The hard cell: Adam Cayton-Holland's "Rae of Sunshine," in the March 9 issue, was a great story -- and this from a small-time news editor. Not just a good scenario, but well-executed storytelling and cutting-edge journalism. I was particularly impressed with how much of the story Adam was able to draw out, with so many resources clearly keeping their mouths shut.
Peter John Stone, news editor
High Country Trader
Rae of hope: I have enjoyed many of Adam Cayton-Holland's articles, and "Rae of Sunshine" was great. The Emily situation has been an interesting and haunting one for me; her death could easily have been avoided. I have had several scenarios with Denver sheriffs and the jail system, and I guarantee you that their overtly insouciant attitude at the jail is what allowed Emily to expire.
The problem is that it all happened in their domain, so no one can refute them and they can say whatever they want. C'mon -- literally, twelve to fourteen hours of Emily stating that she can't feel her legs and feet, when she's unable to get up and get some food when the sheriffs go around from cell to cell passing it out. Many complaints to several individuals yielded no action whatsoever until Emily was motionless and cold. Denver Health and the Denver City Jail nurse need to be held accountable for this. But I am a pragmatist, and I know no one will end up paying.
I had seen Emily at Herman's but never really met her. Still, I am haunted by her, a girl who was my niece's age. My niece, who is airheaded and could have easily been in the same situation, forgetting to pay traffic fines and the like. My niece, who, if she is ever incarcerated and complains of pain or no feeling in her legs, will end up the same way. It is hard for me to have faith in mankind when this type of thing occurs.
Remembering Emily: I'm one of Emily Rice's aunts. Thank you for "Rae of Sunshine"; it really captured Emily's personality. (I'd never heard the pen-in-the-crack story before -- ha!)
Thanks again for reminding me what a great kid Emily was, and for getting her story out there. I hope you'll keep up with it, because I think it's going to be big. Somebody -- several somebodies -- dropped the ball big time. Nobody should suffer what she did.
New York, New York
Crime and punishment: Seriously, why do you keep the moronic Adam Cayton-Holland on your payroll? His Not So Funny columns read like a sharp stick in the eye. What this dickhead does to the English language should be a hate crime.
"Rae of Sunshine" boils down to nothing more than I read in the Denver Post's police-blotter report. Nothing new, interesting or infuriating.
The more the merrier: Regarding Dave Herrera's "Fray Time," in the March 9 issue:
Good man, Dave, write till it bleeds -- or frays, as the case may be. I think you should hammer home the success these lads are having and growing into. I, for one, would love to see Westword do for the Fray what good old Hotpress did for U2. Make your readers care for them, paint them as the right guys for the right job. I think you've been bitten by the Fray bug. Be objective, but make it sound like a conquest, because it just might happen. That would be cool.
Good read, nice one.
The same old song: We've Herrera'd it all before.
It is exciting to see Denver acts like Dressy Bessy and the Fray help destroy Denver's image as a cowtown. Denver music deserves the attention. But it is heartbreaking to see the March 9 Westword dedicating both the cover article and Beatdown to a single band.
A year ago, Dave Herrera quoted himself describing the Fray's music, and how his article helped draw attention from the major labels. If he truly has that influence, he needs to share it with hundreds of other great Denver acts. When bands like Red Cloud West and the Tarmints break, we can all look back fondly on how we used to read about them in the Denver Post.
We, the people: As a newcomer to Colorado, I really enjoyed Patricia Calhoun's "Flats, Busted," in the March 9 issue -- although reading it was a little like watching a really scary horror movie. How could the government let this happen? Why were the neighbors living around the plant lied to? How could the lawsuit take sixteen years? Will that area ever be safe? Will I have two heads after walking in Colorado's newest nature preserve?