"Reminders," Patricia Calhoun, January 3
On December 22, my family (my husband and I, our two kids and our two dogs) were driving on I-80 by Rawlins. The blowing wind made the road conditions treacherous. We were right there; the horrific accident could have been us.
Could have been us. Those words wouldn't leave my head.
Denver Public Schools
It was not until I returned to Denver that I made the connection of a family from Denver being involved in an accident the same time we were driving home. What we had seen was the accident remnants of "the family from Denver." The visions of those cars resonate in my head. That could have been us.
Forward to last week, when my client brings me Patricia Calhoun's column with her memories of Sandy, John and Chase. I can't explain it, but her words brought closure to this terrible tragedy. Those three people now have faces, names and a brief background to go with the events of that awful day. They sound like wonderful people who will be greatly missed.
Thank you, Patricia Calhoun, for using your "power of the pen" to share your memories. We will never be driving home for a family Christmas again. And even though I will not be able to forget that tragic day any time soon, you've helped me find some closure. And for that, I thank you.
Editor's note: The memorial service for Westword co-founder Sandy Widener, her husband John Parr and their nineteen-year-old daughter Chase Parr will be at 1 p.m. Friday, February 29, at the Buell Theatre, in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Doors will open at noon; a reception will follow. For more on the family, go to johnsandychase.muchloved.com, or read "Reminders" here.
"Today, Over @ Westword.com," Kenny Be, February 7
Kenny Be's mention of the desperate need for substitute teachers in Denver Public Schools in a recent Worst-Case Scenario got a chuckle out of me. If their need is so grave, DPS might consider having a link somewhere on their website for substitute applications. They might also consider returning e-mails, posting a contact name for the sub office or doing any number of fairly basic things to make the process of becoming a substitute teacher less enigmatic and frustrating. I had a state substitute teaching license and had been subbing extensively in two other districts (despite living in Denver), yet it took months of dead ends and several application attempts to get my name on the substitute-teacher list in the district. By the time DPS finally got back to me, looked over my license and my college transcripts and ran a background check (all of which was already on file with the Colorado Department of Education), I had been offered a full-time permanent position at a school in another district.
I have never seen a more convoluted process to apply to be a substitute teacher. Maybe the idea of having a Byzantine system of substitute certification is some clever way of insuring that teachers have computer skills to navigate their badly designed website, have the investigative skills to track down the name of someone to talk to, have the patience to wait on phone calls and unreturned e-mails, and have the free time to actually do a lot of substitute teaching.
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Drunk of the Week, Drew Bixby, February 7
I have to disagree with Drew Bixby's column on Mt. Fuji Japanese Sushi and Hibachi, which in my personal opinion was completely wrong and entirely too negative. I have dined at the Grant Street location on more than five occasions, and in my experience, it has been nothing short of great. Considering the selection in my part of Denver (Governor's Park), it is quite a delight to have something much different for once. The sake shots offered by the chef are a great way to spice up the situation while watching your food cooked before you in an exciting way. That someone would dislike this blows me away. Criticizing the staff is childish and entirely pointless, and never has any chef sung "Rice rice baby" or forced sake on me.
Value: This is what most people are looking for when dining. Mt. Fuji delivers a pleasant bang-for-the-buck experience for those looking for a fun night out.