From Whom the Baby Bell Tolls
Regarding Stuart Steers's "Disconnected," in the April 8 issue:
Whenever people such as Sol Trujillo talk about the thorough competitiveness of the telecommunications industry here in the state of Colorado, he had better read some of the comments made in this outstanding Westword article. Thanks for showing the purpose of a free press here in the United States and, yes, even in a monopolistic environment such as Colorado's.

Emile Sissac
via the Internet

I can verify everything negative mentioned about US West: I worked there. I used to be a design engineer at the Capacity Provisioning division in Littleton. CP is the division that handles the maintenance, planning, design and construction of all the phone cables and conduits; my job as an engineer was to plan and prepare drawings for construction or rearrangement of existing lines, cables and conduits. I can remember a number of occasions working on held orders for residential lines and being asked to stop and work on large business orders such as a Wal-Mart account. US West no more cares for residential or rural customers than does its competition.

I believe the company's pledge to upgrade the network is bogus; it has been saying that for years. Even in urban areas, I was reusing rotting cables buried in 1912. Remember the cable cut a number of weeks ago near Colfax and Bellaire (near a central office), which left 12,000 customers without service? That repair would not have taken so long if the cut cables were color-coded; they, too, were very old cables in an urban area!

Just like its competitors, US West targets only business and could give a shit about residential customers. I would like to add I am not a former employee who is disgruntled. In fact, I enjoyed my tenure at the company, which paid for my master's degree, and other benefits were excellent. The problem I had was with the lack of scruples. Every day I was there, the company became more and more amoral. Admittedly, I probably cannot avoid this everywhere I work, but I had another opportunity to help shape a company.

Bye-bye, US West, and thanks for the degree.
Roger Singleton
via the Internet

Fantastic article! Can you help us do a similar expose on US West's activities in Wyoming?

Brett Glass
via the Internet

Editor's note: As predicted in Stuart Steers's piece, last week state representative Jack Taylor of Steamboat Springs introduced legislation that would deregulate many of US West's services in Colorado, place new requirements on US West competitors and add surcharges on local telephone bills to fund telecommunication improvements in rural areas. But after reading Westword's story about the proposed bill, several members of the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee voiced misgivings, and the committee vote was postponed until Tuesday, when it passed by one vote. It now goes to the full House.

Turks in the World
First of all, thank you for your publication. I must admit that I used to only read the movie showtimes, but I have since expanded my horizons.

After reading T.R. Witcher's "The Young and the Restless," in the April 1 issue, I have to say this writer moved me. Having no knowledge of the political history of Denver, my eyes were really opened by this article. I recently moved here from Los Angeles. Yeah, I know, another Californian--sorry, couldn't be helped.

Anyway, Witcher should be applauded. His article was refreshing, insightful, thought-provoking and at times humorous. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks for the educational experience. And thanks, Westword, for the opportunity to share my thoughts!

Audrey J. Sherrod
via the Internet

Lieutenant Governor George Brown's branding tale, along with the Reverend Gill Ford's assertion that Mayor "Beef" Wellington Webb possesses the power to simply "will" a better northeast neighborhood, dramatically illustrate the historical mentality of these so-called leaders: to demand sympathy, resulting in demands for handouts from the great white fathers. All are apparently oblivious to the obvious: In order to create trade and commerce within the confines of the glorified "'hood," first and foremost a transformation must take place, a return to the values and standards of black neighborhoods of yesteryear--family-friendly, with safe and secure schools and streets that serve as recruitment and advertising tools to attract families, which in turn will create a demand for legit services far beyond the firewater and fried-chicken shacks that today dot the landscape.

Reverend Ford is unable to admit that what has driven off business in northeast Denver are the thugs, winos, bums and generations of parentless children, all of whom prey upon the weak and old in their neighborhoods. Ask any child or senior citizen whom they fear, and the answer will be not the KKK or Mark Fuhrman-like cops. It will be LaSheika and LaTenika's multiple offspring, who run wild in the streets and schools, destroying not just the lives and dreams of good, decent people, but their property values also. Ford also fails to point out that these destructive human elements inflate the unemployment numbers because they have failed to take advantage of public education and training, thus possessing no skills to pay the bills or buy their own babies' meals.