From the week of December 17, 2009

"On Board," Colin Bane, December 10

Chairman of the Snowboard

This is a rock-solid look at everything leading up to and long past 2010. I continue to be amazed at how far snowboarding has come since the horrible conditions in Nagano (um, competition in the rain...).

Steve Fisher's technical ability will likely not impress like the circus style does or die tricks a la double corks, but his consistency is known far and wide. Here's hoping Steve gets into the Games and lives out his dream.

Jonny Burns

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In Colin Bane's "On Board," concerning Steve Fisher's battle against the mighty 1080 double cork, he quoted Ricky Bower as saying, "It was amazing to see, once Shaun did the first double-cork 1080s, how fast it caught on." It would be worthy to note that Shaun White did not perform the first double-cork 1080, though he may have been the first to perform it in a halfpipe in an official contest setting. I'm not sure who was the very first, but pro snowboarders David Benedek and Travis Rice have hefty amounts of footage doing 1080 double corks as early as 2005's "91 Words for Snow" (for Benedek) and 2008's "That's It, That's All" (for Rice). Shaun may go on to popularize this trick in the halfpipe, but he certainly hasn't invented it. 

On a more uplifting note: I enjoyed reading this article, as I have the majority of Westword's work. I have invested all of my remaining hopes and dreams for print media in your publication.  Everyone else is dead to me.

John Nord


Editor's Note: Steve Fisher finished in seventh place in the Men's Halfpipe Finals at Copper Mountain on December 13, picking up 180 points toward his spot on the Olympic team. Shaun White leads the pack with 500 points, followed by Louie Vito (400 points) and Zach Black (300 points), a Breckenridge team rider; both White and Vito landed double-cork tricks in their Finals runs. For full results from the event, visit

"Rx Marks the Spot," Patricia Calhoun, December 10

Green Achers

I wanted to thank Westword for its ongoing coverage of the medical marijuana issue — from Patricia Calhoun's recent "medical marijuana matrix" (my favorite name from that chart: Greener Green Greenery) to the medical marijuana reviews to the continued updates on the Latest Word blog. That's another appropriate name, because when I want to learn the latest developments in the field, I rely on Westword.

Jaycee Schmidt


Westword's many contradictory articles on medical marijuana in Denver are helpful in only two ways: inking in empty space between ads for dispensaries, and mocking an industry recovered from crime and incompetent government regulation by people whom Patricia Calhoun still seems to believe are all lazy stoners.

Denver's media coverage of this topic is about as enlightening as national coverage of Tiger Woods's bad month. A slow news day (or inability to cobble together a coherent opinion) is no excuse for the masturbatory cannibalization of stories already told from the same old angle. Westword should consider a moratorium on the subject of medical marijuana until it can provide new information or opinions that are less one-dimensional than an Anslinger-era editorial cartoon depicting toked-up jazzmen and hippies dancing off cliffs.

Or you could just continue to fill space between ads by printing out the dialogue from Reefer Madness.

Name withheld on request

Editor's note: Citizens for Medical Marijuana Regulation will host a town hall meeting with state senator Chris Romer on the evening of Thursday, December 17. Find details on the Latest Word blog.

"Shlock and Awe," Patricia Calhoun, December 3

Creche Landing

I'm writing in response to the curmudgeonly suburbanite named Amanda who wrote a lengthy scrawl against liberals in your last issue. First of all, as a liberal who has never paid a single tax in his life, I want to thank her for all the social services her conservative taxes fund. If it weren't for her, I would have never been able to pay for all those abortions. Second, her letter was rife with errors, and I would like to correct them:

1) They are not called "holiday" or "Christmas" lights; they are "paid-day-off" lights.

2) We are not taking away her rights, we are merely "politically correcting" all the stupid things she does.

3) It's not known as "America" anymore; now it's "elAmerica," which is a liberal word that roughly translates to "Land of the Mixed Race."

And 4) the reason people don't assimilate is because not everyone wants to be a petty, whiny white suburbanite who thinks much too highly of herself. Thanks, Amanda, and may you and your family have a merry paid day off.

Brian Polk


Christmas is great, and I'm glad it's here. One thing, though, and here's the straight dope: Christmas is a secular holiday celebrating the winter solstice. The United States of America, when all is said and done, is not about exclusionary holidays celebrated by an exclusionary religion; rather, we make room for religions and their holidays, but the greater nation doesn't stamp these with government legitimacy.

But before you think I'm "reassigning" Christmas to another flavor of religious faith, know this: This "passing," as it were, has nothing to do with a pagan Maypole bacchanalia; it's a noting of the low point in nature's cycle and the hopeful feelings people have when they realize such a boundary is crossed. It's a victory celebration, and the Christian flavor of the moment is only a label. Merry Christmas, Amanda, and everybody else!

Rita Berkeley


Playlist, Cory Casciato, December 3

Chump Change

I could not let such a crappy, shortsighted, total-miss, bag-of-junk review of High Beams go by without clearing the waters that Cory Casciato so carelessly muddied. Carbon Choir are not newcomers to Denver's music scene, and they are one band that puts in serious work to produce quality shit. If he didn't see that, he has no business writing music reviews. Anyone who would write a review like that on such a stellar album would be better utilized dropping off stacks of newly printed papers to Chipotle restaurants around town.

I must ask, has Casciato written many reviews? Because this one falls flat. He panders to serious music lovers by pointing out the glaring strengths of High Beams, and then proceeds to try to sound informed and savvy while bashing the album from about ten miles above the surface (one mile for each ridiculous, feeble claim). Was this guy even at the show? He probably gave the disc half a spin and went out to drink cheap Pabst at the local slophouse (not that there's anything wrong with that). I have one piece of advice for our little novice: Take some cues from fellow Westword writer Tom Murphy, who reviewed the band a year ago. Murphy hit it dead-on with his write-up, and seemed to directly address chumps like Casciato with this: "Those who dismiss this act as just another Radiohead-influenced atmospheric indie band with piano should give it more than a cursory listen."

There you have it: Next time, Casciato should do his homework before he writes off serious players in Denver's thriving and able music scene.

Jesse James


"On Guard," Jason Sheehan, December 10

F-Bombs Away

I enjoy reading Jason Sheehan's reviews regarding local food, but it certainly seems that his vocabulary is extensive enough (unlike that of many others) that he could dispense with the profanity. Why not give it a try? His repeated use of profane words adds no flavor to the cuisine he is describing.



Sheehan: Fuck! Why the fuck do you fuckin' have to fuckin' fall back to your usual fuckin' shtick of trying to fuckin' punctuate every fuckin' thing and fuckin' time with a fuckin' cheap attempt to fuckin' shock the reader by dropping so many fucking "fuck" bombs or fuckin' talking about fuckin' blow jobs or sex or fuckin' nipple-suckin'? Fuck, why? Fuck? Fuck! So fuckin' tired of fuck!

Fuck! I mean, fuck, is this the fuckin' best a fuck for food-critic fucker can fuckin' come up with to fuckin' epicureanly describe fuckin' duck fuck fat fuck fries: "Duck-fat fries should come with fireworks, sparklers and waving flags. They ought to be garnished with hundred-dollar bills and coupons for free blow jobs."

Fuck, Westword, for fuck's sake! Cut this fucker the fuck loose so he can' fuckin' entertain some other less fortunate dumb fucks elsewhere with his fuckin' weak shtick. And so that Westword can offer this deserving town a writer who actually gives the reader the pleasure of reading a food review that reviews the food. If I want clever, potty-mouthed writing, I will read Chaucer or the dive-bar bathroom stalls.

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Editor's note: Or you could read the Seattle Weekly, our sibling publication where Jason Sheehan will be moving next month.

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