Letters | Crooked cops


The story entitled “The Chair and the Camera” (cover story, Jan. 17) brought to me a sense of deja vu after reading Boulder County Jail spokesperson Jeff Goetz’s defense of injuring and brutalizing citizens in his care. I encountered the same defensive pablum in an exchange of emails with Denver Police Department “spokespersons” after sending letters and emails of complaint to the Denver mayor and the chief of police (neither of whom bothered to respond) regarding the mistreatment of John Copeland.

If you recall, Mr. Copeland was the 85-year-old disabled man who was pulled out of his bed by DPD in the middle of the night for having allegedly defended himself against a plain-clothed DPD “volunteer” who refused to identify himself as he tried to take the poor gentleman’s handicapped placard. Mr. Copeland mistook the volunteer for a common thief but is now paying a steep price for his error.

I wonder if all Colorado law enforcement public affairs staff are trained by the same PR firm, as the language they use to defend their abuse of the public is suspiciously similar. On the other hand, Goetz is rather candid as he brags that pain compliance holds “hurt like hell.” Military personnel who torture innocent people have been similarly boastful. This is not surprising that, since our police and sheriff ’s departments have basically become domestic branches of our military, the same torture techniques used at Gitmo and Bagram are being used on “uncooperative” civilians in our own country. Oh, and by the way, video cameras in jails won’t protect us, as across America convenient lies are being told about the footage being mysteriously “unavailable” to courts of law.

We become outraged when police kill and maim animals, but too few raise concern when they do this to humans. We comfort ourselves by telling ourselves that “those people” are “criminals” and “low-lifes” after all (even when they are not formally charged). However, we need to realize that unless police abuse is stopped, the Surveillance State is dismantled and our law enforcement is demilitarized, any of us who have the misfortune of being stopped by the police may have a place reserved for us in “the chair.”

David Canaday/Denver

Get to know your beer

While I enjoyed your article about Avery in this week’s Boulder Weekly, I suggest you learn more about characteristics of beer styles. Your comment that “while NWP offers some smokiness, it’s not a traditional porter” implies a porter should have smokiness. It should not. Please acquaint yourself with industry standards for beer styles if you want your readers to embrace your reviews. Boulder is not only very beer-friendly, it’s very beer smart.

For more information on beer styles I recommend reviewing information from the Brewer’s Association (BA), Cicerone Program or Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). For example, you will note that the BJCP recognizes three styles of porter, none of which traditionally have smokey qualities. BA recognizes smoke porter as a sub-category unto itself, but this should not be construed to imply that to be a porter (i.e. “portery” as you say) the beer should be smokey. And note that roasted qualities should not be confused with smoke (contrast a dark roast coffee to smoked meats, for example.)

While I am not surprised to hear that your sensory perception of Avery’s NWP might not fit traditional style guidelines, I suspect that a more intense, American-style, hop flavor and bitterness explain how it goes beyond traditional categories (as many Avery beers do).

Feel free to contact me if you want more information.

Keep up the generally great work — and keep on learning! Boulder has a thirst for great beer articles, and your knowledge of beer styles will improve your editorial quality and readership. And thank you for your coverage of the craft beer industry and especially the many fine breweries in Boulder and Colorado. It’s a great day to love beer!

Coby Royer, BJCP Recognized Beer Judge, secretary of Hop Barley and the Alers (Boulder’s Homebrew Club)/via Internet

‘Shameful’ comparison

Your snarky, presumptive ICUMI blurb (“Priorities, people,” Jan. 17), mashing together two entirely unrelated issues of a homeless person’s death and the elk shooting, was completely shameful on so many levels.

Why you would try to trivialize the grief of hundreds of Boulder residents who felt a connection with that poor creature is questionable enough, but to then assert that most of us probably have little regard for the tragic death of a 36-year-old homeless man is despicable.

I’m probably one of those you referred to as writing “sad poetic’” letters to the editor about the elk (printed in papers throughout the metro area — except yours), but allow me to point out here that these are two totally separate issues, and many of us have concern not only for the depraved behavior of our local police in the elk case, but also for the homeless population, whom, let us not forget, have had barriers thrown up preventing them from seeking shelter in the cold by both city officials and the police department, and you may recall that many of us have appeared at numerous meetings and demonstrations challenging these soulless anti-vagrancy regulations. … And may I add that I, for one, am a long-term volunteer at the Denver Rescue Mission — I wonder what humanitarian activity the ICUMI writer engages in while sitting in contemptuous judgment of those who were so moved by the elk shooting and dismissing our concern for the rest of humanity.

Appropriate disclosure: I am a one-time BW freelancer who has written dozens of articles for your publication since 2003 … and in the wake of this ICUMI blurb, if I had a subscription I’d cancel it!

Gene Ira Katz/Boulder

Editor’s Note: Boulder Weekly did print a poem about the elk in last week’s issue.