LETTERS

The Doctor Is In...and Out
Thanks for Eric Dexheimer's well-researched and well-written article on Dr. Medenica and Charles Stevinson's role in promoting him, "Trick or Treatment," in the April 27 issue.

I know nothing of Medenica but feel strongly that we must allow alternative medicine to flourish or die according to its effectiveness. The writer cites controversy, but it's interesting to note that no patients were on the negative side. Isn't that a strange controversy?

William Starr
Boulder

If Muhammad Ali--as seen on his recent overseas tour--is an example of a happy Medenica patient, don't sign me up!

L.S. Simon
Denver

Neighborhood Botch
Regarding Arthur Hodges's "There Go the Neighborhoods" in the May 11 issue:
Denver's great strength and beauty lies in its neighborhoods. I certainly hope that the Webb administration is not overlooking their concerns, as some of the people in your story suggest. Otherwise, when the mayor finally stops worrying about DIA, he may find there's no one left!

Ann Ellison
Denver

It would appear that some people are ready and willing to blacken Mayor Webb's reputation by comparing him unfavorably to Mayor Pena in regard to his seeming lack of interest in neighborhood matters. It is suggested that he is more concerned with the political turbulence surrounding DIA--as he might well be. Does anyone recall that DIA was Mayor Pena's baby and does anyone question why the Honorable Mayor Pena "cut and ran" before the DIA shit hit the fan? Perhaps the Honorable Mayor Pena left because of his overriding concern for Denver's neighborhoods and he just couldn't bear to stick around and see them "going to hell in a handcart." Now, don't you suppose that's the way it was?

Carroll Newberry
Denver

How amazing that the planning department and planning commission would create the nightmare Colorado Boulevard has become. To do this, they had to ignore the abundance of data and transportation planning models that accurately predict the level of traffic to be generated by megastores; in spite of the obvious results in near-gridlock, more such stores are under construction. The irony is that as this strip development proceeds at a frenetic pace, prime retail space down the street--the University Hills Mall--sits all but vacant as testimony to developer-driven land use "planning" and lack of concern for the quality of development in Denver by those who profit from development--and apparently by the city decision-makers as well.

The riches going into the city's coffers from this wildly successful retail development are undoubtedly magnificent. But is it fair for the neighborhoods along Colorado Boulevard to pay such a high price for the well-being of the rest of the city? Would it not be more equitable for some of the traffic to be borne by others? Petitions by neighors were obviously given short shrift in planning decisions.

As traffic continues to grow, Colorado Parking Lot will be more descriptive than Colorado Boulevard. At this point, retail business is likely to decline as would-be customers refuse to try to negotiate this former street. Wait about ten years, and the city will be seeking redevelopment funds for "renewal" of these retail areas--subsidized by city taxpayers. This, unfortunately, is typical of the short-range thinking that often characterizes city planning.

Although it is too late for Colorado Boulevard, how nice it would be if in the future the city were to express as much interest in its quality and its residents as in its revenues and its developers. Perhaps it is time for city officials who can both "imagine a great city" and create it as well.

Barbara Coe
Certified Community Developer, Denver

It was with a mixture of concern and understanding that I read your article on the problems at the Denver planning office. My neighborhood, west of Lowry, has experienced the heavy hand of Jennifer Moulton and the confusion reigning in her office at public meetings about Lowry. At every turn, it appears, the planning office would rather plan in private than seek neighborhood input and information.

A recent example comes to mind. The owners of the Richthofen castle in Historic Montclair recently applied for a change in zoning from an R-1 (residential) to a planned unit development (PUD). The idea is to run tours through the castle to generate money allegedly needed for repairs to the roof. Every ten years or so the then-owners of the castle attempt to change the zoning. Each time the neighborhood has rallied and defeated such attempts. Any use other than residential is inconsistent and out of character with the surrounding uses (homes, exclusively).

The planning office gave its approval to this application on May 2, 1994. On May 3, 1994, my neighborhood received official notice the application had been filed. So before we got notice of the requested change and without any input, the planning office approved the application. When the procedural problem was brought to light, the planning board voted for a continuance of the May 11, 1994, public meeting. Over forty neighbors will now have to return for an additional hearing on May 25, 1994.

Either the planning office is so rife with political influence that neighborhood input is not wanted, or the planning office is not run well enough to get neighborhood input on these types of important issues.

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