Letters to the Editor

Park-n-Chide, Round One

Dollars and sense: Patricia Calhoun's column on Denver parking meters ("The Meter's Running," February 6) was right on the money. Thank you for taking the city to task on this absurd debacle.

Although my political views are considerably to the right of Calhoun's, I am often surprised at how regularly we agree on issues that should be a matter of common sense. Her journalism is a credit to her personal integrity and profession.

Jonathan Byrne
via the Internet

LoDo lament: At last! Someone has put it in the face of Denver city government! As a former devotee of LoDo, I applaud Patricia Calhoun's "The Meter's Running" regarding the parking situation in downtown Denver. Although I live in Evergreen, I frequented LoDo for years -- to meet friends for happy hour or dinner, to see a movie or hear a band, to attend a ballgame, and for any other fun times available in what I used to consider the most accessible and easily maneuvered major city in America.

However, I no longer make an effort to frequent the wonderful businesses in the downtown Denver area because of the parking sad, because I was Denver's biggest cheerleader! When guests from out of town came to visit, LoDo was the first place I would take them. When getting together with a group of friends, LoDo was the first place I suggested. Since the parking-meter invasion began and parking became the biggest issue to overcome when planning a night on the town, I have gone from a minimum of at least one night in LoDo every weekend to, at most, one night every six months.

Although I am no expert, it would seem that the revenues Denver is getting from parking in LoDo are at the expense of the tax revenues lost. All this because people avoid shopping and playing in the downtown area due to the parking fiasco. It would be interesting to see if the tradeoff is worth it in the end. I miss being able to go to downtown Denver with ease!

Linda M. Davis

Park-n-Chide, Round Two

Getting down in downtown: Regarding David Holthouse's "Dream Time Extended," in the February 6 issue:

Judge Joseph Meyer may not be able to define Latin music, but you would think he would be able to recognize that Latin music isn't stand-up comedy. Even so, the Pavilions should leave Sevilla alone.

Sevilla leases a space nestled snuggly between a dozen personality-free chain restaurants and cheesy bars. Sevilla was cool before it moved into the Pavilions, but now, anyone who knows anything about where to go in this town would never deal with that parking nightmare just to fight their way through the mobs of teenagers who swarm the movie theater every weekend. The Pavilions is lucky that anyone can stay in business up there at all. The last cheesy theme restaurant that leased that space couldn't stay afloat. The mall was just lucky to find a tenant to take on that bizarre rock-like interior from Cafe Odyssey. The Pavilions should be a little more worried about expanding its clientele beyond underage kids and tourists and a little less worried about starting a politically incorrect crusade to limit the definition of Latin music.

Jennifer Jones

Every Which Way But Bruce

SOB story: Regarding Alan Prendergast's "Bruce Talk," in the January 30 issue:

I signed Doug Bruce's petition once, but never again. He is an arrogant SOB. No wonder he recognizes politicians as that -- he is one of them.

Nick Werle
via the Internet

Capitalist prigs: There is a capitalist class war going on in this country. Right now!

Doug Bruce, a bootlicker for the capitalist upper class, knows that the primary function of government is to protect the wealthy elites from interference by regular working people. His goal is to shield the upper class by "attacking" their main line of defense: government. This gives the impression that it is the government and not the capitalist elites who are the enemy of the common people.

Fearing and distrusting their potential political activity, Bruce and the TABOR Amendment are simply a long line of obstacles created to ensure that working people do not discover the secret of our class-divided capitalist society: that rich people are parasites.

John Cassella

Every Which Way But Loose

Trivial pursuit: About the Coors twin ads, (Julie Dunn's " The Light Stuff," January 23) I just have to ask: "Who cares?" So they paid a couple of buxom twins big bucks to sell Coors by selling sex. So what else is new? All the hullabaloo about it confirms my contention that there are many people out there who are just waiting to be offended and have too much time on their hands. The trivial things that offend them reinforce the fact that they must have it pretty good, or they'd quit worrying about unimportant things.

But then, I'm not part of your demographic -- young, good-looking people who don't have a life. I'm a 65-year-old "rational individualist" who is about as close to being a conservative as is possible without actually being one. Until I happened upon the "controversy" in your pages, I didn't even notice the campaign except to appreciate the twins. But then, I don't drink, smoke or chase loose women (that last not by choice, but by lack of opportunity). I can't run as fast as I used to. And I do have a life.

Ray Thomas
via the Internet

The wrong stuff: Michael Cohen's February 6 letter, regarding Julie Jargon's "The War Within," tries to make us think that he is some kind of "insider" who knows all about the military. Actually, his letter tells us all we need to know -- not about the military, but about him: He is not a soldier in any branch of the United States Armed Forces; he is not a cadet in any academy of the United States Armed Forces; and he has never set foot on the deck of an aircraft carrier. No honorably serving soldier or veteran would call a United States naval vessel a "floating whorehouse." No decent citizen, much less a soldier, would "spit on" those who defend us. The reality is that Mr. Cohen is so pathetically bitter that he can't believe that taxpayers will proudly pay for a "right stuff" fighter pilot's training even if she has nine months of downtime (gasp) in a twenty-year career. I'm sure Mr. Cohen has more downtime on his hands than nine months, but we'll never know, because he is NOT fighter pilot material -- or academy material, for that matter. What Mr. Cohen does have time to do is attempt to undermine this fighting nation's resolve with his traitorous whining.

J. Mitchell
via the Internet

We Could Make Beautiful Music Together

On the case: Gotta agree with Laura Bond about the Rolling Stones coverage saturating Denver media (Backwash, February 6), but did she really have to take a reader to task for posing such a simple question? If promoting music outside the mainstream is her goal, couldn't that column space have been better utilized by touting this week's Neko Case show? How about touching on Denver native Corey Harris, back in town opening for David Gray? Is she really that bitter about the Stones?

Finally, what the hell is this "spoken word" promotion in Backwash? Isn't this supposed to be a music column? Is it that hard to fill a weekly music column with music content? Come on, now, she can do better. Hoping to see it soon.

Tom Nash
via the Internet

Send in the clones: Wuz up wit dissin' da Insane Clown Posse wit dat wack-ass comic (At the Show, February 6)? Well, hah hah hah, now you gots a nation of juggalos comin' for your nuggets. Understand, mutherfackos? You've just called a clown jihad on j'alls asses.

Anyways, why's you gots to dis ICP? They the only quality music coming out now. Oh, wait, you guys are all into the "good" music, like Feminem (you'd never see da clownz singin' wit dat gay ass Elton John) or the Strokes (yeah, strokin' each others' dicks, I bet...) or the White Stripes (you get "white stripes" when you wipe the semen off yo pants after jerkin' off to a photo of ole' Marshall Mathers!).

So y'alls go listen to yo MTV, Rolling Stone, Spin-approved bullshit. Da juggalos (not "jugaloos," you illiterate rednex) will be keepin' it real. When the Seventh Joker's card is played, judgment will rain down on y'all like Faygo.

Dave "2Dope" Graham
via the Internet

COMA dose: It's nice to see Laura Bond at so many Colorado Music Association meetings, and it pleases me to see that COMA is important, or at least interesting, enough to be mentioned so often in her column, most recently the January 23 Backwash. It may not always be flattering, but at least it's accurate. Still, I can't help but wish that one's accomplishments were as interesting and compelling to read as one's controversy.

The January 19 COMA meeting was rough, mostly because things are that way with COMA these days. The truth is that beneath what many have only seen as a cool and exciting organization lies much unfinished business. No one cares to consider the details of what keeps this organization going. Not only does it take a lot of time and energy to keep what most people have enjoyed about COMA so far, but the present board seeks to find and establish new and more meaningful ways to fulfill COMA's mission. The monthly meetings are awesome, and the panels are great, too, but this organization has the power to do more for the music community. That's why we are pursuing what needs to be done to strengthen and legitimize areas like committees, bar codes, the directory, etc.

Perhaps we should just keep things simple. COMA seemed much better when all we did was get together once a month to meet, drink and talk. Yes, attendance and membership is down. Is this present board the reason? Hard to say. The economy alone could be to blame. Many may prefer to do their monthly get-togethers at shows instead of boring panel discussions. Whatever the reason, this board and I are forging ahead to secure COMA's position in the music community. It's our plan to continue doing all we can for the many we know who still believe in COMA.

The Colorado Music Association cannot, and should not, exist without the interest and support of its members. So many are willing to offer their ideas as long as others can carry them out. It's easy to complain about what is not getting done when you offer nothing to help. If COMA is to succeed, more people need to take action. If not for each other, at least for themselves.

I love this music community, and I will do what I can to support it.

Tommy Nahulu, president
Colorado Music Association

Well, I'll Be DAMed

A clash of symbols: Regarding the January 16 Off Limits commentary on the new identity for the Denver Art Museum, I feel compelled to respond.

I am the creative director at MetaDesign responsible for this identity. Your comment about "no homage to the building's famous architecture, a hallmark of the DAM's former logo (which worked just fine for thirty years)" unfortunately misses the point. The previous logotype, which vaguely represented the original Ponti building, was very loosely applied and had both recognition and representational difficulties; it did not even say the name of the institution. If you add to that the upcoming presence of the new Libeskind building, which is a stark stylistic contrast to the existing building, representing both with a symbol becomes unwieldy -- and frankly unnecessary. The buildings themselves will be the symbols, so why represent symbols with symbols?

And, as for the comments regarding the use of Quark and Illustrator, MetaDesign is one of the leading typographic design firms, having designed some of the most-used typefaces of the twentieth century, including Meta and Officina. The typography you see is not "paint straight out of the tube," but a considered redrawing of the classic Akzidenz Grotesk and Trump fonts -- a contrast that represents both the traditional and contemporary posture of the museum.

Identities are not judged by whether they are "imaginative" or not -- that is the purpose of the buildings, the collections and the experience of the visit. Identities are judged by whether they are appropriate, not whether they satisfy some immediate urge for playful decoration.

I ask the critics to wait ten years and then comment on the identity. That is the true test of whether an identity works or not.

Brett Wickets
San Francisco

The Pry Files

Total recall: I do not desire to continue a running debate in your paper's Letters column, but I must reply to Frank Whiteman's letter in your January 23 issue. I hope Mr. Whiteman was not attempting to mislead your readers as to my actual opinions when he stated that, in reference to my earlier letter opposing the Bush administration's "Total Information Awareness" computer database, "It seems okay with Mr. Quet that thieves, criminals and mischief-makers can receive and record this info on the phone or the Internet or retrieve it from computers, but he does not want government employees to do this." It is obvious that no one on the correct side of the law actually wants criminals getting anyone's personal information. (And I agree that criminals stealing our personal information is a very real problem.)

But -- and I may be wrong -- his letter makes it seem as though he, on the other hand, is actually in favor of the total invasion of our privacy that is proposed by the administration, as long as it is "the Government" doing the invading. I do not think the "If Total Information Awareness was outlawed, then only outlaws would have TIA" argument has any real validity. I mean, if the government was (and I'm not saying that it isn't) going around doing almost anything else that is illegal (or immoral) to the American people, then anything else that "thieves, criminals and mischief-makers" also do would be okay?

I believe, as others also must, that our government should spend more resources (much more than it does now) on preventing criminals and (yes) employers from getting access to our private, personal and once-secure information than it spends on getting that same information for itself. Because otherwise, the government, I am sorry to say, is the criminal.

Leroy Quet

Pointed Criticism

The big sleep: Regarding Jason Sheehan's "A Beautiful Dine," in the January 30 issue:

I'm falling asleep reading Sheehan's articles. Get to the point!

Burt Wolf
via the Internet

Waiting to Exhale

Alternate reality: Regarding Jason Sheehan's Bite Me columns (most recently, January 30) on a possible smoking ban, I see how he could think that business would be hurt by not allowing smoking in bars (in particular). But in reality, this simply is not the case. Where I live, bars and restaurants are still packed to overflowing. Business is excellent. The only difference is the lack of smell. For a while, smoking was allowed in hotel bars (for the convenience of international guests), and I could not see that their business had increased during the period when they had an exclusive place for smokers. (Many bars and restaurants in California have patio dining where smoking is allowed, since it is technically outside.)

Samantha Hampton
Thousand Oaks, CA

Smoke 'em if you got 'em: Jason Sheehan's smoking articles are a breath of fresh air (pun most definitely intended). I myself am not an iron-lung-carrying smoker of three packs a day, but I do enjoy a cigarette while in the midst of the perfect cocktail. Or, as Teddy from Stand By Me so eloquently put it, "There's nothing like a good smoke after dinner."

I just wanted to let you know I thought Jason did a very good job of bringing out some very pertinent facts concerning the economy, other alternatives and how narrow-minded the Smoke-Free Denver folks truly are. Campaigns like this become nothing but a game between sides, each one using whatever makes it look good while portraying the other as the smoking Son of Satan.

I'll leave you with a quote from Mark Twain: "There are lies, damn lies, and statistics."

Chad Leake
via the Internet

War and peace: Perhaps an analogy might bring Jason Sheehan to an understanding of the other side of the smoking issue. He doesn't have to agree, but at least seeing the other side will help him argue his point more effectively.

Imagine yourself sitting in a small apartment, trying to sleep. You have to get up early the next morning. The guy above you decides to play his music loud enough that your walls are shaking. Suppose that music is the type you hate -- whether that be rap, heavy metal, country or elevator music. Imagine there are no laws protecting you against this intrusion. You talk to the guy, and he tells you that if you don't like it...leave. There are other apartments out there, and you can't infringe on his right to listen to his music. You feel as if his right is trampling all over your right to get some sleep.

I anticipate that Jason will argue that since you're in your home, it's different. Okay, so take the same scenario and now you are at the beach, hiking in the mountains, or doing some other activity where you would like to enjoy the surroundings.

I understand Jason's defensiveness. However, his personal insults and rash stereotypes do little to persuade me. I am pretty sure a ban on smoking in restaurants is a good thing. It really does ruin the taste of the meal, and I am concerned about exposing my daughter to smoke. I was undecided on the ban in bars. After reading Jason's articles, I'm thinking it might be a good idea.

I couldn't wade through all Jason's crap to find his true points. So I am under the impression that he just doesn't give a s--- about anybody else's rights but his own.

Stephanie Gee
via the Internet

Dangerous liaisons: I read Jason Sheehan's article on smoking and loved it. Too bad something cannot be done to stop these do-gooders! I, like Jason, smoke knowing full well the dangers. But driving in your own neighborhood can be dangerous, as is going out alone after dark. And then there are the foods or drugs that were great for you two years ago but are now bad for you. It really doesn't matter what you do; someone out there will find something "dangerous" about it. What are we to do?

As for restaurants and bars, if they go non-smoking, I will not patronize them. I feel that it should be left up to the owner. You can't tell me that employees are stupid and need "them" to make employees' lives safer. Can't people decide for themselves what is right for them? Do all of us need to be guided through life like we have lost our decision-making abilities? What is to stop "them" from going after alcohol for a total ban? Maybe down the road we will only have eateries!

If they feel this way about cigarettes, then maybe cigarettes should be an illegal substance. That is how they are treating them. No matter what "they" choose to go after, it won't matter, because there will always be something dangerous out there. Matter of fact, getting out of your shower is dangerous to your body.

Great job. I look forward to reading more of Jason's articles.

Sandra Hagaman

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