LETTERS

Klondike and Snow Job
I am compelled to write Westword regarding Kenny Be's August 9 Worst-Case Scenario depicting the proposed habitat for Klondike and Snow as being decadently opulent while the homeless of Denver are housed in subhuman shelters. In fact, Klondike and Snow's habitat in Florida would be smaller than their current surroundings and would be completely--forever--indoors, sans sun, real weather or real snow.

In his cartoon, Kenny Be apparently seems to imply that treating zoo animals in a humane manner somehow adversely affects human values. Unfortunately, it seems as though bashing Klondike and Snow has become politically correct. And it also seems that knocking the homeless by irrationally comparing them to polar bears in a zoo setting is good press.

Kenny Be, do you live in a house, or are you homeless? In comparison to being homeless, aren't you living in a palace? And if you have pets or know anyone who has pets, and they live in your or their homes, would you say that you are ridiculing the homeless by providing your pets shelter? Perhaps you are saying that those pets should be thrown out into the street so that the homeless could take shelter in your dwelling? Would you be the example and be first in line to abandon your home to a homeless person? Or would you perhaps donate your entire salary to the homeless so that they could find adequate shelter? If you have a home, Kenny Be, aren't you politically incorrect, according to your own implication?

I think the homeless deserve more consideration than your derision. They deserve real plans of action for solutions to their homelessness, none of which by any stretch of the imagination would include having them live in a zoo.

The only thing the homeless and Klondike and Snow really have in common is their joint mockery by the self-ascribed alternative voice to traditional media. Maybe the readers of this publication should be pursuing other "alternatives."

Rachelle Blake, Co-Director
Zoo Two-Save Our Bears Foundation

Marshall Law
Regarding Steve Jackson's "School's Out," in the August 23 issue:
Tom Tancredo must be the Peter McNeeley of the education world. He is great at shadowboxing but keeps getting knocked out as soon as he steps into the ring. His latest knock on DPS is nothing short of pathetic. Thurgood Marshall "School" is a pure and simple boondoggle. Thurgood Marshall's demand to take over an existing and operational senior center and evict the current occupants is absurd. Its demand for the funds to fight the ensuing zoning battle and subsequent reconstruction expenses is simply cover for a lame proposal. If charter schools were created to promote the construction industry and zoning quarrels, I'm sure the state legislature would have stated so.

Mr. Tancredo suffers a malady common to many former government political appointees. He is out of touch with simple business and operational realities. He would be much better off spending his days praying for a Republican presidency in 1997 so he can return to the public dole. By the way, Tom, have you considered applying for SSI in the meantime?

Ken Hamermesh
Denver

Pat Peeves
Regarding the August 16 Off Limits item about Pat Schroeder:
Why is it that men cannot stand the thought of a woman who speaks her mind? (Much less a woman with a brilliant mind, like Pat's.) I would think our state treasurer would have other pet peeves and bigger things to worry about than anything Pat Schroeder might say. Like figuring out how to come up with the money to pay for all the services that the Republicans are cutting on a federal level.

With enemies like Bill Owens, Newt Gingrich and Mike Rosen, it's obvious that Schroeder is doing something right.

Laura Garland
Denver

Arrogant "Petty Pat" Schroeder is posturing--again. Her office staff, paid with our tax dollars, helped organize a demonstration using taxpayer-funded facilities, equipment and resources during official work hours. Even her district director, Kip Cheroutes, whose salary is paid with our tax dollars, participated in the demonstration. How many other staff members participated at taxpayer expense?

"Petty Pat" and her staff know that their salaries, their offices, equipment and activities during work hours are paid for by taxpayers. This is another example of the arrogant disregard that career liberal politicians like Mrs. Schroeder (and their staffs) have for taxpayers' money. They want more and more, and if anyone dares to attempt to reduce the amount they pick from our pockets, out come the demonstrators and insults! They can't compete in the arena of ideas and real solutions, so they resort to demonstrations, pettiness and hypocrisy!

"Petty Pat" and her staff should reimburse the U.S. Treasury for their blatant waste of taxpayer money!

Jose Nunez
Littleton

Caught Dead to Writes
I have totally lost all respect for your newspaper. Michael Roberts's B.S. August 16 Feedback on Jerry Garcia should never have made it to print. Or at least it should have been edited.

He showed no respect for the countless fans/friends/soul brothers and sisters that Garcia has. Just because Roberts had a poor upbringing around too many Deadheads doesn't give him the right to trash the whole scene. He needs to get some therapy to work out those issues, and he should not be allowed to write in a newspaper (which Westword can't be classified as any longer in my eyes--it's a rag!).

Jerry Garcia was a kind, gentle soul who played an incredible part in musical history for many decades. His guitar style was totally unique. Lightning-fast riffs, grooving with the rest of the band, created an "electric Dixieland." But above all, it was the Dead's ability to frequently intuit each other's playing to create a harmonic convergence of sorts. That can happen when a band is together for thirty years, always focusing on the music, not the fame part--you know, the money machine, how-many-albums-we-can-sell thing. They enjoyed the gig; that's what it was all about. Thousands of heads getting together, groovin' on the same vibes. The Dead's a road band.

I'd like to believe Jerry's at peace now ('cause that's the kind of life he led). But we will miss your presence on the stage, Jerry. Please send us those higher vibes from the space you're in.

Kevin Hobbs
Denver

I'm with a catering company here in town, and I just wanted to say thank you for putting it the way it should be told when it comes to Jerry Garcia and the Dead. I really enjoyed the piece Michael Roberts wrote. It's all too true. They're just overblown. Thanks again.

Jeff Gilbert
Denver

As I read Chuck Green's caustic dismissal of Jerry Garcia in the Post, it dawned on me that I would be faced with a carbon copy courtesy of Michael Roberts in the next Westword. Chuck and Michael come from opposing ends of life--Chuck cannot escape his dried-up state of noxious maturity, while Michael is frozen by a terminal fear of growing up. Their opinions converge much in the way that extremists from opposite ends of the political spectrum wind up sharing the same narrow point of view under different labels.

Jerry Garcia's musical journey traveled many paths of which the Dead was but one, and some of these may be too sophisticated or innovative for Mr. Roberts's taste or comprehension. The Grateful Dead were perhaps the last large collaborative experiment left over from the days when more than a few people strove for peace, love and the celebration of life. While those of us lucky enough to share in it cannot explain it to the rest, I hope that we will carry on by continuing to share the love we got from Jerry and the gang.

We need to do what we can to shine a light in an era where enlightenment is dispensed as Prozac and artistic insight is provided by a scatological critic who confuses angst with music.

Ron Johnson
Denver

As a 25-year fan of Uncle Jerry and the Grateful Dead, I read with interest Michael Roberts's article and the responses to it. I agree that Roberts doesn't get it now and didn't several years ago, when I wrote regarding a show at McNichols Arena that Roberts went to.

Comparing the Dead to Nirvana or any of the other "X" bands out there: Jerry and the boys had staying power, thirty years' worth. Cobain didn't even live that long and left the music scene a better place for his passing. We still have to deal with his lovely widow, Courtney (the ugliest woman in show business), but perhaps not for long, with her lifestyle and habits.

Back to the Dead. They will not go on without Jerry. Weir and Wasserman will tour as before and the other guys will do their own thing. The Rhythm Devils (look it up, Roberts) will continue as the legends they are.

It is the end of an era. We mourn the loss of Jerry Garcia but say "thanks for the memories" and no regrets.

On an unrelated topic, regarding "Country Strife," in the August 23 issue, the teeming metropolis of Walden is in Jackson County, not Moffat. Perhaps Michael Roberts could be taken off the music beat and made your official map reader (if he can handle it).

Pat Desrosiers
Denver

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