Beer Today, Gone Tomorrow
I can't thank you enough for the incredibly realistic portrayal of the Coors Field vendors in Justin Berton's "Blood Sweat and Beers," in the July 8 issue. Having been a vendor with the Rockies for their first five years, it brought a smile to my face. But the one thing your story couldn't tell was the exquisite joy of being able to be a part of something so special. For me and many others, it was more than the best job we've ever had. I had the opportunity to work with and meet some of the finest people I will ever know. To become a part of these people's lives, not just to serve them a beer, was a true honor. These men and women are more a part of that stadium than anyone will ever realize.

So to Earthman, Shellie and all my other fellow vendors (even Bob), I raise my own beer and scream the words "Sixteen ounces of pure liquid love!"

Howie Kaplan
via the Internet

Congrats to Justin Berton, who tells the story of how Denver has further turned sports into a cutthroat business. As a seven-year vendor myself, I have been fortunate to work at a great stadium with fans who love the game and have become my friends and customers. For someone who dreamed as a boy of playing on the field of dreams, vending on the field of beers is the next best thing.

Paul "The Sauce" VanBeusichen

Another Poor Performance
Regarding Stuart Steers's "Born and Razed," in the July 8 issue:
The people living in the 250 low-income housing units are not all "criminals" (as your sub-headline painted the picture: "Terrorized for years by the criminals next door..."). I don't know any of the people living in East Village, but a good guess would be that most are folks just getting by, unable to afford Denver's escalating rental prices.

I've lived in Five Points for six years, the last three just a few blocks away from East Village. In my short time here, on my block alone, I've seen a nonprofit housing developer buy three properties, displacing seven low-income units and a popular soup kitchen (to be replaced with mostly market-rate condos). Two hundred feet from my front door is Sonny Lawson Park--recently fenced and locked, without warning, and closed to the public unless you have a permit. Across the street is a liquor store (owned by a "pillar" of the community) that does big business selling 40s to any alcoholic looking for a fix.

Near the end of the article, Steers says that mixing middle-class and low-income is a national trend and that cities "are now acting on the theory that poor people and their children will be more successful at work and in school if they have neighbors who act as role models." Do poor people, me included, have a disease I'm not aware of? The only thing different between poor people and other people is that poor folks do most of the hard work wealthy folks refuse to do. Millions and millions of people are not paid a living wage, and for that they're called some kind of inferior sub-human being that needs "role models."

The only thing we poor people need is to organize to stop undemocratic neighborhood association dictators and well-intentioned yet grossly out-of-touch bureaucrats like Jennifer Moulton.

Mark Schneider

Rocky Mountain Guy
I enjoyed the July 8 Off Limits item about the commercialization of John Denver songs. You missed one good opportunity, though. I'd have suggested that even the People's Republic of China could get in on the act. I don't know the album name or the year or anything, but the august, though late, Mr. Denver wrote and recorded a song called "Shanghai Breezes," presumably while he was farting around in Asia a few years back. I like the song, but I'm afraid most people today would say it stinks.

John Ottem
via the Internet

Why must you continue to bash and belittle John Denver? Why won't you let him rest in peace? Is it because he displayed more talent in one song than you have in two decades of mediocre Westword issues?

Jayne Fox

That's the Way the Ball Bounces
Eric Dexheimer's July 1 "Devil to Play," about Larry Gabler and the Colorado Tennis Association's ratings fiasco, is a very accurate and honest assessment of the USTA's 4.5 tennis league.

Before reading the article, I had a negative impression of Larry Gabler's practices. I now see that Mr. Gabler has a much better understanding of who is a 4.5 player than does the Colorado Tennis Association. The CTA has no concept of who belongs at what level, yet they routinely keep 4.5 teams from being able to compete by raising players to 5.0 based on an unreliable formula. The only team they can't touch is Mr. Gabler's, because he understands how to play their game better than they do. What has happened in Colorado is that the CTA has become Mr. Gabler's biggest ally by making sure no other team has the same high level of talent as Gabler's team. It appears that Mr. Gabler has complete control of his players' ratings, while the rest of us are controlled by the misguided practices of the CTA.