"Blackburned," Alan Prendergast, December 13
Thank you, Judge Blackburn, for setting aside the jury's ruling and award, and letting your personal vendetta against Mr. Brennan take precedence over what really matters: the firing of Mr. Cadorna. Now Mr. Cadorna must go through another trial because you don't give the jury the credit for seeing through Mr. Brennan's "antics." Perhaps the defense should have been the ones to object to Mr. Brennan, not the "impartial" judge. When I hear stories like this, I wonder how in the world this type of thing can happen.
As usual, the Westword piece was very entertaining to read and informative. I look forward to each week's paper.
Did anyone ever consider asking Safeway corporate to step up to the plate with settlement dollars, considering what attorney Brennan claims to be the role of their employee in helping the Denver Fire Department to pull this off? Have they been sued?
Name withheld on request
Alan Prendergast responds: Bill Cadorna filed a separate lawsuit against Safeway and reached a confidential settlement with the grocery chain.
Playlist, Michael Roberts, December 6
Michael Roberts, you're an idiot. One Republic had the number-one most-requested song in Colorado, and the second song they just put out, "Stop and Stare," is even better than "Apologize" (in my and my friends' opinions). They're playing the Gothic, I just bought tickets, and in five days, the show almost sold out. I'd say that's home-state pride. These guys blow away any other band that's come from this state, and if you don't believe me, check back in about eighteen months, when they've sold three or four million copies.
Critics suck. Thank God bands don't write music for critics; that would be the beginning of the end for music as we know it. It's a shame that one person's viewpoint (such as Roberts's) can be a representation of "what people should think." Based on stats alone, Roberts is in the vast "minority."
I love Westword, but man, you're way off on this one. Way.
"Last-Chance High," Luke Turf, December 6
Great story and reporting. For all who laud dropout prevention (and we all should), the principal at this school, Santiago Lopez, is showing the way. It involves redefining "school" to something more than a means for feeding standards-based curriculum to students in lockstep. Students need school to be a place that takes into account the whole person.
I'm no fan of White Hat, but I hope Life Skills continues in one form or another.
Pierre Jimenez and I met with David Brennan, the founder of White Hat, as the first step in getting the school off the ground. I am still on the board. While I would argue that things were not as bad in the early years as Justin Martinez describes, we clearly made some mistakes.
On average, our students read at the fifth-grade level when they enroll in our school. Emily Griffith requires an eighth-grade reading level before accepting a student, so if our school is closed, then our students will once again be abandoned by a system that does not care about them. Your article may help convince key folks that we should stay open.
While I am not used to seeing the F-word used as an adjective in articles, Luke Turf's work definitely captured the spirit of the school.
Thank you for the well-written article about Life Skills Center of Denver. We are currently looking for caring people in the community who are interested in giving time to tutoring the youth we serve. As a tutor at this school, you can increase the sense of community and caring in a student's life, help more students to graduate, and increase the likelihood of the school staying open.
Michaela Lonning, volunteer coordinator
Life Skills Center