Down Pat
Is it any coincidence that Colorado's two biggest mouths--Schroeder and Calhoun--share the first name of "Patricia"?

I don't think so. Nor is it a coincidence that Calhoun would write a column championing her heroine ("Standing Pat," April 16), when Schroeder has done nothing more heroic than write a revisionist history of her do-nothing career.

To both of these big mouths, I say: Shut up.
Ben Rice
via the Internet

Thanks for the refreshing piece on Pat Schroeder. It wasn't until I read "Standing Pat" that I realized how much I missed her as our representative. It was also a good reminder of how far women have come in Congress, as Calhoun said.

I thank Westword for the story, but more important, I thank Schroeder for what she's done for this city and this country.

Janey Adams

Party Animals
Regarding Ward Harkavy's "Life of the Party," in the April 9 issue:
As personal friends of Bill Owens, my wife, Edie, and I, who are of the Jewish faith, have never in our twenty-year friendship with Bill ever heard him promote any special religious agenda. To attack Bill for his religious beliefs is equivalent to an attack on everyone's personally held religious beliefs.

Over the past years, it has been our pleasure to have Bill and his wife as guests at our Passover dinners and to hear Bill stress the fact that if the world would only follow the Ten Commandments, then mankind would need no other laws.

If elected governor, Bill would bring strong leadership to Colorado based on fairness and equality to all, and to think that we can have such strong leadership without strong character is like saying we can take a shower without getting wet.

Mort Marks

I fear the potential Owens gubernatorial candidacy.
I cannot believe that anyone can be so naive as to think that Christians elected to office can forgo their fervor to convert all of us and mold the lawmaking process to their own ends.

And if you think they can disassociate their religion from their politics, then all you have to do is try to stomach about five hours of monitoring the many, many Christian broadcasting outlets, get on a couple of Christian mailing lists and attend a couple of fundamentalist Christian church services. You will end up with the same fear and distrust of the Christian political agenda that I have.

Having done this kind of research myself, I can quote the following: "If Christians unite, we can do anything...we can pass any law or any amendment. And that's exactly what we intend to do." That's Robert Grant, leader of Christian Voice.

Also, from Pat Robertson, founder of the 700 Club: "Unless Christians desire a nation and a world reordered to the humanistic/hedonistic model, it is absolutely vital that we take control of the U.S. government."

This is a tiny sample of the attitudes of powerful Christian leaders, and I don't know about you, but I now regard any candidate of the Christian persuasion as a "stealth" candidate until proven otherwise. If we don't watch it, they'll try to outlaw Judaism, beer, Shinto, condoms, Islam, crystals, Buddhism, hypnotism, Hinduism, unbuttoned collars and just about any other little old thing they happen to interpret as against God's law.

Perhaps, perhaps, even journalism.
As Pastor Martin Niemsller said of the Nazis: "In Germany, they first came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Catholic. Then they came for me--and by that time, there was nobody left to speak up."

Well, pardon my paranoia, but I'd rather object now, when it might do some good, rather than later, when it won't.

Dick Valentine

Postal Marks
Regarding Eric Dexheimer's "Go Postal, Go for the Green," in the April 2 issue:

Sadly, once again the "average" postal worker is made to look like a lazy, money-grubbing opportunist. What fails to get mentioned in any news article that I have read on the subject is that the Denver General Mail Facility is supposed to be a secured facility! Could it be that postal management is willing to take a big (pardon the expression) "hit" on workers' compensation claims in lieu of a high-profile and astronomically costly class-action lawsuit? From what I have seen in my ten years as a postal employee, the only way to effect change is to cut into management's wallet or to expose its blunders through the local media.

Most of the people I know who work for the Postal Service are decent, hardworking folks who just want to come home at the end of the day knowing they've done a satisfying job. That's hard to do when the pervasive managerial attitude is "What are you trying to get away with now, you lazy...?" It's insulting, degrading and a form of self-fulfilling prophecy. Postal management, with very few exceptions, doesn't seem to understand that management by intimidation is ineffectual at best and, at worst, potentially deadly. My father was a major in the Marine Corps. He believed that if he treated his nine children with respect for their intelligence, that respect would be returned in kind. Believe me, it was. Maybe the Postal Service would do well to live by my dad's axiom.

B.A. Manion
via the Internet

I quit the Postal Service after fourteen years of working as a letter carrier, and I agree with what Andy Crowbridge wrote in the April 9 issue in response to Eric Dexheimer's article. A lot of the people who are skeptical of postal workers' comp claims and their accounts of being harassed would change their minds if they could see just how that job operates for a little while. No union, contract or employee program has any teeth when managers are trained to abuse, insult and cause hardship in any way possible to the craft.

For the uninitiated, some of it would be hard to believe. The last supervisor I had would try to bait people into confrontation. Out of nowhere, he would yell, "Keep it down--I said, 'No talking!'" Only problem was, no one was saying a word. This same waste of life routinely insulted my Polish heritage by making quips within earshot of me. When I finally could take no more, I gave him his wish and got into it with him, at which time he walked right up to me, told me to leave the floor, and said that if I didn't, he'd call the cops. Now, I was always an excellent worker; that had no bearing on this at all. Their whole problem with me was that I wouldn't kneel for them, rat for them or remain quiet when they were flagrantly violating the contract.

I only wish that the media and the people who have the power to expose this beast would be quicker in catching on. No one should ever be treated like that while trying to make an honest living.

John Daly
via the Internet

Course Correction
Tony Perez-Giese's "Par for the Course," in the April 9 issue, did not specify how much, if any, additional cost would be incurred by the Air Force to construct a cap sufficiently impermeable to withstand aggressive watering and seven or eight wee holes. Is it the difference between the $4 million and $14 million (or whatever) price tag? Meanwhile, we have kids riding bicycles and horses through fields of unexploded ordnance at the old Lowry bombing range because the federal government says it can't come up with the money to eliminate those threats. Odd priorities.

Vicky Peters
via the Internet

It will be a successful environmental cleanup that will make the redevelopment of Lowry Air Force Base a qualified success. Many thanks to Tony Perez-Giese for continuing to cover this story. Protecting new homeowners and other property owners on this old airfield from any liability should be the main focus of the Lowry Redevelopment Authority, not finding ways to brush off real contaminant remediation. Engaging the help of a group of seniors at Windsor Gardens to support their idea of "protecting" the public health with an irrigated cap on a landfill (the contents of which will never be fully characterized) is truly sad.

Was the LRA so shortsighted as to forget that the southern border of this retirement community is the Highline Canal? No snakes, rats or other wildlife there? Squirrels? Go out there any day and watch the seniors fatten those vermin up! Wildlife habitat--and we don't mean "boutique wetlands"--was always supposed to be a part of the Lowry land-use plan, yet one member of the Lowry Restoration Advisory Board has already reported that the hawks are gone. Fox and coyote are seen less and less frequently. What else has the LRA done to run off another group they don't want at their party?

Anne W. Callison
via the Internet

Dog Gone!
Regarding Kenny Be's Worst-Case Scenario, "The Problem With Prairie Dogs," in the April 2 issue:

Human arrogance in Colorado driven by greed once again kills thousands of our fellow travelers--no matter what the cost. Last month, 1,700 prairie dogs--moms, dads and their children--were hideously poisoned to death in their burrows in Lafayette. It mattered not a wit to the developer who gained untold financial benefit so he could live in a trophy home with his kids safe from death and destruction. It meant nothing to the city council that those creatures were part of the far greater plan of life in Colorado for raptors, coyotes, birds, bugs, etc., who depend on the balance of nature.

It's abhorrent that human numbers explode daily while all other creatures must dwindle in their numbers to make way for our consumption and pollution. With 90,000 acres of ground plowed under construction in Colorado each year, we humans gobble and destroy every creature in our path in this state. If it's in our way, we kill it.

What needs to be done? Simple. We need to stabilize the U.S. population by stopping immigration of a million per year and adopt a national population policy of two children or less per family. Otherwise, we'll keep killing all creatures who get in the way of our bulldozers, and in the end, we'll start killing ourselves in wars for resources.

Frosty Woolridge

If you are not outraged by what happens to prairie dogs, you are not paying attention. Besides playing a very important part in the prairie eco-system, the prairie dog is a keystone species, meaning that 150-plus animals depend on it. Since prairie dogs are at the bottom of the food chain, they have many predators, and many youngsters fall prey before they even mature. After other animals who hunt prairie dogs, we humans take the highest toll by shooting, bulldozing or poisoning them. It's not easy to be a prairie dog.

But even if the prairie dog's numbers were not dwindling so rapidly, I still would defend this little rodent. Like all animals, prairie dogs feels pain and are capable of suffering. We need to learn how to co-exist with wildlife and give them a fair chance to survive. Maybe someday we will not hold the upper hand--then who will feel sorry for us?

Nicole Huntley

Prairie dogs have a divine right to life.
Linda Stonder

Thin Spinned
Regarding Scott C. Yates's "Spin Cycle," in the April 16 issue:
I applaud your coverage of Amendment 15. Yates is correct when he states that this important case has been all but ignored by the media. However, his story contains a factual error. The Colorado Senate Republican Election Committee that Yates alludes to as funneling money is not a fund of the Colorado Republican Party. The Colorado Republican Party has no control over this fund, nor does the party raise any money for the fund. A quick check at the Secretary of State's office, as Yates correctly suggests Mr. Durham should have made, would have shown the error he made.

Christopher Baker, Executive Director
Colorado Republican Party

On the whole, we found Yates's article an accurate and in-depth account of the Amendment 15 proceedings. But the following items need correcting:

1) The article suggests that Bob Hill is "being paid by Colorado Common Cause and the League of Women Voters." It is important to note that Hill is representing Colorado Common Cause and the League of Women Voters of Colorado and is offering his services on a pro bono basis.

2) The story notes that "PACs, for instance, can receive only $500 from any one individual donor." In fact, PACs (political action committees) may accept no more than $250 from any one person per House of Representatives election cycle.

3) I am quoted as saying, "What this means is that the tobacco companies were essentially laundering money through people such as Durham and through PACs." I believe that I actually said: "Tobacco companies were essentially laundering money through individuals and through PACs." I did not mention, nor infer, that Durham participated in this practice.

Jon Goldin-Dubois, Executive Director
Colorado Common Cause

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