Letters to the Editor

From the week of November 29, 2001

Loubbie Lontine
Frank's grandmother

The Sorrow and the PETA

Giving them the bird: The story about the two turkeys that were slaughtered for Thanksgiving dinner (Marty Jones's "Dead Bird Walking," November 22) saddened me. It reminded me of the millions of turkeys slaughtered yearly. I didn't eat a turkey on Thanksgiving. I fed a turkey instead! I celebrated Thanksgiving with all my cherished friends at a farm animal sanctuary. We had only vegan food, which was absolutely delicious.

One doesn't have to "feast" on a dead bird to capture the holiday spirit. I am not only feeling better physically, but spiritually as well.

Nicole Huntley

The Late State

Shop early, shop often: Just when every kid in America wants to grow up to be a fireman or a Stealth bomber pilot, Westword publishes a story about a kid who wants to grow up to be another damn lawyer! This East Coast-bound Andrew Herm punk makes a valid point, however. The Denver curfew law is unfairly discriminating against the Summit County Factory Outlet Business Association! While hundreds of less-than-eighteen-year-olds plod the streets of Denver each night on their way to and from the shopping malls of Santa Fe and Albuquerque, in-state commerce -- especially in the Silverthorne area -- is being substantially hindered by this damned curfew! It is simply illegal for our youth to openly hoof it across the Denver area after 11 p.m. to shop in-state.

And now, with the demise of the I-70 Corridor Monorail, the plight of our mountain factory outlets should come more sharply into focus, as Colorado-based, American-flag-waving businesses become increasingly dependent on walk-in traffic.

Paul Berry

What a Card!

Making the grade: Alan Prendergast's report card ("The Berating Game," November 8) is brilliant but limited. He barely begins defining the number and kind of accountability categories. How about rating an entire district? After all, they are still run by elected school boards -- at least until Roy Romer finds time in his busy "Saving America, One School District at a Time" schedule to return to Denver and complete his CDM Site-Based Management revolution.

For Denver Public Schools, how about:

1) Number of studies linking CDMs to improved student achievement: 0

2) Number of citizens who have the right to attend a CDM meeting at any DPS school: 0 (According to DPS policy, CDM meetings are not subject to Colorado's Open Meetings law.)

3) Number of DPS boardmembers who sat on a CDM for a school that was subsequently rated "Unsatisfactory": 1 (Mejia, at Castro Elementary)

4) Number of DPS boardmembers who have promoted CDMs forever, sat on the board that held the charter for the "Unsatisfactory" Pioneer School and were then re-elected overwhelmingly: 2 (Berman and Woodward)

5) Number of DPS boardmembers who didn't know all children don't have access to music programs because of CDM-system decisions: 1 (Guzman)

6) Number of students who flunked because they did not have textbooks because their CDMs spent the book money on something else: This data is not available.

7) Number of students who were political pawns and educational guinea pigs and will now be available for cannon fodder: Incalculable.

Joanne Roll

Boulder and Wiser

Live and let live: Every time I start getting fed up with the way things are done in Boulder (Patricia Calhoun's "How's It Hanging?" November 15), I do a quick mental inventory of the people who are regularly pissed off by this town and realize I wouldn't live anywhere else.

Earl Noe

Male call: Boulder Public Library officials claim to be surprised at public outcry over their art exhibit that was supposed to draw public attention to domestic violence. One piece in particular, titled "Hanging 'em Out to Dry" and featuring 21 ceramic penises strung together on a clothesline, has everyone from talk-show hosts to community members buzzing over what exactly qualifies for display in a taxpayer-owned building.

This so-called art perpetuates the myth that only men are perpetrators of domestic violence. In fact, extensive research concludes that both men and women initiate domestic violence, almost equally. The 1998 Justice Department report "Intimate Partner Violence" indicates that males are 13 percent less likely to report being a victim of intimate partner violence. The reason? Many male victims fear being ignored or ridiculed by a system that seems to recognize only women as victims of abuse at the hands of a spouse or lover. The Boulder Public Library doesn't have a problem presenting a one-sided approach to intimate partner violence and encouraging hatred against men. Make no mistake about it: Displaying male sex organs strung up like trout caught on a fishing trip encourages people to view all men as angry wife-beaters.

We believe that the real purpose of this obscenity is to further inflame the gender wars and ensure continued federal funding for the local women's shelter. In fact, Safehouse provided this object d'art to the library. This comes at a time when the national media reports that domestic-violence shelters are being used less after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Consider this: The only difference between sexism and racism is who is on the receiving end of the abuse. This display qualifies as a hate crime against men. What would happen if the Boulder library put up an "art show" consisting of images of Arabs strung up as a statement about September 11? Or what if an "art show" displayed female sex organs strung on a line? The American Civil Liberties Union would crush the City of Boulder under a pile of lawsuits.

The taxpayers of Boulder have every right to expect more than radical feminist obscenity for their tax dollars. The Boulder library should not end up a vehicle for a minority's agenda of hate. It should serve as a center for all of those who live in the community. To that end, we must expect erudite thought to prevail over exclusionary and sexist works.

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