Letters to the Editor

Mall in the Family

Governmess: Many thanks for Jared Jacang Maher's timely "Malled," in the October 20 issue. The fierce competition between cities for sales-tax revenue is not confined to the northern metro area, however, as my city, Lakewood, tries to steal shopper dollars from Wheat Ridge, Golden, Arvada and Denver (as they do to us). The results are municipalities that act more like Nike and Adidas than governments, calling for better marketing, branding and product placement. Lakewood's current tax proposal (No. 2A on the ballot) is less a need to cover a budget deficit than to get seed money for redeveloping West Colfax into wall-to-wall malls and housing projects, and it has gutted its zoning code in order to do so.

This madness is driving sprawl like a wildfire and could only have been crafted by real estate developers. The current developer fad is Mixed Use Development (or MUD, as I like to call it), where a city makes damn sure it captures enough shopping dollars by erecting high-density housing in the middle of a mall (or maybe it's a mall in the middle of a housing project!), so that people can step out on their front porch to get the morning paper, trip and fall into a Starbucks or a Waffle House. Not too many of us in Colorado want to live like that -- noise, clutter, crowding, commercialism --though I understand New York City is pretty popular (in New York).

This urbanization dynamic is not written in stone, though, and we can change it by voting down tax measures such as Lakewood's; supporting legislation coming up that curbs the taking of private property by government for anything but a public purpose, like a hospital or a highway; and asking your representative to change the way sales tax revenue is charged in Colorado. Cities can go back to being cities (instead of governmess) and focus on jobs and services for their residents. Residents can wake up in the morning knowing their homes or small businesses will not be taken away from them by their cities and they won't, knock on wood, have a mall smacking them in the face.

Susan Williams

The Moron the Merrier

Be prepared! Once again, another whining moron with no answers. I refer to Adam Cayton-Holland and his October 13 What's So Funny, about emergency preparedness. Seriously, this is the type of response that should have ended with the columnist saying, "We should do something about apathy, or not?"

At the very least, someone took the time and initiative to bring to the attention of Colorado residents that we have to be responsible for our own lives regardless of the situation, and to not get caught with our pants down or standing around waiting with our thumb up our ass for the government to show up. Regardless of who organized the campaign, Prepare Colorado makes sense -- but this moron felt compelled to trash the attempt to prepare residents for a possible natural or man-made disaster. It amazes me how Cayton-Holland gave no examples of any intelligent alternatives, just made unwarranted attacks on the mayor and lieutenant governor and the typical sky-is-falling reaction -- i.e., discussing disaster possibilities at the workplace.

As an example, he gave the employee announcing to surrounding co-workers that he/she would like to discuss natural disasters. What an idiot response. Most human resource departments are mandated by law to discuss sexual harassment, yet no one stands up and screams, "Stop looking at my tits!" In the workplace, race relations are also discussed, but no one stands up and screams, "Whitey is the man and he is keeping me down" when he is speaking to a supervisor or human resource representative to bring awareness to the workplace. So why is discussing a natural disaster any worse? The moron who wrote this article is looking for another hate-the-establishment knee-jerk reaction (no alternatives, just finger-pointing and sarcasm), but I guarantee when something happens, he will wish he had prepared. I can only hope that Darwinism is correct, and this moron gets caught with his thumb up his ass waiting for government aid that might not come.

Brian Thomas Cox

If the Shoe Fits

In the pink: I love my Crocs, and I loved Alan Prendergast's "A Really Big Shoe," in the October 13 issue. I have pairs in six colors, including the pink that was on the cover. Although Alan could not find a pair that worked for him, I encourage him to keep looking. He won't be disappointed.

Stacy Hanover

Croc of shit: A seven-page article about Crocs? Are you kidding? Seriously, Alan Prendergast has to find something else to write about. I got to page two and found it incredibly boring. I can't imagine reading the whole thing.

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