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LETTERS

The Name Is Bond
Once again, good work by Westword on the airport. I'm referring to Arthur Hodges's May 18 story about the bond lawyers, "Gentlemen Prefer Bonds." The article was very well researched and written. Thank you for taking the time to do it right.

Just remember, a million here, a million there--pretty soon you're talking real money!

Joe Garcia
Arvada

More Plane Speaking
I saw Lloyd Jojola's article about how Stapleton airport was left off a couple of maps and things ("One of Our Airports Is Missing," May 18). Well, on Continental's envelopes that you get when you get your tickets, Denver International Airport is there, but Stapleton is no longer listed, and they don't even have the map of the plaza or anything. The DIA map--how to get around Denver International Airport--is on the inside, but Stapleton's been left out of that one, too.

Name withheld

X Education
What's with the sudden obsession about Boomers versus Generation X? First the debate moves from the music section to the letters page, then the May 18 issue has not one but two cartoons about the topic--Buddy Hickerson's "Kung Fu:The Slacker Years" and Rolf Helland's "Generation eXorcist" (buy that man some drawing lessons, won't you?). What's the matter, Westword? Worried you're getting too old? That you'll fall down and go Boomer?

Kate Murphy
Denver

Boot Hell
Regarding Richard Fleming's May 11 article "Getting the Boot," about Eve Meelan's suspension from Smoky Hill High School because she had purple laces in her Doc Marten boots:

Your article implies that the dress-code rule covering colored laces in boots was written by the administration at the school. In fact, the dress code at Smoky Hill was developed by Smoky Hill students. I happened to be on the committee that made up the Student Response Team/Dress Code Committee. This group was formed by three students during the 1991-1992 school year in response to the administration changing the dress code so that no combat or work boots, including Doc Martens, could be worn in school. That committee still exists today with a group of about forty diverse students who hold monthly meetings as well as emergency meetings concerning not only the dress code, but also any other student issues, including racism, fights and keeping the student body safe and the school's environment a productive place for learning.

When this committee was originated, the school was a far cry from being a safe place to learn. Smoky Hill is not an inner-city school, but I assure you that it wasn't exactly the safest place to be, either. There were usually a lot of fights, not to mention the ones that were initiated by students from other schools and sometimes included weapons. There were a few other major problems that we had to face with the Klan. During this time there was a large problem with racist pamphlets being passed around inside the school and across the street by people high up in the rankings of the Klan. This was unacceptable to both the administration and the students. These problems led to a harsh administrative dress code.

This was right around the time that the dress-code committee was started; within a week or so we were allowed to wear our boots again. After all, it's not the boots that say anything, it's the laces. So there was a compromise that was made here: We sacrificed our colored laces to be able to wear our boots. This was agreed upon among racists and nonracists alike. Even I gave up my cute little laces with the flowers on them and traded them in for black. So now when any student receives the student handbook, the dress code clearly states: No colored shoelaces in Doc Marten boots.

It's not really worth anyone's time and definitely not worth digging into the budget (especially after all of the cuts) to pay someone to try to figure out what colored shoelaces mean. Personally, I think that school is more of a place to learn rather than a fashion show. I'm just really glad that the administration is letting us have some say in the dress code as well as many other aspects of the school. It is definitely a lot more lenient than other schools that don't allow baseball hats, let alone Doc Marten boots. If more people could learn to negotiate their problems and differences, I really think that we could all get along a lot better and not have to worry about such menial things.

Lisa Wolfard
Aurora

Stall in the Family
Finally, in the final hours of the last day of the 59th Colorado General Assembly, SB 205 was passed by the Senate to the governor for his signature. SB 205 provides for the mechanism by which a family can lodge a complaint against the Department of Social Services for wrongdoing against them by the department (see Patricia Calhoun's "A Touching Story" in the February 16 issue).

 

For five general assemblies--1990-1994--the Colorado Coalition of Concerned Families has waged a battle against the power of the state lobby in order to bring about change in and implementation of laws that would correct and protect families from wrongdoing by the department. From the Interim Committee of 1990 through the Legislative Task Force on Family Issues of 1992-1993 through the Governor's Task Force to Establish Grievance Procedures of 1993, families have struggled to bring about a correction of the injustices perpetrated against families through abuse of power by the Department of Social Services.

Today we are grateful to Senator Blickensderfer, Senator Rizzuto and Representative Pankey for their sponsorship of SB 205 and the unanimous Senate vote that put the bill on the governor's desk. We encourage families who have been falsely accused of child abuse, suffered injustices at the hand of the Department of Social Services or are discouraged of ever being reunited with their children to call the governor's office and request that he quickly sign the bill into law. Families working together truly can make it better for children.

Norma Hill, Barbara Uhland,
Allorah Jo Byrnes
Colorado Coalition of Concerned Families

Sexual Healing
While I found Steve Jackson's April 6 article, "The End of the Line," on the life and times of Ric Games very interesting, it told me nothing new. However, the letters you printed in the following issues were absolutely amazing!

The most infuriating, uninformed and biased statement ties into many of the ignorant statements in those letters. The charge that "the largest HIV-positive and AIDS-infected population [is] gay men" is incorrect and goes to the heart of our problem.

The largest HIV-positive and AIDS-infected population is, in fact, heterosexual Africans. This is constantly ignored by Americans--maybe because if straight America confronts this fact it will see that it is right around the corner from the same physical and emotional pain that Ric is now experiencing.

The fact is that HIV/AIDS is most frequently sexually transmitted. Not just gay sex, not just anal sex, but just plain sex between an HIV-positive person and an HIV-negative person. I am always amazed at how many straight people condemn gay men for having sex, assume it is always anal sex, and then go out and pick up a babe at a bar and go screw without a condom. And believe me, straight people engage in anal sex. It never crosses their minds that this is exactly what causes and spreads AIDS. Or if they think about it, they ignore it. I know that most of these people have never had an HIV test and probably never will unless they go through what so many AIDS victims have gone through. Wake up, straight America: This is not a gay disease and you are next.

S. Bruce Harthoorn
Denver

Regarding the letter comparing lack of sympathy for AIDS victims to lack of sympathy for rape victims:

Everybody keeps saying that no woman deserves to be raped no matter what she does. And I guess that is true, but nobody except maybe Camille Paglia seems to feel that women should have any responsibility or sensitivity about what they are wearing. It seems a form of assault to me to have women dress provocatively with no intention but teasing in mind--this, too, is a form of anger. I'm a woman and I don't think anyone should ever be raped, but I also think women should be aware of the effects of their dress and behavior and try to be considerate as well as aware that when a guy invites you up to his room late at night for a "drink," he has other things in mind, etc., etc. Well, I just thought I'd get that off my chest--men deserve consideration too.

I don't think anyone deserves disease, though. That can strike anyone anywhere.

Sherry Winter
Denver

This is in response to the letter blaming the rampant spread of AIDS on Christians like myself. Get a life! When radical right-wing conservatives like Rush Limbaugh and Ken Hamblin talk about people like you who avoid any form of personal responsibility by preaching the Nineties "gospel of victimology" and blaming all of society's ills on Christians and other social conservatives, I'd like to believe they're simply making up stereotypes of the left to further their own cause (read: bankroll). However, there evidently really are people like you who don't believe that it was Ric Games's fault that he got AIDS, in spite of his confession he has had sex with thousands of men. Sorry, but AIDS in almost all cases is solely the fault of irresponsible activity. And when the bullet hits the bone, on Sunday mornings it wasn't Christians in church who were having anal intercourse with several different men in the local bathhouse, it was Ric Games. So next time, don't go blaming the spread of AIDS on me. It's offensive.

 

Sean Clark
Denver


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