September 2011

The Quest for Queso

5280, you made my day! My husband and I grew up in Tennessee and Georgia, where white queso is a staple at every Mexican restaurant. When we moved to Colorado almost three years ago, we set out to find a Mexican restaurant with the same delicious queso, only to be disappointed time and time again. We asked our neighbors, our coworkers, and our friends if they knew of any place that served white queso, and no one had a clue what we were talking about.

So when I read your article on Yolanda’s Tacos Southern-style Mexican cheese dip in Denver (“The Queso Quest,” July), I was thrilled! One thing’s for sure: It won’t be long until a slew of Southern expats swarm Yolanda’s for margaritas and “cheese dip.” Thank you for filling this void in our hearts and stomachs!

Brittany Gubser

Do What You Love

Julie Dugdale, in her essay “Just Do It” (June), wonders how she can create a Zen place in her life—and even if a place like that can exist for her. Let me share my Zen place.

I’ve heard the saying that if a tuning fork is stuck in the presence of another of the same pitch, it too will vibrate. I experience a similar sensation when I float and fish the Roaring Fork River between Aspen and Glenwood Springs. Dugdale writes of her friends: “They paint. They garden. They fly-fish and brew their own beer.” I’m a fly-fishing guide, of sorts. I have taken many, many people fishing for the love of it, and I’m wondering if you’d like to join me for an afternoon of fly-fishing on this fabulous trout stream? I keep a drift boat in the Roaring Fork Valley, am good on the oars, know the river and the fish well, and have all the gear/flies you will need to enjoy a fishing adventure you will never forget. How ’bout it? “Just Do It!”

Steven R. Thomas

Border War

I read with interest Natasha Gardner’s article “Who Owns Denver?” (May), but I take issue with some of the opinions expressed about the Poundstone Amendment. While I agree with Ken Schroeppel that it absolutely forced the city to look within its boundaries to grow (which has definitely helped our downtown), the article completely discounts the inner-ring neighborhoods that have suffered the brunt of the destructive nature of Poundstone. The city hasn’t been able to smooth out its crazy borders since 1974. Its annexation activity has been frozen in place. If you look at a map of south Denver today, you can see the effects of Poundstone: Driving down South Wadsworth or South Havana, one often has no idea what city or county he’s in. Our sprawling cities have merged and Poundstone has not allowed Denver to clean up its boundaries. It is the worst way to deliver urban services in the modern era. Even the police and fire departments get confused. When you call 911, for example, the dispatcher may have difficulty knowing what jurisdiction you are in and therefore which responders to send.

Poundstone isn’t as relevant in our booming downtown today, but for those of us who live at the edge of Denver’s city limits, we live with the amendment’s ill effects every day. The same year Poundstone was passed, desegregation began and voters also approved a Boundary Control Commission consisting of members from Denver, Arapahoe, Adams, and Jefferson counties. Its purpose was to help Denver smooth its convoluted boundaries in an amicable way. But no deals were ever worked out. It seems to me it is high time to assemble this commission once again to deal with this problem once and for all. Or the state Legislature should work with our cities and counties to redraw municipal and county boundaries that would make more sense on a regional level. As long as Poundstone is in place, we are left with a more fragmented metropolis.

Sean Snow