The Mouse That Roared
I appreciated Alan Prendergast's article on the Preble's mouse, "Of Mice and Men," in the November 27 issue. Too often the mainstream media seems to be very biased in favor of growth and development in Colorado. I am a Colorado native and think projects like Highlands Ranch are a disgusting example of greedy developers and real estate people ruining our state at our expense. I hope the mouse is put on the endangered list--not only to save the species, but to put a wrench into the scumbag developers' plans.

Keep up the good work! Maybe there is still hope to keep Colorado from becoming another Southern California.

John McMahan
via the Internet

Alan Prendergast's story about the Preble's jumping mouse gave both sides of a dispute concerning that virus-carrying little rodent. Environmentalists warn of "vanishing eco-systems" and loss of "bio-diversity" if government fails to protect it. They may have a factual point or two on their side, but they are driven by the same kind of holy-roller emotionalism that drives another big dispute about diversity (cultural, that is). The Weltanschauung of the liberal fascisti is everywhere.

Crusaders for snail darters, for inedible fish in the Colorado River, and now for a mouse would be merely bizarre except for their success in court. Assuming the Endangered Species Act is so tightly written that judges have no choice but to place mice before men, then "the law is an ass, an idiot." It is time to repeal or drastically modify it.

If that fails, citizens should band together in gangs and hunt the beast to extinction.

Norman Ely

As usual, another organism is being added to the list of animals that do not benefit ranchers or corporations of one sort or another. In many states around the country, we are already seeing the result of wiping out species of plant, animal or insect life on this earth. Where will all these ranchers and corporations be when this planet is no longer able to support life? They really don't give a damn where they will be, as long as they can place the blame somewhere, anywhere but on themselves.

I don't believe that we have too many years to go to see that, either. Already farmers must rent beehives because we are losing bees here in the U.S.; diseases that are resistant to our medicines are popping up even faster; and I don't know of too many lakes, streams or pieces of land that have not been polluted somewhere to make money for someone else. It's a shame we cannot appreciate what we have here now. I guess it will not stop until our own species is on the endangered species list.

Linchi Tan
via the Internet

I greatly enjoyed your article on the Preble's mouse, which was thoroughly written and provided a diversity of perspectives. The one thing I found particularly amusing, however, was that the mouse you featured on the front page was not a Preble's but, as close as I can tell, an Ord's Kangaroo Rat. I'm sure the kangaroo rats of Colorado are flattered by the inadvertent attention but probably would rather remain anonymous, with all the poking and prodding being received by their jumping cousin.

Dave Lovell
via the Internet

For years I thought Michael Roberts's music reviews were intentionally boring, leaving me more listening time. Kyle Wagner seems as if no food will ever cheer her up.

Is this because real life-and-death issues beyond the mutant Preble's mouse are at stake? Whether we like it or not, recent retaliation for the killing (murder?) of a skinhead in Denver has left two dead--a kid and a cop.

There is a chance you'll catch up with the other papers, even if by mistake.
Betty Jones

X-Rated Marks the Spot
No sooner had I finished reading Michael Roberts's "Obscene and Heard," in the December 4 issue, than I heard Tom Martino talk about "K-Fart" on his KHOW radio show (the company jacked up the cost of something a woman had on layaway). Martino's language was a lot less offensive than the company's behavior.

Good story.
Jill Myers

I'm not a prude, but a 45-year-old mom who likes to listen to Nirvana, Soundgarden, etc. But the disc jockey talk gets out of hand, and I have to draw the line when orgasm contests are being conducted loud and clear at 8:30 a.m. while I drive my kids (ages thirteen and nine) to school. One of my son's thirteen-year-old friends actually called one of the stations and said pretty much what I listed above; he was told to shut up, grow up and quit whining. Kids want to hear cool music, but can they without all the other junk? Yeah, if Mom remembers to bring her tapes for the car--sponsors be wary!

Barb Day
via the Internet

I agree that the FCC should stay out of the language business when it comes to what DJs say on the air. If the DJs want to talk about masturbation, let them talk about it. I do think that the FCC should begin to regulate intelligence. It is possible for radio shows to discuss touchy subjects and do it in a humorous and intelligent manner--Loveline does it all the time. If the DJs and radio stations would rather use the air time to be idiots, make them pay for that.

Be smart and the FCC stays away. Use unfunny jokes like "seizure salad" and get out the checkbook.

The owners of these stations would object, of course. Such a move would mean financial ruin. Chancellor Media, owner of KALC-FM, would probably have to file for bankruptcy within the first five minutes of the Frosty, Frank and Jamie show.

Kevin Juhasz

The widespread use of questionable language and innuendo in the Denver radio market mirrors the sensational content of television programs by Ricki Lake and Sally Jessy Raphael. In both cases, someone is trying very hard to compensate for artistry by manufacturing controversy and disbelief. Television and especially music are the most banal they've been in years, with the result that KVOD winds up being more musically adventurous than the Fox (which probably still plays "Hairway to Steven" every day). Where's my rock and roll?

So that's it, folks: Your radio-and-television spectrum has been packaged up and sold to the highest bidder--in this case, Jacor. Denver air is now represented by a firm from...Cincinnati! That, incidentally, is where the FCC should put its effort: into breaking up this stagnant Denver radio market. We need some fine, independent (if not pirate) radio broadcasting in this town. I'm so bored.

Christopher Lindley
Wheat Ridge

I just finished reading Michael Roberts's commentary, wherein he discussed the vulgarity of Denver's local radio market. I can't say that I have heard all of the local programming that he discussed. However, I have heard the DJs on KBPI's morning program. I have to agree with his take on this show as being obscene. It is.

From the "guidelines" outlined in the article, for the FCC to consider something to have stepped over the line, it seems like the FCC sees its obscenity in much the same way that the Supreme Court defines pornography (i.e., having no socially redeeming value). The one thing that could save the KBPI morning show from being vulgar would be comedy (a gigantic socially redeeming value, as far as I am concerned). The boundary of the land of humor is the one line it seems they refuse to cross.

However, I would beg Mr. Roberts to not lump Howard Stern in with the ne'er-do-funnies that Denver has on local radio. He is funny and thought-provoking. And while he may, on occasion, slip in some not-so-polite verbiage, he redeems himself with humor. What this city needs is the real deal--Howard Stern, not a bunch of morons who say "penis, blowjob and asshole" because they and every sixth-grade, Beavis wannabe in the city thinks dirty words are cool.

Eric Wilks

Radio Daze
Congratulations to Michael Roberts on his fine treatment of the women-in-radio topic (Feedback, December 4). I knew he'd have some opinions; I just wasn't sure if I'd agree with them. I do. He had a good angle and plenty of pertinent facts. The quotes from Gary Schoenwetter made him look like a complete fool (not that his programming decisions make him look any better). Jackie Selby got a raw deal, but maybe Roberts's article will shake the cobwebs out of some other program manager's head so she can get back to work. Good job!

Next time you rake some radio stations over the coals, please mention that it's not so much whether they play new, old, or whatever category of music they want to make up; it's that they bore us to death by overplaying the same damn corporate songlists until we change stations in search of music we aren't yet sick of. Except the station(s) on top of the ratings list, which bore us with too many commercials.

David Barber
via the Internet

I wanted to take a few minutes to stick up for Michael Roberts and his consistent deflating of the abject hero worship classic rock fans foist upon such "worthies" as Fleetwood Mac and the Doors. Classic-rock aficionados should try to remember what the music now known as classic rock once stood for: rebellion. Now it seems to have become just another means of selling Nikes. Some revolution. These once anti-establishment artists have, with the willing--even enthusiastic--acquiescence of their fans, been co-opted by the very system their g-g-generation once railed against. Ever listen critically to Lewis and Floorwax at KRFX?

The responses to Roberts's Doors review ("Beyond the Doors," November 13) were especially revealing. Roberts was actually castigated for not having rock-star heroes--for questioning authority. You baby-boomer types were the ones who came up with that slogan. Is it really that empty to you now?

Travitt Hamilton

Form Follows Dysfunction
Ben Klein, chairman of the RTD board, has been as quick to blame as he has to seek publicity. In "Get Stuffed," in the November 27 issue, Patricia Calhoun gave us a glimpse of the board's dysfunctionality, but she probably didn't go far enough.

Klein complained that while many blame the board as contributing to light rail's defeat, everyone else is actually to blame. He whined that "people are totally wrong" to label the board he leads as dysfunctional. But Chairman Klein can't have it both ways. He can't be ready, even very eager, to get the lion's share of publicity attached to the RTD board because he's chairman, then try to run away from the record of incoherence, incompetence, poor leadership, no leadership and general running on at the mouth that his leadership signifies.

The man who defends the board against "dysfunctional" charges in reality plays more games than any other member. The most important example is his antics during the recent light-rail election. Klein stated that he was in favor. This fall he went around the metro area offering the most feeble, mealy-mouthed endorsement of light rail of anyone taking a public position. He damned by faint praise. In fact, he arguably spent more energy trying to divide the camp of proponents than anything else. We all know that with politicians, you have to watch what they do, not what they say. Klein's conduct revealed his opposition. He was really playing political footsie with the RTD's prince of darkness, libertarian Jon Caldara.

It is a grim and sad state of affairs when the chair of the RTD is offering smokescreens and dissembling instead of the leadership this area and that board so desperately need. But there is hope. Klein is up for re-election in 1998. As we think about ways to heal the dysfunctional RTD board, let's retire this shlock politician.

Delia Beck

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:

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