Letters

X Marks the Spat
Will someone please tell Patricia Calhoun that it's time to get over it? I appreciate the sentiment in her September 12 column, "Nip It in the Bud," but the May D&F paraboloid is gone--and Adam's Mark is still here.

Some of us think the expanded hotel is an improvement. If Ms. Calhoun thought about it--rather than offering a typical knee-jerk response--she might, too.

Jarod Lane
Denver

Every Dog Has His Day
Regarding Steve Jackson's "Athlete, Artist, Indian Chief," in the September 12 issue:

Ben Nighthorse Campbell a "maverick"? Hardly! Campbell is a craven opportunist whose greatest gift is a tongue with a built-in homing device for the moist anus of current congressional power. Though Newt may enjoy a warm, tickly feeling, all Colorado got was a betrayal by a petulant, attention-seeking and mediocre legislator who asked to be elected as a Democrat and then found a richer lap to pant in.

With mavericks like Ben, who needs poodles?
Jon Richard
Denver

I'm still very angry at Ben "Turncoat" Campbell. We should have elected Dick Lamm in the Democratic primary. Personally, I supported Lamm, but when Campbell won, I decided they were both good people and supported Campbell. Then Campbell stabbed us in the back and did not refund the money and sweat equity that we spent on him.

J.F. Tucker
Littleton

The Pest of Times
Regarding T.R. Witcher's "Life in a Fog," in the September 5 issue:
As a near-thirty-year pest-management veteran, I'm appalled and embarrassed by the daily practices of fellow pest-control operators, or PCOs, in Colorado. These local pest-control companies are using far too many pesticides when they treat homes and workplaces for pests. Statistics show Colorado pesticide use is up from previous years to a record high.

Although a better approach exists to combat pest problems, there continues to be this dependence on pesticides. By insisting on alternative integrated pest-management methods, the industry could reduce its pesticide use by more than half. This overuse of pesticides is dangerous to residents of Denver. It indicates that some local pest-control companies ignore the fact that many pest problems are effectively resolved without the excessive use of toxic manmade chemicals in favor of alternative strategies.

Few pest-control operators will get into a discussion of alternative mechanical and biological strategies before using pesticides. To local pest-control companies, IPM (as this alternative strategy is known) has been more talk than action. For them, IPM is a term of convenience. Virtually none have adopted IPM to the exclusion of other conventional pest-control methods, techniques and programs.

PCOs in Denver and elsewhere have an important responsibility. Professionals would see this responsibility as a fundamental principle. The consumer should sort through the practices and sales rhetoric of local pest-control companies. They should insist on specific adherence to the principles of viable non-chemical alternatives that proven IPM practices provide. The consumer should demand that the exterminators they hire practice IPM.

Here are the kind of IPM methods practiced by environmentally responsible companies like Rocky Mountain Pest Control: inspection, utilization of mechanical traps and biological control strategies, habitat modification, exclusion, sanitation and education. We also monitor and evaluate to determine if and when treatments are needed. Then, if needed, we use smaller amounts of less toxic materials. At RMPC, our philosophy is that pesticides ought not be the first line of defense against pests.

David C. Tokarz, owner
Rocky Mountain Pest Control

I have received many phone calls concerning your article about Ryan and his parents, who were exposed to toxic pesticides and became ill. I find it fascinating that there would be even a shadow of a doubt that chemicals of that magnitude did not create that family's health problems.

I am a naturopathic doctor. We have the problem of escalating cancer rates, birth defects, asthma and breathing difficulties, not to mention that the number-one symptom of a neurotoxin is suppression of body function! Americans are all tired! Americans are depressed! Prozac is being used by massive numbers of people! Our bodies were not designed to handle these kinds of poisons.

Some people are born with stronger constitutions. They do not immediately exhibit signs of poisoning. For those people it will be a slower process. Perhaps we should check out the number of exterminators and chemical handlers who die of cancer or lung and pulmonary deaths. I, for one, would be interested to know. We all have a straw that will break our system down. I am appalled at the overkill used in this country with pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. There are natural options for all of the above.

No one needs to spray once a month! No one needs four to six lawn applications! Wake up, people! Your ignorance might damage your life!

My support is with Ryan and his family. I believe you!
Lynn Phillips
Denver

Word Without End
I can't imagine why anyone would waste money using the Internet to see how often Westword uses the F word (as the paper's table of contents advised last week), but it does seem to reflect the remedial mentality and journalistic direction of its writers and staff in general. Not only was the September 5 review of Brook's Steak House, "Prime and Punishment," written as if it were directed toward a twelve-year-old's mentality, but Kyle Wagner's September 12 response in Mouthing Off to a reader who made a comment about it was equally juvenile. It wasn't necessary to inform us every time Barry Fey used the F word to describe something. But then, more intelligent writing in the first place would have eliminated that.

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