September 2007

Less is More

This letter is in reference to your "Top of the Town" [July] commentary on Best Veterinary Clinic. As a volunteer for two low-cost/free veterinary organizations and a former shelter, I fully support the need for low-cost veterinary care. However, I object to the fact that the cry for these services has been sounded by a magazine which then goes on to suggest where its readers should purchase their next $775,000 ski chalet (page 33), $20,000 Rolex watch (page 17), $5,000 engagement ring (page 10), multi-thousand-dollar plastic surgery (pages too numerous to count), $80 yoga mat (page 34), or—my personal favorite—$295 sunglasses (page 36).

Meghann Berglund

Fort Collins

As a recent transplant to the Denver area, I frequently refer to 5280 for guidance on places to go, things to do, etc. Over the past months, I have gleaned some great tips from the magazine. When the July issue arrived, I was very excited to see that it included "34 pages of Denver's Best Stuff." However, my excitement soon turned to confusion. The item in question being Jax Fish House. In the "Top of the Town" section (page 110) there is a rave review. So clearly Jax must be one of the best seafood restaurants in Denver, right? Not according to "Back for More" in the Denver Dining section (page 162), where Jax is absolutely slapped with comments such as "overcooked peel-and-eat shrimp" and "oysters slightly underbroiled and gloppy." Can this be the best Denver has to offer? I certainly hope not.

Sherri Davies

While 5280's editors felt that Jax had weak spots on its menu, which we reflected in the Denver Dining section review, we recognize it as a beloved fish house and hangout, and it was our readers' votes that landed Jax a Readers' Choice award. The Editors' Choice was Potager. —Ed.

I had to chuckle when I read that the Editors' Choice hairstylist Robert Cook doesn't use a razor to cut hair. Horror! My friends that went to beauty school in the '60s used nothing but. When scissors came into vogue they were terrified. After 16 years in this business, I've learned that if a stylist doesn't provide a service or technique, it's usually because they can't do it very well. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt though, since you, dear editors, are not in the business. Can't wait to see next year's trendy opinion.

Susan Benjamin
via e-mail

Blame Game?

I liked most of J.R. Moehringer's article about Jeff Finlin ["Ballad for a Plain Man," July]. I'm glad he found a musician who inspires him and speaks to his heart, and whom others admire, too. I think the story was a good choice for a Denver publication.

I'm chagrined that in praising Finlin, Moehringer couldn't stop himself from disparaging some of his former colleagues at the Los Angeles Times, namely the pop music critics and editors who begged to differ with his news judgment.... I'm not involved in pop music coverage at the Times any more, but my sense is that the pop music staff vetoed the Finlin story because, appropriate as it was for Colorado, it would have made the L.A. Times seem shockingly out of touch in L.A. Southern California has its own Jeff Finlins to celebrate and lament—many, many of them as you might well imagine.

Mike Boehm
Los Angeles Times staff writer

Best magazine story ever: "Ballad for a Plain Man" is a lock. Pass it on.

Ross Johnson
Los Angeles

Public vs. Private

In ["Inside the Numbers," August] it appears that you selected approximately thirty schools at random out of the hundreds available and then out of this group produced the "Top 15 Overall High Schools." Because you omitted the vast majority of schools, the best that your data could conclude is that the schools listed were not possibly the worst in Denver.

In addition, your private schools did not receive any statistical positive "points" in the categories of "Lowest Number of Disciplinary Problems per Student" or "Dropout Rates." To even include these categories in a comparison between public and private schools and then to statistically exclude all the private schools through the conclusion that they are somehow deficient in these areas shows a lack of objectivity.

Mark H. Herrlinger

In the introduction to "Inside the Numbers," we neglected to include a note explaining that not all schools provided information in all ranking categories. We also should have offered a more thorough explanation of our research methodology, which was as follows: We began with 350 area high schools and used their average SAT and/or ACT scores to cut the list to about 35. We then re-ranked the remaining schools in our seven categories according to data gathered from School Accountability Reports, Petersons.com, Greatschools.net, and the schools themselves. We regret the omissions.—Ed.


In our Top of the Town issue [July] we gave our Editors' Choice for Baby Shower Gifts to Red Carpet Baby. Unfortunately, just days after the magazine went to press, the boutique came under new management and underwent a name change. We regret any confusion this may have caused.

Also in "Top of the Town," we reported that Cherry Creek Athletic Club has a square footage of 10,000. The actual square footage is 110,000. We regret the error.