Letters to the Editor

From the week of December 19, 2002

The penile plethysmograph (PPG) is a humane process for aiding the staff and client in understanding his deviant arousal. Research has validated the PPG with convicted sex offenders and it is only with convicted sex offenders that we utilize this procedure. Sex offenders tend to lie (often even to themselves) about what they are truly aroused to, and, while it is not a lie detector, the PPG helps us confront the difficult truth.

Regarding Mr. Rosbergís allegation of sexual assault while visiting a Shared Living Arrangement, all appropriate legal and therapeutic steps were initiated. Mr. Rosberg also did not inform T.H.E. of his assault until months after the alleged incident occurred. Once informed, his treatment team encouraged and assisted him with filing a police report and spent individual time focusing on his thoughts and feelings surrounding the alleged incident. It should be noted that, at the time of Mr. Rosbergís report, the alleged perpetrator had already been terminated from treatment and was incarcerated for other violations.

T.H.E.'s treatment and management of sex offenders is humane and responsible. T.H.E. is also very concerned about community safety.

Greig Veeder, LCSW
T.H.E. Executive Director

Editor's note: To read Greig Veeder's complete letter, visit westword.com.

The Smoking Gun

Die another day: In general, Jason Sheehan writes adequate reviews -- although we could do without some of the verbose sentence structure.

But his "Smoke Free or Die," in the December 5 issue, was just too much. He sounds like many other addicted fools gushing on about his personal-choice right to smoke and to kill himself if he wants. He seems overly concerned about the "little" bar and cafe that will go out of business if a smoking ban is enacted. How does he know this to be a fact? And even if true, perhaps it will prolong the life of some poor "customer" who just might slow down or stop smoking if he can't do it in a bar.

Mr. Sheehan shouldn't worry about death threats -- he's got one between his fingers every time he lights up. It's okay by me if he wants to buy the ranch that way, but make him do it out where there is little chance of giving someone else the big C with secondhand smoke.

Fifteen years ago, my wife died of lung cancer. She was a light smoker -- but not light enough. We both suffered through three years of pure hell before she died. If Mr. Sheehan could experience just one week of that, I think even his nicotine-saturated brain would force him to quit.

I wonder if smoking affects his tastebuds enough to skew a review. I also wonder if he got any free cigarettes for that article.

Palmer Kimball

The rights stuff: I enjoyed Jason Sheehan's "Smoke Free or Die" article. He said it all, and I agree with him 100 percent. Just for the record, I am a non-smoker. I think smoking is a dumb, dirty, dangerous habit. I do not understand how any thinking adult could willingly poison his or her body. Pure stupidity! I can't stand to be around smokers and would not go to any bar where smoking is allowed. However, unless the smoker is a personal friend or a relative of mine, it is none of my business if that person smokes.

The world is full of good and bad things. Who the hell are these people who think they can eliminate all the bad things through legislation? If you are a smoker, you have a right to congregate where other smokers congregate. No one is asking the non-smoker to go to the smokers' bar. What the hell is the problem? How far can the do-gooders go with this bullshit? I disdain smoking (and smokers), but they have rights like everyone else.

Les Bogunovich
via the Internet

Foul bawl: I'm sure "Smoke Free or Die" has received tons of feedback, but I'm hoping it's not too late to jump on the bandwagon. I am a "part-time" smoker -- one of those folks who lights up under the influence. While I can understand people's concerns about encroachments upon their right to smoke, I tend to be more on the side of the poor shmucks who wind up sucking in my exhaled carbon monoxide. When you smoke, you're emitting something into your general area -- kind of like breaking wind. But unlike breaking wind, most smokers feel comfortable sharing their foul-smelling problem with everyone else.

Underneath all of this hubbub is the simple issue of courtesy, which seems to be swiftly disappearing from our society as people become more focused on keeping others from taking away their rights. No one's asking smokers to give up their right to smoke; non-smokers are just asking for a little courtesy. I see courtesy disappearing more and more in other facets of day-to-day existence as well. Open the door for someone? Forget about it. Open your own damn door. Stop the brainless chatter on a cell phone in a public area? F--- you, buddy. I have a right to be an inconsiderate asshole. And that's really what all of this is about.

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