While I appreciate that Patricia Calhoun's reference to my essay "The Loss of Zeckendorf Plaza" ("Razin' in the Sun," May 16) allows that even bureaucrats may have hearts, I do take issue with her charge that neither DURA nor the planning director put up much resistance to the Adam's Mark proposal. The assertion is contrary to the facts and to one of the primary points of my essay. A tremendous effort was made, led by Jennifer Moulton and Jerry Glick, chairman of the DURA board, to improve the quality of the project and to find alternative design solutions. Design was the primary focus of discussion for the better part of a year.
As long as we perpetrate the suspicion that DURA and the City are antagonistic to preservation or that our design and preservation communities are not supportive of redevelopment, we will make it harder to build the coalition we need to prevent debacles like the Adam's Mark in the future. We all share a dream of a better Denver. As Lewis Mumford's quote implies, only the community--all of us working together--will achieve the quality government and the quality architecture that we deserve.
Denver Planning Office
Your recent recap of Moffat Tunnel events, "Still Railing," by Andy Van De Voorde in the May 16 issue, represented another excellent example of thorough news coverage.
While it is true that the Moffat Tunnel Commission is rumbling into the sunset, many issues remain. Senate Bill 96-233 set the table for the sales agreement between the Winter Park Recreational Association and the Commission, but the deal has yet to be finalized. The deal has not closed. It should be additionally noted that efforts to sell the remaining Commission assets will be considered.
Senate Bill 233 calls for Commission assets and sale proceeds to be divided among the nine counties which, in whole or in part, comprise the district. Denver fought hard and won a provision which will send 90 percent of the money to Denver, even though a large portion of Denver is not in the Moffat Tunnel Improvement District. The Commission will continue to work to make sure the Moffat Tunnel Commission money is returned to the taxpayers who paid property taxes, not to those living outside of the district. It should be noted that Denver residents did not pay 90 percent of the funds to retire the tunnel construction bonds. The railroad paid half the debt, meaning Denver residents actually paid only about 45 percent of the debt.
Once the Commission is dissolved, what business remains will be taken over by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. Senate Bill 233 initially carried a fiscal note of $160,000, indicating that that would be the yearly cost to the state to manage Commission affairs. The figure is roughly four times the amount expended by the Commission in non-election years. The fiscal note was removed from the bill at the eleventh hour; as of last week, the Department of Local Affairs did not know what its appropriation would be to manage the Commission's business.
Much work remains before the Commission is dissolved. Rest assured, we'll keep "railing."
Edward J. Jakubowski, Jr.
Secretary, Moffat Tunnel Commission
Poetry in Motion
I read with great interest Robin Chotzinoff's "The Odd Couplet," in the May 23 issue. Hooray, hooray! Finally, someone daring enough to print the truth on the Colorado Center for the Book. I, too, entered two names for the poet laureate, but I got the envelopes back three days after the contest expired (even though I sent them in four weeks before the deadline) stamped "Return to sender, unclaimed." What does this mean? How about that I didn't pick the right person they have already lined up? It seems the decision is rigged, but the question is: Which friend of the board will get it?
There are plenty of people who enjoy reading and writing in our fine state. Whether poets, writers or readers, the Colorado Center for the Book does not acknowledge them, they rebuke them--unless they are pals with someone inside. No one seems to care about the fact that only a few of the contest forms were distributed and only a few people were aware of the position. The Center for the Book kept it nice and quiet.
This whole poet laureate nomination is a joke. Why doesn't the Center for the Book just pick its friend and get it over with? Rarely do you find someone in literary circles who supports it anyway. Most feel the same way I do: The Center is a waste of space.
Gone to the Dogs
I enjoy reading Bill Gallo's sports column. It's one of the first articles I peruse when I pick up Westword. But, come on, what's with the greyhound/horse racing, auto racing and boxing articles? Why not devote just a bit more time to the Silver Bullets, the Foxes and the college teams? Hell, even high school action would be more interesting than another article about the exploitation of animals. Just a thought.
We would like to address the recent events following the Cinco de Mayo festivities (Off Limits, May 9). As college students and respectable citizens of this community, it is our firm belief that the extreme measures taken through the police intervention and harassment were blatantly offensive. Law enforcement officers more than intervened; they were dressed for battle with helmets and shields.
Hundreds of officers were dispatched to control the cruisers. Where were these officers in regard to the real crime taking place that night in Denver? With all the attention focused on the young celebrants, the effectiveness of police protection in other areas of the city was compromised.
It is imperative to realize that the so-called outrageous behavior displayed was nothing more than a celebration of culture and independence as well as liberty and identity. Please recognize that, for once, this is a communal celebration including youth from all parts of Denver. Cinco de Mayo is one of the only days that even the youth from rival gangs can find a common ground.
Why is it so hideous to display pride and joy on this particular day and not on the Fourth of July? Isn't it on the Fourth of July that America holds the privilege of freedom in high regard? We ask: Is it justifiable to suffocate the healthy identity of our youth? One might infer that this suffocation is in fact contributory to the racism that infects our community.
The youth of Denver are growing outside of the confines and regulations that Denver has set forth. Before a firm stance is taken on the cruising dilemma, it is important to take into consideration what exactly the city has to offer socially for the young adults of today. We propose that we lift the house-arrest-for-kids notion and provide open parks for the kids to socialize in, even if these parks are patrolled. As a result, youth would not be forced into the streets for a social atmosphere. This would also reduce traffic hindrances. Kids should not be the epitome of blame any more than the people who create the environment for them to interact in.
A Dressing Down
It amazes me when I hear stories like the one involving Terry ("Disturbing the Piss," May 9). Didn't the hotel bother to inform their security people of just who was paying the bills that evening? Did Barney Fife forget to take his Midol? Thank God Andy didn't give him his bullet!
It's so very sad that people fail to realize just how harmless transvestites and transsexuals are. We don't cruise around in elaborately equipped vans in search of straight men to put into evening drag and later release in LoDo to be condemned to a life of cross-dressing and gender dysphoria. It simply doesn't work that way.
Thirty-five years ago my parents discovered my secret. At that point in time I had been cross-dressing in private for at least eight years. (I'm 47.) I was punished, counseled and examined, but the desire never wavered. Twenty-five years ago I started to read everything I could on transvestites and transsexuals, and therefore consider myself to be something of an authority on the matter. If you are a transvestite or transsexual or if you know someone who is or might be a transvestite or transsexual, there are some facts that you need to know:
1. Forget changing--accept it. It's not going to go away, so you had best learn how to deal with it. Denial can lead to depression and even suicide.
2. The behavior wasn't learned and it wasn't forced. We're this way certainly by the age of three and possibly since birth.
3. Most transvestites/transsexuals are heterosexual and quite normal in all other regards.
4. If counseling is necessary, be sure that you deal with someone who is schooled in the behavior. Most psychologists, psychiatrists and counselors are not. And some yutz who doesn't know a transsexual from a drag queen (yes, there is a difference) might do more harm than good.
This lifelong quest has taught me so very much: tolerance, patience and acceptance. Knowledge is power and it is also freedom from fear.
Name withheld on request
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