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From the week of February 19, 2004

Love and Loss

Collision course:As I sit here with tears in my eyes, I wanted to send a brief letter thanking you for Julie Jargon's story on Shawna Rush, "Running Scared," in the February 5 issue. I grew up in Fort Lupton, where the Rush family lived briefly, and I knew Shawna through my younger brother. I am saddened by what happened and hope that others can see that there are organizations that can help them or their loved ones. I hope that no other family has to go through the loss of a loved one at such a young age.

Yvonne Montoya
Denver


This Property Condemned!

Building for the future:Regarding Laura Bond's "After the Fall," in the February 12 issue:

The telltale sentence in this article: "But Dick was telling me in a laughing voice that there wasn't enough money in the world for him to sell it." Bingo! Why not? Psychologists and psychiatrists could have a field day with that one.

If Arvada can condemn a lake to erect a Wal-Mart for an improved tax base, surely Denver can do somethingto either hasten the demise of that once beautiful, now deteriorated and dangerous building, or rescue it from a man who simply wants to admire (for thirty-plus years!) his purchase and blow smoke about its yet-to-be-devised perfect rehabilitation plan.

It will be interesting to see which happens first -- the demise of the no-plan-is-the-right-plan owner, or the collapse of a once-proud piece of Denver history.

Enough is enough. Do something, Denver!

Jim Bahrenburg
Wheat Ridge

Dead reckoning:I read "After the Fall" with keen interest because, as a Denver native, I've seen this building most of my life. My ex-wife attended school there years ago. My strongest memory of the Evans school goes back to July 1982. I was sitting on the steps of a church catty-corner from Evans, watching a group of Hispanic youths sitting on the retaining wall, drinking and getting high with a Caucasian man about in his forties. Suddenly, the youths began beating the older man with their fists. Some removed their belt buckles and hit him with those, also. One of the youths pulled out a large knife and stabbed the older guy in the chest and cut him on his arms. The youths scattered and ran and left the older man lying on the street, bleeding. I ran over to see what I could do as police and paramedics arrived, but it was too late for the older gentleman. I saw him turn gray as he died.

A few days later, I read in the Rocky Mountain Newsthat the man's name was Tom Taubert and that he was the subject of a Tom Waits song called "The Tom Taubert Blues." The song apparently predicted how Tom would die. So Tracy Rollert is not the only person to have died near that old school.

Anyway, it was sad to read about Tracy, and it reminded me of Tom Taubert -- people who I did not know and who died near that building.

John Pedraza
Aurora

Captains of industry:I first took notice of the abandoned Evans school when I parked in the cheap lots that surround it. It's an outstanding Denver structure, and I commend the Eber brothers for saving the building and for holding on to it until they felt the right use had found it and them. The Evans school deserves to be more than lofts or office space. It's a grand structure that deserves a grand purpose -- and I know what that purpose should be.

The Evans school needs to become the Denver Museum of Science and Industry.

Forget about the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. That's the Denver Museum of Natural History, and everybody knows it. But that's what happens when you entrust museums to people with degrees in museumology. As a kid, I loved the rows and rows of prehistoric-beast fossils. Now 98 percent of those fossils are in storage. Small wonder Dick Eber doesn't want to hand over the Evans school to the "experts."

The Denver Museum of Science and Industry should be modeled after Munich's Deutsches Museum, the world's best museum of science and industry. Boy, do they know how to do it right at the Deutches Museum -- the history of various technologies is shown in neurobic detail. How is glass made? How about paper? What are the basics of bridges, tunnels, metallurgy, microelectronics and motor vehicles? This is how you get kids excited about science and technology.

I'd love to see the old Evans school become the most popular tourist attraction in downtown Denver.

Will Pascoe
Denver


A mine is a terrible thing to waste:Regarding Julie Jargon's "Fool's Gold," in the February 12 issue:

I applaud Westword's ability to continually attack the easiest environmentally unsafe target in Denver. While gold mining is obviously not the safest practice in the corporate world, it is also far from groundbreaking to condemn it. Can we accept that corporations exist in a cost/benefit world? Yes, gold extraction is dangerous and potentially harmful. No, it is not always as cautious as a utopia would like. And yes, if a major corporation takes an interest in public causes, be they artistic or social, we should congratulate it on its ability to reinsert some of its profits into an already weak economy.

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