Letters to the Editor

From the week of February 22, 2001

The Light Stuff

Out of the blue: Regarding Julie Jargon's "Hide the Light," in the February 15 issue, I can testify that Curtis Park is not alone in being affected by the obnoxiously bright Qwest sign. Even with the shades drawn in my fourth-floor loft near Coors Field, my bedroom never nears darkness. It is filled every evening with a strange blue glow. The US West sign that preceded Qwest's was much dimmer and, while never completely gone, and thus not completely appreciated, its hazy glow gave the impression of candlelight. The Qwest sign, on the other hand, makes my lights-out, shades-drawn sleeping space reminiscent of an area awaiting an impending spaceship landing.

I will happily join those disturbed by the sign in Curtis Park in asking Qwest to turn off, or at least tone down, the light!

Bridget Hynes
Denver

Dim bulbs: Must be a slow news week when the usually highly venerable and much respected Westword resorts to an article claiming opposition to an invasive, glowing, neon-blue sign hovering above Denver. What profound scale of opposition are we talking about here, Mr. Marsters? You petitioned an entire neighborhood nesting downtown and only received four responses. Actually, you received five, but one neighbor's "blue light" is blocked by another's house, so she really doesn't count -- she just wants to be counted as an individual. All of this justifies a campaign? I certainly feel the thorn in your side, for I don't feel too illuminated by that ominous blue Qwest sign blazing across the downtown skyline for all Coloradans to see. And I do agree with some of the things you had to say. But my advice to you is: Deal with it. Particularly when only a poker table full of residents feel your pain.

Which leads me to believe that Ms. Jargon, our trusty Westword reporter, most likely slumbers in the same neighborhood, or at least is not at peace with the sign, either. Well, well, well. Welcome to the concrete paradise, Mr. Marsters. Before you scour the neighborhood distributing bumper stickers and T-shirts, please expend your energy on more important issues defacing Denver than a brilliant blue sign.

I love Denver, Colorado. It is an exciting and ambitious metropolis in the great western Rockies. It has its problems as much as any other metropolis, but to weep about a blue sign appearing like a UFO out of the downtown skyline won't receive a pat on the back from me. By the way, birds fly into glass skyscrapers all the time. Blue light or no light, glass windows are hidden dangers for our flying friends.

I don't work for Qwest, nor do I support the avaricious advertising on its building, but I certainly can deal with the illumination making our night sky blue. I would rather attempt to clean up the air in Denver, although it may seem a hopeless and radical venture, than fight a light with all the bumper stickers and T-shirts and four neighbors in the world. By the way, I see the spooky blue light peering in my window every night, too. But at least I'm all smiles, 'cause I reside in a city I adore.

Ken Rafferty
Denver

Qwest for ire: I have lived in disbelief of the gross indecency of these big blue Qwest signs since they went up. They significantly decrease the beauty of the skyline, as they are visible from every angle in this town, and they are a stamp of egotistical ideals on the part of Qwest. The company seems to be saying it owns this town, because it's the only one with huge, ugly, domineering signage in the whole of the Denver downtown landscape.

I have never lived in a city that allows such a misuse of power and such defacing of a communal view. It is unfortunate that people in Denver are still more concerned with how they look than how we look. There is a big difference, and unfortunately, Qwest does not get it. It is the equivalent of Excel Energy advertising on television -- like we have a choice? Just send us the bill and get out of our face!

Many thanks to Ted Marsters for being concerned with this issue.

DeAnn Barlow
via the Internet


An Unhealthy Situation

What operators! Thank you for "Swiss Miss," Juliet Wittman's story about the Saouma family, in the February 15 issue. I worked for the University of Colorado for four years, at the sports medicine clinic. The clinic was wonderful to work at, but the politics stank! It is bad enough that insurance companies make decisions that affect your health care, but this was reprehensible. I dealt with insurance companies on a daily basis, working on these kinds of problems (although on a smaller scale). I also dealt with CU's insurance (self-insurance) for years, and it was unbelievable how money was more important than the lives the plan was put in place to serve.

I could go on forever about many different things at CU's Health Sciences Center, but I am limited in my correspondence to you.

A current news report concerns the uninsured population -- referred to at UCHSC as the "indigent" population. My staffers would literally cry after getting off the phone with some people to whom they had to refuse care because it was not a life- or limb-threatening situation. Legally (as we were told by department administrators), we were not obligated to ever see these patients unless they could pay for service that day. That never happened, of course, and I still feel terrible for all those people who could not afford health insurance yet could not work due to a physical injury.

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