We'll Drink to That
Wow! Your August 31 edition should have carried a warning, something like: Read only while sitting down, preferably with something to soothe the nerves at, or even better, in hand.

First, the story on MarkAir (Andy Van De Voorde's "By the Seat of Their Pants"), which could have been entitled "The Great Con, Phase II." Phase I: Anonymous confederates ooze into town, only to disperse, then evanesce, leaving us committed and eventually married to an airport version of a Godzilla who, spiffy though she may be, will scarf tons of Denver tax receipts for over half a century. Phase II: Sensing terminal (no pun) vulnerability, a seedy junk airline seeks to survive by gallantly agreeing to nosh on those same apparently limitless tax revenues. In any event, MarkAir does one thing: It makes the ever-neurasthenic Continental look as robust as Braniff in its (short) heyday. Or it would, if Continental were not in the process of slyly, bit by bit, slipping out of Denver altogether.

Next, we have the story on the officially fudged water-quality records that so nicely complement the officially fudged air-quality records (Richard Fleming's "Hard to Swallow"). Aw, but then, who cares when you're havin' fun, are growin' like wildfire and have a Godzilla of an airport just--like Mr. Hoover's prosperity--around the corner.

Finally, exhausted from hacking through these noxious thickets, Westword leads us into the gloom of "Kafka Does Graland" ("Book 'em," by Steve Jackson). Now this story is big-time serious: Kids are the cambium of any society, and how they are processed defines the future. If it were simply Graland, we could write it off as serving the upper-yuppies right. But we can't do this, since the dismal fate of brother Trost ("solace" in German, if you have a taste for irony) is one being endured by teachers across the land. This is spooky stuff: The Lord of the Flies enacted daily in room 106, or a sequel to weird Henry James's The Innocents, this time a vision of the little demons tearing the hearts from living, breathing teachers.

Then again, maybe I'm just getting fussy in me old age.
John Sherwood

MarkAir My Words
Regarding Andy Van De Voorde's "By the Seat of Their Pants":
Errol Stevens has no right to be making any type of decision for the people of Denver if he believes MarkAir is a viable airline.

I think he should lead the way and show how strongly he believes in MarkAir by investing his life savings in the initial MarkAir stock offering. Tom Clark, Mary DeGroot and Gennifer Sussman should do the same, since these "accountants" spent six and a half hours poring over the books and announcing that MarkAir will "get current" by year's end. Get real! I'll bet a top accounting firm couldn't get through the first two pages in six and a half hours.

Would the mayor, city fathers and the airport committee be willing to personally guarantee any loans made to MarkAir? I don't think so. What a joke. This administration is an embarrassment to the city of Denver.

Michael Merrick

Class Consciousness
Regarding Steve Jackson's "Book 'em":
J.B. Trost was my junior high music teacher in Colorado Springs. I have only fond memories of Trost sharing his love for music with us. He was innovative, creative and, most of all, caring about his students. He taught us self-confidence and pride in our singing. I never heard one negative comment from any fellow students concerning Trost. We all looked forward to the one hour we would be sharing with him. All he ever wanted to do was to share his love of music with children. It made me sick to read about how he was treated at Graland. The children that used their parents' power and money could have only learned this disgusting way of life from the parents themselves. Their actions deeply sadden me.

Nancy Levesque

After reading Steve Jackson's story about Graland, I wanted to remind the author of one thing: These are children he is writing about. I find it difficult to believe that one grown teacher couldn't handle them...or at least find school officials who could.

If the adults at Graland are, indeed, as incompetent and blind as Jackson makes them seem, that is the real lesson here.

Judi Stein

My heart goes out to folks who keep spreading the word on environmental coverups and who really suffer, as in Richard Fleming's "Hard to Swallow." Since I came here eight years ago, I've drunk bottled water. A geologist friend told me the Denver metro area is perhaps the most polluted place on earth. Not as directly toxic as Chernobyl, but long-term. This geologist also told me Colorado's cancer rate--especially odd cancers--is perhaps the highest in the nation and a closely kept secret.

The movie Dangerous Ground, with Steven Segal, begins to put things into perspective, but it speaks to us to have compassionate for folks in Alaska, where environmental pollution is just beginning. What about those of us who live near Martin-Lockheed or the Rocky Mountain Arsenal or Rocky Flats or Lowry Landfill or Leadville, Idaho Springs, Durango and numerous other Colorado sites? It's overwhelming. Bottled water is an idea whose time has come. And what about lead foil for the floor of one's apartment or house or car?

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