Evelyn A. Schlatter

Editor's note: C.J. Janovy's "Court and Spark" credited several Xplosion stories to Denver Post sports stringer Michael Kane. One of those articles, a pre-season story published on November 3, was actually written by Post sportswriter Michael Monroe.

After-School Special
Alan Prendergast's December 17 story, "A Matter of Principal," about South High School principal Shawn Batterberry's attempt to quash a story about a student drug-use survey, reminded me of something that happened long ago.

In 1976, as a reporter for the Denver Manual High School newspaper (then known as Bolt Action), one of my first story ideas was to conduct an anonymous poll among all Manual students regarding drug use. I wrote the survey questions, which were quite specific as to types of drugs used, how recently and with what frequency. The surveys were handed out by students in all homerooms one morning and collected by students, and the results were tabulated by the newspaper staff.

Although the survey and the resulting story reported that approximately 85 percent of Manual students had at least tried illegal drugs of some sort, the only controversy surrounding it at the time was that I felt that my story had been stolen by the editors, who wrote the story and got the byline! The principal of Manual at that time, the late, great Mr. James Ward, never said anything publicly about the story, nor did he ever at any time try to interfere with the newspaper's content. Our faculty supervisor, Mrs. Pat Cooney, was much more interested in teaching us good journalism than in the actual content of the stories that we published, even though there were many pieces that were less than flattering to the school (and many that were just darned silly!).

Student newspapers deserve the same free-press rights as any other type of publication. Public schools are government-run institutions, and as such, they have no right to quell dissent. High school students need to acquire all of the tools that they will need to become productive adults, and this cannot happen in a learning environment where free speech is compromised.

Dave Estes
via the Internet

Another Hit
Thanks to Bill Gallo for a superb DiMaggio story ("Say It Ain't So, Joe," December 3). Sensitive approach, masterful insights into a baseball icon. How have we ever deserved Gallo's expertise? I saw Joe play at Al Lang Field, St. Pete, one solitary, unforgettable time. The impression remains: As Gallo wrote, Joe seemed to float a foot off the ground out there in distant fielding position, gracefully catching and sailing back those high-flying hits. That was in 1949, but I've not forgotten. Thanks, Bill.

John G. Kessel
via the Internet

I joined the WACs in the summer of 1944. They moved you around. It was three months in Nashville, eleven months on Lake Champlain near Montreal, three months in North Carolina and the final three months on Long Island. I liked every place in the WACs.

Long Island gave us free tickets to many great events. The ticket manager urged me to see a very special game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Red Sox. This game was not listed. I was in the front on the right side. Yankee Stadium was filled. I was wearing my uniform and did not see any women.

Jackie Robinson made a home run. Joe DiMaggio was in front of me. He jumped high in the air and caught the baseball. I could hardly believe it. These two men have been my favorites.

I treasure Westword for publishing the Joe DiMaggio story.
Glenna M. Wilson

Another Stern Talking-To
Michael Roberts's November 26 Feedback column on Howard Stern was boorish at best. Roberts is uninformed, uninteresting and untalented, and his opinion shows just what a horse's ass he is. To base a complete opinion for a column on a radio show he listened to for what I'm guessing to be no more than an hour and a half is ludicrous. He is a doodie head with no basis for living outside a mental hospital.

Thomas Janks
via the Internet

Ho-hum. That was my reaction to your Feedback item on Howard Stern's first week in Denver. Another typical wanna-be celebrity writes an article on something he listened to instead of creating something on his own. People like Roberts are a dime a dozen. He hasn't the talent to create something original on his own, so he writes on and critiques things he hears and sees. How boring.

Do you have any idea how many "columnists" write a negative article on Howard when he first comes to their market? Nearly every one of them does. And every time, Howard proves them wrong. Every time. I guess I shouldn't let a no-talent like Roberts get me upset, because there need to be detractors in order to have someone to say "I told you so" to when Stern takes the Denver market by storm and eventually becomes number one. And that will happen--trust me. It may take a year or so, but it will happen. Then your readers will see how Roberts's "opinion" doesn't really matter.

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