Class DismissedRegarding Patricia Calhoun's "Life's Little Lessons," in the January 27 issue:

After seeing Calhoun and Tom Tancredo on Channel 12 for lo, those many years, I am absolutely dumbfounded that he could grow and become a human! It has encouraged me to be less judgmental and kinder. Columbine was a litmus test for many of us: What are we made of? Will we stay in denial or do something?

Keep up the great work. I enjoy your efforts, whether in print or on TV.

Don Hahn

via the Internet

For the semantically challenged, here's a little tip. If you live in a city claiming to be "world-class," chances are it isn't. World-class cities are "world-class"; they never claim to be "world-class." There's a difference between being something and claiming to be something.

Side note: Granted, it's more fashionable to claim to be "world-class" than to claim to be a "real" city. But Denver hasn't become a "real" city, either. What else is new? Moo.

Montgomery Gabrys

via the Internet

Editor's note: On Monday, Mayor Wellington Webb announced ten priority projects for his remaining time in office -- including a December 31, 2000, New Year's Eve/New Millennium Celebration in downtown Denver. "The plans for the celebration are currently being developed," says spokesman Andrew Hudson, "but Mayor Webb has directed the Mayor's Office of Art, Culture and Film to hold the event in Civic Center Park, in front of Denver City Hall, and that fireworks are to be part of the celebration."

Teaching Mrs. TraceyI just finished reading Alan Prendergast's "Lessons From the Third Grade," in the January 27 issue, over a cup of soup at the nearby Alfalfa's, and I wanted to write and compliment you on it before I forgot about it in the rush of everyday life. I really enjoyed this article. It gave a very realistic picture of a teacher's life, especially a teacher in a school that faces many challenges, like Ashley Elementary. I am always amazed when I hear about teachers being blamed for the ills of schools, because I have known so many teachers like Mrs. Tracey, who are dedicated, hardworking and talented -- and who transmit a love of learning to their young charges. I was sad to read of her decision to leave, but not very surprised.

Christine Soto

via the Internet

Walking the DogRegarding Harrison Fletcher's "Going to the Dogs," in the January 27 issue:

It may be an arcane idea, but I was under the impression that we pay the city attorney to uphold the law and prosecute those who break it. The law says that dogs must be on a leash, and Sean McGuire's dog was not on a leash. Seems cut-and-dried to me. He claims that the dog is tame and trained but then admits that even Roscoe has a mind of his own. And exactly what did he expect his dog to testify about? Talk about a waste of the court's time. Is he suggesting that the law applies only to people with mean dogs? Perhaps we could hold dog auditions so that no nice dog will be forced to wear a leash.

I agree that this case is a waste of time, but Mr. Woods has no choice but to follow through with every stupid appeal -- that's his job. Apparently Mr. McGuire feels that as an ex-cop and an ex-lawyer, he deserves special treatment or a way around the law. Just because you don't like a law doesn't mean you can break it, however. Mr. McGuire, you're wasting our money. Just pay your ticket and get over it.

Kym Bloom

via the Internet

Sean McGuire is performing a community service by challenging the leash law in Denver. I have watched overzealous animal-control officers drive their truck across the park, ruining the grass to get to an unsuspecting owner and dog without a leash. The real purpose of the leash law is to produce revenue for the city. It's great to read about someone fighting City Hall. Good luck, Sean!

Donna Hamburg

via the Internet

It's been a while since I've heard of such a colossal waste of the city's time and resources. The problem is not personal: I'm sure Sean McGuire's dog is very well-trained. The issue is that every time you allow a gray area, such as letting only "trained dogs" go leashless, you open the door for a slew of interpretive disputes and who knows how many hours and dollars wasted. Meanwhile, this poor dog continues to be exploited.

Fletcher's article didn't really bother to get a well-rounded point of view. Just because neither Mr. Woods nor Judge Crew can comment on the specifics of the case does not mean that the story should be so lopsided merely out of inertia. McGuire has gone beyond making a point, and you make it sound as if the city's side is represented by a hardass chuckling in his ivory tower about the troubles that befall the average citizen. I doubt this is the case. Mr. Woods is only doing his job. But if I were faced with such a silly little man as McGuire, I couldn't guarantee he wouldn't be the butt of my jokes. Humor him if you must, but don't bitch when the city's resources come up short precisely because of superfluous "points" McGuire feels he must make.

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