Letters to the Editor

No Walk in the Park

Food for thought: I usually look forward to Adam Cayton-Holland's column for quirky humor, damning critique and guaranteed laughter. But the April 20 What's So Funny actually had a different effect: It got me off my butt and down to the Gathering Place with $200 worth of groceries to help the folks down there out. All thanks to his mention of them. That Montview Watch is a true group of idiots -- we wouldn't want to risk their little insular lives, heaven forbid.

Man, I feel as good (if not better) than when I bust a gut laughing at Adam's prose. Thanks.

Don Langeberg

Homeless is where the heart is: I just read the What's So Funny about Montview Watch. What a bunch of jerks. I mean, to pick on homeless women with children -- my God!

My family moved into the Park Hill neighborhood in 1972, and what a great place it was. My block was full of families of all different races (black, white, Hispanic) and economic backgrounds (from lawyer, judge and editor of the Denver Post to a family that lived in a house owned by the Denver Housing Authority, and everyone in between). There were so many kids, and we were like a family. I loved Park Hill and was sad when my mom sold her home in 1997. But if this is what Park Hill is turning into, I am glad she moved.

Gina Jecminek

Words get in the way: Aside from having a name that I find vaguely and inexplicably annoying, Adam Cayton-Holland is a right clever young man and has a way with words. From time to time, however, the words get away from him, and his intense, self-conscious desire to be excruciatingly funny obscures his point. He had a decent argument early in his latest column -- that neighborhood opposition to the temporary relocation of the Gathering Place smacks a bit of NIMBYism and liberal hypocrisy. But by the end of the rant, by ratcheting up his hyperbolic humor several notches too far, his position had all the authenticity of a Bill O'Reilly editorial.

As a thirty-plus-years resident of Park Hill and a member of the board of governors of the Greater Park Hill Community, I can assure Westword readers that not all opponents of the Gathering Place are "mongoloids." (Thanks so much, by the way, for that tasteful metaphor.) There have been several presentations to the board about the issue, and residents on both sides have presented arguments that are generally reasonable. So far, no testimony has been of a variety that would incite wackos at either end of the social/political spectrum.

I think having Montview Presbyterian host the Gathering Place for a year is, by and large, a pretty cool thing. The church has an admirable history of community involvement. The Gathering Place clearly does wonderful work. But the move does present some real challenges. Surely you cannot deny that more than 300 people a day seeking assistance at the church will have an impact. And surely you cannot deny that if you were on the same block, your insights might be slightly affected.

Also allow me to suggest that Park Hill, despite the fear expressed by Mr. Cayton-Holland, is not about to become a Cherry Hills or Hilltop anytime soon. We have neither the median income nor the philosophical bent to allow such a conversion.

Jack Farrar

A matter of values: Great story by Adam Cayton-Holland! I, too, feel that the progressive attitude regarding helping others has been an integral part of Park Hill's history. Why should that change because property value has increased? It is part of what made that community so special in the past.

I am looking to move back to the area after being suffocated by religious, right-wing, military Christians down here. What Park Hill has is special, and not to be taken away by homogenous white thinking. Just because diversity is different doesn't mean that it is unsafe or bad. Where better to put a safehouse than in a safe area? Give the ladies some hope! God knows they are trying their best without having to further worry about their safety when stepping outside of their designated safehouse. It's not like they are crack whores who are going to break into the surrounding houses. These are women who have been beaten and are at their breaking point, craving compassion and change. Some of them may be from wealthier families than in the surrounding community. Has anyone ever stopped to think about that?

The last time I checked, abuse was not contingent on income. Neither was compassion. Park Hill should be proud that this community was chosen because it was deemed relatively safe. Ugh, the ignorance of a few leaves distaste for the masses.

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