Leader of the Pack
Regarding Patricia Calhoun's January 10 column, "Who's Holding the Bag?"
The answer to Calhoun's headline is simply this: The taxpayers are left holding the bag. And Denver officials don't even have the guts to tell us what's in it.

Leland Simmons

The true meaning of the term DIA: Despair, Ineptitude, Anguish.
Walter Jankowski

Snits and Misses
Regarding your January 3 issue:
Eric Dexheimer, you can't say that Pat Schroeder didn't take an active and intelligent interest in all affairs ("The Snit Hits the Fan"), whether or not she could "do something." No! But she could call attention to carelessness, ignorance and wrongdoing.

And Steve Jackson's piece on Ken Scott, "Suffer the Children," is a profile of 95 percent of the "sidewalk Goddies" who occupy 20th and Vine.

Thank you, Westword.
B. Walsh

Short but sweet. Regarding Ken Scott, deadbeat dad: Deport that pinhead! I'm all for the First Amendment and a woman's (and man's) right to do with their bodies as they see fit, but I truly think this guy's lost it. Hasn't this jerk and his flock of lobotomized lambs "herd" of the words "condom" and "birth control"? That might be against Scott's religion, but putting up with a wannabe savior (all for his own ego's sake) is against my religion! As for his ex-wife--poor judgment! Next time, keep your legs closed! It takes two to make a baby. What an example of "proper living" this guy is! Methinks he should be castrated with his own picket sign! I myself am single, have no children and still enjoy a very active sex life (condom!). But if something were to happen, I would make damn sure, above everything else, my kid would have a fighting chance. This Scott guy don't give a crap about nothing but stroking his own ego!

And regarding Michelle Dally Johnston's "Critical Condition," in the same issue: To the suits and ties of the insurance industry, I truly hope that what goes around comes around! May all involved get a catastrophic illness and may they get the shaft! A few weeks ago I met a woman from Australia who was appalled at this country's homeless and medical-care problems--"nation of savages." I agree! As for Megan, best wishes, and for the second time in a few weeks, I apologize for some of my countrymen's behavior. Best of luck.

Name withheld on request

Terms of Endurance
Michelle Dally Johnson's "Critical Conditions" should be commended for revealing a gross injustice. It is very difficult to understand how Megan Jones's health insurance could not be responsible for covering her cancer treatments, including the surgery.

I deplore such manipulation of our legal system by an insurance company and hope your article can bring some sort of pressure on them to change their mode of operation, hopefully to even reconsider the Jones situation.

Phyllis Dougherty

Your article about Megan Jones's insurance problems was very interesting to me. My husband and I have both had difficulty getting health insurance as individuals. My husband was a diabetic and I am a breast-cancer survivor. We finally got coverage for each of us; we could not get any company to take us both. My husband's coverage was very poor, and we had great difficulty in getting the company to cover his costs in the two months that he was ill before Medicare took effect.

But our problems pale compared to Megan's problems. Not having been at the trial or in on the jury deliberations, it is not possible to understand the verdict. The insurance company had no right to cancel her just when she began to need its coverage. When we were trying to buy insurance, the agents were full of wonderful stories about how prompt their company was to pay claims and how important it is to be covered. It appears the insurance companies want to sell insurance and be paid monthly premiums but not be responsible when their customers need the very coverage they are promising.

Patricia Sumter
Highlands Ranch

What an injustice for Megan Jones. Hopefully, there will be another trial for her--this time a fair trial, not a comedy of errors.

M. Smith

Where There's Smoke, There's Ire
Regarding T.R. Witcher's "Firemen, Save My Department!" in the January 10 issue:

I am a Denver General paramedic and have witnessed the growing distrust develop over the years between the field paramedics and the administrative staff. Stephanie Thomas showed this when, speaking about the paramedics, she commented, "You know how people won't sometimes get to the real issues." It has been this type of continuous indifference and suspicion that drove us to unionize in order to combat such a defeatist attitude toward our division.

It appears that Mr. Witcher did his homework, and he should be applauded for his efforts to cover all sides of the story. Yet I found it discouraging that he suggests the paramedics are attempting to "bail out of the city's health agency." On the contrary, the paramedics are desperately trying to improve a system that has remained stagnant for years while the demand for ambulances has increased. This is difficult to do when, as one member said, the fact-finding mission of the mayor's task force was "slanted" against the paramedics to begin with. It has been this unwillingness to be honest that has made it very difficult for the paramedics to improve not only their working conditions but also their ability to serve the people of Denver. We are not looking for a battle; we simply want to guarantee everyone who lives in Denver that they will not have to wait an unreasonable amount of time for a paramedic when they call 911.

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