Letters to the Editor

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I feel that all the critics of our fair city have missed the boat or have come and gone. We are different here, and that's what makes America. Why can't the people who are never pleased and love to hear themselves complain give us a break? Denver is not L.A., NYC or Dallas: It is our home, and you should try to make it yours. Maybe you will learn how far we have come in the last thirty years. At least we try to tolerate the bad rap.

So please don't quote lines from Green Acres. Attend a play downtown, go to LoDo or the Pepsi Center. Most of all, you folks from Boston and California should drive on our freeways. By the way, we have some fantastic mountains!

Thomas G. Valle

Fault lines: Turner and Elliott accurately and honestly point out some of the true faults with Denver and the Front Range in general, and I agree on many points, maybe even most. Still, all things considered, I'd rather endure the "churlish" aspects of the great West than endure the endless parade of meathead, goombah Sopranos types with obnoxious accents (and thought processes), poor manners and big hair, etc., in the East, or the superficial, fake-breasted and spacey idiots on the Left Coast.

How about we put to rest this tired, over-generalized debate? There is no perfect place in the world, and all you can hope for is to find a place that has more of what you seek and need and less of what you dislike than other places. Everywhere in our country, we have a mixture of sophisticates, meatheads and everything in between, including people and things that you may not like but that you can disagree with in a civilized and honest manner. Thus, for lots of people, Denver and the Front Range are better places than most. Mr. Elliott should go to New York or San Francisco and quit bitching. Mr. Turner needs more sophistication in media, so he should try Chicago (oh, there's lots of sophistication there...along with people we cannot describe other than as "buffoons" following "duh Bearsssss"), or Atlanta (that bastion of sophistication where everything -- I mean everything -- is named after peaches) or, God forbid, Philadelphia.

And for those of us who remain here, try to know who you really are, and quit kidding yourselves about who you are, what you do, and the consequences thereof.

Mike Heimos

Save the Children

Mother knows best: The Veasey children are a classic example of child torture by the system that is supposed to protect them. Torn from their parents, they "act out" after talking to Mom, because this reminds them of what they have lost. Karen Bowers's "A Range of Harsh Lessons," in the May 3 issue, clearly describes an exceptional mom, one who went to the trouble of home schooling her children, then hired private tutors. Children form a strong bond to such parents.

If parents could calmly tolerate the loss of their children, the human race could not exist. Social workers pretend their abuse of parents is justified for the children's sake, but 100,000 cases like the Veaseys' (especially Candace Newmaker's) demonstrate the truth: Children are just as devastated. The Veasey children must all be returned home at once, with state-paid counseling to handle their trauma. I trust that wise mom to handle her boys.

The social workers cannot tell the best parents from the worst. Stories like that of the Veaseys are appearing in major newspapers and magazines from one end of the country to the other, in a rising thunder of outrage that will shake this nation. Your stories will save lives, but remember -- we need solutions, too.

Esther Cook

Cutting Your Losses

Give it a rest: With the recent announcements of the $2.5 million and $300,000 settlements for the Columbine victims' families, and pending claims against Jefferson County law-enforcement authorities, the Jefferson County Public Schools, the Tanner Gun Show and hundreds of video-game companies (Alan Prendergast's "The Do-Nothing Defense," May 3), I can't help but wonder how much monetary "payback" will be required before the tragedy can be put to rest.

Some compensation for the grieving families was to be expected. The parents of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were rightly punished for their part in the tragedy. But when attorney Stephen Wahlberg stated, "We have not yet begun to fight with those that we have a fight with," immediately after $2.5 million was awarded, I began to wonder at what point emotional suffering transforms into greed.

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