Babes in Royland
Regarding Patricia Calhoun's "Strange Bedfellows," in the February 19 issue:
Roy Romer proved himself a serial liar and a man without honor. Making a total ass of himself and exposing his wife to the cruelest kind of public humiliation, he cast off the last rags of any moral authority he still owned and stands before us now as naked as a jaybird.
We are not dealing with a lame duck here. What we have is a paraplegic duck, a multiple amputee. This duck has only a middle leg, and it may not work. This is a moribund mallard.
In fact, this is a dead duck. This is a kaput quacker, a gone goose. It is a late duck, an ex-duck, a dear, departed pushing-up-daisies duck. It has croaked, capsized, crapped out. It has crossed the bar and sleeps with the fishes. In short, it is a fucked duck. May it rest in peace.
Patricia Calhoun: Ha. Just finished reading your February 19 column. You do make me laugh. Want to know my greatest fear? Forget death and public speaking. My greatest fear is that someday I will be successful and well-known and be scrutinized by you. Keep up the (good) work.
I write this not in judgment of the governor's virtues, but to question if his behavior is consistent with what he espouses. I realize the names used here may excite the emotions. However, if one is to see the absurdity of the governor's words, they must be placed in a different setting.
I was amazed and enlightened at our governor's linguistics gymnastics. His turns of phrase--"fidelity, let me tell you what it means to me" and "It is not a sexual relationship as people think of it"--were a clarion call for a new direction. I believe he is leading us to a new movement, a new morality, that will define society in the future. The governor should be applauded for taking the press, the public and politics to a new plateau that supersedes situational ethics. Let's look at a couple of examples of the new social structure:
Mary Kay LeTourneau should have a new sentence hearing where she is allowed to define "contact" as "pregnant." If she is not now pregnant, she could not possibly have had contact with a fourteen-year-old boy.
Nathan Dunlap should be able to define "robbery" as taking money and using it solely for his advantage. If the money is shared with others whom he respects and are in need, it is not robbery, it is redistribution of wealth.
The only thing that the governor did not give us was a name for this new movement. How about extremist libertarianism? The governor gets a perfect 10 from me on the balance beam and a heartfelt thank you for his new direction.
Several years ago, my wife and I ate dinner almost every Tuesday night at the Harvest in the Tech Center. Besides the nice food and pleasant environment, we really enjoyed picking up a fresh issue of Westword at the restaurant and reading it as we dined.
Just after the 1990 article you ran on Romer and Thornberry, the restaurant stopped allowing Westword to be distributed on the premises. When we asked about it, we were told the guv was a regular at the Harvest in Glendale. He was so upset over the "scurrilous," if not libelous, article that the restaurant honored his request to remove the newspaper. I am certain they did this out of affection and respect for the man. It had to be a tough decision; the Harvest is pretty hip and has had several kind tips o' the Westword hat over the years. But the guv's wishes prevailed.
We nearly stopped eating at the Harvest on Tuesday nights. Not out of protest--just convenience. We liked reading Westword with dinner, and it meant stopping somewhere out of the way to pick it up. The lack of our business on Tuesday nights probably didn't even amount to a rounding error on the Harvest's books. But we missed it, and over the years it would have meant a few dollars for the waitstaff, if not the restaurant. A couple of years ago, we noticed the Westword stand had reappeared at the Harvest in the Tech Center--still a Saturday morning stop for us. However, our Tuesday night habits had changed.
At the end of January, the Harvest Tech Center closed. Romer admitted his relationship did exist.
And we wonder if the kindness shown the governor by the Harvest's owner/manager several years ago has been repaid.
Jim and Jan Haggard
Greetings from the vast right-wing conspiracy! As an individual who has often disagreed with Westword, I can still share your feelings of vindication after having our boy Roy admit to being affectionate but not sexual with B.J.
I read Bryan Abas's article "The Rumor About Romer" back in 1990 and witnessed the firestorm of protest from the media lapdogs. At the time I thought, "They doth protest too much." As it turns out, we were right, and no one buys Romer's mealy-mouthed crap about fidelity and openness.
Those of us who care about true fidelity count on the likes of Westword, Peter Boyles, Jay Marvin, etc., to keep shining the light of truth and to keep the cockroaches scattering.
Older and Wiser
I hope everyone appreciates Westword's good work. Not all stories are sex scandals. In the February 12 issue, for example, there also was Steve Jackson's next installment in the sad story of Letty Milstein, "Letty Wins." If it were not for Westword, we would not know about the injustices done by the Denver Probate Court. Thanks for keeping up the heat.
Letty Milstein, you are an inspiration to us all. Go get 'em!
via the Internet
Fascinating story by Alan Prendergast on the Millennium Bug ("Profits of Doom," February 12). But even after reading it, I still can't tell whether I should be worried about my PC come New Year's Eve, 1999--or just pop the cork and start partying.
Your article on the Year 2000 problem was well-written and accurate. Alan Prendergast correctly identified the major risk factors: legacy software, infrastructure hardware and software, embedded chips and vendors.
The focus on enterprise business software addresses only one aspect of this problem and, unfortunately, too many organizations (both public and private) have not considered the full spectrum you've outlined. For example, consider the number of electronic process control systems that exist in a large, automated factory. In many cases, these systems have been running for a long time, and the maxim "Don't fix it if it's not broke" applies. Any documentation may be missing, and the individuals who installed and programmed the systems may no longer be around. How do you find, test and ultimately repair these systems?
Clearly, this problem can be quite complex for large corporations, and experts such as Mr. Zvengintov (quoted in your article as stating the problem is "the focus of a huge and unique racket" and "an exercise for the software novice") only display their profound ignorance by trivializing it.
I would challenge these skeptics to research the growing body of information available on the Internet. Frankly, their posturing as experts is ludicrous and counterproductive, and I believe that this type of misinformation has led a number of executives to procrastinate to the point where they may seriously impact their organizations.
Will some companies reap success from this problem? Certainly, and that ability to apply creative problem-solving to a significant issue such as Y2K should yield rewards. That is the beauty of capitalism.
Don A. Cox
Vice President, Isys Technologies
Alas, the new millennium does not start until January 1, 2001. 2000 is the last year of the twentieth century, not the first year of the twenty-first.
via the Internet
Called to Task
Alan Prendergast's "Reach Out and Gouge Someone," in the February 5 issue, was typically way out in left field. Okay, fine, so inmates have to pay toll charges "among the highest allowed by law." So what? Taxpayers still have to pay for their cost of incarceration, which far exceeds the toll charges. Your article states that they have the choice to call collect or have the monies deducted from their prison accounts, but they also have a choice to write a letter. And more important, they had a choice not to commit the crime that sent them to prison. Life is not always fair, and I refuse to be all broken up about criminals paying extra for phone calls. Their families may be unfairly burdened, but they do not have to accept calls.
So give it a break, will you?
Timothy D. Allport
A lot of us at the Boulder County Jail found the article on prison phone-rate gouging fascinating. As William Burroughs (novelist/corpse) wrote, "People like to read what they already know."
Only when people outside "the system" hear about this gouging will there be a possibility of change. However, the article focused only on the inmates in the Department of Corrections, because they have filed a lawsuit. DOC inmates pay a $1.25 surcharge per call; as insidious as that is, people should be aware that inmates in metro county jails are paying $2.05 per call. We also experience the unexplained hangups, and we can barely hear the person on the other end.
Boulder County Jail
Regarding Patricia Calhoun's "Million Fan March," in the February 5 issue:
The current stadium is too old! Isn't that just too bad? Why is it that schools in Denver that are seventy years old are good enough to house children and teachers for more than 180 days a year while the much newer football facility is not sufficient for grown men to occupy for sixty hours a year?
I wonder if those who advocate the $265 million welfare payments by taxpayers for this shrine to opulence are the same ones who flippantly proclaim that education will not be helped by "throwing money at it."
For the Denver Broncos to ask (no, demand!) that the hardworking people of Colorado pay for their new playground is offensive--or laughable, depending on how you view other obscenities.
Are we to believe that John Elway and the other Broncos, each of whom makes from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars each season (with Elway making over $2 million dollars this year alone), are too poor to pay for their own new stadium? Perhaps Elway is behind on his car payments or barely has enough money to feed his family, much less pay for medical insurance. I'm sure that all the other citizens of Colorado will agree with me that we feel we are paying too little in taxes and have too easy a time making ends meet. Indeed, if John Elway needs help to afford toys for his teammates, the people of Colorado should give him a hand. He needs our help!
The financial difficulties of the Broncos can be highlighted by the fact that they will only net a few tens of millions of dollars this year from merchandise sales! These lackluster profits surely require the citizens of Colorado to give, give, give. Give until it hurts. I'm sure that's what John and Pat would say.
Those supporting a stadium will claim that it will make money for the city. But if it's financially viable, then why can't the Broncos pay for it themselves or get private investments?
via the Internet
Bowlen is one of the most arrogant of the lot. He came to this country to pan for Colorado's gold and exploits the Bronco football fan as a means to improve his profitability. He has claimed that he requires a new stadium to become more competitive with other teams, but Bowlen won the Super Bowl because of unfair competitiveness. The Broncos have been over-competitive for 37 years. The Denver taxpayers and the fans have supported the Broncos by shelling out millions of dollars to purchase items made by children in China.
Bowlen is a three-time bankruptcy specialist. He hasn't a competitive cell in his body. Most immigrants are satisfied to earn a living and a place in the community, to work hard and be respected for their deeds.
Fredrick G. Clutsom
Like the birth of a baby, we have nine months to hear the whining and wailing of Bronco-baby Bowlen and his not-even-veiled threats. Like Monica's hug, let us see over and over again Pat's pronouncement of "This is war...There is no tomorrow!"
Howzabout a rejoinder like: This is our town and our money. There will be no quarter-billion-dollar handout!
So riddle me this, please. Why don't "we" just consider buying the Broncos ourselves? For a pittance of what Pat demands, we can end the every-decade shakedown of the Taxpayer and Sports Fan. We can also receive all the revenues for skyboxes, concessions, parking, TV rights and all the other football plums instead of giving them away to a shakedown artist for whom capitalism ends when it affects him personally. I think this end run on Baby Bowlen would put all the other points in their proper perspective. I also think we could get a good price, because the "new owner" Pat threatens us with will not pay too much for a team that can't move for twenty years. As odd as it is for Pat to understand, a lease is a contract, and contracts are supposed to be honored, even if they don't suit your ego or your pocketbook. Any threatened "new owner" should be reminded of this long before he comes to town. A town he will be forced to stay in and that will give him all the hatred that Bowlen has earned.
Only then should anybody ever consider voting a single sou to support another stadium. That, and only if the stadium is constructed so it can be used for more than just a playpen for spoiled millionaires a dozen times a year. A domed stadium that could host concerts, conventions and many other things besides a single use is the only suggestion that makes sense. A stadium capable of more than just football, and one that isn't regarded as the sole possession of the minority investor.
So only if the stadium and the Broncos are truly "ours" should we consider a public financing for what would otherwise be the private property of Pat. We must not vote even a penny for what would in essence be a taxpayer-extorted trophy for a spoiled billionaire.
Jeffrey H. Miller
Stuart Steers's February 19 article "A Whole New Ballgame," on the proposed tax increase for Pat Bowlen's new stadium, did a good job covering all points of view. I'd like to offer two clarifications about the Independence Institute's position on Bowlen welfare. First, as Steers reports, the Independence Institute will be producing a major issue paper calling for municipal ownership of the Broncos. We continue to believe that private entertainment companies like the Broncos should remain private. But if the taxpayers are going to have to pay for football, then the taxpayers should get to own the team.
As Steers points out, the NFL has a rule against municipal ownership. The problem with this rule is not that it's unconstitutional; the Constitution doesn't say anything of relevance. Rather, the NFL's anti-municipal rule is a restraint of trade that violates the Sherman Antitrust Act. The rule has already been held to be illegal by the Federal Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, in a case involving the New England Patriots.
Pat Bowlen is bluffing when his publicists tell you that an illegal, unenforceable NFL rule can stop the City of Denver from taking over the Broncos--just as he's bluffing when he claims that the Broncos will leave if he doesn't get your tax money. The Broncos have nearly two decades left on an unbreakable "specific performance" lease agreement with the city. That's the agreement they signed in the 1970s, in exchange for the Mile High Stadium upgrade that Denver taxpayers are still paying for.
Research Director, Independence Institute
Clearing the Air
As one of several sources quoted in Scott Yates's "Blowing Smoke," in the February 5 issue, I appreciate Westword's coverage of a legislative issue that rarely has any coverage in the dailies.
However, I made clear to Mr. Yates that the Sierra Club had not taken any position on the proposed "voluntary emissions plan," that we were "neutral" on the plan because we had several technical concerns (including the presumption that this plan would satisfy Best Available Retrofit Technology requirements, the regulatory assurances and the "wires charge") and that the proposed legislation had not even been introduced at the time of our interview. Although the quotes were accurate, the context and implication that the Sierra Club was supporting the plan were not.
If and when the Sierra Club takes an official view on a piece of actual legislation or emissions-reduction plan, we will be happy to say so directly. Until that time, placing our organization in one camp or another only serves to mislead the public.
Bill Myers, Vice Chair, Air Quality Issues
Rocky Mountain Sierra Club
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:
PO Box 5970
Denver, CO 80217
or e-mail (include your full name and hometown) to: email@example.com
Missed a story? The entire editorial contents of Westword, dating back to July 1, 1996, are available online at www.westword.com/archive/index.html
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Westword's biggest stories.