A Big Zero
Regarding Michael Roberts's "Double Trouble," in the March 26 issue:
One would have to be a masochist to call the Jay Marvin radio talk show, particularly if one doesn't agree with the so-called leftist's rantings and ravings. The man can't have a reasonable conversation with anyone with a differing point of view. Rather, he habitually insults, offends, screams at and usually hangs up on people who have opposing opinions--even those who are thoughtful and sensible.
I am sorry Marvin is so popular with listeners--even winning a broadcasting award--for his occasionally juvenile, frequently gutter-level, often illogical and always high-decibel manner of running his program. Unfortunately, this (along with lowest-common-denominator TV talk shows like Jerry Springer and Sally Jessy Raphael) is what passes as entertainment these days. I listened just long enough to Marvin to figure out what he was really up to, but I don't tune in any longer. I wish all Coloradans would demand better and kick this guy's (considerable) can out of this state.
I did find one thing in your overly sympathetic portrayal of Jay Marvin with which I agree: There are "people who might agree with him if he lowered his voice." I am one of those people. I share his left-of-center politics but have little respect for a man who, when challenged, merely screams and hangs up on people.
Simply put, Jay Marvin is a bully. That he gives lip service to progressive causes does not remedy the fact that he is a mean s.o.b. He is absolutely unwilling to debate, and he bristles with thin-skinned responses to those who question him. I would much rather hear him skewer the bigots and others he claims to oppose with incisive wit, hard facts and intellectual repartee.
I also fail to comprehend any devotee of the politics of compassion who dishes out unsavory insults toward the elderly ("senile old farts") or the overweight ("fat cows"). Rabbi Foster was right.
A Boy's Life
I am appalled at the lack of Shaun Kaufman's resourcefulness in defending Jacob Ind as indicated in Alan Prendergast's article, "The Killer and Mrs. Johnson," in the March 19 issue. Surely Kaufman knew it would be nearly impossible to convince a jury of a self-defense plea for young Jacob when Jacob had planned for several weeks to murder his parents. Why didn't Kaufman use an insanity plea? Facts to support such a plea could have included:
1. Jacob was suicidal. He stated that if he didn't kill them, then he would die by his own hands.
2. Jacob had difficulty in deciphering right from wrong--evidenced by the fact that he believes that killing his parents was the right thing to do.
3. Shortly before the murders, Jacob exhibited irrational behavior when he threatened another kid with a pair of scissors.
4. School counselors and teachers were aware of severe problems at home and noticed his deteriorating demeanor. The counselor had arranged a meeting for Jacob with a mental-health specialist.
5. Jacob told the school counselor that he wanted to harm his parents.
Why wasn't Jacob given a psychological evaluation immediately after the murders rather than months later? Jacob suffered fifteen years of abuse from his parents, and his so-called defense attorneys failed to see beyond their own predetermined opinion of Jacob's tragedy. Kaufman denies any lack of diligence and is only remorseful about the outcome of the case. Give me a break! That's nothing compared to how Jacob must feel--especially since they wouldn't allow him to testify on his own behalf. What a travesty!
Nancy A. Doty
They Auto Know Better
Regarding Stuart Steers's "Plans, Trains and Automobiles," in the March 19 issue:
The City and County of Denver once again will prove to be complacent in its civic duties. The dereliction of a building such as the old streetcar power plant may in fact be the responsibility of the Forney family. However, in our world of greedy retail-swamping developers, the city will bend over backward giving tax incentives to business endeavors less likely to attract "genuine class" to our fair city. How 'bout we build another few million square feet of starving retail space? That should go well with the inadequacy of parking! Capital idea!
The roof of the Forney Museum nearly fell in with the deteriorating material. That is neither the city's fault nor its responsibility. The preservation of such an endeavor as the transportation museum seems to be a much more worthwhile and urgent prospect than replacing a stadium that has no roof at all, though. Football history can, and most likely will, repeat itself. The Bigboy locomotive that sent black smoke into the skies, providing heavy transport to develop our region, will be left for dead without appreciation. The old steamer never did bitch about getting parking proceeds. Maybe if she had, some dickhead in city hall could have figured out a way to nail on an out-of-code roof similar to the one they put on my house just prior to my buying it!
I can only sleep well knowing that my hard-earned tax dollars are in good hands. I will always feel better stopped at the train crossing waiting for the last car to pass than I will jammed up on I-25 for some asshole blocking the highway en route to the Pat Bowlen follies.
Harry M. Grinton
via the Internet
A Funny Bone to Pick
Regarding Bill Gallo's "Terrible Teens" movie review, in the March 26 issue:
I just read the review on Wild Things, and I'm sorry to say, your reviewer Bill Gallo is in desperate need of a humor transplant.
Not only did he show an extreme lack of humor going into the movie, but he did his best, by spoiling the plot, to ensure that others would miss out on the fun.
Wild Things was--intentionally--anything but a serious noir film. It was part comedy, part spoof, part Hard Copy spinoff and very over the top. It worked well for what it was.
And it was a hell of a fun time.
The fact that Mr. Gallo did not pick up on this fact is indicative of something that I have noticed creeping into your reviews: The reviewer has an agenda going in and tries to pigeonhole movies into preset categories rather than reviewing them on their own merits. This is like criticizing Titanic for being "too depressing" or Star Wars for having "lack of character development."
Have him lighten up! And if Mr. Gallo insists on using his "preset" snobbishness, I suggest he be put exclusively on Taste of Cherry detail.
Regarding the March 19 Off Limits:
A brief note to commend you for your articles about the problems at the Denver Botanic Gardens. Since there is often no other coverage about that subject in the daily papers, it is good to have you on the job.
Keep up the good work, and continue to shine your spotlight on these unfortunate practices.
Smells Like Team Spirit
Regarding Patricia Calhoun's "Backfield in Motion," in the March 5 issue:
State senator Elsie Lacy, on the floor of the Senate, told lobbyists to "get out of the faces" of Joint Budget Committee members. Yet Senator Lacy pushed the bill to give the Denver Broncos $266 million of Colorado taxpayer money. There is something very wrong with this picture. Senator Lacy, how are the Denver Broncos different from all the other lobbyists? Why is Pat Bowlen's corporate welfare better than anyone else's?
Mayor Wellington Webb has proclaimed that access to Denver tax dollars should be based on merit. I believe that our lawmakers and elected officials, at the Colorado White House, have unanimously accepted the Bowlen Principle as the unmeritorious means of access to our tax dollars.
The Bowlen Principle should solve all the money problems for our police departments, fire departments, school districts and teachers' salaries. We should be able to improve our highways and roads throughout the state, too.
The Bowlen Principle works like this: If you or your agency or department becomes short of funds, then just lie, threaten, coerce and demand your assured profitability and ability to be competitive. Simple, isn't it? The top honors will always go to threatening to move. It's a sure thing! Second-highest honors go to threatening to sell out to some unknown potential buyer or benefactor.
The Bowlen Principle should be taught in every public school in the state. Call it Bowlen Principle 101. It will be handy when soliciting bribes from all the soft-drink companies for those extra items like school books, writing materials, sports arenas and facility maintenance.
The state of Colorado will go down in history as the state that discovered the Bowlen Principle.
Fredrick G. Clutsom
Paint the Town
Regarding T.R. Witcher's "Crime Spray," in the February 12 issue:
We need laws that will protect the law-abiding citizens and judges who are willing to enforce them! Why should it be the responsibility of the property owner, who keeps up his property and pays taxes, to have to pay for painting his property repeatedly because of graffiti vandalism? The vandals who do the damage should pay for the repair. If the courts authorize collecting two or three times the value for a bad check, graffiti vandals should have to pay the same! If they do not have the money, they should have to work it out by repairing their damage and doing other community service at not more than minimum wage.
Many times I have been told not to bother reporting graffiti, as there is nothing that will be done! This is very, very wrong. What kind of a message does this give the youngsters?
As can be seen from the recent incident with Mike Quintana at the Sloan Lake gym, the property owners are at the end of their rope. "The last straw" has been reached. If this destruction continues, someone is going to get shot! Then whose fault will that be? The property owner who is protecting his property, has had all he can take and cannot get any help from the law? I do not think so. It is the fault of judges who refuse to enforce any kind of reasonable restitution for the victim and/or the legislature that has not passed adequate laws to deal with this problem. It is long past time to hold the judges and city officials responsible for doing their job and protecting law-abiding citizens.
I say hurray for Mike Quintana! He should be proclaimed a hero. He has shown city officials that John Q. Public has had all he can take! Now it is up to them to either make some major changes or be willing to accept the blame for what happens.
Name withheld on request
Thank you for printing the letter from Mark Naber in the March 5 issue, mourning the demise of KBCO-FM. I, too, still cannot believe how far they've fallen and how little anyone seems to care. Moving here from Connecticut six years ago, I recall being knocked out by how exciting their playlist was and how much information their disc jockeys shared with their audience.
Many thanks to Westword for its musical reporting and for filling some of the void. Recent work by Michael Roberts and Lisa Traxler (the Pat DiNizio profile, "Not Standing Pat," February 12) was very much appreciated.
One thing I can say about KBCO: At least I enjoyed to the fullest the 1992-1993 era when they shined, because I knew how special it was. New England radio died many years before Denver's did; I knew a good thing when I had it.
T.E. Shahwazarian Jr.
I am writing about the March 5 Artsbeat column, which references the Denver County Cultural Council.
The writer implies that the non-discrimination policy requested of all grant applicants for the Denver SCFD Tier III funds means that all organizations have to "constitute" a membership that includes people of all ages, races, sexes, colors, creeds, religions, national origins, sexual orientations and disabilities. This is, of course, not the case.
The DCCC, guided by its governing ordinance from the Denver City Council to institute procedures that "shall expressly prohibit any and all discrimination on the basis of age, race, sex, color, creed, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or disability," has instead insisted only that all organizations that request public monies through the SCFD process institute a written non-discrimination policy that includes all of the groups mentioned and that they do not discriminate against any of these groups in their own activities and policies.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
John B. Woodward III
Chairman, Denver County Cultural Council
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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