and I laughed hard at Adam's clever writing style until I articulated words like "closet homosexual," "fag" and "closet queer." The room was silent, the discomfort was thick, and the ability to regain the ease of laughter slow.
While I enjoyed the article, I believe the direct insult toward gays was unnecessary to get Adam's point across. I'm disappointed and shocked that an editor would not have asked him to remove those irrelevant correlations from his piece and just stick with the Scott-bashing. In Denver, we have a wonderful gay and gay-supporting community, and I am certain my thoughts would be shared by many.
By the way, I have never written to a writer before; please let this be an indication of how bothered I was by a portion of Adam's comments.
Laura, aka Savage Lucy
Denver Roller Dolls
Aurora City Council
"Killer Instinct," Luke Turf, September 20
Thank you for Luke Turf's "Killer Instinct." I feel much sadness over Michael Tate's difficult life. He should have been found not guilty due to insanity. He clearly suffers from some mental illness(es) and should have been sent to a mental-health facility for treatment, not prison. Also, I think sentencing for juveniles is far too severe in general. After I read the article, I couldn't even sleep that night.
I have read other letters to Westword regarding "Killer Instinct," angry letters that condemned Michael Tate. I don't understand that. I had expected to see letters of sympathy. Here is mine.
Thank you for your story, which was both chilling and heart-rending. As the adoptive mom of four children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, I believe that condition may have been the underlying diagnosis that your medical sources missed with Michael Tate. He fits the profile very well. FASD is very common in jail inmates.
You would do all of us a great favor by doing a follow-up story on FASD and its impact on children. There is no treatment and no cure — only prevention.
"Evan Almighty," Joel Warner, September 13
I loved Joel Warner's story on Evan Makovsky. I look forward to seeing what he does with that block, which has long been a blight on downtown.
I've seen a lot of changes downtown. A facelift to block 162 will soon be one of them. Kudos to Evan Makovsky for what he has taken on. People may never appreciate the deals, but soon they'll see a shiny new development in Denver.
For 33 years, my business has occupied the fourth floor of the "Fontius" building. Patients asked if I owned the building. If I did, long ago I would have breathed new life into it. Our city isn't so young after all. The Landmark Preservation Commission doesn't make Mr. Makovsky's job harder; they make it possible for him to prove that Denver history is "not a cold brick to us."
From that fourth floor, we've helped a lot of people to see — more than an eye chart. Our loyal patients know you don't judge a book by its cover; it's what's inside that counts. Good books have tattered covers; tattered covers need mending, and (fortunately) this book isn't even finished. It's too bad if the cover is all you see, because the real story is inside it. The heartbeat of a city is in the people, because buildings get "boarded up and beleaguered," as someday Mr. Makovsky's will be.
Dr. R. Alderete
"All Bets Are Off," Jessica Centers, September 27
Having worked for a venue that hosted Amateur Poker Tour games (Club Zodiac until it closed), I share the following thoughts:
Neither Matt Sowash nor Andrew "Doc" Hicks are guilty of any criminal activity. They are guilty of making bad business decisions, and seeing Sowash conduct himself was flat-out pathetic. I got to know Doc Hicks pretty well and, simply put, he's a great guy who didn't completely know what he was getting into. I am hoping the man lands on his feet and will be able to move forward.
APT made two big mistakes. The first was doing the $200 Gold Club membership. My boss at Zodiac was a no-nonsense businessman and saw disaster coming: If money was being exchanged in this state in terms of poker, it was going to be viewed as gambling. The second was how APT tried to keep the tournament in Vegas going despite the CBI raid. The popularity of APT at the time was sky-high; they should have canceled everything prior to anyone going to Vegas, and I believe they would have weathered that storm.
Brian Masters can pat himself on the back for being the first person to do a free poker deal for bars, but after numerous encounters with the man, I can honestly say he's a prick and completely ungrateful to anyone who's involved with DPT. Brian should have taken note that there was a reason people were flocking to APT in its heyday — because most people couldn't stand him.
"A Full Tank," Erin Vanderberg, September 27
The Truck Stops Here
I am a truck driver, local haul, and wanted to let you know that the Sapp Bros. truck stop sells biodiesel as well. In this article, you said there were only two places to get biodiesel in Denver. Perhaps you can give them a plug as well, as truck stops should all be doing it, but Sapp Bros. is one of the few.
"Don't Wet Yourself!," Kenny Be, September 27
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I enjoy a pretty active sense of humor, and so I was able to chuckle at Kenny Be's Worst-Case Scenario lampooning Denver Water's efforts with water-conservation campaigns. While it's good to laugh, let's remember that water-resource conservation is important to the residents of the Front Range, the state of Colorado and the American West. If you'd be so kind as to direct your readers to a couple of sites that feature links to good information on this topic, www.dcwater.org and www.cwcb.state.co.us/conservation are two great places to start.
Mark Shively, chair
Douglas County Water Resource Authority
Thanks to the intrepid Kenny Be for being, as a political cartoonist, one of the only journalists in this town willing to publish anything about Denver Water's outrageous deal to "recycle" Superfund site-laced water. Readers wanting to know more should dig up Westword's 2001 "Dirty Secrets" series by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Eileen Welsome. She reported on what's not so ducky about the plutonium-saturated Lowry Landfill southeast of Denver.
Keep it up, Kenny. You have your ducks in a row on this one.
Metro Wastewater boardmember, 1996-1998