Letters to the Editor

From the week of September 7, 2006

Brown Cloud

Town without pity: Are you kidding me? Reading Patricia Calhoun's most recent column ("The Eye of the Storm," August 31), I find out that Michael Brown lives in Boulder? Sounds like a heckuva town for that has-been. They deserve each other.

Thanks for the alert, Ms. Calhoun.

Joe Vigil

Baa humbug: I am from New Orleans and lost my home during Katrina. My wife and I have relocated here to Golden and are loving it. I am intrigued, and frankly appalled, at Michael Brown's obsessive quest in recent months to resurrect his reputation, attempting to spin himself into history as a noble sacrificial lamb who heroically tried his best during Katrina. As we say down south, "It ain't so." Of course, we say a few other things, also.

This was a man who was vain, self-centered, clueless, useless, weaselly (blaming everyone else around him), not interested in his job, and really, just a big lumpy speed bump in the immediate response to the storm. He was not fired because the government needed a scapegoat. He was fired because, as the point man for FEMA, he was terrible in a rather mind-boggling way. He has one thing correct, however: Everyone else, from Bush and Chertoff down to Nagin (the mayor) and Blanco (the governor), was also ineffectual. But he neglects to mention this: When it's all said and done, when all of the players are considered, out of all of the mistakes made, opportunities missed, damage done -- he, Michael Brown, was the poster boy for incompetence. He stood head and shoulders above everyone else, and not in a good way.

Doug Egan

Greed With Envy

Taken for granted: Regarding Patricia Calhoun's "Myth America," in the August 31 issue:

The "human face" of Katrina is covered with greed. Lori Peek chose to research Katrina victims because that's where the grant money is. I'll bet she got even more cash for throwing in the "for the children" angle; that's really savvy proposal-craft!

The most inaccurate stereotype about those who left Katrina territory is that they're somehow special.

For example, they're "evacuees," not refugees, because taking refuge from disaster like a Sri Lankan, Ethiopian or Sudanese is somehow undignified. Sorry, but if you had to be told to get out of New Orleans and were shepherded onto a bus, you're not as competent as a refugee who bugs out on his own initiative.

People become homeless every day in every place. Hundreds are still at loose ends months after asbestos was found in the Highline Terrace apartment complex. Colorado expects to count at least 15,000 homeless in its first attempt to do so, and perhaps twice as many come winter, when the homeless stop hiding. You don't have to be from New Orleans to lack day care or neighbors you can count on. That's a staple of urban society.

There were no "rumors" about violence in New Orleans; it was all over TV. Peek's myth that "new employers and new neighbors only remember those negative stories" is a slap in the face to the millions who have given generously to Katrina victims, and still do. Also, I'd love to hear Peek explain how anyone gets a job or housing without mentioning where they lived or worked previously.

David Hakala

Karr Wreck

Ding Cosby: Michael Roberts's "Canceled," his August 31 Message, was a great article on the Karr debacle. I read it at the Stapleton Chipotle at lunchŠand laughed way too loud. There's not a paragraph that wasn't on the mark and highly entertaining, but I'll hold my remarks to the edgy, artsy, disturbing photograph of Rita Cosby attempting to claw her way into Karr's transport vehicle. You could almost hear Rita's husky, "I've got laryngitis" voice, begging Karr for a sit-down interview. On first glance, this photo looked staged or expertly Photoshopped. But in this case, with this cast of characters, you knew it was real.

H. Bowers

Dress for excess: Michael Roberts quotes lowlife scumbag Bill Maher as calling JonBenét Ramsey "a little whore." Unbelievable! An innocent child is brutally murdered in an unimaginable fashion, and Roberts doesn't even criticize Maher. Any parents on the staff there? I'll be waiting to see all the articles in the next paper critical of one of your own darling left-wingers saying something incredibly vile, insensitive and plain stupid. As if any six-year-old has any say-so about how she is dressed, where she goes or what she does. Unbelievable.

Steve Harmening

Ace in the Hole

Gutter snipe: Regarding Michael Roberts's "Coming Up Ace," in the August 31 issue:

Bravo to Ace Young. He shows such class and answers questions with thoughtful respect. Michael Roberts tried hard, but Ace did not stoop low to join him in the gutter.

Carol Penning
Memphis, Tennessee

Nice guys finish seventh: You can't help but like Ace Young if you are lucky enough to meet him. He's unfailingly friendly even when he's sick with a 102-degree fever, he is amazingly polite, and he has the most direct way of speaking to you while firmly looking you in the eye. I didn't get the self-promotion vibe from him at all, but I did get the feeling that Ace's fans will not let him down and will support him in any venture he chooses to pursue. Ace fans are very loyal, and even more fanatical than the Soul Patrollers.

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