Letters to the Editor

"Pot of Gold," Joel Warner, December 14

Memoirs of the Geisha

I am originally from Denver, and from time to time I try to catch up on all things "home" and scan Westword online. "Pot of Gold" was brilliant, in-depth and wonderfully interesting. It was so well composed, it did for the imagination what a good wine (or coffee, for that matter) does for the sensory experience. Thanks!
Brian Elkins
Washington, D.C.

"Pot of Gold" was an apt title for the search for the end of the rainbow for Ethiopia. Great story and great storytelling.

When all is said and done, though, foreigners and the global economic system cannot do for Ethiopians what the Ethiopian government would not allow them to do for themselves.
Girma Belew
Savannah, Georgia

"The French Connection," Jason Sheehan, December 14

One Wild Ride

What is it that we all remember from The French Connection? The chase: that mad dash beneath the elevated train tracks, the frightening swerves, the red lights run, the woman and her child so nearly killed, the fear and drama of every second. As Jason Sheehan ran through his love affair with all things French, I couldn't help but sense that beneath this narrative there ran a brooding sense of impending doom. When Boulder and Walnut Street entered the mix, I knew I was in for a classic Sheehan-over-the-top-roller-coaster treat.

Please. A French restaurant in the People's Republic of Boulder? The very idea smells like a back-alley shooting gallery. Like a true sauciér, Sheehan mixes a treat of subtle style and flavors, stirs with loving attention to detail, delicately samples, adds a dash of spice or a hint of liqueur and, finally delivers the la pice de résistance when he deftly administers the coup de grâce. What a pleasure it is to fall in love again and again with the French mastery of sauces and flavors; how equal to that pleasure it is to savor the ever-evolving wordsmith flavors of Jason Sheehan.

And in the end, as always, justice triumphs, and our very own Popeye Doyle slays the enemy and leaves their burnt husks smoldering on the streets. Bon appétit!
Bill Gardner

It's been far too long since I last uttered these words: "Jason Sheehan, journalist extraordinaire"!!!
Dave Maxon

"He's Back!" J. Hoberman, December 7

Drivel, He Said

My initial reading of J. Hoberman's review of Apocalypto had me tearing my hair out (metaphorically) by the end of paragraph four. Now that I've read a couple other reviews (that were actually reviews) and know with more clarity the general tone and tenor of the flick, I can reread Hoberman and actually get what his blather is about. I don't suppose, however, that Westword is assuming its readers want to have to come to its pages without enough background as to be able to parse (or, God forbid, enjoy) such drivel by themselves.

Three specifics: 1) Call me stupid, but I had to ask someone what WWJD means; 2) Hoberman refers to the "cenote" where a family is hiding -- okay, so it's a well and should have been described as same; 3) If cenote without translation is appropriate, why not trasero instead of keister?

Genug, as we Krauts say.
Stephen Crout

Okay, I'll take your word on Apocalypto. But something tells me that if Martin Scorsese or Francis Ford Coppola had directed this film, your reviewer would be a little different and positive. James Franklin

Melbourne, Florida

"Trading Spaces," Alan Prendergast, December 7

Space Case

I cried when I learned that all that wonderful open space in Rooney Valley is going to be developed. When is this going to stop? Our beautiful hills have houses wrapping around them. What's next, flattening the foothills? I was going to vote yes on 1A, but not anymore. If developers realize they can trade park land and open space for ditches, no parks will be safe.

Lakewood is already turning into "developmental hell." We need to control growth or people will start leaving as our cities become too polluted and crowded. Colorado is a beautiful state, but I feel there are people making decisions based solely on the taxes they'll garner. I hope I'm wrong. You can't collect taxes if people leave and no one wants to live here.
Kelly Adams

"Trading Spaces" is as much fiction as "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." Here are some of the facts.

Rita Bertolli claims that citizens weren't informed of the planning process for Rooney Valley. The Rooney Valley Task Force held three forums in 1994 garnering input from the public and property owners regarding development in the valley. This information was used to draft a plan, with public hearings again held, obtaining additional input. In 1998, the Rooney Valley Master Plan was adopted by Lakewood.

Bertolli claims Forsberg Park is a "pristine" park used by hundreds of people, including children playing there daily. This park land is best characterized as a parking lot, junk dump and dog park. No reasonable person would allow a child to play there. Actually, the dog park will remain and be improved upon for Lakewood's first fenced, off-leash dog park. We urge Lakewood citizens to come to Forsberg Park. Determine for yourself what is "pristine."

Bertolli claims Lakewood is dishonoring Olle Forsberg's wishes in trading his gift away to a developer. Forsberg Park is not being traded away, but rather exchanged for usable space. Mr. Forsberg's gift still exists; 22 acres of the total 140-acre park area are to be traded, leaving the rest of Forsberg Park intact. According to the 1974 ordinance documenting Lakewood's acceptance of the donation by the Forsberg family: "It is provided in said Deed that the same is given and accepted subject to the conditions that the premises shall be used for park and other municipal purposes." Lakewood has the right to use the gift as it sees fit in the best interests of the citizens. As Mr. Forsberg was himself a realtor/developer, Bertolli's conclusion that trading the land is dishonoring his gift is her own conjecture.

Bertolli claims the park land is more valuable than the proposed corridor. A 34-plus-page assessment conducted by independent real-estate analyst Bonnie Roerig concluded that the land deal is fair and equal. Bertolli's paid appraiser admits to never looking at the site when he came to his opposing conclusion.

The Trading Spaces TV show is about neighbors working together, exchanging property and improving upon it. Regarding Rooney Valley, facts support the trading of spaces as a definite improvement. Now if only we could work together.
Ginny Krause

Great, informative article! Please mention that the underpass that Carma has promised to "build" beneath Alameda is already there! So do we trust their facts? Also, as a resident who is helping to pay the $240,000 cost of this special election, I want to know why the ballots were initially to be mailed on December 8, then weren't mailed until December 18 -- just ten days before they are due!
D. Kenning