Letters to the Editor

Call Waiting

At your service: The skepticism expressed by Stuart Steers regarding Qwest's promises to treat Colorado customers more professionally is justified. US Worst's long history of treating its "home state" customers as servants is well-documented, and most of us have a horror story. Even as a resident of Denver, I was told by US West that I could not subscribe to DSL service because my home is too far from a switching station. When I asked how this could be fixed, I was mockingly told that I could build them a new station, closer to my home. I would not care to imagine what rural customers are told. Good luck, Qwest. The hole you are starting from is deep and wide.
Adam Bartolik

Heavy Petting

Junior birdman: Bravo to Michael Roberts for his wry July 6 piece on the rebarbative Chuck Green! A quick message to said Chuck: You get offended by people laughing at you as a "pet worshiper" and defend yourself as just being an animal lover, not a member of PETA or a vegetarian. Dude, many of us find you ridiculous because you get all saccharine about the sorts of animals that get dressed up in Santa suits while chowing down on the less cuddly -- and considerably more dignified -- ones. C'mon, Chuck. Join PETA. And get a sense of humor.

Incidentally, you shouldn't kiss birds, since human saliva can transmit microorganisms causing serious illnesses in birds. (I'm not making this up -- scout's honor.)
Barbara Goodrich

Every dog has his day: When Jerry Garcia died, Chuck Green wrote an article that seemed to be designed to raise the ire of Deadheads. He attacked Garcia and those who respected him. I e-mailed Mr. Green, asking whether he had actually done any research into the life of Garcia, or if he was just an opportunist willing to throw salt into the wounds of many saddened people in order to sell a paper. I expected his response would sound something like, "As a journalist, it is my job to provoke thought, and if my article made you question your path in life, I feel I did my job well." Instead, he told me I had "obviously wasted my brain through a lifetime of drugs and lousy music," even though I had never had any contact with him before and had sent him just the single e-mail. I have not read a single column he has written since, but I was not surprised to read that he works with people who generally don't like him and that his closest connections seem to be with animals.
James Scott
via the Internet

Murder, She Wrote

Supermarket sweep: Regarding Juliet Wittman's "A Question of Intent," in the July 6 issue:

A man walks into a Safeway, robs it, and is foiled exiting the store by four men. One of the men dies from the exertion of stopping the robber. A Colorado law states that the robber can be charged with first-degree murder. A judge decides to throw out the felony-murder charge. So far, I can follow.

In the case of Lisl Auman, who one day found herself a passenger in a car driven by someone she knew only vaguely and was growing increasingly mistrustful of, and subsequently watched in horror as he went on to murder a police officer and then commit suicide while she is handcuffed in the back of a police car -- for her to be held accountable for the officer's death is beyond ludicrous, beyond words. It is insane. As an outraged community, we had a need for a scapegoat, and the murderer had taken that from us when he took his own life. Lisl just happened to be convenient -- and legally possible, based on this law.

I, for one, would like to know who is benefiting from this young woman spending the rest of her life in prison? I personally don't feel a need to be protected from a girl who was handcuffed in the back of a police car while a murder was being committed. More likely, this falls into the category of retribution -- revenge. As if somehow, one can find peace knowing that someone else is suffering. How does that work?

Our thinking is insane. But can't we at least be consistent in our insanity? If the Safeway robber is not accountable for felony murder, should we not hasten to do the same for Lisl?
Patrick Murphy
via the Internet

Western spirit: Wow...seems they don't make 'em like Milda Scalise much anymore.

In "Question of Intent," we read of Milda Scalise delegating justice in her husband Frank's murder to, of all things, the judicial system.