Melanie Asmar toes the standard public health line when she says of bedbugs, "... since they're not known to transmit disease, their biggest downside may be the ick factor."
The article mentions a woman with "oozing welts" all over her body, who couldn't eat or sleep, and transcripts of complainants who have thrown away their children's beds or are sleeping in the car.
The havoc and total disruption these tiny demons wreak go way beyond nuisance or "ick." They are a genuine and frightening public health concern.
Bedbugs, not surprisingly, lay eggs; the eggs are unaffected by bug spray. So one application of bug spray is guaranteed to be ineffective in solving the problem. The exterminator must have known that, and so should the landlord. The fact that they balked at further action is substantial proof they weren't trying.
Editor's note: The online version of this story is crawling with comments; read them at www.westword.com/2011-03-03/news/denver-bedbug-infestation-sixth-worst-in-usa.
"Bank on These," Patricia Calhoun, March 3
I have enjoyed the writing in Westword for many years. The topics that it takes on are always relevant and other news outlets are afraid to tackle them; I have admired that.
With "Bank on These," Patricia Calhoun hit the nail on the head in every way. As a native of Colorado who works at Denver International Airport, I see the so-called souvenirs offered to visitors and I am embarrassed. DIA needs to work with the Colorado tourism board and Always Buy Colorado to open stores on all concourses that sell items truly native to Colorado. In the thirteen years I have worked at DIA, I haven't seen any changes in the offerings of our state. There is the Western clothing and native jewelry — both of which I'm not so sure are native to Colorado — as well as the cheesy Colorado T-shirts and the sports apparel from Colorado teams. Where is our variety?
Denver has some great microbreweries, as well as award-winning wines from the Western Slope. Wouldn't it be great to share that with the tourists who might not have had the chance to experience it while they were visiting? If they were lucky enough to taste it while they were here, who wants to pack it in their luggage and risk it being broken? There have been many times I have traveled when I wished I could take along my favorite microbrews that I brag about to my friends out of state.
For DIA, all of this would mean more revenue. Recently, lack of revenue has halted expansion of DIA. Colorado tourism working with DIA and ABC would be a winning situation for everyone. Finally, decent Colorado representation.
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I feel compelled to point out an issue that I have with John Fielder and his publisher about accepting GOCO funds. Sadly, Westcliffe Publishers and now Big Earth (which acquired Mr. Fielder's company recently) have chosen to use Chinese printers for the vast majority of their projects. Although the GOCO project has not yet gone to press, it is a good bet that once again this project will take money generated in this state and send it to China. With the demise of a number of printers in this state (i.e., Hirschfeld Press and many others), it is even more important that someone at the state level make a mandate that these funds should not go out of the state — not to mention out of the country. We still have an extremely competent printing industry that can handle the needs of this project.
Not to mention the economic impact of keeping such a large print project here.