The Slime of Your Life
Just when I think Patricia Calhoun may be developing a lick of sense, along comes a column like "The Mind Is Reeling" (December 21) to restore my faith. Comparing life to movies may work for a P.J. O'Rourke, but it falls flat when done by humorless folks such as Calhoun.
How bad can the new Republican majority be? We are rid of the mindless musings of Joycelyn Elders, and our esteemed president is actually talking about keeping one campaign promise. (Talk is only that, however.)
How hypocritical can Hillary Clinton be? She calls it "absurd" to put children in group homes while pushing the feminist ideal that women abandon their children at six weeks to strangers (also known as daycare).
Bill and Hillary can be excused for being distracted. They have a lot to be worried about. If the truth about Whitewater comes out, it's to prison they'll be goin'.
Regarding Ruben Perez, I do believe he will be fired. No good deed goes unpunished. Our new superintendent of schools should be run out of town and replaced by Mr. Perez.
On the homeowners' protection act (not "Make My Day," as the leftist press calls it): It needs to be expanded to include Mr. Coleman. These dirtbags threatened Coleman and probably would have come back. Thank God and Bob Coleman one of them now can't. Ms. Calhoun, until you've been victimized by human slime such as this, you have nothing to say on it.
Once again, thank you for the great coverage of the airport.
The Light Stuff
Arthur Hodges's article on the possibility of light-rail expansion ("Stop That Train!," December 21) doesn't go far enough. Hodges rightly states that the expansion was already set to go before the "demonstration line" was even running. In a published article not too long ago, Jack McCroskey said this was never a demonstration line, but that is "exactly" how it was presented to the voters--who, by the way, voted it down. How did we get it? We got the light-rail just like we've gotten most of the other headaches in Denver--by the boards doing what's "right" for Denver.
Stop the Insanity shouldn't be a book by a crew-cut blond woman talking about weight loss, it should be about the history of Denver. Light rail only works where the population density is about double of what we have in Denver. This is a point which has been totally ignored, even though the RTD board had this information long before their push for the light-rail system. Buses, which have the capability to adjust to routes where ridership is needed or not needed, are a much more viable system of transportation. It was originally estimated that light rail would cost the taxpayers of Denver a "mere" $43,000 per new rider, and that was only the construction cost, not the cost in upkeep.
Let's face it: Denver is trying too hard to be a part of the big leagues. It's got a new international airport, even though it's not open, and a new baseball team, even though they aren't playing. Why shouldn't we have a new light-rail system to bankrupt our town like all the other big-league cities? Arthur Hodges, you were entirely too kind!
Karen Bowers's "A House Divided," in the December 21 issue, was a real page-turner! My heart goes out to the entire Wahrle family. Whatever the truth may be, it is clear that they have all suffered.
The Wahrles' story came just as I have been reviewing an excellent book on this topic by the son of an old friend of ours. Victims of Memory...Incest Accusations and Shattered Lives, by Mark Pendergrast, is just being released by Upper Access Books of Hinesburg, Vermont. It is a compelling and compassionate account of what is becoming a national tragedy, as your story confirms. I commend the book to you for a review in Westword. The Wahrles are not alone.
Byron L. Johnson, Professor of Economics-Emeritus
University of Colorado at Denver
I tremendously enjoyed the pieces on Dorothy Parker (Bill Gallo's "Dorothy In Toto" and "Final Cuts," December 21). Sadly, Ms. Parker was underappreciated in her day as a humorist and remains so in our time. I did, however, take offense at Gallo's statements that "high art has fallen on hard times" and that "the age of literacy has passed, and with it an underlying respect for the word." I beg to differ. The Denver area is blessed to be home to some of the best spoken-word artists in the country. Performers such as Don Becker, the angry Seth, the hilarious Ken Grealy and the dangerous Kalib Hunter obviously put great stock in the word and the power it can convey. These writers are only a few of the gems Denver can offer, and they are the voices that upcoming generations will rightfully quote. I believe that any of them could not only hold their own with the repartee at Ms. Parker's roundtable but could probably set it on its ear. Before you condemn, Mr. Gallo, take a good look around you.
Muzak to Our Ears
Michael Roberts, I know the subject of this letter is getting stale, but I had to write and tell you that your "Stairway to Hell," in the December 7 issue, was excellent. When I listened to that pompous crap as a high school student nearly twenty years ago, I thought the people who listened to rock from the Fifties were pathetic. Today, I think that people who won't let go of their twenty-plus-year-old childhood music are especially pathetic because their precious music has even replaced Muzak; you hear it everywhere. Why? Because, like Muzak, it's suitable as a background to sell things--that is to say, it is completely lifeless and nonoffensive.
I knew immediately that your article was going to draw a lot of hostility. I just wish those white, probably-male dinosaur rockers who got their little feelings hurt by your funny article would try to expand their parameters by listening to some of the incredible music being made now on independent labels by artists with integrity, drive and fresh ideas. Dinosaur rockers are harmless, really; they're just ignorant, small-minded toadies to the massive corporate and advertising conglomerate(s) that want everyone to suckle up to the same, safe, old-timey bullshit. You obviously hit a nerve that needed to be hit, and I'm writing to say thanks.
Michael, great article on classic rock. I think you covered everything. Will you now do an updated version of classic new wave? I admit to having a strong affinity for many of the songs played on KPKE (a station I can't listen to anymore; too bad KTCL and KBCO followed suit), but:
1. "Don't You Forget About Me" has to go.
2. "How Soon Is Now" (so many other great Smiths songs, too)
3. "What I Like About You"
4. Any Police
5. "Always Something There to Remind Me"
6. "I Melt With You"
7. "Sunday, Bloody Sunday"
8. INXS (excessively)
9. "Who Can It Be Now"
10. "I Wanna Be Sedated"
11. (bonus) "Rio"
I would like to straighten a few things out regarding the December 14 article "A Real Class Act," by Steve Jackson. First of all, I am still very much the editor-in-chief of Rapp Street Journal. I have not been removed, demoted or suspended, nor have I received any sort of punishment or taken any extended voluntary leaves of absence. I am, as RSJ advisor Chris Ransick said, "Innocent until proven guilty." As to why Lisbeth Mullin and James Bridges (RSJ news editor) told your reporter that I had been removed from my position, I can only surmise that they meant to defame me in a public manner.
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I would also like to put to rest the notion that I was ever previously charged in any official capacity with sexual harassment. Throughout my life, never has such a charge been filed against me, or grieved. As far as Lisbeth Mullin's sexual-harassment grievance against me--which she blatantly divulged to your reporter--I and several of the RSJ staff feel that I have never behaved improperly toward Lisbeth and that she has no valid reason to file such a grievance against me.
Furthermore, according to ACC policy, a grievance must be filed within ten days of an incident in order to be valid. I had not seen Lisbeth Mullin for more than twelve business days before she filed her grievance, except during a meeting attended by most of the RSJ staff and Dr. Karen Lane, vice president of student services, during which I most certainly did not sexually harass Lisbeth. ACC's grievance policy further mandates total confidentiality on all such matters, and since Lisbeth stated quite clearly that she would be filing a sexual-harassment grievance against me to a reporter for the third largest paper in the metropolitan area, I believe my rights to confidentiality have been stripped, and I will demand that this matter be taken no further.
I write this letter to neither defame nor embarrass Lisbeth Mullin. I merely intend to expose and uphold many facts which were not previously afforded me in your newspaper. I most certainly do not blame your reporter entirely for obtaining faulty information, but he may wish to choose more reliable sources in the future.
Michael "Doc" Simpson
Rapp Street Journal