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LETTERS

The Girl Can't Help It
I read the "The Girl Next Door" by Andrea Barnett in the March 16 issue. Being a former racist, I understand the white pride issue. I am white and am very proud of my race. I think everyone should be proud of who they are without condemning others who are proud of who they are as well.

You say you are an independent female, yet you depend on your male superiors (Shawn Slater and Thom Robb) to guide you and inform you that you're doing a good job recruiting. You also said that you would like to marry a true Klansman. I have another news flash for you, dear. Should you marry a true Klansman, you won't be independent for long.

As for you claiming to love your kind, that's great. What happens when your kind sees that you are nothing but a lost puppy trying to sniff anyone's behind she can to belong? Shawn Slater, I think you are nothing but a bigoted, narrow-minded wannabe who deserves nothing more than to be killed and have the flesh stripped from your body and used as a lampshade.

Brooke Wolff, you are a little girl trying to be a real woman in a man's world. So go get therapy. Andrea Barnett, get a life and stop writing about trash.

Denise Garrett
Denver

Swastikas sell.
I see that Westword remains faithfully on schedule in running biennial articles on white supremacists. I guess that this one is supposed to be different because the profile is of a young woman. Some affirmative action...

But really, nothing new is revealed by this Highlands Ranch racist. Frankly, your human interest stories on this subject are becoming dull and repetitive. Why don't you wait until you get a really novel Aryan next time? How about a neo-Nazi dwarf? Or a paraplegic who overcame pain and prejudice to lead his local cell of White Patriots?

As a local joke goes: How many white racists does it take to screw in a light bulb? Answer: One, but the racist needs to call for approval from Thom Robb first.

Name withheld on request

I have just finished "The Girl Next Door," and it left more than a sour taste in my mouth. Never mind that this sort of journalism gives credence to a racist hate organization and the simpleminded individuals it spawns. Never mind that this dramatizes the lost hopes and floundering ways of our youth.

Ms. Wolff must be incredibly naive. She claims she is not submissive or subservient to anyone. Just by virtue of her involvement with the KKK, she is bowing to the rituals and values of a male-dominated organization. She doesn't claim to bring a woman's perspective, but instead espouses the KKK hard-line philosophy.

America was founded on the principle of liberty and justice for everyone, not only for the loudest, mouthiest or strongest. Perhaps Ms. Wolff and the KKK will stop waging war on those different from themselves and learn to join the human race. If not, I would be happier if they would take up residence on a deserted island and leave the rest of us alone.

Anne Wurtz
Longmont

I am a regular reader of Westword because it gives an alternative, and probably more accurate, view of events in this state. Unfortunately, I write to express my disgust with the March 16 cover. It's another example of the poor judgment exercised by leaders of public opinion and policy in this benighted jurisdiction. Whether it be an overpriced, ill-conceived, superfluous airport; an unsophisticated and wasteful attempt to defend a crypto-racist law that anyone with good legal judgment knew was unconstitutional; or the current insanity, a permissive concealed weapons statute currently making its way through the legislature--bad judgment seems to grow on trees here.

I am positive that the KKK is simply thrilled with the splash you gave them in your paper. While it is legitimate journalism to report the activities of racist hate groups so that we might protect ourselves from their insidious inroads into the body politic, your erstwhile expose only made these morons appear wholesome, clean, sober and, in short, "all-American." Who cares what they looked like in their high school yearbook? What is important is that they are peddling in a different package the same hate my family fought against fifty years ago. If all journalists took the same approach your periodical has regarding white supremacists, we might have the privilege of demonstrating the error of their ways once again.

Gary Lane
Boulder
The Heart of the Matter Regarding Karen Bowers's "Wild at Heart" in the March 9 issue:

Brains don't change.
It is such a shame that Casey Collier's problems weren't taken care of better than to have three grown-ups lie across his back. This procedure definitely does not need to be used in group homes such as Cleo Wallace Center.

From reading the article and from personal experience, I know the best approach is to let the person do whatever is going through his mind. Unfortunately, his brain cannot be overrun--whether people believe so or not.

Dan Lightcap
Denver

I am writing regarding Karen Bowers's piece on Casey Collier. I was angered by the headline, "Casey Collier caused a lot of trouble at the Cleo Wallace Center. But did he have to die there?" I was an employee at the center for six years, and I knew Casey for six months before my leaving. My letter isn't regarding the behavior of the patient but more the quality of care given. Staff members are well trained in doing restraints and physical managements. Written tests as well as hands-on training are requirements and are done throughout the year. The procedure is not fun but very necessary for the safety of both the patient and the staff.

The death of Casey was a terrible tragedy and a great loss. My most sincere sympathies are extended to Mike and Rose Collier. However, all the staff members involved are very competent and caring individuals who care deeply for the care and well-being of the kids at Cleo Wallace Center. There have been many success stories and I'm frustrated that all we hear about are the negative and sad. May you rest in peace, Casey.

Maryann Peratt
Denver

I am absolutely appalled at what I read in "Wild at Heart." My condolences to the Collier family: I completely understand what the deceased was involved in. I went off in a hospital once and was threatened with a take-down. I'm not tiny, either: 6 foot, 320 pounds. Instead, I was offered and took 200 milligrams of Thorazine and, of course, anyone who has had it knows not only are you not violent, you can't even function for about three weeks. I believe Cleo Wallace's overzealous staff needs to be brought up on charges and the place shut down. Bryan Wills

Denver

Get-Well Card
I found Alan Prendergast's "The Sick Bill" in the March 9 issue very informative and an excellent primer for laymen on the way hospital bills are structured. However, I disagree with Michael Ratkiewicz's explanation of why Presbyterian/St. Luke's bill was higher than the Mayo Medical Center's bill. Ratkiewicz explains that "if you look at which hospitals are taking care of the most Medicare and Medicaid and uncompensated care, and then look at the charges, you will see a direct correlation." Actually, there is very little correlation. What Ratkiewicz fails to mention is that a hospital's charges are a function of two factors: 1) its historical method of setting rates, and 2) how much cash it wishes to bring in to fund operations and expansion plans. In the first case, a hospital that starts out with higher rates than the average will always have higher rates than the average, since most hospital administrators tend to simply push through price increases as a routine means of doing business. The second factor relates to the hospital's overall mission. Hospitals that simply wish to provide good patient care at affordable rates tend to have charges that are average or below average. Those that wish to build bigger hospitals, add more services (duplicating what already exists) and recruit physicians from competing hospitals (which costs money--lots of it) tend to have higher charges to fund the expenses associated with such a goal. Nothing complex here: Hospitals are businesses like all others, and there are sound business reasons for pursuing a strategy of higher charges.

Tom Pierce
Denver


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