It's What's Up Front That Counts
What's the deal with the penis envy at your office?
With all the stuff going on in Denver/Boulder, I would think you could have a better cover story than Eric Dexheimer's "Growing Pains," in the January 2 issue. I also saw the little link to Chris LaMorte's "Boys and Their Hoods" in the November 14 issue.

I'm putting this in my weekly diary as a "weird Westword" of the New Year.
P.S. You could have had a better hunk on the front page...
Jeff Rider
via the Internet

First and Ten, Do It Again
Yes, I know that Westword is a serious paper, and Patricia Calhoun is a serious writer who is supposed to write serious things like "Happy Newt Year," her expose about Newt Gingrich in the January 2 issue.

Don't get me wrong--I appreciated Calhoun's Newt column, particularly since no one else in the local media seemed to think his Colorado connections were important. But I have to confess that I laughed my ass off when I read her Super Bowl column, "Another Yarn About the Broncos," in the January 9 issue.

Calhoun, here's some advice for you: Lighten up in the new year. You'll enjoy yourself more--and so will your readers.

Jim Simon

Patricia Calhoun: Your article on the Broncos was superb--a classic fusion of wit and sad truths about Denver's love/hate relationship with their Sunday gladiators.

Also, thank you again for your piece on the Channel 7 queen of news, Natalie Pujo ("Real Life. Real News. Real Bad," November 14). Your candor is very refreshing in an age of the bland and mundane. God bless you and God bless Michael Paglia for intelligent writing.

Tom Turnquist
via the Internet

He Never Sausage a Thing
Listen up, Calhoun--and get a life while you're at it! Seventy-four ethics charges were brought against Newt. Seventy-three were dismissed. The unanimous findings of the bipartisan House Ethics Subcommittee are these: 1) Newt failed to seek additional specialized counsel with regard to complex tax matters involving GOPAC funding of his course, even though he did, in fact, consult with two lawyers; 2) Newt gave inaccurate information--unintentionally--to the subcommittee, though previous written statements corroborate the substance of his case. All in all, this is a pretty small schnitzel on the political smorgasbord.

If you really want to make a serious contribution to journalism, I suggest you investigate our Prez, who has been consorting with known narco-traffickers, nuclear-waste smugglers and illegal-weapons dealers. Yes, I think you should have a turn at roasting Brother Bill's wiener--before Paula Jones gets to it in court!

Patrick Ertel

Pimp and Circumstance
Regarding the January 9 Off Limits:
In the early days of Denver TV, the late Carl Akers used to do Denver & Rio Grande commercials on camera. It soon became a credibility no-no for news folk to mix in huckstering--if they had good taste and a sense of ethics. Now comes Tony Zarrella pimping for Keystone skiing. Next week: Pujo pitching Chapstick?

Along with hot outfits and seesaw inflections that suggest she's indifferent to the content of the news she reads, should Natalie Pujo wear a gyroscope to keep her head on a horizontal plane? The tilt left and right may be intended to enhance her weird sexual aura, but it brings to mind the RCA Victor pose invented by Nipper, the RCA terrier.

Happy New Year, Westword. Thanks for everything you do.
Pat Bourgeron

High School Confidential
Karen Bowers's December 19 report on the May 4 incident at Thomas Jefferson High School was well-written, accurate and thorough. It's obvious that she spent a lot of time digging through pages and pages of written material, as well as interviewing people interested in this matter. Her opening paragraph pulled up emotions from deep within me, but her reporting of the incident helped to balance those emotions.

Thanks also to those who are helping us through this very difficult time--Simon Rodriguez (very early on), Mark Silverstein, David Lane, Bruce Jones, Harold Flowers and the Denver ACLU.

Gene Roach

Editor's note: On December 23, four days after Karen Bowers's story appeared, the ACLU filed suit under the Colorado Open Records Act to obtain the Denver Police Department report prepared after an internal investigation of alleged police misconduct in connection with the Thomas Jefferson High School disturbance. Excerpts from that report had appeared in Westword. On Friday, the ACLU will argue its case at a Denver District Court hearing.

Ice, Ice Baby
Regarding Stuart Steers's "Ire of Newt," in the December 19 issue, and the subsequent letters from Timothy Buchanan:

Since clearly you have not bothered to investigate the religion of Asatru that you feel the need to criticize, allow me to set some of your statements straight. I am a Godi (priest) of this religion and was trained in Iceland by the men and women who resurrected it and gave it the very name Asatru.

This religion is based upon the belief that the gods are nature and those character traits which define human behavior. It teaches that the world is a battleground where only the strong and clever survive. Specifically, "strong" refers to any human strength, from physical to emotional, while "clever" is defined only as such when it does not bring harm to one's clan and family or to the earth. Whatever you may have heard from pot-smoking Boulderites, the truth is that members of this religion are required to learn these principles and to become strong and clever. We have no use for anyone else.

As far as it being a fad, Asatru has been a religion for at least a thousand years longer than Christianity. That doesn't sound much like a fad to me.

Next time you shoot your mouth off, Mr. Buchanan, it would be nice if you actually knew what you were talking about. But then, that might require sacrifice, commitment and maybe even change.

Modi Thorsson
via the Internet

Editor's note: My, how very interesting. If any readers would like to learn more about Asatru, check out our Web page at, which includes several other missives from far-flung correspondents.

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