Candygram: Regarding Julie Jargon's "Knock, Knock, Who's There?" in the October 24 issue:
So, what's the next step? What do you do about a "business" whose owners are all but invisible? I've had the same experience in my neighborhood -- kids I don't recognize ringing my bell after dark to sell me candy with a memorized speech about supporting an organization they have little to no real information about. I ask them where they're from and if their parents know where they are. The kids are always from outside my neighborhood and always answer my inquiry with a rehearsed-sounding "I have my parents' permission." I decline to buy anything and send them on their way, telling them to be careful, cautioning that they shouldn't be out after dark and that there are sickos out there.
From this article, it sounds like parents are giving permission for their children to be working after dark in strange neighborhoods, often underdressed for the weather. And if the parents don't care, what can we do?
Michelle M. Baldwin
via the Internet
Van overboard: Just some 411 for you after reading your story about the kids selling candy. I work at an unnamed dealership here in Denver (football, anyone?). One of the guys who used to work sales there said he sold the white fourteen-passenger van -- for cash -- to the lady mentioned in the story. He even saw her garage full of candy. So as far as her denying that she's part of the organization, I call B.S. on that. If it sounds like a scam -- well, you know the rest.
via the Internet
Lofty dreams: Julie Dunn musta dug deeeep into her resources file to find real-estate agent Dee Chirafisi for "Lofts of Luck," in the October 10 issue. What a sterling example of the industry's best and brightest, noting that there's "a lot more inventory" of lower downtown lofts than ever before. Gee, ya think? Given that before about 1992, there were, let's see, uh, none down there? Of course, that's not going to stop some reporter from handing a nit like this legitimacy by quoting her.
And does anybody else feel carpetbagger Chris Sword's pain? The poor baby got outta Dodge with a paltry $150 grand in profit from four emotionally draining years of watching his LoDo loft's value rocket to altitudes that leave anyone who was here circa 1973-'95 gasping. Anyone care to guess what generation this whiny crybaby falls into?
For a decade, they've been building and redeveloping oh-so-tony lofts down there like there's no tomorrow -- or at least none where real estate can come to a screeching halt. The fact that employment has slipped big time (ya can't sell houses to jobless people, Sparky!) and real-estate values have flatlined hasn't slowed the pace of home and some commercial building across the metro area. If they didn't find it beneath them, all those unemployed Gen X geeks could go down there and earn the wages of sin framing and rocking new lofts. Complementing this overbuilding are real-estate agents and developers (can you say "St. Dana"?) who are still partying like it's 1999, trust-fund babies and dot-com owners who don't understand that supply and demand can actually impact price (gasp!). And, of course, there's always our gutless local media that absolutely refuses to report the truth, lest Kaufman or Richmond pull their ads.
Anybody who remembers the blocks of abandoned Aurora condos and townhomes and the two or three VA and HUD repo homes per block in the 1980s can join me in a group "Told ya so!" when we start seeing the same thing downtown. The rest of you can just gape in puzzled ignorance.
The fright stuff: Regarding Michael Roberts's "Ad Attack," in the October 24 issue:
The problem with the anti-#31 TV commercials only begins with the images of wary-looking waifs. Real children in real life are drawn to TV commercials using children, and so they pay attention to these ads. The ads are helpfully written in very simple language, as well as being ambiguous and misleading. So children can hear "force children" as well as read "harm schools" and "harm children."
This can be very frightening to children. Was that the intent?
Joanne Marie Roll
Party hearty: The following is my response to Patricia Calhoun's "Mr. Stanley, We Presume," in the October 17 issue. Westword's efforts to date to discredit the Stanley campaign are once again beneath the journalistic standard you should be aspiring to. Assassinating Rick Stanley's character with the offending article, however, is typical of the Denver media -- i.e., the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News. Destroying third-party campaigns appears to be the game of the week for your ilk. Trivializing my efforts to secure debate status for all candidates on the ballot in the U.S. Senate race betrays your ignorance of the real issues in the 2002 elections.