Tempest in a Tepee
Regarding Steve Jackson's "Civil Wars" in the February 9 issue:
It's pathetic that these Native American "leaders" should spend all their time arguing with each other instead of working to make life better for their people--whatever color they may be.

Michelle Randolph

I find it very disturbing in any case when a fellow white man has to invade another race's culture to find some meaning in his life. If Ward Churchill wants to improve the situation concerning the Native Americans, it would be better if he fought directly where the poison came from--the white man. Ward says he knows he is Indian because it was just common knowledge in his family. That's funny; most of the natives I know base their history on experience. When the Colorado chapter starts focusing on poverty, hunger and racism against the natives, only then will Colorado AIM be able to claim it has actually done something for the community. Until then, I will just keep watching the white men feed their egos while their souls die.

Speaking of egos, I wonder if you will receive a defensive letter from Ward. You can bet on it.

Wes Doughty

The Butt Stops Here
Your February 9 cover was disgusting. You are no better than the National Enquirer.

Name withheld on request

Clean Living Pays Off
Robin Chotzinoff's article "Clean Up Your Act" in the January 19 issue absolutely made my day. I just laughed--I went through two Kleenexes. I thought the whole thing was so well written and so funny. Thanks very much. I really appreciated it.

Dorothy Riddle

A Real Bar Association
Regarding Eric Dexheimer's "Keeping His Own Counsel" in the February 2 issue:
The quotation attributed to me in the Nick Avila article would have the reader believe that a number of public officials who attended the University of Colorado Law School with Nick Avila and me were drinking buddies of mine who were likely to end up convicted felons serving lengthy prison terms. I said no such thing, nor did I imply it. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. (Okay, so Henry Solano once crawled across my living room floor on his hands and knees after consuming the better part of a bottle of Two Fingers Tequila--which is why I still respect the man.) What I actually said was that my friend, Nick Avila, was a mature (for his age), conscientious student who took care of both his family and his studies, declining to gambol with his unmarried friends in the Chicano Law Student Association who had no such domestic responsibilities. Neither Nick nor the individuals named in your article were hearty partiers, and Westword does a disservice to these public officials if this portion of the article remains unclarified.

While the tragic human-interest story understandably makes good copy, perhaps a little focusing of the legal aspects of Mr. Avila's post-conviction proceedings will help clear up reporter Eric Dexheimer's otherwise fuzzy article. The heart of the post-conviction matters before the court are based upon serious, substantive allegations of prosecutorial misconduct, involving the withholding of exculpatory evidence, both at the time of the trial of the state case as well as at the time of the federal case, which we believe caused Mr. Avila to be denied his constitutional right to a fair trial(s). The government has all but conceded that Messrs. Guerrero and DeHerrera were/are one and the same person. And the integrity of the judicial process has been seriously undermined.

Gilbert O. Montoya, Jr.

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