Letters

Nothing Personal
I never appreciated Westword as much as I did when I read Patricia Calhoun's "Personal Foul," in the February 4 issue. You had to read all that "penis" talk, uncensored, to realize how idiotic that Tyrone Braxton case was. This is the sort of case that gives lawsuits a bad name.

Mimi Foster
via the Internet

You know what Tyrone Braxton was thinking the night after the parade: We won the Super Bowl. And you know what those four opportunists who sued him were thinking: We want a piece of it.

Here is my question: What was Anne Sulton thinking?
Joe Franks
via the Internet

Blinded by Science
As profiled in Gayle Worland's "The Incredible Shrinking Career," in the February 4 issue, Brian Rimar is a true hero. All he wanted to do was conduct research and report it accurately--instead, the EPA sets out to screw him over. I hope that he and the other whistleblowers get to have their say in front of Congress and that Congress listens.

It will certainly be a more important discussion than how our lawmakers have spent their days lately!

Jay Rossi
Denver

It seems as though the needs of the few (EPA) outweigh the needs of the many (Colorado). The political ballet of those EPA bureaucrats and the tutu'd attorneys who are their partners in this EPA blunder is incomprehensible. Dodson's or Quintyne's head should roll on this one--or give them copper-enriched diets and let them rust away. As an American and a Coloradan, I am getting a little pissed here about the many ways certain bureaucrats--who are guaranteed their jobs and livelihood--can find to waste our tax money for their protection rather than ours.

Go get 'em, Brian Rimar.
And regarding Eric Dexheimer's "Secretary's Day Off," in the same issue: I'm all for a secretary's day off--permanently! (Although I wonder if Vikki Buckley's bingo pals would let her sell cards or play with their balls?) What surprises me is the support she got from obviously "totally ignorant" members of the Colorado Legislature who praised her office in January of this year.

John Rael
via the Internet

The following went to the EPA:
I was reading an article in Westword by Gayle Worland that concerns Brian Rimar and Summitville, Colorado. From the article, I understand that your agency began a criminal investigation of Mr. Rimar one year after he was assigned to a sheep study in southern Colorado. According to Mr. Rimar, he was harassed for two years and then pulled off of the study--all because your agency did not like the results he (Mr. Rimar) was getting. Now this, in and of itself, is nothing. But the fact that the GAO is currently investigating your agency for the same actions against not only Mr. Rimar but a number of other scientists as well suggests that the EPA is less than trustworthy.

Besides Mr. Rimar, there was the issue of Summitville. Your agency is claiming that a "pool brimming with cyanide" was being cleaned at a rate of 1,000 gallons per minute and at a cost of $2.5 million per year, and that the operation is expected to run "until the end of time." Now, I am certainly no expert, but even I know that the rates you gave should have had that pond cleaned in ninety days, tops. Even assuming that the "pond" was exeptionally large, and further assuming that fewer than seven hours per day were spent actually cleaning the water, more than 35,000,000 gallons of water could be cleaned in ninety days.

It sounds to me like the EPA is running a scam to get more money. Not a far reach when you consider who paid for both Mr. Rimar's research and the Summitville cleanup (so far). Add the $4.5 million bond put up by Galactic and the fact that Mr. Rimar's results were not indicating that sheep were dying from copper poisoning, and it all paints an interesting picture. There is an old rule of thumb for investigators everywhere: "Follow the money. No matter what you're investigating, follow the money." It looks to me like all the money leads back to the EPA.

Now, having said all that, does the EPA care to comment?
Tracy Fox
via the Internet

With regard to Gayle Worland's story on Summitville pollution, a statement about the trout fishery--"Only a decade ago, it was rich with trout"--is not true. Tim Kelley's Fishing Guide, the standard guide to Colorado trout fishing for decades, states on page 195 of the 1982 edition that the "Alamosa River above the (Alamosa or Terrace) reservoir offers no fishing, the water was polluted years ago by mining operations and natural minerals."

There was a lot of older mining in that area, and the most recent disaster was the tip of the iceberg as far as pollution of the river goes.

Chuck Weisenberg
Lakewood

Gayle Worland replies: Area residents agree that the Alamosa was never "pristine"--but despite its high concentration of natural minerals, it did support a healthy trout population prior to the cyanide leach-pit mining at Summitville and a major fish kill in Terrace Reservoir in 1990. One of the more ambitious goals of the state and federal cleanup plan is to establish a Class I trout fishery below the tiny Alamosa River mountain town of Jasper.

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