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A Dunn Deal
I found Stuart Steers's December 5 article, "All Fired Up," very interesting but a little over-Dunn. Yes, John took a strong anti-pipeline stand--but he seemed to drop the ball at the southern end of the county. We in Simla are uninformed as to the battles to the north of us due to the fact that our local press here doesn't report much on what affects our lives. There are those of us who would like to participate in the general flow of the twentieth century, but we are not allowed to know about bad-news journalism.

Since we don't know anything, why should it matter if there are hog farms on the borders and porkers in the county purse? The Elbert County commissioners are adept at doing what the real estate lobby wants them to do. The rest of the time, they have pissed the rights of citizens into the sand while feathering their nests. Rancher Bob Morrison, better known as Colonel Klink by his subjects, is immovable from office because of his fine record of saying yes to anything that stinks of oil, land, cow or money. John Dunn started well, but we're still waiting for him to do something that we hear about down here. Most of what we see, however, is rampant unmitigated growth without meaning or logic.

As to firearms and politicians: What a good idea to give them more guns and booze them up; it would make for better and more political succession. Arm the crooks.

Cordley Coit
Simla

Triumph of the Ill
A big thank-you to Westword and Alan Prendergast for "Head Trips," the December 5 article on Denver's mentally ill. Please keep us updated on this much-underpublicized subject.

Yvonne Bills
Denver

What an empowering thing it would be to see articles similar to Alan Prendergast's "Head Trips" printed in the big establishment newspapers. It would mean that our country has rebounded 360 degrees. Until then, we have thoughtful writers like those at Westword to take up the banner for forgotten Americans. We are grateful.

As an activist for disabled rights, if I had to create a synopsis of the scenario described in your article, I would say from experience that you were talking about the Public Benefits Shell Game, in which the patients or clients are peas, and the object is to keep them hidden at any cost while collecting the fat fees from all those who can't figure out which shell they're under. And don't much care.

Mardi Mulloy
Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition

Bums Away!
Regarding Patricia Calhoun's "Homeless for the Holidays," in the December 5 issue:

First of all, your definition of "hobo" is incorrect. Back in the days when many men rode the rails in search of work, hobos were considered to be a bit above many of the other homeless out there. The definition that I remember is this: A hobo wanders and works. A tramp wanders and doesn't work. A bum neither wanders nor works.

All that most of these people along the Platte River need to do is quit drinking and find gainful employment. They won't, however, due to the homeless advocacy system in this town that enables them to continue living alongside the river like so many rats.

If river people want to live free of society, I suggest we donate some Bureau of Land Management property to them. Some place with plenty of water and wildlife where they can make lives for themselves. I wonder how many of them would avail themselves of such an offer?

Pat Desrosiers
Denver

I wish all the people who complained about Patricia Calhoun's December 5 column would pay as much attention to the city's frightening plans for developing the Platte Valley--six twenty-story buildings!--as they do to getting rid of those unsightly bums who disturb their bicycle commutes.

Fran Hiller
Denver

Quit Lounging Around
Regarding Kyle Wagner's December 5 "Double Jeopardy" review, including Japanese-Express Fast Food at the Lancer Lounge:

Okay, pal, the food sucked--leave it at that. The mean-spirited attack on the Lancer's customers and its owner was irrelevant. Next time, stay next door and smoke your cigar. Better yet, don't leave your Lexus. Why bother getting your hands dirty at a dive like the Lancer? There's plenty of places for you and your elitist friends to hang in Cherry Creek or LoDo.

By the way, your Dockers are cool!
Richard Paradis
via the Internet

The Artful Dodger
I am surprised that an arts reporter the caliber of Michael Paglia would generate a work product so filled with factual errors and false innuendos as "Museum Qualities," his December 5 column.

First of all, I am not the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District Tier III Chairman. I am instead a member of the Denver County Cultural Council, and currently its chair. More important, I need to clarify that my role as advisor to the not-yet-emerged new museum of regional and contemporary art has nothing to do with the Denver County Cultural Council or the SCFD, but is only as a longstanding local arts advocate.

I will not detail the numerous errors in Paglia's article, but I will offer to give him the true facts, if he is interested in them and wants to use his "bully-pulpit" (his words) to support regional art in any new museum endeavor (he already has my home phone number).

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