The Hard Cell
Although I had heard of the paranoia that corporations are taking over corrections institutions, it was actually only a fleeting thought in my consciousness until I read Alan Prendergast's "Just Hop on the Van, Man," in the December 18 issue. I didn't realize how far this had come until I read the words "CCA Corrections Corporation of America." How could it come to this in what is supposed to be the greatest country on earth? When you stop to think how much power corporations have in America, to allow this "service-oriented business" to operate at such a large profit margin should be considered a threat to the freedom of all Americans. We all know how corporate dollars are used to influence political groups and help pass laws that are in the interest of that particular business. I can't comprehend what this holds for the future of freedom in America.

Robert Tankersley
via the Internet

The Same Old Story
Thank you for Steve Jackson's article exposing the despicable ripoffs of our elderly by opportunists in a system that is supposed to be protective ("Changing of the Guard," December 18). I found the actions you reported of Judge C. Jean Stewart, guardian ad litem Liz Paul, Gordon Wolfe and Michael Dice, among others, disgusting and shameful. What a racket this seems to be--bilking old people of their life's savings through an old-buddy legal clique.

Our courts and lawmakers must address this unethical--and what should be illegal--behavior of particular professionals in this system. Some of these "professionals," who are in court-ordered positions to look after the welfare of our elderly, seem to be no more than self-serving predators and parasites. I feel thankful for Judge Benton coming out of retirement to handle the case of Letty Milstein in an ethical and proper manner, and for deputy DA Phil Parrot's attention to such cases--but why should I feel so thankful for what should be the normal way a legal system would function? It is really shameful the way individuals whose apparent primary motivation is greed are allowed (and even encouraged) to prosper in a system that is supposed to be looking after the welfare of others. For $510,000 to be sucked from a $650,000 estate is obscene.

I know there must be upstanding, ethical, caring lawyers and professionals in Colorado's guardianship system, and I would like to hear stories about them, too, but this expose really shows the dark side of these professions and this field. There is obviously a drastic need for laws, checks and balances and more oversight to prevent the kind of exploitation you have reported on. Should guardians be permitted to hire their own companies or their buddies' companies to provide case management and home health care? Is the conflict of interest not blatant? I hope that Westword and others continue to put attention on the investigation of Judge C. Jean Stewart's actions and the alleged coverup in this case.

Doug Randolph
via the Internet

L.A. Confidential
I read with much trepidation Stuart Steers's article on the California power grab ("Socket to Me," December 11) and the resultant letters to the editor. I was born and raised in a small town in Northern California and am amazed at the views that most Coloradans have about California and its denizens. Having lived for five years in L.A., I will be the first to admit that the allegations heaved at California in general certainly are justified when applied to the City of Angels, but to paint the entire state with that brush simply shows extreme ignorance.

For the information of your readers, most Californians hate L.A. just as much as you do, so please don't apply those attitudes toward L.A. to the whole state.

Matthew Yarbrough
via the Internet

Xmas Marks the Spot
In the December 11 Off Limits, your anniversary brief on the Ramsey case left out the biggest Ramsey pimp of all: Peter Boyles. His ratings have soared, his mug is seen on national TV shows, and I'm sure he has much to celebrate this Christmas season. After all, it took only the death of a child to turn himself into a selfish, self-promoting ass. Disgusting is an understatement.

M. Albers

In the December 11 Off Limits, mention was given to the nativity-scene creche on the Denver City and County Building steps. According to Westword, the thinking is that the creche scene is okay and above lawsuits. However, in a recent court ruling from Utah, judges decided that if a government institution puts up a religious display, it is opening up a free-speech zone. Contrary opinions to religion are not to be outlawed speech. The forum should be shared. That is also the opinion of the local chapter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. We are asking that "Merry Pagan Solstice" be displayed on the Denver City and County Building. A letter was sent to Wellington Webb; we haven't heard back yet.

Jeff Baysinger

Cuss and Effect
Michael Roberts's article about obscenity on the radio ("Obscene and Heard," December 4) was long overdue. Here's my two cents:

Denver's DJs, in general, aren't very talented. If they were, they sure as hell wouldn't be here. They'd be in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles chasing the big bucks. Most of these yo-yos are lucky to have made it out of Moline. Their use of obscenities is their way of being "entertaining"--a substitution for talent, content and creativity. At least Howard Stern is funny, even when talking for an hour about his dick. On the other extreme, listen to the garbage on KOSI or KIMN in the morning (if you can stand it). It's pure puke, folks.

So the next logical question is, which is worse? Shlock radio or shock radio? Pabulum-puking or indecency? You decide.

Arguably, the best DJ ever was Dan Ingram of WABC/New York, a guy who was faster on his feet than anybody else. He was funny, clever as hell and had a great voice. And like many talented air folks, he was great at almost offending the audience. There are no Dan Ingrams in Denver.

Jeff Conn

Letters policy: Westword wants to hear from you, whether you have a complaint or compliment about what we write from week to week. Letters should be no more than 200 words; we reserve the right to edit for libel, length and clarity. Although we'll occasionally withhold an author's name on request, all letters must include your name, address and telephone number. Write to:

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