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The Healthy Communities Initiative seeks to empower citizens into a community effort to identify and propose solutions to local problems. There are many active grassroots groups along the Front Range that were struggling to do this well before HCI began. Citizen groups trying to influence local government are usually opposed by well-connected and well-financed business interests. This was my personal experience in Longmont community activism in 1995.

I believe a more effective implementation of HCI by Colorado Trust would be to monitor these many grassroots citizen groups and provide some financial support to those whose activity is consistent with HCI goals. No need to pay the National Civic League or professional facilitators to manufacture a "stakeholder" community: Concerned citizens will come together. I discussed this idea with a Colorado Trust staffperson. I was told it was a good idea but would not be approved by Colorado Trust because such support of community activism is too controversial (effective?).

So our citizen groups will continue to struggle on shoestring budgets to make their voices heard at city halls while Colorado Trust gives away millions trying to empower citizens through establishment-acceptable "stakeholder" meetings.

Robert W. Zimmerer

Flop Sweat
I was so grateful to read Michael Roberts's review of the U2 show, "Flop Mart," in the May 8 issue. I was a huge fan from 1981 until Achtung Baby (which wasn't bad, but I already sensed their egos getting way oversized and their music getting way overrated). I didn't see them on the ZooTV tour, and when I later saw parts of it on TV, I was real glad I didn't pay any hard-earned money for it! I truly hope Bono gets the message and can humble himself before someone else does! I'm certain they still have creative fibers within that could be tapped and overflow, but as long as their egos are plugging up the outlets, all that creativity will be stifled! Thanks for easing my curiosity. I now know that I saved a hefty $30 to $40!

Dorothy Moran

I want to ask Michael Roberts: Has he ever written a song, been a star, had a significant social and artistic influence? I think not. So what if only 30,000 people showed up? There were still 30,000 people. I thought it was a great show. Roberts is probably one of those guys who thinks that Shonen Knife is the Second Coming. He really has it in for U2, doesn't he? But would 30,000 people pay to see anything Roberts has ever done? It sounds to me like Roberts is bitter about something; his review and attitude about the band seem personal. He should judge them as he would want to be judged. They are still a great band and still important, more important than he will ever hope to be.

If your mag was not free, I would not even be writing this to you.
Scott Mattern
via the Internet

I must say, Roberts is right on the money regarding the fabled four. As one of the people who attended their first show (outside of high school) way back when, I was touched by the first ten minutes of the Mile High show, but only because of the Irish connection. I found myself suffering from foot cramp after a while instead of being whisked away in the Disney-like production. A lot more energy was let loose by the few who showed up early enough to watch Rage. From our third-row seats, I was amused by the antics of Mr. Hewson and Co., but in all honesty, the show flopped. Edge paraded as a cabaret act out of water with an awful version of "Daydream Believer" (I'm a little disappointed you hadn't a word or two on that). A changing of the guard is in order for the mega-band society; maybe Fleetwood Mac can reclaim the throne. Cheers.

Damien Promise

Suffer through Michael Roberts's resentful verbiage about the U2 concert in an insular, smug and square giveaway tabloid, or listen to U2's exciting, melodic and fun Pop CD?

Hmmm. Tough choice.
Peter Tonks

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