Wonderful column by Patricia Calhoun on the legacy of Gary Hart's Monkey Business ("Ship of State," March 26). It's hard to believe that this country has gotten even more cynical than it was a decade ago, but reading through all those hopeful letters to Hart, I realize it's true.
We Americans have lost a lot in the last ten years--our optimism most of all.
I would like to remind Mr. Hart that two wrongs do not make a right. What Clinton is doing is wrong, and what Hart did was wrong.
The people were right to feel let down by him.
Return to Sender
In response to Eric Dexheimer's "Go Postal, Go for the Green," in the April 2 issue, I am greatly saddened to say that I can relate to it all too much. I am a postal employee of seven years and know only too well of the stress and aggravation postal employees endure.
In my opinion, the U.S. Postal Service is once again on top, leaving its employees to deal with the rats in the sewer. I realize that I have a good-paying job and do not take it for granted, but I'm starting to wonder if the pay is really good in relation to the stress employees deal with every day. This has long been a problem among employees and will continue to be as long as the Postal Service is in operation.
Thank you for the article. I feel as though someone understands us "going postal."
Name withheld on request
I found your article about the postal hostage situation insulting. The primary issue should have been the health of the people involved, not the failings and inadequacies of the Office of Workers' Compensation system, although it has a good many. Many claims of legitimately injured people are denied at the local level. I am sure the only reason the claims of the hostages were approved quickly was because it was such a high-profile case. I prefer to let a neutral party, the Department of Labor, decide whose case has merit, especially since it can demand repayment in cases where injuries cannot be substantiated. If I were you, I would focus my attention on two subjects: red tape at the labor department and the root cause of the hostage crisis, which I believe is postal stress. There is one rule of thumb that I have learned about postal management in my decade-plus with the U.S. Postal Service, which is that they believe in numbers only and they push people until they reach for guns.
Martin J. Spielman Jr.
I found Eric Dexheimer's article interesting. Another way that "Go for the Green" could be looked at: The Postal Service deserves to pay for those claims because it created the situation. If postal managers were held as accountable for their wrongdoings as the workers, they would not have the problem of paying comp claims. Even the citizens of this country are held accountable for their wrongdoings.
I know that in the media it is fashionable to blast away at people on comp. But the fact remains that some people cannot get back on the horse. Dexheimer mentions the shooting in Arkansas. Does he really believe that no one in Arkansas has or will have problems because of what happened? I do not necessarily agree that some of the people in Denver are taking advantage of the situation--maybe they looked at it as an opportunity to be free of a mean, vindictive and oppressive workplace.
I have worked for the postal service 32.5 years and have been an advocate for the oppressed postal/federal employee for most of those years. Believe me when I tell you that for outsiders, it is unbelievable what goes on in the various agencies. No, leaving and finding another job is not an option; bringing accountability is the only option. There is no way for you or any other outsider to comprehend what it is like unless you live it. I wish there were some way to have judges, reporters, congressmen, senators and critics, etc., go into the workplace as an employee and work under the conditions that we do. Then write the article, pass the law or judge the case.
I know there would be different outcomes.
Bonds on the Run
T.R. Witcher's "Bondage & Domination," in the April 2 issue, was an embarrassment to honest, reputable and adult bail-bonding agents--which most of us are. Remember the adages "consider the source" and "you get what you pay for."
I will continue to avoid these factions; they are hurting our industry.
Rants in His Pants
Regarding Michael Roberts's "Double Trouble," in the March 26 issue.
Probably nothing I say would convince Westword or Jay Marvin that he's a mediocre bottom feeder. If he's a credit to mental health, then Patty Calhoun's a humorist. Boring.
Jay Marvin is a destructive radio puke. A monster. He hurts people. That's his shtick. Hurting and battering. On the street, he'd be arrested for harassment. In the towers at Jacor, he's protected by the evil empire. In person, he's a scared child violently out of control. One day he'll screw up and see the inside of prison walls or a mental institution. That you encourage his mania and hatred is frightening.
He lost me a long time ago, and so did you.
Great article about Marvin. I'm glad to see that there is a medium in town that recognizes genius in action. It takes a man like Jay to show this city how to be itself. It's okay to have struggles within yourself, and it's okay to make mistakes--just keep trying and be yourself. Do what's right! I look forward to my daily dose of Jay; my day wouldn't be complete without him. Thanks, Jay, for teaching me how to be myself again and again.
P.S.: Long live the Nation of Marvin!
I believe Michael Roberts omitted a very important fact. I listen to talk radio for the different viewpoints expressed by the hosts and the callers. However, on Jay Marvin's show, you receive neither.
The callers are disconnected and harangued for having differing views from Marvin. His sophomoric diatribes speckled with profane descriptions of individuals he disagrees with are childish at best, libelous at worst.
While abhorrent behavior is abominable, Roberts omitted the definitive fact that Marvin is boring.
The only thing more amusing than the current fight over Glendale's strip bars is listening to Marvin talk about it. Excellent piece.
Religious right: usually wrong.
Most have read the stories about the big battle in Glendale over the topless bars. The Glendale City Council versus the Strippers makes for great press but is not the whole story. As a matter of fact, it is the citizens of Glendale, the small businesses and the homeowners' associations that are fuming mad over a hypocritical city council that is unresponsive to city needs.
But let's enter the Radical Religious Right (RRR) into this mess. Westword reports that the National Family League Foundation (NFLF) is really behind the brouhaha in the bars. The NFLF has such notable connections as Charles Keating, who was jailed for S&L fraud, and former U.S. attorney general Edwin Meese, who was forced to resign from office because of his role in the Iran-Contra scandal.
The border issues, tax-revenue issues and other problems in Glendale will probably get drowned out in a sea of alleged "morality." Moral mayor Joe Rice says he is going to stop prostitution in Glendale's bars. The Glendale police chief says that they have never had an arrest for prostitution. The mayor wastes taxpayer dollars to "cure" problems that don't exist.
The RRR has two agendas: hate and hypocrisy. The NFLF has a hate agenda against gays, pro-choice abortion people and bars. The Moral Majority is neither moral nor a majority. They have no "family values."
A Matter of Course
A high five to Bill Gallo for his piece on Casey Martin ("The Golf War," March 19). There is nothing quite so amusing as observing the stuffed shirts of golf--lubricated by martinis served at their country clubs--defending the "traditions" of the game, among them walking the course.
Walking is as much of a performance factor in professional golf as spitting is in baseball. It is a factor in golf for us common duffers, but the robust men of steel on the PGA Tour do not carry their own clubs and have many opportunities to rest between shots. Walking is an inconsequential element of the physical skill of golf, more contemplative ritual than actual exercise. The mandatory use of helmets has not changed the nature of hockey. Nor has the fact that few players wear the traditional all-white apparel in tennis tarnished that game's name. Letting one man use a cart on the Nike Tour will not alter the competitive balance in pro golf.
While I might agree with those who believe that the Americans With Disabilities Act was not the proper club for Casey Martin to use, few can doubt that he was forced to do so. The moguls of golf should have had the decency and common sense to grant Martin an exemption in the first place. The PGA has allowed exemptions for many other reasons, and the game somehow survived. Martin, an essentially shy and peaceful man, was forced to go public.
Gallo is quite right in pointing out what a tired, backward-thinking, patronizing and paranoid bunch the PGA is.
This Is Private
Regarding Patricia Calhoun's "Private Eyeful," in the March 12 issue:
As with a mad bull, deep in ravine
And food he sees; never stand between
A Republican and his money
Or a Democrat and his honey!
Having read Patricia Calhoun's "Private Eyeful," I felt several comments concerning the Professional Private Investigators Association of Colorado (PPIAC) needed to be addressed. As chairman of the board of directors of the PPIAC, I would like to clarify certain statements about our organization. The PPIAC was formed twenty years ago following the Colorado Supreme Court's declaration that the private investigators' licensing law was invalid. Colorado has not had PI licensing or regulation since. The PPIAC is a voluntary association and the only one representing investigators in Colorado.
We focus on training and education of investigators while providing a framework for ethical conduct. We have educational speakers at our monthly meetings while holding annual training conferences that are attended by investigators from other states as well as from Colorado.
We do not "take virtually anybody...to swell the ranks" (as Pete Peterson said). Our voluntary organization's members now number about one hundred. In the eight years that I have been a part of this association, membership has grown by only five or six members a year. We definitely are not swelling the ranks. We do not accept every applicant, nor do we grant continuous membership unless a person maintains certain standards. We have a written code of ethics, which includes a section that states: "We will strive to strengthen the membership of the PPIAC by selecting and approving for membership only those individuals qualified personally and professionally, and whose business operations are conducted in an honest and legitimate manner."
An investigator is not admitted until after a background check is conducted on him or her. This includes checking references, former employers and criminal records. Education and membership in other professional organizations are also verified. Even when accepted, a person is only granted associate member status until they have had at least three years of investigative experience.
It is true that several PPIAC members did testify against the last PI licensing bill. This was because the bill included a section that would allow PIs to carry a concealed weapon, a notion that most in the PPIAC oppose. Actually, we're proponents of the licensing of private investigators. In that survey last fall, 72 percent of the respondents were in favor of licensing. We have established a licensing committee that is in the process of gathering appropriate information for the drafting of such a bill, which we feel will be to the benefit of the Colorado public.
When any convicted felon, upon release from prison, can have business cards printed declaring that person to be a private investigator, you can realize the need for a good PI licensing law.
For Pete's sake! Calhoun spends a whole article maligning R.W. "Pete" Peterson's character and credibility, then prints unsubstantiated information with Peterson as her only source. I never hired Peterson to do anything for me or my campaign. Her column is usually better than that.
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.