Letters

It's the Bomb!
Patricia Calhoun's "Civics Lessons," in the April 30 issue, made me nostalgic and sad. Twenty years ago people in Boulder cared about something other than themselves and wearing the right clothes and driving the right cars. Twenty years ago we worried about the world and the global threat of a nearby bomb factory--but today we're all NIMBYs, thinking about no greater concerns than people parking in front of our houses. We owe a debt of gratitude to the protesters, and also to Westword, for reminding us that the job is not done yet. Rocky Flats may not be making bombs, but the plant's contamination could be an environmental time bomb.

Zoey Foster
Boulder

Yawn. Rocky Flats is closed. The protesters and the grand jurors need to get a life. And Westword needs to get on with some other story. No one cares about this anymore.

Rick Torres
Denver

Editor's note: Apparently the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals does. Last Thursday the appeals court overturned U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch's decision that would have allowed the release of testimony made before the Rocky Flats grand jurors.

Paint the Town Read
Regarding Harrison Fletcher's "Painting the Town," in the April 30 issue:
I am so glad someone finally did this piece. I couldn't agree more. I used to teach computers at the Spot (a nighttime hangout for urban youth at 20th and Stout streets), and those kids taught me a lot. If only other adults would stop, put aside their preconceived notions and listen. They might find out that there's a lot more to graffiti than just tagging. They might also find a real solution instead of the rantings of politicos trying to get re-elected.

Amy Haimerl
Colorado Springs

Way to go, Westword. Now you're endorsing graffiti. What's next, supporting drive-by shootings by "misunderstood" youth?

Joe Vigil
Denver

I myself was, and still feel I am, a "writer." I am from both the Bronx and Los Angeles. I started as a tagger in the streets of New York, then my family moved to L.A., and I brought with me the art from the streets. While I lived in L.A., I perfected my styles and became a writer. I went by the name "Krayola" because of the choices and blending of colors I used.

Graffiti as an art form has helped me in becoming an artist and designer. I used what I learned on the streets and moved it to the classroom during junior and senior high to help me be creative in my art classes. I went on to college to study designing in more of a traditional way. Nevertheless, I credit graffiti for some of my success as a designer and would never change my way of thinking about it or my passion for it.

I am glad to see that there are artists out there keeping this sacred art form alive. I take my hat off to them and hope they don't fall prey to this state's conservative state of mind. To quote an unknown writer (from a mural in the movie Beat Street), "If graffiti is a crime, then may God forgive me."

Keep the art alive.
Al Buffone
via the Internet

I want to thank you for doing the article on Jher. I don't know him, but I was moved by his story. I drive past the Penn Garage all the time and always wondered who did the graffiti. I think it is beautiful and definitely an addition to the neighborhood. I would like to give props to Jher for having a vision and a message, because not many people do, and I would also like to give props to Dave Demmer for having faith.

Zoe
via the Internet

Bowling for Dollars
Regarding Nancy Watzman's "Plugging in to D.C.," in the April 30 issue:
As the only active participant in the auction of Kennedy memorabilia, I really do resent Westword's smarmy implication that my husband's work for Aurora had anything to do with my acquisition of the bowl--even a Kennedy bowl.

While the episode can be twisted to conform to Westword's tired stereotype of Washington lobbyists, it has one glaring fault: It's inaccurate.

I have a career. I work. I paid for the bowl. No one in Aurora subsidized its purchase. It's no doubt less titillating to write a story about a working mother spending what she earns; it does, however, have the virtue of being true.

The next time Westword wants to slam someone for allegedly violating its list of editorial pieties, it should at least get the facts straight. Perhaps inquiring of either my husband or me may have at least given you a more accurate slant on your biased piece.

Roselee N. Roberts, Director Legislative Affairs
The Boeing Company

Less Than Zero
Regarding Alan Prendergast's "Zero for Conduct," in the April 23 issue:
Sorry, Westword, but you missed the big scoop. If Alan Prendergast wants a real blockbuster, he'd find a Denver public school that refused due process to any student.

Denver would explode, but he's out of luck.
Having taught for ten years at Rishel Middle School and now West High School, I work with professionals (both teachers and administrators) who always give students the initial benefit of the doubt. As educators, our first responsibility is to foster our students. We must be their advocates; that's our job. If a student exhibits consistently disruptive or dangerous behavior, we are also charged with his/her removal. However, without due process, we commit ourselves to a police-state agenda. Due process is frustrating and time-consuming. It begs the impatient to seek a simpler, more dangerous solution.

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