Dying to Believe

Letters to the Editor

The doctor is in: I'd like to comment on Eileen Welsome's October 12 article about the First Born Church, "Born to Die."

There's a joke that goes like this: A city is being flooded, so a man climbs a tree and starts praying to God. Another man passes him in a boat, offering a ride to a safe place, but the man refuses. Fifteen minutes later the same thing happens -- there's a family in the passing boat offering help. That's repeated several times before the man drowns. After his death, he meets God and asks him why He didn't save him: "I prayed to you and believed in you, and you still didn't help me," the man says. To which God replies: "Well, how many boats could I possibly send you?"

The same thing happens with those people who absolutely refuse to seek medical help. Instead, they sit around and pray and wait for a miracle, when their miracle lies in a visit to a doctor.

Alissa Seversky

School Daze

Assault on common sense: Julie Jargon's "Telling Tales Out of School," in the October 19 issue, both perplexed and angered me. Now, I know that special-needs children will have a hard time dealing with their sexuality, but I am deeply saddened at something that I think we should all look at as a simple fact: There was one sexual assault on a school bus and another in a school hallway. Where are people safe?

Looking deeper, I can't say we need a fascist type of security system in schools that always monitors students, but, frankly, the behavior of the bus driver is unacceptable. The fact that these individuals are retarded breaks my heart, because these assaults are bound to confuse them even more. The fact that the boy in question had spent time in strip clubs and whatnot doesn't excuse this behavior, just because he had seen women "bought" before. The final person at fault on my list is the principal, who dodged the meetings and threatened suspension. What kind of way to handle this situation was that? Yes, it makes us all squirm in our seats, but if we ignore it, it will happen again. I just hope this poor individual can heal from this. It is inhumane, and with her disability, what if she somehow thinks it's her fault? Because it isn't! I trust her mother has the nurturing ability to help her heal from this.

I haven't read anything that made me this angry for a while. Let's monitor the public school system with even more of a "watchdog" attitude than before, because impressions are made in seconds. Under no circumstances should there be any red tape involved after an assault. I am appalled at all of the parties -- except, of course, the victim and her mother. We hate to see confirmation that our judicial and executive branches and politicians in general are going to hell in a handbasket, and then something like this happens. It requires that every one of us point a finger somewhere. Let's turn up the heat on tolerance of assault before we find one of our loved ones left in the cold.

Jon Weirman

No Justice

Body of evidence: After reading Juliet Wittman's "Justice, Boulder Style," in the October 19 issue, this is maybe a long shot. But has anyone, perhaps Steve Thomas, wondered if Mindhunter, by John Douglas, was taken in as evidence in this crime? I have read the book, and while I tried so hard not to read into it and the investigation, it was really hard not to find some parallels. Check it out -- I think you'll see what I mean, especially the "listen carefully" part; there is mention of it in a crime discussed in the book. One of the Ramseys was reading this book when JonBenét was murdered.

L. Mulaly
via the Internet

Fluff and nonsense: Juliet Wittman's "Justice, Boulder Style," about ex-detective Steve Thomas, misrepresented facts surrounding the Ramsey case, including the truth of what took place between me and Vassar professor Donald Foster. I was really not surprised: Thomas had played that game of twisting facts when he wrote his book. It seems this female reporter was doing a fluff-and-puff piece on Steve and forgot that reporters are supposed to look just a bit beyond. She missed a good story; what she wrote was pathetic in comparison to what she could have done.

Sadly, I was not surprised to find that, once again, a reporter didn't make any effort to contact me and find out that Thomas had misrepresented the "Foster file," didn't ask if Foster had just incorrectly thought I was John Andrew. It was much more than that, much more. She didn't say why Don Foster's "evidence" was not accepted, or why he never was, and never could be, the solution to this mystery.

I would caution readers that when a reporter is engaged in stroking a person to get an interview to fill up space in a paper, a lot of what the reader gets may be totally unrelated to the truth.

Susan Bennett, aka Jameson
Hickory, NC

Follow the leader: I attended the DA debate at CU law school and was disappointed that the panel members did not ask hard questions of Ms. Keenan, even though such questions were submitted to them well in advance of the debate.

Key questions still left unanswered pertain directly to Keenan's claims that, if she is elected, she will bring teamwork and leadership to the position and to the community. Keenan's lack of both skills -- teamwork and leadership -- is obvious in the Lee rape case. Keenan is the senior DA on this case, which involved the 21-year-old woman who was abducted, assaulted and raped by six Asian males. This case provided Ms. Keenan with an opportunity to show the community what we could expect from her if she was elected. DNA evidence was crucial to determine whether certain hair matched that of a particular Asian male; at a third hearing, the DNA evidence was thrown out because Ms. Keenan failed to provide the DNA evidence in a timely manner.

I have often heard people say that they will vote for her because she is a woman. Ms. Keenan herself touts this in everything she says. But the issue before the voters is not whether we choose a female of a male, or even a Democrat or Republican. The issue is who will make the changes necessary to overcome the DA's tarnished reputation from the Ramsey case.

Kathy Garcia
via the Internet

Come Clean!

Art bleat: Upon returning to my hometown from the Bay area, I have been disappointed to find that the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post seem to have lost their copy editors and Michael Paglia still writes the gossip column for Westword. I guess it must be tough to fill a whole page when reviewing an art show in a unique space like the Singer Gallery ("Holy Daze," October 5) that features about fifty pieces and some of our most interesting local talent. (I'm talking about the work here, not personal, dirty laundry.)

After all, does Denver really read the art review just to find out who's invited to Paglia's Christmas party?

Pamela Webb

The naked truth: Thanks to Michael Paglia for "Real to Real," his insightful October 12 review of the John DeAndrea show at Ron Judish Fine Arts. On opening night, even when the rooms were packed, I was captivated by DeAndrea's work. It is nothing short of magnetic. A week later, I went by with friends in the evening when the gallery was closed. As Paglia says, this is a moving experience. In the still of the night, the human forms in repose become deeply spiritual.

On that evening outside the closed gallery, a group of couples walked by on their way to a sports event. One of the women commented on the "naked ladies in that place." They all stopped to watch and wait, hoping to see a human model move or blink an eye. To their disappointment, we at last told them that they were looking at sculpture. DeAndrea's sculpture might have made more sense to this group if they had seen it on display in a museum. This is not the kind of art people buy for the living room. But while Judish might earn a better living as a purveyor of poster art, he stands by the extremely talented sculptors and painters he represents, regardless of how well their work sells to the public.

There is no question that the culture in this town centers on sports. People feel an emptiness in their lives, and they look to major-league games for a sense of purpose and personal fulfillment. But we can't always expect to sit back and be entertained. In order to evolve the culture, we have to exercise our higher intellect. DeAndrea and Judish and Paglia can lead us to fine art, but it's up to the rest of us who have chosen safer paths to educate ourselves about art, make it part of our lives, go to the gallery and museum shows, discuss what we've seen with our friends, buy what inspires us, raise the level of awareness, make art a part of the collective consciousness.

In recent years, the glimmer of hope has been that people turned out in droves for the Impressionism, Toulouse-Lautrec and Matisse shows at the Denver Art Museum. But there's more to it than getting out to see the work of pre-approved masters so we can check off an item on the To Do list that qualifies us as thinking members of society. Ron Judish and the owners of the other fine-art galleries in town believe in the contemporary artists they represent, as we all should. These are the important artists of our time, and we should feel ashamed for giving them such a small share of our energy and our support.

Shelley Ewing

A Rose by Any Other Name

You grow, boys: Thanks so much to Robin Chotzinoff for her September 28 "Better Boys," in which she recognized the gardeners who tend the Happiness Garden in Wheat Ridge. Many of them have been, and are, pillars of Wheat Ridge United Methodist Church. I have been a member of the church for ten years, and it has been inspirational to be associated with Don Neithercut and Elwyn Kiplinger, whom you quote in the article. I would point out, however, that the picture on the left on page fourteen misidentifies Elwyn as being Jim Telia. I am pretty certain that it is Elwyn in that picture, as well as on the cover.

Howard Y. Butler
Wheat Ridge

Robin Chotzinoff responds: Having studied the photographs, we, too, are pretty certain that Elwyn Kiplinger was wrongly identified as Jim Telia; our apologies. There's no mistaking the dedication and talents of the Wheat Ridge gardeners, however. In fact, dentist Joe Scherber's pumpkin -- also shown in the story -- recently tipped the scales at over 1,000 pounds, making it the third-largest pumpkin on record.


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