Letters to the Editor

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And for all of you who don't see graffiti like I do but bitch about the nuisance it is, you all sure love to steal it for mainstream magazines, T-shirts and corporate commercial advertisements.

Brian Rad


Ordering Off the Venue

Smear tactics: I think the decision of the Aspen Daily News not to carry any stories about the Kobe Bryant case (The Message, October 23) may prove useful in fighting any defense motion for a change of venue on the theory that Bryant can't get a fair trial in Eagle County because of pre-trial publicity.

Subscribers to the Aspen Daily News may actually be the most unbiased potential jurors in the country after Pamela Mackey's grandstanding attempt to smear Jane Doe and taint the pool of jurors -- what irony!

S. Williams

via the Internet

Insurance Claims

Pinned by Pinnacol: Regarding Stuart Steers's "Adding Insult to Injury," in the October 16 issue:

Many people would say there are two sides to every story. Apparently Westword would disagree.

In his article, Stuart Steers profiled the injuries and workers' compensation complaints of three individuals, two of which were claims filed at Pinnacol Assurance. We need to clarify a few inaccuracies, as well as offer facts Westword chose not to mention that are pertinent to the situations of these individuals.

Since 1987, when the legislature transformed Pinnacol Assurance from a state agency to a quasi-public entity, the employees of Pinnacol have made a commitment to serve all Colorado employers by working in accordance with the highest ethical and legal standards. These employees have transformed the fledging state workers' compensation fund (with poorly trained employees, an asbestos-laden work environment, horrible customer satisfaction and a half-billion-dollar deficit) into a company that provides exceptional customer service and claims management at a competitive price and has sufficient financial surplus to cover future claims, for which the state government has no support or liability.

It is unfortunate that the two individuals, Benson Von Feldt and Jack Stroh, made comments that were exaggerated with regard to treatment received from Pinnacol Assurance. And shame on Westword for listening to only one side of the story.

Pinnacol Assurance strives to get injured workers healthy and back to work. Over 80 percent of our policyholders are businesses that have chosen Pinnacol for their workers' compensation insurance, with less than 20 percent of businesses using us because they are unable to get insurance from another carrier. In our 2002 customer- satisfaction survey, policyholders scored Pinnacol at 8.35 on a 10-point scale. Based on this feedback of excellent service, we know that Pinnacol is not "adding insult to injury," but simply that we are and will continue to be good for Colorado.

Gary Pon, CEO

Pinnacol Assurance

Editor's note: When Stuart Steers interviewed Gary Pon, he was told that it was against Pinnacol's policy to comment on individual cases, a statement echoed by Pinnacol's public-relations office.

A Word to the Wives

A womb of one's own: Having just seen the movie Veronica Guerin, I went back and read Gregory Weinkauf's quite interesting review ("Saint Veronica," October 16), in which he described said Veronica as a "feisty suburban wife and mother of one."

Gag. Let me point out -- again, since you knuckleheads don't seem to get it -- that none of the male characters had their place of residence and/or number of offspring so described. Please evolve. End of feminist rant.

Marie Meyer

via the Internet

Ted alert: Gregory Weinkauf states that Sylvia isn't flawless, and that's one of the few accurate statements in his review ("Love Among the Ruins," October 23). The film was a piece of claptrap with the writer's and director's over-the-top portrayal of Sylvia Plath as demented. Gwyneth Paltrow spouted Plath in a stilted, overly dramatic way that caused laughter from the audience at the preview I attended. The soundtrack swelled to such a peak at times that one thought at least three philharmonic orchestras had to have been playing at once. Was this a dramatic, insightful film? One would hardly think so, with the insertion of gratuitous comic relief near the end. Although Ted Hughes did not come off unscathed, it is interesting to note that in the final screen statements, no mention was made of Hughes's second wife, Assia, committing suicide by gas with their young child, Shura. Who was the demon here, really?

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