Commentary

LETTERS

Neighborhood Botch
I was shocked to read Arthur Hodges's article "Arrested Development," in the March 29 issue. For what reason was it even published? Mr. Simmons is not under any current investigations, allegations or even suspicions. What is the big deal? From what I can gather from the article, he was cleared of all charges and has gone through whatever counseling and procedures he was required to. So what are you saying? A man who has had a criminal record should not be allowed to work for the mayor's office? Are you trying to compete with O.J. coverage? Look, I'm not a big Webb supporter, but I think there are more important issues and possible areas of corruption than Mr. Simmons and his private life.

Westword owes Mr. Simmons an apology. He's done his time, learned from his mistakes, and he's done a good job in Denver, as far as I can tell. There is no reason to "O.J.-ize" him. Shame on you!

Dorian De Long
Boulder

Shame on Westword for taking the time, effort and space to dig up some dirt on Mr. Alvertis Simmons. There's something very important omitted from your pinheaded expose. Like informing your readers what Mr. Simmons has done, and continues to do, for his city and his community. These things could easily fill several columns beyond what you chose to print.

Mr. Simmons may be a foot soldier for Mr. Webb. That is his business and his prerogative. Interesting you chose that term. Because for most of last year, along with many other concerned and caring neighbors, Mr. Simmons joined with our community. We all became fervent foot soldiers. With Mr. Simmons's tireless, steadfast involvement, we organized and maintained weekly community walks. Foot soldiers from grade school to rocking chairs to wheelchairs. We joined together to put the crack-infested cockroaches on notice that we don't want them in our "'hoods." Every Friday night we walked together, through the summer, the fall, in the rain and in the snow. We walked and caroled and celebrated in December for the effort and the difference we'd made in our community. We foot soldiers logged many miles on our feet. Most of us, including Mr. Simmons, have day jobs. And you know what? Alvertis Simmons was always there. Pumped up, enthusiastic, but most of all, genuine.

In a society that struggles with the scarcity of positive role models for young African-American males, here's a guy you could've written about with far more adulation than criticism. Thanks to Westword, we all now know Alvertis Simmons has some dirty laundry. Yet he is one high-caliber human being, with an obvious passion and devotion to the work he has chosen for his life. This is a quality of his that shines through to any of us who've had the honor of working with him. Too bad you failed to point this out.

Susan Wong
Denver

The Inner Child
I have never written a letter to the editor before, but I felt compelled to after reading Karen Bowers's "A Wealth of Trouble," in the March 15 issue. The situation was tragic enough without Barbara Huttner sharing her daughter Alana's struggles in an attempt to exonerate herself. The fact that she was so quickly acquitted was good enough for me, but now I wonder what happened in Alana's childhood that has left her so troubled. Barbara Huttner should be ashamed of herself. The depth of dysfunction in this family is a tragedy in itself.

Anne Taylor
Denver

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