Neil Slade

Patricia Calhoun: I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the "Klondike and Snow Job." I agree with you totally and think you're giving Dave Barry a run for his money with your fine editorial style. Thank you for getting the message out for all the wasted time we've had to endure listening to that crap from all the news stations and so on.

I think Lewis and Floorwax are okay, too.
Mark Stangl

Single-Czar Accident
I am writing regarding Michelle (Dilly) Dally Johnston's "Incomplete Assignment," in the November 8 issue, in which she lambasted Mayor Webb (unjustly, I might add) for just what, I don't understand.

Let me recap, as best I can, her article's accusations:
1. He made a campaign promise. To wit: I'll find an education czar. This was wrong?

2. He made a genuine effort to fulfill this campaign promise. To wit: I'll get this done before the beginning of the '95-'96 school year. This was wrong?

3. He appointed "a group of 27 ethnically diverse citizens from high school students to university chancellors who volunteered to take a list of 286 applicants and from it find the right person for the job--with the understanding that the process would be free from political cronyism." This was wrong?

4. He accepted the nominations of the committee and each subcommittee, reviewed those nominations and attempted to make an appointment. This was wrong?

In my estimation, the dunce hat has been placed on the wrong head. And you do not have an adequate supply of them. Consider the others named in your article.

J. Lee Carey

Is it really surprising to anyone to see Mayor Webb delay a decision, appoint a committee and then, when it's time to make a decision, cower to a few outspoken activists? My disappointment lies not with an indecisive mayor but with the weak man who fears making the right decision. When Mayor Webb appointed Carol Boigon, he should have felt it was the right decision.

Now is the time for Mayor Webb to send a message to the city, as well as to those affected by this appointment--the children of Denver. That message should be loud and strong: "When I make a decision, I stand by it and take responsibility for it."

Yet Webb was being politically blackmailed by Nita Gonzales and other allied forces. Ms. Gonzales obviously did not approve of what was right for the children when she stated she did not want a "white missionary woman" as a liaison to the mayor. She was more concerned about the color of the appointee's skin. She apparently feels that it is the person's skin color or culture that qualifies him or her for the job. In effect, she is turning back the clock to an era when the color of a person's skin did matter. She should be ashamed of the example she set for Hispanic schoolchildren and should apologize for such ignorant and bigoted remarks.

Beatrice Calderon

Congratulations to everyone at Westword for Michelle Dally Johnston's "Incomplete Assignment," which related a sad yet familiar morality play in which all of the villains seemed to be people of color. The tale of "how Mayor Webb's search for an education czar was hijacked by racial politics" made me nostalgic for the good old days when affluent white men like Ben Stapleton and Bill McNichols and their loyal party hacks controlled Denver politics. Back then, the city "fathers" always put the well-being of the community as a whole above partisan and private interests, didn't they?

To save DPS and the city as a whole from, in the words of Ms. Johnston, an "ambush" by "minority politicos" in the future, why don't we simply consider banning minority leaders from public office altogether? If the city council and school board are once again made up entirely of white people, then people like Kay Schomp will not have to worry about "Bosnia in (our) own backyard."

My thanks to the predominantly white staff at Westword for once again uncovering the petty "behind-the-scenes ethnic politics" engaged in by politicians of color. You might consider sending your expose to the folks at the National Review, the American Spectator, or Rush Limbaugh's newsletter. I am sure they would find the insulting tone and ugly message of the piece quite reassuring.

Brent A. Cruz

Let Us Give Thanks
I read with more than passing interest Michelle Dally Johnston's "A River of Asphalt Runs Through It," in the October 18 issue, concerning the planned residential development near the Chatfield Arboretum. Having been a resident of south Jefferson County for eighteen years, having enjoyed the trails in the arboretum, having been a Denver Post reader for the same eighteen years and a person interested in environmental issues affecting our community, I was reminded.

I was reminded that Westword has the courage to take on issues that the so-called major papers and electronic media do not. This story is just one of many examples.

I was reminded that there are still people of courage and conviction who understand that a recognition of the necessity of change does not involve the abrogation of fundamental principles. (Kudos to attorney Alison Maynard, who is donating her time to the Sierra Club groups, and Ann Bonnell, a nature guide with the arboretum who is apparently being threatened with litigation for the crime of speaking her mind.)

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