Letters to the Editor

From the week of September 28, 2006

Regardless, Mr. Arellano fails to state that this "source" also says that other races (Black teens) and sub groups (Puerto Rican teens) have higher pregnancy and abortion rates than Mexican teens -- hence Mexicans have a higher birth rate. Hispanic teens have a lower rate of unwed mothers (CDC.gov), and according to Mr. Arellano's own source, "foreign-born teen mothers are considerably more likelyŠto rely on familyŠresourcesŠ[which] appears to take the place of welfare for many immigrants."

Mr. Arellano's comments on Mexicans embracing teen pregnancy as a strategy for leeching off society ("Mexicans call it the lottery") and his statement that Mexicans are taking "revenge" on the U.S. (complete with a slew of extreme profanity) are completely insulting and unsubstantiated! I am appalled at the statements of this so-called "Mexican," and I not only expect a retraction, but I recommend that a new Mexican take his place -- along with the place of the editor who approved his column!

Guillermo Escobar, M.D.
Denver

The Mexican responds: The good doctor takes issue with two points: my source for arguing that birth rates among Mexican teen girls is astronomical and my "lottery" comment. Dr. Escobar himself uses the same study that I did to admit that Mexican teens have higher birth rates even though other groups may have higher fertility rates, so that point is solved. The "lottery" comment is satire -- as thedicho (saying) goes, onehombre's satire is another'spendejadas.


Bush League

A bitter pill:In Juliet Wittman's "Hallelujah!," her September 21 review of Germinal's Tartuffe: Born Again,I think her asides regarding Bush and foreign policy are out of place. I do believe she could write a recipe for bread pudding and manage to throw in her vitriol.

Suzanne Gilbert
Denver


No Walk in the Park

Design of the times:In his September 14 "Park and Wreck," Michael Paglia eloquently questions the design plans for Denver's beloved Civic Center Park and makes the point that while there are several Denver citizens who believe we need to bring the 21st century to the Civic Center, the 21st century is already embodied in some of the structures that border the perimeter of this outdoor space. This point captures the essence of that space. I don't believe we need to encumber Civic Center Park with its own "architectural statement." Civic Center Park has, and should retain, the quality of being the showcase promenade in Denver.

I believe civic efforts are better served addressing more simple solutions to some changes. Those changes could include the development of a water feature that embodies the changes in Denver's seasons, much like the rock walls that become huge ice walls during the winter along I-70. This water feature, combined with some botanical enhancements and a possible sculptural addition that captures the essence of the existing structures in the park without diminishing or competing with the architectural endeavors that encircle it, could be all that is needed.

It is losing the minimalist promenade quality of this outdoor space that is most dangerous. Civic Center Park should remain a place where you can walk quietly in a manicured garden and appreciate the many surrounding architectural triumphs that reveal themselves. We do need to calm down, as Michael suggests, take a stroll through the park and understand that retaining the historical and functional aspects of this space may require embracing a more simple approach. For this space, I think we should believe that "less sometimes can be more."

Thank you, Westword and Michael Paglia. In the calm and the quiet, the appropriate answer may reveal itself.

Jim Maher
Denver

Still in the running: Although I very much agree with Michael Paglia's assessment of the Civic Center plans developed by Daniel Libeskind, I would like to offer some dissent regarding the "unimpressive" short list of architects for the Clyfford Still museum. First, as a recent University of Colorado at Boulder architecture grad and a follower of the contemporary architecture world, I can assure you that all of these architects (with the exception of Ohlhausen Dubois) are very well known and considered daring and important in the international architecture scene. Sejima and Nishizawa of SANAA and Chipperfield, in particular, are well respected as masterful creators of spaces of radical subtlety and calmness. They work in direct opposition to the Libeskinds and Frank Gehrys of the architecture world, who rely on the pure shock of their distorted forms to gain the attention of the mind and senses (not that that's always bad).

A building by either firm would be an excellent complement to the Gio Ponti and Libeskind buildings, and I think the committee has shown intelligent restraint in choosing these architects rather than more flamboyant form-makers. If they don't "dazzle" in drawings and photos quite like Libeskind, they certainly create buildings that are moving inside, in person, and in a way that will resonate for much longer than the complex distortion that is so evocative right now. That said, the short list for both the Still and the DAM is/was less interesting than the list for the MCA competition, and I think it's sad that artistically conservative Denver has made the construction of that museum so difficult.

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