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Although Ryan was offered a deferred judgment by the city attorney's office, he believed strongly that he was innocent, that he should not compromise his beliefs, and that the justice system would prevail. Ryan represented himself in court, and even with the testimony of the doughnut-shop clerk that he was a paying customer, the testimony of two people that "he was outside of the building for less than one minute" and the ambiguity (if not questionable constitutionality) of the law, the judge found him guilty.

Ryan's doughnut cost him $115, but worst of all, it cost him and his friends their faith in the judicial system and reinforced their suspicions that laws are enforced differently for different types of citizens. It is unfortunate and ironic that this occurred in front of Arvada High School, where the students are being taught about the Constitution and the justice system.

Mike Smith

For Christ's Sake
I have found Westword to be a useful and informational paper for approximately the last ten years. Recently, however, with the addition of your "Jesus of the Week" feature, I have stopped reading Westword. I find this feature to be in poor taste and offensive to thousands of Christians in the metro area, if I may speak as a representative of the Christian community.

I feel that Jesus is not a comical figure to be presented to the public in jest. I do not see your paper ridiculing the faith of others, and I wonder why it is acceptable to Westword to belittle the central figure of the Christian faith. I would appreciate your reconsideration of continuing to present "Jesus of the Week" as a form of entertainment. Thank you.

Sandra Metz

Head of the Class
I would just like to comment on Marty Jones's article about aerials ("Headbangers' Ball," February 25). I have been swing dancing for only about six months or so. I am sixteen years old and very much enjoy going out with a bunch of friends to have fun, dance and get a little air. I realize that there are a lot of risk factors with swing aerials, but I also think that it is completely unfair for clubs to ban them. Swing dancing is what I do instead of drinking, not with it. When the majority of my classmates go out to drink, I would rather dance. Banning the most fun thing about swing dancing does nothing but discourage positive activities like dancing. I personally would rather be dropped on my head (which, by the way has never happened, even after being flipped dozens of times) than get drunk and go drive somewhere. I believe that people need to be taught how to do these moves correctly instead of watching them on TV somewhere and trying it with no knowledge (which is pretty much how I learned 90 percent of my moves). If people learn these correctly and if there is enough space to dance in, then there should be no problem.

Erika Westerlind
via the Internet

Here in Detroit, we're trying to teach other swingcats that staying on the ground while swinging is as cool as flying in the air while trying to act like you're dancing. The Detroit scene was also like that, and in a way, it still is a little. However, now that swing is becoming more and more established, people here are dancing with more style and originality than trying to see which "hepcat can throw their sweet little pigeon in the air." My ankles have been cracked quite a few times, but it's like that anywhere I go dancing.

I wonder if the Denver swing scene is as hep to the jive as Detroit. Time to take a road trip!

Deor Orzame
via the Internet

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