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From the week of October 28, 2004


The Turn of the Screw

Inquiring minds want to know:I really enjoyed your October 21 "Alternative Voter's Guide"

In The City comic strip in that same issue, Derf states that in order to enforce church voting choices on Roman Catholic voters, bishops are authorizing the use of the Inquisition, including thumb screws. As an election judge with sixteen years of experience, I would remind the bishops that the use of the Inquisition and thumb screws would constitute "electioneering" under section 1-13-714 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, and therefore any bishop, priest, deacon, monk or inquisitor, as well as his thumb screws, must stay at least a hundred feet away from the polls, or election judges will be obliged to give them a stern scolding.

Peter Gross
Denver


The Light Stuff

Dark victory:Hey, the What's So Funny? that Adam Cayton-Holland wrote for the October 21 issue was great. Rhetoric out there's been either a) people taking this political season way too seriously or b) humor that's really dark (like This Modern World). I appreciate the tone of Adam's words. His article was a little dark, but not overly so. It kinda highlighted how ridiculous we all are right now. Co-workers are hating each other because of the people they plan to vote for.

Rock on! As long as they have some thought/ wisdom, I love it when people can say what they want. That includes Savage Love, too. Depending on what happens next week, the next e-mail from me might be from my new home in Canada. We'll see.

Joel Snyder
via the Internet


Don't Miss the Vote

Park and chide:Regarding your "Alternative Voter's Guide," in the October 21 issue:

I would not have a problem voting yes for 4A if RTD and my city would give me and the rest of us non-riders a better transportation product and rider experience. I mean, when city councilmembers don't even use RTD to commute to and from city council meetings, it sure doesn't say much for their support of mass transportation within our community -- so why should I support spending more tax dollars to fund something that the "masses" won't use?

Here is a list of things that would get me to leave my car in the garage and ride RTD instead:

1. Cleaner buses.

2. Tray tables in the seat backs, like the airlines.

3. Power ports to power electronic items such as laptop computers.

4. Television monitors showing the news and stock market information. I'll bet CNN would pay RTD a bundle to have that exclusive.

5. Tax credits for using public transportation. Issue me a card that can be swiped every time I ride. At the end of the year, send me a statement of use that I can send in with my state tax return indicating how much I spent on public transportation, and credit me accordingly.

6. Don't make me sit on a cold metal bench with no shelter. Instead, get some corporate sponsors to fund bus shelters throughout the community with vending machines so I can purchase bus tokens and monthly passes along with a snack or a drink.

7. Use more private transportation providers to pick me up at my door and take me to the Park & Ride. Who ever heard of having to drive your car to a place in order to take a bus? I might as well just drive to my destination.

Doug Masser
Denver

Back on the train gang:While Westwordhad the right idea in publishing yet another voter's guide to make up for deficiencies in the official one, in the case of 4A, you've gotten several critical facts wrong. Didn't anyone bother to look at the FasTracks plan before attempting to write about it?

Contrary to hopes and wishes of light-rail advocates and beliefs of countless newspeople (and most of the voting population, I suspect), FasTracks does not propose light-rail transit service to Denver International Airport, nor to Boulder and Longmont. In fact, of the 119 miles of new rail transit in the plan, just over forty of this would be electrified and therefore compatible with the light-rail vehicles now in use between Littleton and Denver. The remainder is "commuter rail," a euphemism for diesel trains.

What does this mean for commuters, or for those going to DIA and hoping to avoid the I-70 and Peña Boulevard mess? It means that no matter where you live -- unless you are one of the privileged few occupying a high-priced loft in LoDo -- you'll be taking not one, but twotrains (and probably a car or a bus) in the course of your journey from home to catch a flight at DIA. With everything converging at Denver's Union Station -- what RTD wants to make the region's "intermodal hub" -- a passenger from Lakewood or Littleton would have to haul baggage, kids and ass from one "light rail" platform to another "commuter rail" platform, then board another train going to DIA.

FasTracks -- which DRCOG concedes will do next to nothing to alleviate worsening traffic congestion even though various wishful thinkers and politicians mistakenly believe it would -- repeats the outmoded fixed-rail, hub-and-spoke patterns more appropriate to Eastern factory cities than to a sprawling, technology-driven metropolis such as we have. More traffic goes around Denver than through it, and for good reason: Denver is not the center of the universe, even if it is home to the Broncos.

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