Gene Kelson
via the Internet

What with all the stories about the greedheads in Aspen, you forget that real people live in Pitkin County. I'm glad I got to meet a few in "Shadow of a Trout."

I also hope that the U.S. Forest Service doesn't bite at Bass Pro's offer of a land swap. To replace wilderness with a rich man's trophy fishing hole doesn't sound like much of a catch to me.

Jerry Franks

Thanks for Tony Perez-Giese's story on the proposed development by Bass Pro millionaire John L. Morris of the Fryingpan River Ranch in Pitkin County. It really irritates me to hear about the possibility of private acquisition of what should clearly remain public land.

While in some cases land swaps may actually be beneficial to the public interest, they are often used by greedy developers to acquire prime land in trade for less valuable tracts. In this case, it is unconscionable that the U.S. Forest Service would consider trading away a couple hundred acres of riverfront or near-riverfront land on one of the finest trout streams and riparian ecosystems in the state.

I can visualize the "No Trespassing" signs that could appear if the deal goes through. I have enjoyed walking stretches of the Fryingpan and will not be pleased if the Forest Service trades the Fryingpan River Ranch away into private hands.

For other citizens upset by this issue, I suggest dropping a line to Martha Ketelle, Forest Supervisor, White River NF, PO Box 948, Glenwood Springs, CO 81602. Then contact Senator Campbell, Senator Allard and your representative.

Eric S. Johnson
via the Internet

Two's Company
I enjoyed Alan Prendergast's well-researched article on the antics, robberies and, finally, the trial resulting from the outrageous actions of the defendants here in Denver back in 1992 ("Bad Company," July 9). However, at risk of being accused of being too sensitive, allow me to rebut a statement included in the article. As a trial lawyer, I put great stock in my professional integrity. Mike Morrissey, the defense lawyer in the case, is quoted as saying that I was "caught borrowing the wheelchair" from which one of the victims of the robbery, a grandmother, testified. I believe that Mr. Morrissey had adequate opportunity to cross-examine on the point, and the transcript shows he did and that the wheelchair was on loan from the Denver Sheriff's Department. But I take my witnesses like I find them and certainly had no part in assisting the woman in getting the wheelchair or advising her to use one in the first place. Her testimony was critical, in my view, and any prosecutor who would have failed to put her on would have been misdirected at best or negligent at worst. If the elderly woman would have showed up on the day of the trial on a gurney, I can guarantee you that I would have had her present her testimony lying on her back.

Ronald A. Podboy

Due to serious lamentations from Mr. Ron Podboy, former deputy district attorney, inferring that my phrase "was caught borrowing the wheelchair" impugned his professional reputation, I wish to retract everything I said concerning Mr. Podboy's participation in the trial.

Michael F. Morrissey

Stall in the Family
I'm prompted to write because of Patricia Calhoun's "You Can't Get There From Here," in the July 2 issue. I am the first person to criticize the Denver Department of Social Services. They are totally unorganized and wouldn't bother to go out of their way to help anyone. I feel so sorry for the people who need to rely on their services. I deal with them for child support. What a joke!

I'd like to help PUFF. I was a single mother working downtown, riding the bus to and from work. It was hard. I took the express, and it only ran during peak hours. My son got ill at school, and I couldn't get to his school and pick him up. I had no money to pay for a taxi; my boss lent me $20. When I got home, there was a child-support check for $25 (for the month!). I paid my boss back and took my son to McDonald's.

Cathy Wyatt

For Christ's Sake
I'm writing to protest the protests made against Peter Gilstrap's "Jesus of the Week" in last week's letters. I don't find the feature to be particularly offensive or anti-Christian at all. If the most sacrilegious thing Gilstrap has done is "put swear words in [H]is mouth" and nickname our Lord and Savior, etc., "J.C.," I think we can call off the lynching. I don't doubt that viewing religion in a slightly humorous light is the greatest blasphemy of all to many "Christian" folks out there, but we should all remember that, in his town and day, Jesus was the biggest rebel of all--talking to prostitutes, handling the dead and whatnot. I hardly think Gilstrap is doing God's Only Begotten Son a disservice by presenting him in a relatable light.

My biggest complaint with his comic, and with Jean Tuthill's letter, is that the use of Jesus Christ and J.C. implies that Christ was Jesus's last name. In fact, the word "Christ" comes from a similar-sounding Greek word meaning "messiah." But, after all, it does give us a very handy and satisfying curse: Jesus Christ! or Jesus H. Christ!

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