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.

Brawl in the Family
In the January 28 issue, Stuart Steers's "Home Improvement" included negative comments about patient care at Marriott's Brighton Gardens. I think the article was biased and unfair and that it did not reflect the opinions of the majority of the families with loved ones residing in Brighton Gardens. My father has had excellent care by the nurses and physical therapists in the skilled nursing department. My father is 93, has Alzhheimer's and is confined to a wheelchair or bed due to a hip fracture that did not heal after surgery. When he was admitted to Brighton Gardens, they documented a stage-2 bedsore that the previous nursing home had not advised me about. The nurses and physical therapy department at Brighton Gardens treated the bedsore and healed it in a few weeks.

I had taken my father out of the other nursing home because I was not pleased with the care, food and activities. I am very happy with the care my father now receives at Brighton Gardens, for he has excellent food, a beautiful and clean room, and activities that help improve the quality of his life.

Stuart Steers should have included all of the families at Brighton Gardens and not just the small minority. From the time Brighton Gardens opened, there has been a small group of families that have complained and caused stress for the staff and other families. Brighton Gardens is just one year old and passed its first evaluation by Medicare and the state health department. Family advocate groups can be effective if they are positive and not overly critical of the staff. I will never belong to this advocate group at Brighton Gardens, because I witnessed firsthand the damage it caused to the staff and the well-being of the entire skilled nursing department.

Patricia Thomas
Littleton

Prose and Cons
I read Eric Dexheimer's January 28 "Honor Thy Mother" with great humor, especially Ciaran Redmond's justification for successive and poorly planned bank robberies. Mr. Redmond strikes me as a narcissistic individual with sociopathic tendencies. This "man on a mission" to avenge the murder of his mother lacked much planning, and I question his motive for the crime he plea-bargained out of. I wonder how much of these funds were going toward his documented cocaine and alcohol dependency. "Once a con always a con."

J. Patrick Murphy
via the Internet

We're Going Straight to Hell
I always find it amusing when publications such as yours, or pop music radio stations, delve into moral issues--rooting out evil-doers or taking positions about who is right or wrong. At the same time, you sell your pages and owe your very existence to merchants of nothing more than watered-down pornography, alcohol or drugs, even going so far as to use a pregnant woman--the mother of a real human being--as the sex object of a cheap adolescent joke (Michael Roberts's January 21 Feedback). Not stopping there, you have to act like you are being provocative or gutsy or something by running "Jesus of the Week," an idiotic, blasphemous comic trying to somehow make fun of Jesus Christ. What are you thinking of? Are you being run by a club of naughty little ten-year-olds? Why don't you just stick with producing something for teenage boys to masturbate to and leave the serious issues of the day to people who have a clue.

John E. Walters
via the Internet

I wouldn't consider myself a religious person, but one must wonder why, week after week, you don't include Yaweh, or Allah, or (fill in the blank) in "Jesus of the Week." Are Christians going to be the only subject to be pilloried (no pun intended) weekly? After all, aren't the goings-on in Afghanistan and in Israel just as silly as the ones in Colorado Springs? Or are you just practicing "velvet-gloved fascism" under the guise of humor? Maybe you would cringe at being accused of anti-Semitism, or perhaps the thought of a fatwa aimed at Westword might be chilling. I'm all for the First Amendment, but how about spreading the ridicule around while practicing it?

B.T. Raven
via the Internet

Taming the Savage Beast
I have read Westword off and on since it was first published years ago, and this is the first time I have ever wanted to write your newspaper.

This is regarding the editor's note responding to Alicia Edwards's letter published in the January 21 issue. Just because Dan Savage (and I have no idea who he is--I don't read "Savage Love" and rarely read Westword lately) is gay does not give him the right to call other gay people "faggots." The fact that he is insecure enough to do so is even more harmful to other gays than a homophobic person calling a gay person "faggot." Why not publish a black person's column beginning with "Dear Nigger," or an Arab's column beginning with "Dear Camel Jockey"?

You are ignorant to condone Savage's insecure behavior.
A. Jones
via the Internet

I must disagree strongly with Westword's position on the issue of "Dear Faggot." A member of a minority may reserve the option for his- or herself to use certain slang terms or names for his or her minority. This does not, however, include the right to use the term publicly and offend those who are not so liberal. The term used in the column heading is offensive to a number of people both gay and straight. That alone is enough for a sensitive, caring individual not to use it.

A publication such as a newsletter, magazine or newspaper is held to a much higher standard. By using the term, you are legitimizing it. Oafs who want to use the term can now do so and point to Westword as their authority. The term itself is not offensive to heterosexuals such as myself; its use in such a manner as to insult, inflame or cause harm to others is offensive to me.

I ask that Westword reconsider its position on this issue. I really feel you should avoid being placed in a position where it appears that you condone the use of such inflammatory and derogatory words as this.

G. Nathan Goodrum
Bennett

Threepeat, Bepeat
I was highly amused by Kenny Be's January 28 cartoon on John Elway and seriously doubt Kenny's life is as pathetic as he depicts it. Will he return next year, like Elway, or is this his last season?

Besk of luck!
Lia Moran
via the Internet

After having to suffer through several weeks of "Bronco-Nausea," I've come to the following conclusion: Karl Marx was wrong. Religion is not the opiate of the ignorant masses--football is.

Lee Whitfield
Denver

Compared to the rest of the media's bowing before the Broncos, Kenny Be's Elway cartoon was a breath of fresh air. Congrats.

Jacey Fields
via the Internet

Kenny Be, you are the clown prince of laughter in this town. I remember many years ago, you came out with a "worst-case" dating scenario--how true, I thought (I still have it). Then you went to jail and hilarity followed, but things went to hell with unsavory remarks about John Denver. Finally you arrived, using your influence in fighting sprawl and the plight of the lynx in the February 4 Worst-Case Scenario.

Keep saving Westword's ass and Denver's, too!
Joe Schilling
via the Internet

Keep on Rolling
Somehow, Westword managed to give not one drop of ink to the Rolling Stones' recent visit. Sure, everything that can be said about the Stones has been said before, but how about some coverage of local fans or something? You disappointed me.

Julie Gatseos
via the Internet

Editor's note: Don't give up! Michael Roberts's report on the February 2 concert--the Stones took the stage exactly as Westword went to press--appears on page 70 of this issue.

Letters policy: Westword wants to hear from you, whether you have a complaint or compliment about what we write from week to week. Letters should be no more than 200 words; we reserve the right to edit for libel, length and clarity. Although we'll occasionally withhold an author's name on request, all letters must include your name, address and telephone number. Write to:

Letters Editor
Westword
P.O. Box 5970
Denver, CO 80217
or e-mail (include your full name and hometown) to: editorial@westword.com.

Missed a story? The editorial contents of Westword, dating back to July 1, 1996, are available online at www.westword.com/archive/index.html.

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