A Fur Piece
Regarding Eric Dexheimer's coverage of the three knuckle-dragging, Cro-Magnon trappers ("Fur Fight," March 7): When these gentlemen have shot, clubbed, hacked and skinned the last fur-bearing mammals they can snare in their steel-jaw leghold traps, they may want to consider migrating west to Humboldt County for a career logging the last stands of redwood forest. Redwood is bringing up to two dollars a board-foot in the Japanese market. That's right up there with a twenty-dollar bobcat pelt.

Hell, that's good beer and gas money.
Brian Brock

I would be interested to know what Mr. Dexheimer's feelings and thoughts were after interviewing these primitive, sadistic, savage fur trappers he wrote about in his article. I wonder how he kept from vomiting out of sheer disgust and revulsion on witnessing the "hobby" of torturing and killing defenseless animals.

Killing one animal, of course, also kills by starvation the rest of the family--the babies left behind. It's hard to imagine the mental processes of a creature who thrives on this activity--who gleefully delights in inflicting terror and a horrible death to so many of God's beings.

One would hope that these cold-herted, ignorant old bastards will die soon, and this barbaric practice will not be condoned by subsequent generations.

Carolyn P. Sommerville

Target Practice
Regarding Bill Gallo's "Shoot to Thrill" in the February 14 issue:
I just read the review of Broken Arrow, and I can't believe you barely managed to mention Samantha Mathis and then only as a pretty park ranger! Her part almost equaled Christian Slater's part. And she was terrific.

Is male chauvinism still as blatant in journalism as it was thirty years ago? And does Westword promote it?

Doris Sullivan

Learn As You Go
Thanks to Patricia Calhoun for walking outside the doors of Mitchell and actually talking to some of the people in the neighborhood ("Will They Ever Learn?," February 29). It is an outrage that the Montessori program is going to be taken out of a school in one of the poorest areas in the city, and an even greater outrage that Family Star could suffer. Sometimes it seems like the Cole neighborhood will never get a break.

A.T. Washington

I am not a Denver Public School parent; I'm in Jefferson County. But this is the best explanation I've read over all these months about Mitchell. So thank you for the wonderful article.

Name withheld on request

Westword editor Patricia Calhoun's broad swipe against the Denver Board of Education was poorly researched and misleading.

More than anything, Calhoun left the impression that the board's decision to move the Montessori program was heartless and without concern. However, the board held many public meetings on the issue, many of them lengthy and large. The Denver Post called these public sessions "protracted." The board patiently waited for the Montessori leadership to produce their best ideas. And, ultimately, the board delayed their entire timeline by weeks while the attempt was made to resolve this one dilemma. The rest of the district waited.

Several boardmembers met individually with the Montessori community, too. All understood the potential impact on the Family Star program.

On an issue that has been hanging fire for nearly three months, Calhoun gave district staff exactly five hours to produce answers to her specific list of questions. The column displayed no effort to show that the board had weighed the issue carefully, but snickered at the suggestion that the district can't count the numbers of students who would be displaced if the Montessori program was allowed to stay at Mitchell.

And that's the rub. Those students step off buses daily at Force, Palmer, Steck and Carson Elementary Schools and would continue to ride a bus--somewhere--if Montessori stayed put. These are children from poor neighborhoods, and the board agreed, above all else, that they deserve an equal right to education in their neighborhood.

The Montessori program isn't being destroyed; it's being moved. Family Star could still feed any Montessori program that takes root in north Denver, in a DPS school or elsewhere. The loss on the community fabric in the Cole neighborhood is something the board would have preferred to avoid. However, the board took several significant steps to ease the space crunch in north Denver, including allowing students in 24 elementary schools across north Denver to attend less crowded schools in central Denver. That's a potentially expensive plan proposed at a time of diminishing public school resources. But it's a plan Westword probably won't bother writing about. The reason? There's nobody complaining.

Mark Stevens, director, Public Information
Denver Public Schools

Patricia Calhoun responds: As the former education reporter for the Post, before he began officially flacking for DPS, Stevens knows that Westword's request for information required no heroic measures. After all those "protracted" meetings, DPS officials should have had those answers at their fingertips.

Christ on a Crutch
I had a big chuckle over the letter written by H. McCain published in the March 7 Westword. This person seems to have way too much time on their hands. How else would one explain a person who would not only take the time to read about something they find bothersome, but also make a big effort to write such a laughable "critique" of me and my career?

I won't deny that their description of my movies is right on target, since this individual has had "the misfortune of attending" one of my screenings. My films do poke fun at lots of things that most people wouldn't dream of ridiculing, including Christianity, drug-free lifestyles and, yes, even a quadriplegic in one movie. But I have to take exception to a few statements.

To answer McCain's questioning my denial of practicing satanism: I can say I'm not a satanist because I couldn't possibly follow any organized religion which has its roots in the Bible. This would include Christianity in all of its forms, Judaism, andE satanism. While the activities and beliefs of the average satanist might correspond better with my personal lifestyle than, say, Catholicism, most people who know me are aware of my atheism.

If McCain is glad that I'm not opening my gallery, then no doubt the fact that my wife (horror author Nancy A. Collins) and I will be hosting a large pop-culture convention at a downtown hotel in 1997 will come as disappointing news. Furthermore, we have plans to bring everything that would've been at our gallery to other venues around Denver.

Finally, to answer McCain's closing question "why do we have to read about it?" the answer is idiot simple: You don't, you can turn the page. Believe me, it's easy to do, just like changing the channel when something comes on the TV you don't like. If that's too difficult for someone like H. McCain to handle, then I'm glad I was able to help ruin their day.

Joe Christ

Here comes Joe Christ, hauling his bucket of blood and vomit straight off the streets of the city he left behind, offering it as a most previous gift to the people of Denver, as if we could not survive another day without it.

The sign of a less-than-mediocre artist is to simply hold up a mirror to the crap that surrounds him, and to call the resulting reflection art. A mediocre artist, with some semblance of social or moral conscience, will at least attempt to tear down what he perceives to be the rotting edifice of society (rather than simply wallow in it like a pig), even if he does not have anything better to replace it with.

The sign of a great artist is to offer us an opportunity to transcend the degraded and degrading aspects of the life we find ourselves in; to give us another choice and another chance, not just more of the same. As with every other choice in life, it is so much easier to descend the stairs than to climb back up them, and once you start down it just gets easier to keep going in that direction.

Your coming to Denver is indeed a gift, Joe; but it is a gift to yourself, not to us--an opportunity to leave that bucket of slime behind in New York City, and not have to haul it around with you anymore.

Name withheld on request

Dialing for Dollars
In his March 7 Feedback, Michael Roberts chronicled the recent personnel changes at Jacor-owned alternative station KBPI. What he failed to mention was that the hiring of Rockfish was actually a last-minute desperate substitution by Jacor to replace the "Whipping Boy" (aka John Wilbur), who is destined for a larger, more sophisticated market, aka New York City and K-Rock FM (the Howard Stern station!). Not only did Jacor not "snap up" Rockfish, but it required the "Whipping Boy" to buy a release from his contract (at a substantial dollar amount) so he could sign with Infinity Broadcasting.

Roberts also must be a sophisticated listener to distinguish between 92X, which endlessly repeated songs by Greenday, Soundgarden and Nirvana...and KBPI, which drones on with music by Greenday, Soundgarden and Nirvana.

Personnel and format changes aside, I think the most important thing to realize about Denver radio currently is that the dollar rules, conformity is abundant and mediocrity is rampant!

Dan Winchell

Letters policy: Westword wants to hear from you, whether you have a complaint or compliment about what we write from week to week. Letters should be no more than 200 words; we reserve the right to edit for libel, length and clarity. Although we'll occasionally withhold an author's name on request, all letters must include your name, address and telephone number.

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