Bill of Sale
Wow--Alan Prendergast and Stuart Steers did a great job with their special report on about Bill Owens ("This State for Sale," May 13). Who is this guy, anyway? I still regularly confer with staunch Repubs back in Colorado, even though I'm more...uh, er, undecided. I thought moving to California really sucked. But from everything I hear, read or deduce from the research I've done, I'm glad I'm not in the same state that Bill Owens is now taking control of.
Colorado is a beautiful place. The people there have been abused by politicians over the years from every party. Bill Owens is just another aggressor over the state, but he has fewer scruples and dreams of profiting even more than his opposition-party predecessors. It doesn't look good. You haven't even begun to experience the havoc and infringement upon your rights to have a say-so over your communities.
Bill's made it clear: "Line my pockets and feed my political cause, and Colorado is yours."
And I thought we had the worst here in Arizona! Look out, Colorado, a train wreck is dead ahead.
Surely Westword has more interesting things to write about than the fact that Governor Owens is a whore. So what's new?
This year's legislative session proves that what Colorado's right-wing politicians really care about is promoting the use of cars and trucks. In order for oil-company politicians like Bill Owens to get elected, they have to appeal to groups that might not ordinarily vote for them solely on the basis of their highway agenda. To get the gun lovers to vote for them, the conser-vatives talk about concealed weapons. To get the fundamentalist vote, the right-wing politician expounds on abortion. To get the racist vote, the oil-company candidates talk about crime.
When it's time to pass legislation, the conser-vatives show their true colors and pass all kinds of bills to promote the use of cars and trucks.
No Washington Parking
In Justin Berton's May 13 "The Parking Posse," Washington Park resident Liz Hill is quoted as saying, "It used to be a very quiet business block. Now it's a very busy business block."
Although this is true, it's also true that it used to be a dead business block. Now it's a thriving business block. As much as the residents of the South Gaylord area complain about the parking situation in their neighborhood, they are silent on the increased desirability and value of their property that has been generated by the popularity of the local business district. When Falcone's jazz club was on the corner and the street's night life was dead, property values were nothing like they are today. Now that Falcone's is the Wash Park Grille, there are few yuppies in the city who wouldn't give anything to live in the neighborhood.
Granted, the increased bar traffic might cause things to get a bit more rowdy on that block, negatively impacting property value. For now, these people must come to terms with the fact that a parking inconvenience is one of the prices they must pay for the desirable location of their residences. I would say that the payback for that inconvenience would be large, should they choose to sell.
via the Internet
Cars suck. They clog streets, making life miserable for neighborhoods. They pollute our air. Worst of all, they make a major part of our city inert--parking lots and garages, roads and freeways and the crappy, road-oriented architecture that goes with it all. Statistics indicate that we're driving more than ever and probably enjoying it less. A modest solution is to be like Jeff Conn and walk. Particularly if you've been drinking in one of those South Gaylord establishments.
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Your article on parking management in Denver was long overdue. We have had many problems in my neighborhood but have given up trying to get them resolved. We have found the parking-management department personnel to be rude, unprofessional and impossible to contact after business hours.
Hopefully, change will come in four years...
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A Square Deal
I am very concerned about Kenny Be's Worst-Case Scenario in the May 13 issue, "Mayor Webb Travels to Africa to Save Dahlia Square." Before I get offended, I would like to get some understanding as to what point he's trying to make in all the pictures. If your paper is insinuating that black folks will duplicate the KFCs, Old Navys, Boston Chickens, Bed Bath and Beyonds and Men's Warehouses of the world, you are sadly mistaken.
The city let the Dahlia shopping center area go, and now Mayor Wellington Webb sees the need to reconstruct. Actually, it should have been done quite some time ago. I am an African American, and I can see positive contributions Africans and African Americans can make to the community. Our race has always made contributions to this country. Why does white society feel that we as a people have never done anything worthwhile for this nation, when some of the greatest inventions came from African Americans? As much as this nation would like to deny that and not give us credit, it's true. My ancestors, along with my brothas and sistas before me, were and still are great contributors to this country.
Contrary to your belief, you don't have to feel threatened when people of color take advantage of capitalistic opportunities. After all, that's how this country was built.
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Patricia Calhoun: I've been reading your articles of late and must say I enjoy your writing. However, I'm curious about recent articles, including your May 6 "The Ten Commandments," that somewhat lampooned the NRA. My question: Do you do this because the NRA can be an obtuse, callous, paranoid group, or do you disagree with the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms? If you disagree with the Second Amendment, your staunch support of the First in your May 13 "If Books Could Kill" is curious. Very politically correct but, I'd have to say, a bit hypocritical.
Freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and the right to bear arms are all integral parts of what makes America America and what gives Americans a level of freedom enjoyed nowhere else. All of these freedoms carry a price, in that they can be (and often are) abused. The price for each of these freedoms is individual responsibility. I think one needs to be very careful in attacking one of these freedoms, because each is part of a whole. Perhaps we need a few more safeguards and restrictions on the Second Amendment. However, when a restriction is placed on any of these rights (the upcoming possibility of making flag-burning illegal comes to mind), we must be very careful and realize that we are paying a price in freedom for added security.
I hope you don't think I'm some right-wing gun nut, because I assure you I am not. I end this note with a quote from Benjamin Franklin: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
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In his May 13 letter, Lee Whitfield questions why God didn't act during the Columbine shootings. I ask Lee how he knows God wasn't responsible for preventing the 25-pound propane-tank bombs, as well as the rest of the unused heavy firepower, from being used? We live in a society that asks what God has done for us lately instead of counting the many blessings He has given.
Lee Whitfield, with his denigration of "Christian theology," can't have it both ways. A God who interferes with Harris and Klebold's plans to shoot up Columbine would also interfere in your life, telling you how to treat other people, whom to have sex with, etc. A God who creates free moral agents and delegates to them their own limited sphere of sovereignty, then works with and through them, despite all of their flaws and weaknesses, ultimately to bring about His glorious kingdom, is much more powerful in the long run than a God who gets what He wants because He holds all the keys and pulls all the strings.
And, yes, although it may be difficult for the survivors to find comfort in this reality now, Harris and Klebold have already met the great beyond and will be held accountable there.
Timothy P. McMahon
There is one bright side to the school killings. Just think: If the killings would have been done by knives, they would have to pass a law banning all knives. Jesus was killed on a cross--how do we know that all the people wearing crosses are not planning a cross murder? Oh! You think this letter is silly. You are right. Almost as silly as this gun control. What we really have to learn to control is this generation of teenage brats.
Spanning the Ages
Regarding Eric Dexheimer's "The Royal Grudge Bridge," in the April 29 issue:
The more places I ride, the more I see that what people on the road are looking for is exactly what Bill Fehr wants to change. Look at downtown Nashville, where Ernest Tubb's record store is rubbing elbows with the latest Hard Rock Cafe. You see the honest world of "reptile advertising" trying not to be bulldozed by the quick-money blitzkrieg of faux-nostalgia theme-park money machines. The great roadside attractions and their highway signs are a more vital part of our cultural history than mountain bikes and ESPN2 will ever be. If Fehr is successful in extorting control of the bridge from its present proprietors, he will need to look closely at the glorious rebirth of the Burma Shave sign and Route 66 before he starts his "modernization" of the Gorge.
Thanks for a great piece of work.
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