Caught Dead to Writes
Kudos to Patricia Calhoun. Her "Sealed Fates," in the February 27 issue, pointed up the continuing hypocrisy regarding "victims' rights." If only our legislature paid attention to children when they were alive rather than waiting until they are dead.
Ever since Westword's Patricia Calhoun started asking the same questions that many others have been asking about the details (or lack thereof) regarding the Ramsey case in Boulder ("Better Shred Than Read," February 20), it appears Westword has been under attack in much the same manner as one would be for questioning authority in a not-so-free country. Regarding the Boulder Police Department, some letter-writers are of the opinion that Westword should "let them do their job" or "encourage the law enforcement authorities." I wasn't aware that Westword was not letting them do their job, and I fail to see how we can encourage them to do anything they don't want to do. Recently, the word coming out of Boulder was that investigators were awaiting lab results from some of the evidence. Only problem is, the evidence hasn't even been sent to the lab yet. Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for Dick Clark and Ed McMahon to drop off my $11,000,000 check. I never sent in the entry, but surely that wouldn't affect the results, would it?
The People's Republic of Boulder needs to accept the fact that, yes, bad things can and will happen there just like anywhere else. Blaming the press isn't going to deter crime. Only the legal system (I'll refrain from calling it a judicial system) can do that, and as a nation, our track record is pretty dismal. Evidence is thrown out as being tainted; testimony is thrown out as being unreliable; witnesses are portrayed to be liars; and if the police think they are under scrutiny from the press--just wait until they are called into the courtroom and battered by the defense.
So let's blame that darn press for always interfering and reminding everyone that there are still victims who can't just be shoved under the rug and forgotten about. After all, dead victims have no rights--so why should we expect the police to do anything?
Regarding Stuart Steers's "Readin', Writin' and Rabble-Rousin'," in the February 20 issue:
I am a teacher currently employed at Boulder High School, and I am also most definitely on the infamous "hit list" perpetuated by Ms. Hult and her supporters. I have worked for this district three years and have found it to be one the most frustrating and disheartening experiences of my life.
I find the concept of valuing diversity de jure rather than de facto in this district. Watching the school board and faculty squabble, it has become increasingly clear to me that the district is unable to tolerate diversity in its own ranks, much less in its student population. Ms. Hult will always stand out as the parent who did not want her daughter "held back" by students who did not share her many abilities. This elitism profoundly colors everything this school board touches. As a teacher, I have a deep respect for the unique life experiences all students bring to my classroom; as a parent, I've watched my children grow from their relationships with friends valued for who they are rather than what their abilities are; and as a lifelong learner, I am constantly amazed at the differences among us.
I also question Ms. Hult's zealous pursuit of her agenda. Her statement that "when people disagree with me, I just get tougher" shows an individual unable to see anyone's view but her own. Her curriculum fundamentalist view is small-minded in many ways. Before I was a teacher, I worked for many years in industry at all levels. Since becoming a teacher, I have worked closely with several large companies to get a clear understanding of what employers are looking for in the workforce. This allows me to help all my students in their life goals. What I've learned is that employers are not looking for students who have memorized the periodic table; rather, they are looking for people who can communicate. They are also looking for employees who can work cooperatively with each other in a spirit of teamwork and support--skills Ms. Hult seems to be lacking. All of these traits fall under the heading of "psycho social stuff" and all are invaluable in being a responsive, productive participant in our society today.
A Woman of Her Convictions
Regarding Karen Bowers's "Beyond Contempt," in the January 23 issue:
I am scared about the implications of the conviction of Laura Kriho for contempt of court for her service as a juror. The judge in her case ruled that a juror has the duty to volunteer information to the court about opinions, attitudes, beliefs and experiences--related to anything. Laura was convicted for failing to volunteer information. No direct questions were asked of her. This puts jurors in the position where they must try to read the minds of the judge and lawyers in the courtroom or face prosecution later on. It is very frightening. George Orwell missed Gilpin County by only thirteen years.
There will be a demonstration at Kriho's sentencing on March 7 at the Gilpin County Justice Center. The demonstration begins at 2 p.m.; Laura's sentencing is at 3. She could be sent to jail for up to six months. Please come and show your support for jurors' rights, because next time it could be me or you.
Regarding Bill Gallo's "Slice of Life," in the February 20 issue:
I enjoyed Sling Blade right up to the inevitable lawnmower-blade killing. Since this was a fictional story, the author needn't have sent the message he did: that murdering a bad person is a good thing. Not everyone who views this movie is as well-adjusted as we (you?) are. This is a perfect example of the movie industry's poor handling of its power over the citizenry.
via the Internet
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.
PO Box 5970
Denver, CO 80217
or e-mail (include your full name and hometown) to: email@example.com
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.