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From the week of June 13, 2002

The Meter's Still Running

A monumental mistake: I think Patricia Calhoun's "The Big Cheese," in the June 6 issue, was a great article. The recent city obsession with monuments to Mayor Wellington Webb is premature with thirteen months of his administration left to go. A lot can happen in thirteen months to make the public forget about the claimed accomplishments of previous years; examples of mismanagement seem to be surfacing frequently in recent months.

The newly implemented parking-meter fee increase is a prime example. Denver now has the most expensive parking meters in the country, with rates higher than New York, Los Angeles or Chicago. Is this a sound way to promote downtown business in a recession? The new pay stations that the mayor promised, to make it more convenient for the public to pay the exorbitant fees, will cost more than the higher fees bring in for years to come. By the time the equipment is paid for, the recession will likely be over and the city will face refunding excess revenue under the TABOR restrictions. Is this intelligent long-range planning?

It is no coincidence that the claimed accomplishments of the mayor occurred prior to the end of the '90s boom. During the '90s, cities all over the country were able to build impressive public structures and make significant social gains. Credit should go to the economy and not officials who happened to be in office under fortuitous circumstances. After a few years, with the benefit of hindsight, Denver can decide if the Webb administration is worthy of such high accolades.

Tom Reilly
via the Internet

Giving Webb the business: Despite the outcry of business owners in LoDo and elsewhere in the Soviet Socialist Republik of Denver over oppressive parking rates (as business is already hurting for Denver businesses), Webb & Co. reinforce the Soviet style of totalitarian enactments that Denver is famous for.

In other words, with businesses already losing customers to free parking at businesses in the suburbs, Webb wants to make it worse!

Which will only add to the buildings that can be dedicated in "thanks" to Wellington Webb -- except these buildings will be boarded up, as more businesses leave or go out of business, "thanks" to Wellington Webb!

Daniel King
Via Internet


A Liquid Asset

It's a gusher! I wanted to express my impressions of Harrison Fletcher's writing. I do not read him every week, but his dowser piece ("Divining Intervention," May 30) shows that Harrison has the ability to engage a reader and to be informed and entertaining.

I read a lot and I can tell you that he has it...keep him while you can. I mean, he is really, really good...

Van Devries
via the Internet

Water, water everywhere: I want to thank you for doing this article on dowsing. There is a lot about dowsing that people do not realize historically, and being a dowser and from a family of dowsers, I believe this technique has been used for thousands of years by humans.

Lane Pilbin
Golden


Wuss-Case Scenario

A glass of whine:Regarding Michael Roberts's rant against homosexual humor, "Not-So-Funny Business," in the June 6 issue:

Whereas he once pretended to be quasi-hip, it's now apparent Roberts is just politically correct, more in alignment with bureaucrats and academic leftists than cutting-edge journalism. If his world view of speech control were in effect, the realm of humor would be reduced to little more than knock-knock jokes.

How ironic that Dan Savage, whose column appears in these same pages, frequently uses "derogatory" words such as homo, queer, fag, faggot, etc. Seems that while Roberts is on his high horse, he should be rounding up Savage for crimes against conformity. Where is his indignation at a movie title such as White Men Can't Jump or the commercial in which Debbie Allen puts down the white guy's dance routine? Talk about stereotypes!

Whining in the guise of sensitivity is unbecoming. You're a wuss, Roberts. Cop to it.

Jay Spear
Denver

If you can't stand the heat: First, I think that it is ironic that a group that pushes itself so much in the mainstream would be so sensitive. If a group does not want to be the brunt of stereotyping or jokes, it might need to be a little less high-profile. Is it all right that our civic leaders are butts of jokes for doing their jobs, yet a group that is considered "different" cannot stand the same accountability?

Catholics are being "teased" in the same way as gays in many media outlets. Being Catholic, do I try and create more division? No, because this teasing is due to two things: the high profile of the church and ignorance.

I do have issues with the homosexual choice in society, which derive from some of my family members who have made this decision. Yet my opinion on this matter does not come from these issues. If a group or anyone wants to put himself or herself in the public eye and take the just deserts that come with it, maybe they should think twice.

James Foy
via the Internet

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