Letters

Prairie Home Companion
After reading Patricia Calhoun's "Little Grouse on the Prairie," I don't know what to hope for. If the stadium vote is jeopardized because of the legislature's greedy addition of Park Meadows and Lone Tree's commercial area, that's good. But if it means that we have to go through a stadium vote all over again and listen to millionaire Bowlen cry poor, that's bad. I don't think my tired old ticker can take another round.

Joe Washington
Denver

Calhoun's Lone Tree column was a terrific article! Thank God there's a newspaper that can come out and tell the truth and has the guts to print things. I wish your paper could knock these other pieces of crap right out of town. You publish good articles, I like what you write, and I love your paper. This whole damn deal with the Broncos is a ripoff.

Keep up the good work. I support your paper. Good job.
T. Leonard
Denver

The Heart of the Matter
I heard so much about all the recent deaths in Aurora, but I never knew about Laura Martinez ("Stabbed in the Heart," October 29). Tony Perez-Giese's piece was a fitting eulogy to a sad story. It is too bad that the dailies and TV get so caught up in the more sensational stories and miss things that are just as tragic. Domestic violence must stop!

Laura Robinson
Denver

What a terrible death. I hope the killer gets a life sentence or the death penalty. I was pleased to read that members of the community have assisted the Martinez family. But I do not agree with Guillermo Martinez Jr.'s anger concerning the lack of English-speaking police and hospital staff. According to the article, Mr. Martinez Sr. moved to the United States in 1988 and brought his wife and three children two years later. That means the family had eight to ten years here to learn English--but did not. It annoys me that Guillermo is angry at the police and hospital staff for not speaking Spanish, given his family's lack of learning to speak English.

We need look no further than Canada's problems with French vs. English to see what looms ahead for the U.S.A. And, yes, if I moved to a place with a standard language other than English, I would learn the language. I see it as common sense and respect to do no less.

Mark Milburn
via the Internet

Editor's note: Tony Perez-Giese's "Stabbed in the Heart" mistakenly said Denver police and paramedics responded to the call concerning Laura Martinez. They were from Aurora.

The Bus Stops Here
After years of watching the RTD board's antics, as Alan Prendergast so ably describes in his October 29 "One-Track Minds," the only solution would seem to be to condemn the board to a one-way ride on a No. 15 bus--in a snowstorm.

Harry Franks
Denver

The idiocy of the current debacle of the RTD board would be a farcical comedy if it didn't deal with so much of our tax money at risk. It crystallizes on some obvious issues and probabilities and, as usual, misses the most important points and issues.

The central point of any public transportation in any major city with massive numbers of working commuters riding in their private vehicles is incredibly simple: Will the public transportation provided significantly compete with the convenience, cost, time and efficiency of simply getting in your own car and driving to your job directly?

When you set aside all the good intentions and eco-patriotism that a metro rail system calls for, the answer amounts to a clear no. The major difference between the rail proposals of the tax-happy supporters and the reality of successful metro rail systems of other major cities is that the other metro systems account for a real competition with the convenience of the commuter in his own car to and from work.

Other pragmatic issues begin to crystallize. Will a rail system be ecologically beneficial? That is a serious question in light of the increased pollution as we squeeze cars in narrower corridors, kick up the dust in massive construction projects and then assume that the long-term benefits will justify it all with more people riding the rail. The problem is that as long as it takes probably twice the time or longer to get to work with any RTD, bus or rail, people would rather drive and park at work--massive traffic jams being a small problem compared to the convenience.

The long-term risk, and a serious risk at that, is that if a metro rail system in Denver fails to really compete with private riding commuters, after massive tax and bond expenditures the enormous deadweight debt that the public will be saddled with will create such a cynicism and bitterness that any valid pro-ecology proposal will be met with angry derision by the general public.

But the real question should be: Who really profits?
When the enthusiastic supporters of a metro rail system are the law firms that will certainly profit enormously from the bond sales, the developers who will have guarantees of customers shuttled through their malls, and the speculators who are buying up the rights of way in anticipation of massive profits upon enaction of the system, then the end goals of easing congestion and pollution become lost.

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