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J.T. Miller
via the Internet

I have just finished your item on Ocean Journey, and I am incredulous, to say the least. For the last eight years, I have been involved with Ocean Journey as a volunteer. I am currently a Volunteer Team Leader. I am responsible for a group of seventeen volunteers, and I am a volunteer myself. I have seen Ocean Journey grow from a struggling startup to the magnificent world-class aquarium it is today.

In the initial days, I remember working long days at events and talking so much my voice was hoarse, but never in all that time have I suffered the Dickensian-type treatment discussed in your article. At the present time, I am amazed at the quality of their staff and truly amazed that even with the overtime being put in by the paid staff, the operation is still one that exhibits courtesy and respect to its volunteer base.

Is the organization perfect? Of course not. But to say that this organization ignores its volunteers and treats them badly is unjust and untrue.

Douglas H. Greenspan

As I sit reading a memo dated May 28, 1999, from the volunteer services department of Ocean Journey, I wonder how your Off Limits column included a section regarding the volunteer experience. In the area entitled "breaks," it states clearly: "Please take breaks to use the water fountains or restrooms during rotations on your shift." Seems pretty clear to me.

As a paper that espouses justice and the "right thing," I find it deplorable that you would take the word of one disgruntled volunteer to showcase. As any good journalist would know, substantiation and validation of published information is critical. I am sure that if you were to stand outside of Ocean Journey and at random query volunteers as they left the building, you would find the opinion of this individual to be isolated and unique.

I challenge you to be one of the first newspapers to begin showcasing positives rather than negatives. Perhaps in doing so, your credibility as a paper and as individual journalists will surpass the tabloid nature of your reporting of this incident.

Diane Gibason
via the Internet

Here Comes the Calvary
I would like to personally thank your outstanding staff writer Alan Prendergast. Alan's dogged persistence of the Calvary Temple issue--most recently in the July 1 "Amazing Grace"--has kept the truth alive for the hundreds of elderly distressed investors promised repayment for decades by Pastor Charles E. Blair and Calvary Temple elders. The good name of Calvary Temple has been lost!

Westword is the only news media to keep the focus on Colorado's largest religious scandal. Your various articles over time are examples of the best journalism your readers have come to appreciate.

Joel N. Levitt

For Christ's Sake!
First of all, I want to say that I appreciated your printing both the positive and negative feedback to Julie Jargon's June 17 "Too Much Church," about the Denver Church of Christ.

I am a member of the church, and I love what it has done for my life. I have grown so much in my relationship with God, it is incredible. I encourage anyone who is upset, frustrated or just intrigued to really check it out for themselves. I promise the goal of the church is not to manipulate people's minds, but to present the truth. People can accept it or not.

There are many negative things in the article and in other articles about the church, and I don't agree with most of them. Some things may be taken out of context so they appear to sound worse than they are. It would be fruitless to discuss or defend everything. I can assure you that even though none of my family members besides my husband belong to the church, my relationship with them is better than ever. I credit that to God, with whom I probably never would have built a deep relationship if it wasn't for some of my friends in the church who were doing the same.

I agree with another wise writer who said, "Don't believe everything you read."

Rikki Stout
via the Internet

Having been recently recruited by the Denver Church of Christ, I absolutely agree with Julie Jargon's article, "Too Much Church." During my recruitment by the church, I was sent flowers, gifts and cards as a way to get me to join. I never joined, and I warn anyone interested to stay away from this church.

It is the most dangerous cult out there.
Name withheld on request

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