The Real Thing
Regarding Patricia Calhoun's "Real Life. Real News. Real Bad," in the November 14 issue:

Thank you, Patricia Calhoun! While zapping through the dial, I caught the "Real News" and Ms. Pujo's Channel 7 debut. My reaction was so strongly negative that I thought, in fairness, I ought to try to pay attention to understand why this was so unremittingly bad. Several times since that first exposure, I've tried again to view this sleaze (though I admit that I could stand only a few minutes at a time). I think that Ms. Klinzing felt that she had to put her personal stamp on this format--since she's the big imported hotshot news director, supposed to shake up the poor old Channel 7 ratings. If she's the one responsible for this abomination, I hope she gets the credit at her next gig, as I think she'll go down with the sinking ship.

As to Ms. Pujo, I don't think I've ever heard such a condescending attitude and snide delivery fobbed off as news. I hope Channel 7 does some demographics and our new transplants (Pujo and Klinzing) realize that Colorado viewers are among the best-educated and highly critical audiences that they'll see in their short-lived careers.

Jamee Chambers

I read with some amusement Patricia Calhoun's assessment of the new Channel 7 News format. While Calhoun's opinions about the lameness of the new format and its lack of true news reporting agree with my own, I could barely hear that message, because it was so nearly drowned out by the roar of the green-eyed monster! Good Heavens, Patty! The fact that Ms. Pujo is young and beautiful, or how they dress her for the newscast, has nothing whatever to do with the lack of effectiveness of the new Channel 7 news. But one suspects that even if it won every major news award available, you'd still be meowing about her "firm (and teasingly exposed) flesh." Or, perhaps, that your evaluation of the quality of the program might have been considerably less caustic if Ms. Pujo did the newscasts behind a cardboard cutout of an Amish woman's black-dressed silhouette. Your editorial would have been a lot more impressive (and your other points much more well-taken, I think) if you had simply left out all the catty comments about Ms. Pujo's age and dress and let the rest of article stand on its own.

John E. Ottem

Since moving to Denver in 1991, I have always watched Channel 7 news. I don't mind the new graphics and new slogan, "Real Life. Real News," but they should follow it up with a Real News Anchor! Natalie Pujo may be a good reporter, but in my opinion (and that of others), she is not anchor material. Let's talk election night: The broadcast seemed more like a screen test for the movie Showgirls, complete with those sexy (?) looks into the camera when they broke for commercial or to go back to network coverage. I don't care if they are trying to reach a younger audience or not (I'm only 35!), that outfit was pretty inappropriate and made it hard for anyone to take her seriously except maybe younger guys in their late teens and early twenties. And let's be real...do you honestly think those guys were glued to election-night coverage? I think Channel 7 made a bad move by giving her the sole anchor spot at 10 p.m. And the only thing that saved the election-night broadcast was Ernie Bjorkman. If they want to go to a one-anchor format at 10 p.m., they'd better get Bertha or Ernie in there, or they will find people switching to another station. As I have.

Greg Rice

God bless you for your penetrating bite on The Pooch. TV news giggle and grin and the braying Arakawa laugh are sad enough, but this new aberration beats all. Question: How come that splashy Channel 7 newspaper was mailed from Louisiana?

Lynn Huff

I would give Patricia Calhoun's opinion of Channel 7's new "trash TV" more credence if her paper was not the epitome of trash. For example, in the same issue of Westword, there is also a lengthy article on foreskins. Where is the news in this?

Emily Parks

The Good Doctor
Tony Perez-Giese's November 14 article, "Mind Over Medicine," provides an example of what doctors should be like and demonstrates the importance of compassion and doctor-patient interaction. Dr. Hamilton exemplified this to the fullest. In the present climate of HMOs, where the doctor often doesn't remember your name, it's refreshing to have the great doctors receive the respect they deserve.

David Ghausi
via the Internet

The Bear Facts
Regarding Eric Dexheimer's "Loaded for Bear," in the November 14 issue:
Talk hunt ethics all you want, the bottom line is this: The animals aren't going to suffer less for all the controversy about how to kill them, about the weapons of choice, about whether they're poached, killed by slob hunters, mismanaged by wildlife authorities, or any of the other arguments brought up in this article or elsewhere. To bring joy into the lives of those who kill them, they experience unbearable fear and agonizing pain from having their bodies broken and shattered, and then death--much the same as any one of us humans would experience in the same situation. It's that simple. Please enlighten me: Where is the ethics in that?

Mary Rios

Having just read Eric Dexheimer's piece, I am compelled to voice my two cents' worth. Like Mr. Beck, I am an avid and lifelong hunter. Each fall I spend as much time afield as is economically feasible, hunting all manner of game, small to large, furred and feathered, in several states. I, too, was taught to hunt by my father with safety, efficiency and love of nature as paramount points in good hunting. In my thirty-plus years of hunting, I have developed a code of ethics to hunt by which grew from my experiences afield. Not all those experiences were honorable or correct, but it is a poor man who does not learn from his mistakes.

In support of the game I have pursued over the years, I have poured my hard-earned money into license fees, federal and state habitat and waterfowl stamps, wildlife organizations such as the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Society, Ducks Unlimited, the National Wild Turkey Federation and Jim Posewitz's Orion--The Hunters Institute. Portions of what I have paid for every box of ammo, every firearm and bow I have ever bought have also gone to support state and federal wildlife-management programs.

One of Mr. Dexheimer's points was that the public's voice in wildlife management is not given its due by the various wildlife agencies around the country, if I understood him correctly. Also, his article pointed out that the bureaucracies in charge of managing our wildlife are not managing those animals very well, if at all. Frankly, if the public wants a voice in wildlife management: Put your money where your mouth is! Join organizations such as those I mentioned. Every year their efforts are focused on replacement of vital habitat for those target species. The side benefit to providing habitat for those game animals is that other wildlife has a place to live and thrive as well. Many of the wetlands and state wildlife areas are available to those who wish to simply observe wildlife.

If the public really wants to support wildlife, stop the rampant development of our wild lands and open spaces! In the past thirty years development in and around the ski areas of Colorado has removed tens of thousands of acres of critical wildlife habitat so we might have more ski runs, condos and restaurants to visit in our winter playtimes--all to the detriment of struggling deer and elk herds that must migrate further and further from their traditional wintering grounds.

Would the skiing public be willing to support the wildlife it has displaced by paying, say, a tax of a dollar on a lift ticket? The millions in revenue generated by such a tax could be used to purchase lands to replace those that have already been smothered under asphalt and condos.

As a hunter, I have found it difficult, if not impossible, to explain to anti-hunters my love for the creatures I hunt. To be honest, it may be something that never can be. But by taking responsibility for and honoring the lives that are taken in order for my life to continue, I feel much more connected to and thankful for the natural world and my place within it.

Eric Janzer

The article on game managers was much needed. I was shocked to see that enlightenment is slowly creeping into the Department of (Hunting) Wildlife, despite the wishes of hunters. I look forward to the day when taxes, rather than hunting and fishing licenses, support DOW. Wildlife is not the sole property of the minority that enjoys killing it.

It is interesting to note that repeatedly, DOW has grumbled over Amendment 14--how wildlife management decisions should be left to the professional biologists--while in 1992 they chose to ignore their own biologists (e.g., Beck) with regard to the spring bear hunt. Time to get the hunters out of "managing" their own prey.

Elli Johnson

A Cut Above
I appreciate Chris LaMorte's well-balanced November 14 article, "Boys and Their Hoods," about foreskin restoration.

I, like millions of babies born in the 1940s, was circumcised at birth. I never gave much thought to that until I stumbled across Derrick Townsend's site last spring. After reading it and checking out the links he had there, what he said made sense--without my permission, the most sensitive skin on my penis had been removed. It would have amounted to about fifteen square inches of skin by the time I was an adult, would have contained thousands of nerve endings, and would have provided extra loose skin that would have allowed a gliding/rolling action during sex.

I am not a person who gets wrapped around the axle about things very easily. But I am an engineer, and I could appreciate and understand the explanations, facts and statistics I found on the Net; frankly, I became angry that the medical community in the U.S. has been so resistant to discontinuing this practice, when every other major country in the world has.

I started to restore using the info on Derrick's page about six months ago. While some would say improvement is only psychological, I know now that is simply not the case. The difference in physical feeling is incredible! I am over fifty years old, and the main two things I have been thinking are, first, a feeling of loss (it will never be as good as the original, because the nerves are forever lost) and, second, I wish I had found out about restoration years sooner!

Name withheld on request

Great article! I always wondered about the possibilities of "undoing" what was done to me when I had no choice. Now it appears I can "return to my origins." Thanks for the link identification. You can bet one more "cut one" will be checking in and joining the special-interest group. One question, though: I wonder if there just might be an alternative method to taping? Perhaps I'll find out later on. For the present, thanks again for publishing a topic of great personal interest.

Bill Hunger
via the Internet

Westword's report on foreskin restoration is excellent and will provide more men with information on a rather taboo topic. Now the tide is turning. After rising steadily for a century and peaking at 85 percent in the late Seventies and early Eighties, U.S. infant-circumcision rates are now at 60 percent and falling.

Though all U.S. medical dictionaries and texts continue to describe the foreskin as a fold of skin covering the glans of the penis, a scientific paper describing the first-ever cellular-level study of foreskin tissue was published this spring by John Taylor of the University of Manitoba Medical School. Publication of Taylor's findings was rejected by all U.S. medical journals to which it was submitted; it was then published in the British Journal of Urology. Taylor clearly documents what uncut men know directly: that the foreskin is erotic tissue with a rich blood and nerve supply. Taylor found Meissner's corpuscles in foreskin tissue, the same nerve bundles that make human fingertips so sensitive. His article is available online at www.cirp.org/CIRP/library. As our bumperstrip says, "Circumcision is a phallusy."

Chester McQueary
National Organization to Halt the Abuse and Routine Mutilation of Males, Denver

I wish Chris LaMorte had taken the time to read some of the medical documents posted on Web sites (Derrick Townsend's home page has pointers). The foreskin isn't just a piece of skin. What circumcised males have lost is much, much more than I had ever imagined. The most telling comment in one of the articles from a medical journal was the description of the operation as an "amputation." Also, if the journalist had seen the pages with photographs taken during circumcisions, the tone of the piece would have been much different. A home page from Montreal regarding circumcision has a photojournal essay involving the results of a circumcision gone wrong; I was very nearly ill at the sight. Perhaps a little more research and a subsequent article would be beneficial to your readers. It's an important, valid topic--not a joke.

Rex Dana Maxfield
via the Internet

I just read your Web page in which you interview the owners of the foreskin pages, and I have to thank you for bringing this issue of child abuse to the forefront. It is America's shame, and it's time we face up to what we do to many, many innocent children.

Patrick Draper
via the Internet

Editor's note: If you missed Chris LaMorte's "Boys and Their Hoods," it's still online--complete with links--at www.westword.com.

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. Write to:

Letters Editor
PO Box 5970
Denver, CO 80217
or e-mail to: editorial@westword.com


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