Letters to the Editor

From the week of June 26, 2003

Creative Class Dismissed

Reality bites:I was very intrigued by Patricia Calhoun's "A Class Act," in the June 19 issue. Sometimes it seems like the mainstream media can't see the real Denver, which is very obvious if you just look around. Denver is full of people who would want to elect an entrepreneur with ideas -- an entrepreneur of any color. People are tired of the same old politicos who feed at the public trough; they want to see what someone who's lived in the real world can do as mayor.

Tracee Hanson
Denver

Taking stock:The comments by Richard Florida are interesting. I try not to put academics such as him in the liberal box. He put himself there, though, and cast doubt on everything he said with his take on the 1990s as compared to the 2000s. Sure, the 1920s are similar to the 1990s -- a booming economy punctuated by extreme corruption (Warren Harding, Bill Clinton). However, he misses on the 1930s in comparison to the 2000s.

In the 1930s we had a stock market crash followed by the Great Depression, during which worldwide economies contracted 26 percent. In the 2000s we had a short-lived recession, whose aftereffects are still felt in Denver today. The economy is growing, albeit slowly. The stock market is up -- way up. Inflation is nonexistent, interest rates are down (so housing starts are up), and jobs are out there for anyone who isn't stuck in the microdot telecom rut.

Richard Florida is either ignorant, stupid or a demagogue. I suspect the first two aren't true, but I'd bet the last one is. Too bad his credibility had to take that shot.

Pat Desrosiers
via the Internet


There Goes the Neighborhood

No barking zone: Unfortunately, in life you cannot pick your family or, in most instances, your neighbors. This reality crossed my mind while I read Amy Haimerl's "When Neighbors Attack," in the June 12 issue.

A couple of years ago, Mike's next-door neighbors began to caretake their grandmother, who has Alzheimer's. For those of you familiar with this disease, a person inflicted with it tends to not know where they are, who they are or their own family. The cute little dachshunds tended to agitate Grandma, whose bedroom is next to Mike's yard. Mike would let the herd out, and their barking would wake up the poor old lady and send her walking around frightened. In order to find a solution to this problem, the neighbors came up with a "Q" sign to notify Mike that Grandma was staying at their home. This seemed like a good compromise, as opposed to calling animal control or the police. Well, Mike respected the "Q" sign and would promptly yell at the dogs by their cute little names at the top of his lungs to "shut up." My point is that the grandma with Alzheimer's is a person who deserves some respect and care; this is what the "Q" sign was about, not the rejection of Mike and his new family.

Mike Newbury claims to be a "good neighbor." But that would come from goodness of the heart, not for some kind of reward.

If Mike took a different approach to his neighbors, contacting the ones the zoning exemption affected the most first, this might have had a different outcome. No one likes to be forced to take sides, be manipulated and ultimately harassed. I don't mean to just pick on Mike, as others have behaved badly. But it was about the zoning exemption, not a personal attack against him.

The reality is that the zoning exemption was not granted. It is time to move on and consider other alternatives.

Josh Davidson
Denver

Heavy petting:What is it about animals that turns people into drooling idiots? After reading Amy Haimerl's "When Neighbors Attack," I know for sure that the last neighborhood I'd want to live in is Cherry Hills Vista. Those pet owners have no sense of perspective.

Jayne Fritz
Denver

Like a good neighbor:I always thought the marking of a good journalist was to get both sides of a story before printing it in order to hurt and demean people. If Amy Haimerl took the time to find out, she would find that Sara and John Loss are two of the kindest and most generous people around. They always are first to help when needed; they have and continue to donate to and work for charitable organizations around the state, and they are nothing like the monsters she painted in her article. Nothing!

I love dogs more than anything, but I would have the same complaint about five dogs living in one house -- twelve pounds or sixty. That's a pet store, and there are laws about this for a reason.

I have been a longtime supporter and reader of Westword. After seeing that articles like this have been printed, I question the validity of any of your articles.

Dana Ricketts
via the Internet


Nurse-Case Scenario

Clean up their act:Regarding Stuart Steers's "Critical Condition," in the June 12 issue:

I am sad to say it, but the situation in Denver is no different from anywhere else. Nurses are being treated like retail workers instead of the professionals we are. One hospital here in Florida considered getting rid of its room-cleaning staff to save money and have the nurses clean each room after a patient was sent home -- that, and continue our regular job of patient care -- until the staff spoke up.

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