Letters to the Editor

Freedom's Just Another Word

Slave labor: Thanks for Patricia Calhoun's column on Juneteenth ("Free for All," June 8). If the truth will set us free, I am compelled to tell my truth. We (blacks) were not set free then or now. How do you define "free"? A piece of paper called the Emancipation Act (in reality, the Thirteenth Amendment) is just that: paper. Free to do what? Starve? To be sharecroppers? To go to school and get a good job (the modern version of the same lie)? The slang for a job is "going to my slave." In fact, a job is the worst kind of slavery; it's voluntary.

I am proud that Patricia Calhoun did not settle to work for one of the so-called "major papers." She is free. Thank you for listening.

Lee Hawkins

Strange Developments

Decent exposure: Jared Jacang Maher's "Photo Finish," in the June 1 issue, was a great article. It brought back the few decent memories of my minimum-wage job in a film lab in upstate New York. Christmas always brought out the best pornographers. Reprints rule!

On a different note, I grew up in Boulder and am sorry to hear that Crossroads is gone. It used to be that there was no better place in town in the winter. Besides having the Green Stamp store and Fashion Bar, it was the best place for kids who couldn't get to the Hill. Caramel corn, cigarettes, boys: Life was sweet.

Thanks for the memories.

Diane Greene
Phoenix, Arizona

Straight Talk About Oprah

Winfrey some, lose some: You know what the goofiest crap I've ever read is? Steven Saulsbury's letter in the June 1 issue, insinuating that gays are the only men who watch, listen to or worship Oprah. Puuuleeese! Steven, you really are narrow-minded. I would venture to say that 99 percent of my gay friends have no time for such drivel -- because they are out making a very good living. Yes, Steven, we gays also love football, basketball and all sports. If I were to personally take time out for Oprah, it would only be to see Nate Berkus -- his home creative ideas are awesome.

To our straight brothers: We have no problem with you all, either.

Robert Baca-Bower

Hits and Misses

The song remains the same: The date on the front of your June 8 paper is wrong, or surely I have gone back in time. It must be 1976 or so; I can tell by the bands that are scheduled for concerts this summer at Red Rocks and elsewhere: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Chicago; Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers; Steely Dan; Earth, Wind & Fire; the Jerry Garcia Band; Ray Davies; Hot Tuna; Willie Nelson; the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band; Linda Ronstadt; Three Dog Night; Grand Funk Railroad; Martha Reeves & the Vandellas; the Doobie Brothers; Foghat; George Benson; Al Jarreau; Firefall; The Little River Band; Elvis Costello; Delbert McClinton et al.

Yeah, we must be right around 1975 to 1979, except a few things must be misprints: I thought Three Dog Night broke up and Martha & the Vandellas weren't touring much anymore. And CSNY haven't played together for a while since Crosby's drug problems and rehab, and with Neil Young doing so well on his own.

Also, under "What's Hot Now" and "Who's Got Next," the date must be a typo (2006 instead of 1976), since Emmylou Harris, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Queen, the Guess Who, Aerosmith and Elton John are all listed as having current hits, which I'm aware of, but the song titles seem wrong. And I don't understand why all those other artists are listed, since I never hear them on the radio or see albums by them in the record stores. What gives?

David Nereson

Get the Message?

Giving Martino the business: I was so happy to see Michael Roberts's "Exposed," in the June 1 issue. My friend who owns a business recently told me that businesses have to pay to be on Tom Martino's referral list. I was really disappointed to hear it, and this article confirms and expands that information. Sounds like Tom Martino is quite the ho. Thanks for the info.

Doris Brown

Greedy or not: I applaud any and all articles that may expose Tom Martino as the greedy public figure he is, one who has somehow convinced Denverites that he is legit as a journalist and as an advocate for consumer rights.


One thing drives this ego-driven man: money, pure and simple. Tom Martino, the Troubleshooter, is for sale, as he has proven over and over.

Bill Little

Case dismissed: For the most part, I agree with Michael Roberts's "Up Front," in the May 25 issue. There is no doubt that for the sake of sales, the newspapers have overblown the story of Ward Churchill. On the other hand, I strongly disagree with the demeaning comments about law professor Marianne Wesson. The comment about her photo was clearly directed at suggesting that Ms. Wesson was a confused woman and in over her head.

I have known Ms. Wesson for a number of years professionally. We worked together at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Colorado and have remained in contact thereafter. While soft-spoken, Ms. Wesson was a very aggressive prosecutor. Ms. Wesson is one of the most talented litigators I have come in contact with, and the comments suggesting she was in over her head about the Churchill matter are uninformed. As any attorney will tell you, Ms. Wesson is extremely detailed in everything she does.

Being Hispanic, I have a pretty good idea of Ms. Wesson's concerns for minorities and would not doubt for a minute that on the committee, she was the most concerned about making sure that Mr. Churchill received a fair investigation. Having talked with other professors at the University of Colorado, I believe the real problem seems to be that at the time professors like Mr. Churchill were hired, there was little background investigation into an applicant's qualifications and history. This has apparently changed recently. This would seem to be the more interesting story, especially if other professors were hired without a thorough background check.

In any event, Michael Roberts owes Ms. Wesson an apology. I would venture to guess he has not spoken to Ms. Wesson or anyone else who could have provided him with accurate information.

Charles H. Torres, Esq.

Michael Roberts replies: I hope Mr. Torres reads legal documents more closely than he does newspaper columns. My comments were solely about the photograph of Ms. Wesson that recently ran on the cover of the Denver Post, not about Ms. Wesson herself. If anyone owes the professor an apology, it's the person at the Post who chose to run such a mediocre, unflattering picture on page one.