Letters of the Month

January 2011

Perky Parenthood

As I poured a glass of wine (purchased from the funky Mondo Vino liquor store in the fun and funky “urban” ’hood of the Highlands), I was happy to dig into my April 5280, and, although an issue focused on the charming suburban neighborhoods of Denver was tolerable, the following feature, which highlighted a “Kid Friendly Home,” made me check the cover to be sure I hadn’t subscribed to Perky Parenthood Magazine. Really, 5280? Denver prides itself on its urban diversity—I expect a little more diversity from you in one issue.

I’m taking my only child (a rescued canine) for a walk to clear my head of “kid-friendly objects” like turtle shells and topiaries and slip-covered furniture. Eww. -Erin Conway, Denver


It’s All About the Bike

Thanks to Patrick Doyle for an amusing and informational article on bicycling in Denver (“Breaking Away,” March 2011). Doyle breaks the “pie-in-the-sky” image of bicycle commuting suggested by other media outlets. Bicycling is indeed physically liberating, and all of us could benefit from his words of wisdom.

I live in Colorado Springs and bicycle to and from work whenever possible. The commute is about 30 minutes one-way using secondary roads and bicycle trails. Through my own experience, I find it absurd to drive my car when weather is favorable for a two-wheeled commute.

Like Doyle, I cannot stress enough to the reader that bicycling isn’t always perfect. Weather, traffic congestion, flat tires—these things all create real and frustrating obstacles for both newbie and experienced bicycle commuters. My advice: Don’t worry about the little stuff. Get out and ride. -Chris Wiehle, Colorado Springs


Hold the Bacon, Please

I was looking forward to your best breakfasts package (“Rise & Dine,” March 2011); however, I was surprised to only see one restaurant with a vegan-friendly menu (Sputnik) featured in the piece. There are a lot more vegans and vegetarians in Denver than perhaps most people think. And guess what? We also enjoy going out for a meal and have money to spend. -Tara Wood, Denver


Fair and Balanced?

I was repulsed by your article, “Rewrite” (May 2011). I have heard the story of the horrific accident from one of the victim’s family’s perspectives, and your article does them no justice. The article is written to gain pity for the boy, Todd Stansfield, who caused the accident, and not to tell the story of what truly happened. In your article you write, “Now ask yourself, ‘has he suffered enough? and if not, what is enough?’ ” I believe that this boy has not suffered enough. You write about how he feels horrible for causing the deaths of his three friends and the other man in the accident. But not once do you mention how the accident affects all the families to this day. You write about how the families of the three boys who perished in the accident suffered, but never once do you mention how the Gilchrist family was affected. You write how the families of the boys lost a great son, or a great athlete, or a great friend, but nothing is written about what the Gilchrist family lost: a father, a grandfather, a friend. I know the Gilchrist family, and I have never seen a family so close in all my life. -Sarah Reekie, Aurora


Amazing Eats

More kudos to 5280. Any time we go to the Denver metro area, I always reach for my most recent copy of the magazine. I have learned over the years I can rely on your “picks,” and that was certainly the case this past Friday night when we were in Boulder and had the opportunity to visit L’Atelier. The service and dinner were absolutely superb, and our short visit with chef Radek Cerny was enjoyable. Keep up the great reporting. -Doug Ring, Pueblo


Time To Reset

What’s wrong with Colorado’s foster care system (“Unwanted,” December 2010)? It’s become overloaded. Hooking up a clothes dryer to an ordinary outlet blows every fuse in the house. Forcing a system that was—rightly!—designed to be used sparingly as a temporary and last resort to be the de facto parental unit for thousands of kids each year, often for most of their childhoods, creates problems within the system. This has been shown by the dismal statistics: 13 children died in the system in 2007, 11 in 2008, and 15 in 2009.

Foster care was neither intended as a social control mechanism, nor as a device to inflict the moral sentiments, and inflated egos, of government workers onto a captive population. Let’s use the foster care system for its original purpose of caring for orphans, or of pinch-hitting in situations of real disaster, not for indulging self-appointed moralizers who get their chastity belts twisted. Stop using the system to threaten parents who don’t go along with Dr. Spock, Blue Sky Bridge, or whoever else has the one right way of doing it. There won’t be as many “difficulties” to confront.

Unplug the dryer, and reset the circuit box. No point in calling an electrician if common sense can fix things. The same holds true for the toleration of many different views and choices in parenting.

Minding our own business and throttling down the urge to be superhero crusaders will go a long way toward curing a great many of our social “ills,” including this one. -Laura Hansen-Beard, Boulder