Webbed Feet
I am amazed and repulsed by the inordinate amount of attention being given to the "mistreatment" of Gil Webb, the two-legged cockroach who is directly responsible for the untimely death of Denver police officer Ron DeHerrera (Patricia Calhoun's "Look Before You Leap...to Conclusions," April 17).

This piece of mutant garbage is entirely unworthy of any compassion, sympathy, pity, coddling or pampering, although he will receive a healthy dose of all of them at his criminal trial.

Enough already!
Donald Michael Conrad

Unlike Sal Conners (Letters, April 24), I was disappointed by Patricia Calhoun's April 17 column. Usually she stands up for the underdog (and not in a "strident" way, either, Mr./Ms. Conners). But in this case, Calhoun seems to think the cops were justified in treating Webb badly. Whatever happened to the concept of innocent until proven guilty?

Roberta Washington

So what's the big fuss? This Webb kid destroys a life that was committed to making our world a bit safer, and we're worried that he was possibly treated with some marginal behavior?

Is there a right and wrong here? Possibly, but remember this: Gil Webb made a choice to enter a violent world. He's got to pay, one way or another.

His mother should be locked up. Don't you need a license to have a child?
Steven Spieczny
San Francisco

The Paper Chase
Did I miss any really intelligent, reflective, literate responses regarding Alan Prendergast's April 10 article, "All the News That Fits"? The letters that I read in the April 24 issue were simply dismissive of Denver's need to have any newspaper at all.

A newspaper's having a bias or slant is probably necessarily in the "nature of the beast." It's a fact of life, a by-product of the social-political aspect of human nature. So, does that mean we do without one? Besides the news in print, where does one find a local, centralized, printed medium for in-depth sports and entertainment, employment opportunities and other forms of business information? Where does one have the opportunity to "talk back," in print, about newsworthy issues or read what others think, if not the editorial section? Hey, what about the "funnies"?

How dull daily life would really be without our civilized approach to "agree to disagree." One well-known talk-show host on Denver's widest-ranging radio station was heard to say just this week that electronic news alone is a lazy-chair attitude to being responsibly informed. How fortunate for Denver to have two competing newspapers--vive la difference!

Westword and Alan Prendergast, thank you for an informative article, the historic and current trends of both papers, and the article's analysis (any bias aside).

Stephanie Barker

Perhaps Westword (being the enfant terrible of Denver media) might consider a new feature aimed at tweaking the dailies: Have folks send you copies of their letters to the dailies, then run the ones that are insightful and provocative regarding local issues or coverage in the dailies but never made it into print in the big two.

Just a thought.
John Wilkens
via the Internet

A Rocky Road
Patricia Calhoun's April 10 column, "The Other Jury," was a powerful reminder of the vast coverup of the Rocky Flats grand-jury report. Sadly, the local, corporate-controlled media have long since buried that story...as have the courts and the Department of Justice. Seems that we the people are not to be told the truth.

What is the big secret, anyway? Did the grand jury find evidence of leaks of radioactive gasses and particles into our community? Or, worse yet, are there amounts of plutonium missing altogether?

We have learned too late that Corporate America is not to be trusted with anything nuclear. That powerful force requires perfect handling--from those imperfect beings. Too often, profit takes priority over safety. Those who squelched the grand-jury report are not patriots; they are simply petty cowards who fear we the people.

And they are only saving their own asses, not ours.
Paul T. Kane

You're in the Army Now
This letter is in response to Patricia Calhoun's column "And Not a Drop to Drink," in the April 3 issue, and the subsequent editor's note in the April 10 issue.

As it is a goal of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal (RMA) to effectively communicate the facts on a consistent basis, I have a general concern about the manner in which issues have been presented to the readers of your publication.

During the April 3, 1997, meeting of the Restoration Advisory Board (RAB), Mr. John Yelenick was commended for his hard work in researching Diisopropylmethylphosphonate (DIMP) and related issues. However, his presentation ignored the facts and toxicological data clearly stating that DIMP is not a nerve agent and cannot become a nerve agent in groundwater.

DIMP is not a new or unknown compound at the RMA--in fact, it is one of the most studied compounds on the RMA. Since it was first detected in 1974, DIMP has been the subject of an intense research program involving the National Academy of Sciences, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the U.S. Army. In addition to these studies, the Army has implemented groundwater systems on and off RMA that contain and treat this and other chemicals to standards at or below environmental regulations. These systems, treating over one billion gallons of groundwater each year, are the primary reason why the migration of contaminated groundwater off-site no longer exists and why the off-site DIMP plume has and will continue to decrease. Furthermore, the Army and Shell Oil Company are assuring that an alternative water source is available to well owners within a detectable DIMP area north of the RMA. This area is defined by a DIMP detection limit of 0.392 ppb, a level more conservative than the state's 8 ppb standard or EPA's 600 ppb standard.

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