Get on board with Never Summer Industries

"Get on Board," Colin Bane, January 28


Awesome! Colin Bane's article reminded me of the surf-culture articles I read in the popular publications out here.

Mandy Meng

San Diego, California

I wanted to share my positive comments on the Never Summer snowboards article. It really grabbed my interest on many levels: first as a part-time snowboarder, then as someone who lives in Colorado and appreciates the energy and effort put forth by local companies despite the now-longstanding trend of shipping everything off to China (except for the CEO and marketing positions). I wish Never Summer plenty of success for as long as they stay around (hopefully a long time), and I hope that they can continue with the same philosophy (fuck the expression "business model") and inspire others.

I wish more companies in the Western world would think in the same terms, not just in the outdoor-equipment industry, but in all aspects of manufacturing and engineering and services, including software development. We're selling out our know-how for quick cash and getting poorer for it by losing our jobs and buying crap that is made overseas in a vicious circle that seems to have no end. Kudos to Never Summer snowboards for making quality boards here in Colorado and bucking the trend successfully, to boot, in a horrible economic climate.

Henry Goleau

Highlands Ranch

I just wanted to let you know how refreshing it was to read about Never Summer snowboards! It was quite interesting reading about a successful snowboard company doing more business than ever before in this economy; sounds like they've been quite innovative in the last few years with developing new technology like rocker and hybrid-style snowboards. These terms were new to me; I've been snowboarding a long time but haven't kept up with the latest technology.

One of the key questions I had while reading: Why wasn't anything mentioned about patents? The article said that as soon as Never Summer deploys new technology, the rest of the industry soon follows suit; if that's true, I'm guessing that NS can't patent its technology and thus the rest of the industry catches up to the latest trend right away. Any idea on patents? Also, it was really cool reading about the market advantage of being able to bring ideas to fruition quicker than most companies since it has production in-house.

 I ride an NS EVO 2004 and it's a great board, but I'll need to look into the newer stuff. Thanks for a great read about a Colorado company founded by two brothers with a passion that grew into one of the leading-edge snowboard companies. Hopefully we'll start to see more manufacturing being done here in the USA.

Chris Morrison


"Eli's Coming," Nick Pinkerton, January 14

Talk About Leaden!

Nick Pinkerton's review of The Book of Eli is a textbook example of style before substance in a pointless meandering lump of words. Westword has a proud tradition of hiring full-of-themselves film reviewers who would rather sound smart than actually be smart, and this is in no way the worst example of their M.O., but it's up there.

The observations that Pinkerton makes are all legitimate, but none of them show any kind of insight. Calling the story "ridiculous" goes nowhere and feeds no larger point. Statements like "Denzel Washington wanders endless alkali flats under a leaden sky that never opens up to rain" are fittingly flowery rewordings of information one can glean from any trailer, but that's all they are — literary noise. Asking obvious questions about plot holes is funny, sure, and it creates the illusion of the reviewer being high-and-mighty above the filmmaker in his obvious, unforgivable oversights, but what service does it give the reader? There are no commentaries about the emotion of the audience, no statements, however tactfully delivered, of "I was bored" or "I was excited," no information whatsoever that might help a person select or reject the film.

The entire thing reads like an analysis rather than a review, but even for that it falls short due to a total lack of commentary about structure, theme, pacing — any of the ideas a solid piece of analytical film writing would rely on. Instead, there are just disjointed and nebulous criticisms that seem to only prove that, yes, the reviewer did indeed see the film. Well, good for him. I guess that got the article past the editor and qualified for another paycheck. Congrats.

Ian Helm


"Final Bell," Melanie Asmar,

January 14

opportunity calls

I want to thank you for the fine, in-depth article that described the situation at P.S. 1. I found it very informative and appreciated the personal remarks and opinions of the people involved. Obviously, the school provides hope for students who have very little. I have spent a great many hours working in schools and sports activities in Denver over the past thirty years, and the one constant that I believe is essential to successful learning is for a student or athlete (really the same thing) to realize that there is someone who cares about his or her performance and well-being. P.S. 1 seems to have succeeded in that aspect with these students, while other schools, for various reasons, have failed.

In my capacity as a Community Leader with Metro Organizations for People (MOP) for the past five years, I have been able to observe Denver Public Schools in its struggles to improve the school system and reduce the achievement gap between students of color and/or poverty in the city. I attended, as an observer, the open meetings of the Denver A Plus Commission, which was given the task of setting parameters for the closing and reorganizing of schools in DPS. One of the most dramatic episodes of the commission's many sessions was an exchange between former mayor Federico Peña, a co-chair, and then-DPS superintendent Michael Bennet regarding the necessity of guaranteeing that every student displaced by a school closure be "given a better educational opportunity." Peña was adamant regarding this requirement, and Bennet agreed that the district would closely adhere to the guidelines prescribed by the A Plus Commission. However, in the case of P.S. 1, it seems unlikely that a better educational opportunity will be provided; in the article, Superintendent Boasberg revealed that such an alternative does not presently exist.

As an alternative to the closure of P.S. 1, I would propose re-creating the school with all of the assets of a well-funded private school, including art, music, P.E., a school nurse, a social worker, a full-time technology teacher, a parent liaison — i.e., everything needed to provide for the physical well-being of the students, as well as an educational environment in which students would be able to experience success on multiple levels and in various ways. Success and failure are alike in that they are self-perpetuating. Obviously, funding is not presently available in DPS for such a plan; however, grant funds might be solicited for implementation, in particular because of the unusual student demographics. Considering the alternatives, it would be worth a try.

Frank Tapy


In Melanie Asmar's article, you mentioned Landmark Education, but you left out key facts about the company. Landmark Education is an international training and development company that offers a curriculum of more than fifty programs delivered in 24 countries. To date, more than 40,000 educators and health professionals have observed Landmark's programs. Harris Interactive®, one of the largest and most respected market research firms in the world, conducted an independent survey on behalf of Landmark Education of these educators and health professionals. An overwhelming 94 percent of those surveyed agree that Landmark's programs are professionally conducted and provide great value. Landmark has been named one of the top training and development companies in the world by Mc Neil.

Randy Mc Namara, director of corporate communications

Landmark Education

"Spin and Spanikopita," Andy Thomas, January 28

Spin Control

I hadn't read Westword in a couple of weeks, actually since Jason Sheehan's review of Ondo's. Anyway, you can imagine my disappointment when I went to read a restaurant review and instead got a heart-warming story that may have been better served in a section other than Cafe (personally, I was thinking the music section). I am happy for Adriana's recovery from a horrific accident and her mom's success in turning a dying location into something much better; this personal touch is great and has its place, but isn't this supposed to be a restaurant review? How is the food, Andy? I couldn't tell, since you never mentioned actually eating anything.

Nate Balogh


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