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From the week of January 23, 2003

Rob Smoke
Boulder


The Mark of Zero

For the birds:In regard to the new Denver Art Museum logo revealed by Lewis Sharp (Off Limits, January 16), my parakeet could have pecked a better design out of its birdseed.

Lewis Sharp should demand a refund from MetaDesign: The new logo ain't no Nike swoosh.

Denise Gibson
via the Internet


Tanks for the Memories

Gov, American-style: Thanks for Kenny Be's "Governor-at-a-Glance" cartoon, in the January 9 issue. I really enjoyed it. I thought I might be the only person in Colorado who was thinking the same thing!

Here's an idea for another Worst-Case Scenario: "Gov-Lite."

1) Don't want the hassle of dealing with public transit? Enlarge the highways to where the real contributions are.

2) Is quality education for people too tough to figure out? Support only private schools for the wealthy people. The rest of them don't need education, anyway.

3) Can't figure out how to bring good jobs to Colorado? Just have another tax cut for the people who really matter.

4) Got water woes? Cut the trees down, as the darn things just burn up, anyway.

5) Has the resort, hunting, ranching and farming part of the economy fallen on hard times? Just tell everyone that Colorado is burning. Who are those people, anyway?

Alex
Arvada

The tuck stops here: The governor wants to cut $134 million from the budget. I, on the other hand, wouldn't cut a penny. Instead, I would suggest that for starters, we privatize a few city parks. If it was good enough to do for Coors Field, the Pepsi Center and Invesco Field, why not a few city parks? Imagine Pepsi Park, "A Park for the Next Generation."

Then I would redirect lottery funds previously earmarked for the parks right back into the schools and roads. Those millions of dollars could have prevented the St. Vrain school debacle. I would open those darn HOV lanes to everyone all the time so we can reduce the stranglehold on trying to do commerce throughout the Front Range. Sitting an average of 322 hours a year in traffic doesn't help our economy or air quality one bit. I would hire a state director of marketing, because what we have now isn't working. Hotel vacancies are at an all-time high and conference business is in the tank because we simply stink at marketing our product, the state of Colorado. Then, when somebody finally does visit, they find it difficult to navigate through our communities due to lack of road signage and lane markings. Even the people running DIA say we don't offer enough help to our tourist guests. And yet tourism is supposed to be our state's second-largest industry.

If I were to cut anything, it would be to eliminate the front license plates of vehicles. That would save the state a few million dollars in manufacturing costs right there.

Anyone can tuck and run away from a problem! The real art of business lies in creating a way of taking obstructions and molding them into opportunities.

Doug Masser
Denver

Death and Texas: While the National Review (a Republican, right-wing magazine) has ranked Colorado's Texas-born, -raised and -educated governor as the nation's best, here is a "Top Ten" list to prove otherwise. Under Owens's "leadership":

1) Colorado's booming economy has fallen to one of the five worst.

2) Colorado was last in job creation in 2002, with nearly 6 percent, or 125,000, unemployed.

3) Colorado's funding for the arts is last nationally.

4) Colorado still has no statewide water policy.

5) Colorado's public-school funding ranks in the bottom ten and would be much worse without voter approval of Amendment 23 (which Owens vigorously opposed).

6) Colorado's Owens-initiated $1 billion unwise permanent tax cut has led to massive state government deficits of $1.2 billion and horrendous cuts in state services.

7) Colorado's health-care coverage for children and the indigent is near the bottom nationally in quality, while hundreds of the working poor die needlessly among the 600,000 who can't qualify.

8) Auto premium insurance rates are eleventh-highest in the nation.

9) Owens has selfishly amassed millions in his "think tank" and future campaign fund.

10) Colorado's flat-rate state income tax heavily favors the wealthy; the state deficit could be covered with a graduated, progressive income tax with higher rates for the wealthy.

Cal Johnston
Littleton


Buildings for the Future

A complex situation:I am the director of the national volunteer organization at AMC Cancer Research Center. I enjoyed Michael Paglia's January 9 "Now and Then," and want him to know that the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design will not "screw it up nor damage" the historic fabric of our campus and our buildings. We stand to benefit greatly from their upgrades, as do the public and the students. We would never have sold our campus to people who do not respect or understand the history that is AMC. I work for 21 chapters across America, and they are the backbone of AMC. The buildings are named after those people and their chapters. RMCAD will keep all of the names on the buildings and will not be touching the exterior, merely renovating the interiors and bringing them up to code. I look forward to the changes and will keep a watchful eye on the progress. RMCAD will do the right thing; this, I can promise you.

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