October 2008

The Reality of Greeley

Thank you so much for your thoughtful and in-depth article on Steve and Gerardo and Greeley ["Pinched," August]. The story made me cry and smile. I saw my friends and family in it. You teased out how so many people like Steve just wanted to live their life without hurting anyone and how many people like Gerardo want to do the same. Those nuances are difficult to demonstrate without seeming to take a side or make any judgments. You managed to do so.
Jennifer Piper
via e-mail

I'm writing to congratulate Robert Sanchez on his excellent article in the August 2008 issue, "Pinched." It was a sympathetic—without being preachy—take on the impact of the influx of immigrants to our wonderful state, and a good reminder of how the American Dream is still something that people of all kinds are reaching for—even if it seems out of reach for so many. Thank you for a balanced and insightful article.
Christine Soto

I really enjoyed your article. Congratulations on such a well-written and outstanding statement of the issues that are so passionate in our country and especially in Greeley. The "Browning of America" should be a celebration, a natural aspect of human evolution and should not be resisted as a holocaust or disparity.
Carlota Loya Hernández

I found your article slanted toward people who break the law and enter the United States illegally. Unfortunately your story failed to cover the crime, drugs, stolen identities, etc., that illegals also bring with them. We have to pay for additional police to combat the problems illegals create. Not to mention the illegals who live off the grid, paying no taxes yet getting government assistance for housing, food, etc.

You do an enormous disservice to all the immigrants who enter this country legally, learn the language and culture, while becoming true U.S. citizens. My great-great-grandfather came to this country from Sweden to pursue a better life. He gave up his law practice for the chance at something better in America. He became a business owner and family man—all after legally immigrating to the United States. Your story fails to mention that the illegal immigrants who were "pinched" at the Swift plant are being replaced by legal immigrants from other countries. I understand the desire for a better life in another country, but it must be done legally. The bias of your story was quite clear; unfortunately the vast majority of Americans do not share your overtly compassionate view of illegals and their situation.

Brian Johnson
via e-mail

Use Your Noodle

It's clear to see that the beautiful Boulder home of Aaron and Jenifer Kennedy is far from the landfill where their plastic bowls from Noodles & Company are tossed ["Lay of the Land," August]. These Boulder residents chose an architect team who "actually camped out on the property to fully experience the site's weather and views." I challenge these Colorado business owners to make a greener choice with their to-go packaging so we can all continue to enjoy the views. I enjoy eating in the Noodles restaurant; however, when I choose fast-casual to go, I bypass the noodles for other places like Rumbi or Chipotle and their Earth-friendly aluminum packaging.
Allison Huston
via e-mail

A spokesperson for Noodles & Company tells us that its to-go packaging is made from recycled materials and is recyclable itself. Furthermore, the to-go bags have an additive that dramatically accelerates decomposition. —Ed.

Get Schooled

As a mother of two young children I read your very good schools issue [September] with interest. As a mother of a special needs child I was disappointed that at least some of Denver's excellent schools for learning disabled children were not included. My family relocated to Colorado from Egypt last year so that our son Omar could attend the Havern School and all of our lives have changed for the better. With today's epidemic of developmental and learning disabilities, so many parents are struggling to find educational institutions that will give their children a fighting chance to realize their potential and lead full lives. Information about the resources that exist in their community and a feeling that they and their children are thought of as part of the community would go a long way toward helping them. Fortunately, although it is not exactly a hub of special needs education and services like the East and West coasts, Denver had several very good special needs schools that would certainly qualify as "top," and as any parent that takes an interest in their child's education knows, it only takes one school, the right school for your child, to make all the difference in your child's life.
Pamela Gerard

This month's issue [Denver's Top Schools] goes on for pages and pages with criteria for schools that supposedly make things better for children. However, when I was in school 30 years ago, we had none of these and I would estimate we were better educated than today's children by at least 50 percent. There was no concern for "neighborhood buzz" or "interventions," we just went to school, learned what we were there to learn, and moved on with our lives. No one cared about self-esteem, you worked hard and excelled at something, whether it was academics, sports, music, etc. Now every kid gets a trophy just for showing up in the morning and they're coddled until the last bell rings in their senior year, if they even make it that far. 60 Minutes recently ran a story about how employers are struggling with having to deal with spoiled, undisciplined applicants who don't know how to work and don't want to.

We had much, much higher percentages of students graduating, all graduates knowing how to read, and graduates succeeding in life, whatever their chosen career path, from car mechanic to surgeon. We had approximately one drop-out each year and exactly one girl who got pregnant the entire time we were in school. Now those kinds of negative outcomes are the norm, not the exception.

Your magazine gives us a completely useless list of feel-good "must-haves" that don't deliver results and never have. In fact, the more criteria you create, the worse our schools and our students get.
Jennifer Alda

Coach Hawk

As a CU alum who bleeds black and gold, I have read many articles about Coach Hawkins since he became CU's head coach. The article by Robert Powell in your September issue ["Dan Hawkins and the Power of Positive Thinking"] is the best that I have read. Thanks for an outstanding and informative piece of journalism.
Rick Kearney
Colorado Springs


In September's "The Honor Roll" we reported that the enrollment at the Denver International School was 129 students. The school's enrollment is actually 270. In August's "DNC Survival Guide," we incorrectly identified the funding for the Aurora Police Department's urban assault vehicle as a DNC security grant. Funding was from a Homeland Security grant. Also in August's "Insider's Guide" we misspelled Williams Jewelers. In July's "Top of the Town" we printed that Colorado Ski & Golf was founded by the Gart family. In fact, in was founded by Jerome Grady in the early 1980s. We regret the errors.