"A Cut Above," Jason Sheehan, May 22
Jason Sheehan, your pseudo-review of Sushi Katsuya manifests your persona as a self-aggrandizing, pretentious foodie-poseur. Did you know that irashaimase is the customary greeting at practically all places of business in Japan? That's right, even at McDonald's. Everyone in Japan greets customers in unison. Whether it's raining or not. It's what the Japanese do. It's culture — something not easily learned from "Saturday-afternoon kung-fu movies." It's like employees at Wal-Mart wearing a "How may I help you?" vest.
I admire your smelling of the miso soup. As anyone who writes about food should know, the olfactory sensation is closely linked to the sensation of taste. I appreciate your masked encouragement (albeit completely and ridiculously pretentiously written) to smell the food. However, I would have appreciated your dog-shaking-rabbit paragraph devoted to something more intelligent than yourself and your otherworldly ability to appreciate food. With a fork.
In a crowded alt-weekly, sir, nobody notices such self-gratification. In an empty one, everyone does.
Consider me, Jason, as the hazmat team for your oily pools of text. You have taken up an entire page of Denver's premier alt-weekly with nothing other than self-promotion as an alleged connoisseur, rambling on about soup-smelling, burner-touching, whiskey-drinking and drug usage. I clearly see how that turned out.
Justin M. Warner
"Going, Going, Gone," Adam Cayton-Holland, May 22
Adam Cayton-Holland did a great job in his story outlining the plight of the Gunnison sage grouse, one of the most threatened birds in North America. But he missed one small fact, one that adds a unique political twist to the story. He neglects to mention that it was San Miguel County — not our enviro-group partners — that led the lawsuit to get the Gunnison sage grouse reconsidered for listing, and it's been San Miguel County that's taken the lead in challenging the non-listing decision by the Department of Interior as possibly tainted by political interference from Bush appointees.
Given the imperiled status of the bird from oil-and-gas development, encroaching real estate and now the Western Slope's upcoming uranium boom, San Miguel County — with the second-largest population of this species in the world — believes the Gunnison sage grouse needs the federal government at any local table, working with us to protect this amazing bird, not against us.
Commissioner Art Goodtimes
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"Zoned Out," Joel Warner, May 1
Nice article. One thing that might be helpful is to point out court decisions that have given cities the right to zone, and the responsibilities that come with that power. Basically, the Supreme Court decided in 1926 (Ambler v. Euclid) that cities have the right to zone property. But zoning must be based on a comp plan. Denver has a comp plan, Blueprint Denver is a supplement to the comp plan, and Blueprint Denver identifies those recently rezoned areas of northwest Denver as single family (there are some questions about what the map in BPD actually means). Anyway, in this case the city is not taking away property rights by rezoning. It's exercising its police power. Cities do not have to provide a property owner the maximum financial benefit (Penn Central v. New York City). Cities may not prohibit the owner from accessing the property and may not stop the owner from preventing others from accessing the property (Dolan v. Tigard). That's the short version, but it's accurate enough.
Some of the new houses going up may be considered ugly, but that is beyond the scope of Denver's zoning code today.