Second, attorney Anderson points out that these are some of the best federal agents in the country. Why are they paid less than every other federal agent? FBI, DEA, EPA, etc., all routinely get GS-13 grades, are much less self-sufficient and are supported by a big-agency infrastructure. Seems these guys and gals should get at least as much, but they stop 'em at GS-12.

By the way, the article touches upon those U.S. attorneys who support the work of FWS agents, often in the face of ridicule. It ain't just the DOJ specialists, but a few "local" assistant U.S. attorneys who earn the gold star, too.

J. Antonio Montana
via the Internet

When Worse Comes to Worse
I think Kenny Be's May 20 cartoon, "President Clinton's Trip to Columbine," is in terrible taste, and he should be ashamed of himself. I also am disgusted with your newspaper for persisting in running Jesus of the Week. I think that's in even worse taste. You people need to re-examine some of your editorial policies that would permit such low standards.

Jean Tuthill

I'm a confirmed non-theist--Jesus has never played any role in my personal life--and I'd like to agree with those who have said Jesus of the Week needs to go. It is plainly, unapologetically bigoted and thereby flatly unethical. (Ever heard of ethics? Sometimes they mean you can't do just what you feel like.) The suggestion that the comic doesn't mock Christianity boggles my mind. What doublethink! In the May 13 issue, using the word "afterbirth" in connection with Salt Lake City doesn't mock Mormons--yeah, right. Time to grow up, kids.

Joseph Scott

In his May 13 letter, Lee Whitfield complains that Jesus "didn't lift a finger" during the bloodbath at Columbine, an indication that he unjustly and unlovingly allows violence in the world. Nor, might I add, did he lift a finger as Mr. Whitfield typed and sent his letter to Westword, an indication that he unjustly and unlovingly allows people to make fools of themselves. Jesus, this free-will thing has gone way too far.

Christopher Little

No-Tell Hotel
Let's do the Time Warp again!
What decade is this, anyway? I laughed my butt off over Justin Berton's May 20 "Theater of the Absurd," about the Rocky Horror Picture Show convention's problems with the Landmark Hotel. What a town we live in! What a time we live in!

Dana Rodgers

Kudos to Mark Tomaino! It's about time someone stood up and defended the religious minorities in this country from the alienation created by the placement of Gideon Bibles in hotel rooms. Who are they to demand that the occupants paying to stay in their residence sleep next to a book of "their" beliefs? How could a Jew or a Muslim, or even a Scientologist, be expected to stay in a hotel so obviously opposed to their way of life? Next thing they will be telling us is that all children will be reciting "Hail Mary" in class and the other religions should just pretend that they are worshiping their own god!

In the wake of the Columbine tragedy, I believed that tolerance for those who are "different" would increase, but I see now that this is not possible. This group of young people, who were bringing commerce to this town with their tourism, are being made fun of for their ability to have fun slightly outside of the norm, with a movie that celebrates their differences. Shouldn't we all be doing that?

Tracey Linczer
via the Internet

The Gay Avenger
As a member of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's (GLAAD) Media Monitoring & Response Team, I write to detail serious objections to Patricia Calhoun's April 29 "Opportunism Knocks."

Clearly, there has been no end of spin put on the Columbine massacre--and you may well be entitled to express anger toward those who would turn this tragedy into a platform for special interests. However, your inclusion of a "New York-based gay publicist" into your list of targets was uncalled for. Not only do you fail to identify your source, but you use a quote and a paraphrase that appear to have been taken out of context. Your apparent animus toward the source casts serious doubt onto the contextual accuracy and authenticity of the quoted matter.

Given the framing of your commentary, your inclusion of this individual also functions (whether intended or not) as a thinly veiled swipe at the lesbian and gay community. To imply that the lesbian and gay community is spinning the Columbine tragedy--especially in light of such shoddy journalistic process--is quite offensive.

We at GLAAD, the nation's lesbian and gay media advocacy organization, promote fair, accurate and inclusive representation of individuals and events in all media as a means of combating all forms of discrimination based upon sexual orientation or identity. Accurate and fair depictions of lesbians and gay men are crucial to the elimination of homophobia.

Please commit yourself and Westword to the publication of quality articles and columns covering political and social issues affecting the diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Sean D. Lund
GLAAD Media Monitoring & Response Team

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