How the West Was Won
Alan Prendergast's story on the Center for the New West ("Winging It," April 11) was a priceless piece of work. Good reporting, better writing. I laughed so hard while reading it that the only way I could calm down was to look at my US West phone bill.
I am writing in response to the story on Phil Burgess and the Center for the New West. The City of Littleton has had a pilot project with the center since 1989 to test the concept of economic gardening (growing your own jobs at home). Obviously, with significant financial support for the center from US West, there will be a tendency to look for evidence that the interests of the company are being promoted. However, over the past seven years, during hundred of hours that I have personally spent with Phil and his staff in meetings, luncheons, workshops and seminars, I cannot recall a single instance in which he appeared to be a US West spokesperson. The focus was always on what constitutes effective public policy.
There is no disputing that Phil can be provocative and ruffle feathers. I'm sure that some of the people interviewed by Alan Prendergast had unhappy stories to tell, and it's certainly fair game to critique his unorthodox style. Nevertheless, I will be surprised if any of the stories included even a hint of unethical behavior.
James C. Woods
Deputy City Manager, Littleton
Flight for Life
Regarding the April 11 Off Limits:
The situation of Paul Grant, a justifiably outraged and frustrated citizen, makes me want to bury food and join the Freemen. For over a year I've witnessed terrorized citizens try to use the democratic theory of due process and discussion to correct a premeditated attack on state laws, federal laws, environmental protection and the public's well-being. The response has been lies, closed doors, and toupeed officials equipped with their very own police--the FBI--thumbing their noses. Obviously, the laws protecting Colorado citizens and wilderness areas are less viable than capitalistic progress.
Every time someone complains about a flyover, there are legal grounds for a nuisance or trespass case against DIA. Complaints numbering tens of thousands have been logged since February 28, 1995; why haven't DIA or FAA officials been on trial?
In Colorado, the noise limit for nuisance is 55 DB. I've logged 10,000 flyovers near the Indian Peaks wilderness all exceeding this threshold--that's 10,000 trials. Once again, the FBI is arresting the wrong people, but it's hard to arrest those who own you. If Paul Grant is not set free, the brown shirts and hobnail boots can again be worn with pride. The April 1 changes were another hoax. I've logged 400 illegal flyovers near Brainard Lake Recreation Area since the April Fool's prank by DIA.
Everyone in Denver must help maintain these nearby wild areas. Think of that sweltering weekend, when you're sick of brown air, noise and concrete. You load up the cooler and the tent and you head west to the highest, coolest, quietest place. All of a sudden, you're experiencing very loud, very low jets screaming overhead every three to nine minutes for hours all day, and real bone-shakers all night. Now that's enjoyment. Don't forget the ear protectors.
The FAA is proud it has never changed flight paths for an environmental cause; safety is its main concern. The fact that the FAA would allow a child to fly a paper airplane over the Rockies in the spring monsoon season dispels that truth, too. Act now or forever hold your...ears.
Editor's note: Paul Grant's jury trial in Denver County Court, originally scheduled for April 16, has been continued until July.
When I first read the anonymous letter in the April 4 issue about Steve Jackson's March 14 story, "Life...and Death...on the Run," I thought it was so ridiculously hateful as to be a fake. I'm still not sure. The reason I have doubts at all it is because there are plenty of people who really do think this way, which is to say they can't stand kids, even (or especially) their own.
Of all the myriad reasons why I'm ashamed of my (baby boomer) generation, none surpasses my peers' hypocrisy on what may loosely be called "children's issues." For one thing, it's appalling that we continue to have so many, for we, more than any previous generation, should be aware of the perils to the rest of the planet due to human population expansion. But on a more immediate level, so many fortysomethings, creators of a virtual cult of youth in their day, seem utterly clueless when it comes to the confusions and rebellions of their own children. As much as we demanded respect, too many of us show only disrespect to teenagers; as much as we demanded (and enjoyed) our freedoms, too many respond with curfews and "just say no" campaigns when our kids want to test their wings. Other adults are so self-absorbed as to ignore their children altogether, seeming to resent their presence as if they don't know how they got there in the first place. I'm afraid I know a lot more people my age who are eagerly repeating the mistakes of their parents rather than remembering and trying to do it better.
It may matter to some that I don't have children. Here's hoping "Name withheld" doesn't have any, either.
E.F. Hart Jr.
Regarding Michael Roberts's "Some Like It Hot," in the April 4 issue:
I didn't put any stock into this generation-gap business until I read about the Sugar Twist Kids. But as I head into my forties, all I can say is: Pass the Geritol! I'd rather spend a night with Lawrence Welk than with these guys.
This is a letter to the Sugar Twist Kids. To start on a positive note, I think what you're doing is great. Keep up the good vibes! I dig people who believe in the bizarre and aren't afraid to push it. But don't get self-absorbed or you'll be just as ugly as the yuppie who sets himself apart. Also, please don't try to impress anyone with the whole "I live it" persona and that your life is "dangerous and fast." Courtney Love tried to pull that one already. As you know, there is a true dangerous sort, even in Denver, and I think it's getting a lot worse than raving past five or fighting with queens.
Hotel It Like It Is
In her April 4 review of Room Service at the DCPA, "No Vroom at the Inn," M.S. Mason was right on, as usual. If I were a drama critic, that's exactly what I would have written.
Sorry, Wrong Number
I enjoyed Michael Roberts's article on Denver radio personalities, "The Mouths That Roar," in the April 11 issue. However, I would like to point out that "the dreadful" George Weber is on KTLK from 3 to 7 p.m., not KOA, as reported in Westword.
Heaven forbid you should tell your readers to boycott the wrong station.
Program Director, KTLK
Affirmative Actions Speak Louder Than Words
I must strongly object to C.L. Harmer's comments about me in Stuart Steers's "Running Out of Patients," in your April 4 edition.
Just how does Ms. Harmer support her statement that "Councilman Hackworth is an opponent of affirmative action?" She cannot and did not cite any specifics to justify making that statement.
Just for the record, I was a member of the city council committee that developed the city's first affirmative-action ordinance in 1983; on Monday, April 8, 1996, I voted to approve the new affirmative-action ordinances.
Further, her statement that "the hospital was screwing up on marketing because we are marketing to people who don't pay their bills" is taken out of context. What I was referring to is the fact that Medicaid pays only a portion of the cost of service, which then makes the hospital charge more to paying patients or ask the city for a larger subsidy. The Medicaid patients, not minorities, were whom I referenced in my remark.
Again, I seriously question a marketing program that will encourage more Medicaid patients to come to Denver General. Also, so your readers understand, Medicaid is a federal program that makes payments for indigent patients (patients without the ability to pay) and is different from Medicare both as to the population served (the elderly and the handicapped) and the payment amount (which is closer to the cost of the service).
Councilman, District #2
Pleased to Meet You
This is in reference to the item in the March 28 Off Limits regarding a security guard who was working at the front desk during a recent evening public meeting at the Regional Transportation District administrative headquarters. Contrary to the assertions of one person quoted in your piece, the guard that evening was unarmed, a fact confirmed by several persons in attendance at the meeting, including RTD chairman Ben Klein and myself. RTD has security present at all after-hours meetings to afford protection to attendees and RTD property. The meeting mentioned in Off Limits, like all RTD board meetings, was open to the public, and advance notice of the meeting was duly posted in full compliance with applicable laws.
RTD Acting Chief Public Affairs Officer
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