Letters to the Editor

Are You Cracked?

I'll connect you now: David Holthouse's "Call Me," in the January 1 issue, was a fun read. I really, really liked it. It gave context to the agitated junkie who always seems to be screaming into thin air via the pay phone at 11th Avenue and Grant Street when I'm out for a late-evening stroll. There's something poignant and even weirdly peaceful about it: That particular phone is more or less in the wide open amid a couple of parking lots. And usually, no one else is around at that hour. It's like whoever's on the phone is some post-apocalyptic Omega Man standing at the last portal to civilization.

I wonder if others will write with their own pay-phone snapshots. Fodder for a followup? Anyway, Holthouse has a great eye for interesting, oddball stories.

Dan Njegomir
via the Internet

Phone home: What was that I-am-a-pay-phone piece of crap from Holthouse? Is he on crack?

Terry Hamilton

Gas Pains

Mourning becomes electric: Let me add my vote to those impressed by Alan Prendergast's "Raiding the Roan," in the January 1 issue. With such serious issues out there affecting this state, people should be writing letters to Governor Owens, not writing Westword about a cat cover that was obviously a joke.

Cecilia Frank
via the Internet

All's well that ends with a well: Alan Prendergast's well-researched "Raiding the Roan" was marred by the facile analysis of Wilderness Society economist Peter Morton. Demand for natural gas has steadily grown over the last decade, flattening out recently due to price-driven "demand destruction" in the industrial sector, especially chemical and fertilizer companies that use gas as a feedstock. No one should be sanguine about the loss of thousands of American jobs. Nor can the price run-up be ascribed to a lack of storage fields. The problem has been the inability to fill current storage capacity. This is due to the 1- to 2-percent annual decline in domestic gas production since 2000 and to the dramatic increase in gas-fired electrical generation. Gas that used to go into storage in the summer is now fueling turbines to serve air-conditioning loads. Shutting off development on the Roan Plateau would mean locking away enough gas to heat 2.5 million homes for a quarter-century.

But Morton and his ilk don't want to stop there. At a congressional field hearing in Golden last summer, Morton refused to identify a single new, significant gas play on federal lands that he would support. But he listed Montana's Rocky Mountain Front; Wyoming's Jack Morrow Hills and Red Desert; Colorado's Roan Plateau, Vermillion Basin and HD Mountains; Utah's Book Cliffs; and New Mexico's Otero Mesa as areas that should be off-limits. To paraphrase the late Senator Everett Dirksen, "a TCF here, a TCF there, pretty soon you're talking about real gas."

This isn't a matter of industry profits versus the environment. The Roan's resources belong to all Americans; elevating environmental preservation über alles means higher prices for energy consumers, job losses and low-income distress. That's the real tradeoff.

Ken Wonstolen
Colorado Oil & Gas Association

Poetry in Emotion

Love it or leave it: Food is an emotional thing. In fact, all things that sustain life are. Clothes, houses and cars are all things that inspire emotion far beyond their intrinsic worth. Love does weird things to a person, yet when something is loved, that is when it becomes special. Jason Sheehan loves food -- and anyone arguing against that is breathing through his bellybutton. Reading Sheehan's reviews, I see someone fighting a one-man battle to force restaurants to love it or leave it.

For the letter writers who complain that Sheehan is foul-mouthed, my only response is this: So were Joyce and Hemingway. I will continue to read Westword on a weekly basis as long as Jason Sheehan writes reviews.

"What we get out of any one thing someone else put in."

Thomas Delaney

Speaking of putting in: I must say that I was disappointed to see another reference to Sean Yontz at Vega in the December 25 "Season's Eatings." I can count ad nauseam the many references Jason Sheehan has made to Yontz's restaurant over the past year, while ignoring other, finer restaurants that cook with much more flavor and soul. Why doesn't he spend his time reviewing restaurants like Aix instead of Vega and the overladen chile crap that Sean serves?

It makes me wonder if Sheehan may have an issue often referred to in the great cooking text written by Anthony Bourdain; to be specific, I wonder if Sheehan is perhaps "taking it in the twins" from Sean.

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