No Kidding Around
Regarding Karen Bowers's "A Wealth of Trouble," in the March 15 issue:
1. Parents have no choice but to believe their children with regard to claims of sexual abuse. Parents would be negligent if they did not believe their children.
2. A child can have childish fantasies about many things and still be telling the clear-cut truth about an actual sexual intrusion on him by an adult.
3. The DA's office turns away many cases for lack of evidence. Apparently, there was sufficient cause in the Huttner case for the DA to pursue it.
Name withheld on request
Back in the early 1930s, when I was just a tad, the little girl next door took me into her playhouse and proceeded to teach me a game she called "Chicky." It was a rather interesting game and was proceeding quite well when I looked up and saw her mother peering through the playhouse door. She said: "Carroll, you'd better go home now. Frankie has to come in and take a nap." That was all that was ever said about it. I suppose nowadays it would evolve into a major court case, though I don't know who the defendant would be.
Today there seem to be a lot of people uptight about tushie-touching.
Some sixty-odd years later, I find myself in a state of confusion, because if I interpret all the ads I see as I thumb through Westword, including the Romance section, a good portion of these tushie-touched toddlers will grow up and probably spend a good deal of time and money trying to find someone to play "Chicky" and touch their tushies.
I will be the first to admit that cases of false accusations of sexual abuse on children do occur, but l wonder if Ms. Huttner may have used her reputation and money to avoid prosecution and is now playing on the public's sympathy to restore her public image. It's unfortunate that her grandson will live with the scars of this long after her reputation has recovered; it's even more unfortunate that her reputation was far more important to her than the relationship with her grandson.
I befriended a man who was accused by his ten-year-old son and a stepson of molestation. He had me convinced that it was just a vindictive story conjured up by his ex-wife and ex-girlfriend to get even with him. His retired parents invested their life savings to pay for legal representation and I loaned him the money for a psychological evaluation, because we all believed he had been the victim here. I visited him after his arrest and watched him shed tears that I thought were shed because he was falsely accused--but it was actually because he knew what he was guilty of and knew what life would be like in prison.
Eight months after the case ended and after the "heat was off," he finally broke down and admitted that he had molested his ten-year-old son as well as his younger son by his former girlfriend. His only concern was that this would ruin his reputation--but there was never even one bit of remorse for what he had done to these little boys.
Individuals like this are professional liars; they may fool a jury once, but the "grand jury" is still out, and I am convinced they will receive their just sentences. The state registry of sex offenders is the only means parents have of protecting their children from these individuals. This registry should be available to any and all individuals through the public library, and anyone accused should be listed regardless of whether they were actually convicted of the crime. Any parent who hires a caretaker for children, becomes involved with an individual and exposes a child to this type of danger or entrusts the welfare of a child to a teacher, counselor, etc., should have the right and the opportunity to find out if that individual has ever been accused of any sexual misconduct involving kids. If the courts and the system cannot protect children, then parents need to fight for legislation that will allow them the power and right to prevent such crimes before they occur.
Here's the Pitch
After seeing the March 22 installment of Kenny Be's Worst-Case Scenario, "Rockies' Road," I had to write and congratulate Westword on this fine cartoonist. He's certainly had more hits than we'll see from those replacement players! In honor of all his work, I nominate Kenny Be to throw out the first pitch at opening day at Coors Field.
This is to let Kenny Be know that I'm really enjoying his latest series. It's funny, well-done and an astute commentary on the baseball strike. Many people seem to misunderstand what this strike is all about because they get sidetracked by the enormous sums of money involved. But make no mistake--the strike is more about the owners' attempt to bust the players' union than it is about money. It's ugly, as all strikes are. It's about power and control, who has it and who doesn't. The owners want control, like most bosses do, and the players are in an all-out fight to keep their union because they realize they need collective strength to negotiate with the owners. Throw in "replacement" players and some so-called fans who are willing to cross the picket line to watch the "replacements" (otherwise known as scabs), and you have an even uglier situation.
Through his great sense of humor, Kenny Be has done more to promote understanding of the gut issues in this strike than the almost-daily strike coverage by the other two newspapers in town. Kenny Be, you're a truly funny guy. Keep up the outstanding work! I'm a fan.
Regarding Claudia Hibbert's "A Driving Issue," in the March 15 issue:
I find that if it weren't for the fact that alcohol was involved in both Terry Faust's and John Denver's stories, they would be the joke of the century. John Denver's well-publicized awe of Colorado's beauty and a previous DUI conviction make it almost laughable that he drank again and drove his car into one of our beautiful trees.
In reference to Terry Faust, her story reveals a DUI charge five years ago. Last September she had, according to her, a minor fender-bender in the parking lot of an Evergreen bar after returning from a company picnic with her fiance. Three hours later she was ticketed when walking out of another bar with an alcohol level of .19 (almost double the legal level). One wonders, at this point, if she was going to fly, walk home or call a cab.
Professionally, I've developed programs that address the problems of serious alcoholism caused by the system's continuous enabling in earlier stages, as in the stories cited. On a personal level, I can speak to the issue as well. I had been enabled by the system regarding my drinking and driving for 34 years before I found a way out. And I was one of the lucky ones.
The issue in both of these cases is the drinking of alcohol, not if one is guilty or innocent of a DUI. If the system continues to allow people like this (famous singer or not) to continue to deny their responsibility for acts that occur while they are drinking alcohol, there isn't much chance for any healthy results.
Raymond W. Hayworth
Put to the Test
I'm excited and grateful to Westword and Steve Jackson for the articles on hepatitis C, most recently "Hep to the Problem," in the March 22 issue. Fourteen years ago I contracted acute non-A non-B hepatitis from IV drug use. My enzymes were over 4,500 and I almost died, but I thought I recovered. Five years later I quit drugs and alcohol, but I became quite ill over the next several years, never knowing why. Doctors told me elevated liver enzymes were normal for recovering alcoholics/ addicts. I stumbled upon my hep C diagnosis on my own in August 1994.
For me, interferon was not a reasonable option, as I'm unwilling to undergo any process that will further harm my immune system for a low-percent chance of success. I found an alternative cancer clinic in Tijuana, Mexico, that focuses on nutrition and liver detoxification. With strict adherence to this program, my liver enzymes fell to normal range in twelve weeks. They have continued to lower the past two months, and my cholesterol is 121. The doctors in Mexico tell me if I adhere to my program for at least two years, I will be cured. The way I look and feel supports this.
Any people who've ever used IV drugs need to be tested for hep C so they can make choices about their future and help protect those close to them. Let's not judge how we got sick but move forward to recovery. Because of your articles, one of my friends tested and came out positive on both antibody and RNA. He can now make choices about his recovery and future. Thanks!
Mouth by Southwest
We enjoy reading Feedback weekly, but Michael Roberts's perceptions of the SXSW Music Festival, published in the March 22 issue, are quite narrow-minded and give Denver readers a limited understanding of this well-organized yet laid-back Austin event. As non-industry, non-laminate-wearing, non-hotel-staying attendees, we had a very different take on the weekend. We were shut out of only two shows (Elastica included, but what could we expect, arriving fifteen minutes past the hour?). Afternoon planning, a little patience in line and perseverance in the clubs let us get into (an admittedly modest) fifty bands in four days. And we probably didn't spend nearly as much time in transit as Roberts did.
Not being focused on the Sheraton and Four Seasons scene--and knowing some locals--helped us find good eats on demand, from East Austin for Tex-Mex to Bee Cave for BBQ (perhaps a bit out of the way for your typical columnist junketeer). Cutting down on travel time to Waco would have provided Roberts the opportunity for free food, beer and great music at daytime (non-SXSW) venues, most notably Waterloo Records--or was the promise of no industry hotshots a turnoff? We plebeians were treated to a Slash bash free of charge with Steelpole Bathtub and 7 Year Bitch, no stinking badges required.
As far as the schmoozefest goes, what did Roberts expect? Would he have had his trip if it wasn't one? The "bright lights, little city" didn't get to us--Texans, especially Austinites, know how to throw a great party with the kind of attitude and festiveness so often missing from Denver events and venues. We need to get music-apathetic Denverites to support Rocky Mountain music more and take a cue from Austin/ SXSW: They know how to show out-of-towners a hootin' good time...and to hell with them if they're pouting junketeers.
Greg Somers and Dieter Klippstein
A Fur Piece
Regarding Scott Keating's letter published in the March 22 issue:
It is indeed refreshing to know that there are people like Mr. Keating serving in a capacity to protect our precious wildlife.Certainly, it is redundant to remind Mr. Keating that all domesticated animals were once wildlife. I'm happy he's concerned for the plight of the caged fur-bearing creatures. I share this concern. We who are ecologically minded need look no further than our own bodies to see the effects of chemicals used in producing human foodstuffs. Now we have humans who are forced to live in mental cages by the companies that continue to use chemicals as a means of faster and more effective foodstuff production. The result is further deterioration of the human species through rampant environmental illness and increased numbers of cases with severe degenerative disease including various cancers, heart disease, high blood pressure and even psychotic disease.
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Yes, the mink, rabbit or any caged creature will exhibit some psychotic behavior. Yes, they ought not be clubbed or drowned. A lethal injection would be more humane; this would even please the chemical companies. Yes, the fur industry will survive, just as the leather industry will continue to exist. But is it wise to even have this as a concern when most of the food for human consumption is becoming even less fit than that for animal consumption? The food chain is a mess. Does this concern Mr. Keating as much as the right to wear either leather or fur?
Bella the Bawl
As a regular reader of Westword, I'm writing to "mouth off" about Kyle Wagner. I am an avid food and wine enthusiast who appreciates the honest critical opinion of professional restaurant critics. I do, however, expect them to keep their reviews to those establishments in which they've actually eaten. Kyle's backhanded slap at Bella Ristorante in the March 15 Mouthing Off column was arrogant and presumptuous, and in my opinion falls well outside the bounds of professional journalism. How can a critic render a review of a restaurant that hasn't even opened yet? Did she do her homework? If she did, why didn't the report note that the executive chef of Bella Ristorante comes from the famed and wildly successful Italian restaurant Carlucci Ristorante in Chicago? Having been to Carlucci several times, I must say I cannot recall even once being offered a "milkshake with my spaghetti." Shame on you, Kyle! Leave those mean-spirited comments for the amateur, want-to-be critics.