Letters to the Editor

From the week of May 3, 2001

I agree with Adrienne's assessment that this district is very much a good ol' boys club. Woe to all uppity women who enter here.

Alison Maynard

Deep trouble: The membership of the National Sludge Alliance (NSA) commends Westword and Eileen Welsome for exposing the attempt by government and industry to cover up rather than clean up the toxic mess at Lowry that includes radioactive waste. The "Dirty Secrets" series is an outstanding example of the free press acting in the public interest.

The precedent-setting permit in Denver will open floodgates around the country for the cheap disposal of radionuclides that will transfer the liability from the polluters to the public; it displays a callous disregard for public health and safety. We say no to the addition of plutonium or any other insoluble radionuclides that will concentrate in the sludge and end up in the food chain, water supplies and the environment. Every toxic chemical in tomorrow's headlines can be found in today's sludge. The standards in the U.S. are already more permissive than those in any other industrialized country in the world.

NSA has joined in support of members in Colorado, whistle-blower Adrienne Anderson and the union workers and farmers in opposition to this latest outrageous attempt by government agencies, in collusion with industry, to dispose of toxic wastes and radioactivity cheaply. Not only will this policy contaminate our food and water, but the public is expected to pay for the privilege with the shift of liability from polluters to us. This insanity must stop here in Colorado.

Charlotte Hartman
Copake, NY

The Churl Next Door

Wild-bull hicktown: I have read with amusement the recent spate of letters regarding Denver's "hick" image, most recently in the April 26 issue. I have "lived" here for several years and can understand completely why people get so defensive. I know "real" Coloradans get upset when Denver is referred to as "cowtown," "hicktown" or "jocksville." I know they get angry because, in fact, Denver is a hicktown full of cowtowners; repressed, insulated conservatives; and frat-boy, jock-mentality morons.

Sorry, Denver, but having a bunch of sports teams does not a "world-class" city make. The local radio is the worst in the country, the local media is third-rate and amateurish at best, and the state is full of isolationists with the energy and humor of a gang of churlish trolls. As for the Colorado "mentality" of "get the hell out, if ya don't like it," I will definitely abide by it, as will many others who came here expecting a progressive, upbeat city and instead got sports, trucks, SUVs, snow and buffoons crawling out of the woodwork on every side.

John E. Turner

I'll take Manhattan: Thanks for printing Jerhome Windecker's letter asking those of us who think Denver is "just a boring, dirty cowtown" to "take your asses back to whatever fucked-up state you came from." If I may, I'd like to tell Jerhome exactly why some of us in Denver, myself particularly, would rather be anywhere else but in this boring, dirty cowtown.

I was living happily in New York City until January; I moved back to Denver because of a family crisis, and I wasn't too thrilled with the idea of returning. My friends in New York who had never been to Denver asked me what Denver is like and why I didn't want to move back. So for you, Jerhome, and the rest of you who share his feelings, here is a quick rundown of why I lacked enthusiasm for returning:

• As a gay man, I'm surrounded by Fred Phelps to the east; the horrendous beating and eventual death of Matthew Shepard to the north; Focus on the Family and Exodus Ministries to the south; and the Mormons to the west.

• My friends who are teachers in Denver Public Schools must kowtow to taxpayers who value professional sports over the education and future of their own children.

• Radio-station personalities can walk into an Islamic mosque and defile worshipers' beliefs live on the radio, all the while calling it entertainment.

• Cars and SUVs are purchased and driven at an alarming rate, completely negating the possibility of public transportation for a cleaner environment. Suburban communities fear that a public transportation system running along their streets would bring an "unwelcome" element from the minority communities of urban Denver. We all know the suburbs house only the most pure and innocent people, who could never manufacture methamphetamines or kill another person.

• The opening of a Krispy Kreme actually warrants media coverage and continuous traffic reports on both radio and television stations.

Of course, my friends in New York contact me every day, begging me to return and get the hell out of Colorado.

You're so on the money, Jerhome. Why should people like myself, who can't tolerate the asinine logic and mentality of people in Denver, stay here? I can't argue with that question, and my only answer is to move the fuck out of this town and go somewhere that makes me feel that I am at home and where I belong. And I'm not talking about this dirty, boring cowtown.

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