Letters to the Editor
Snow job: There's nothing wrong with progress, despite what Patricia Calhoun says in her May 17 "Blowing Boeing." There's nothing wrong with smart growth.
Calhoun apparently wants to freeze Denver in time, like a giant snowglobe where there's no traffic and always plenty of fresh powder for selfish Coloradans who want to shut this state off from future opportunities. That's not smart growth; that's stupid thinking.
Deep in the heart of Texas: Calhoun's column was a really funny and perceptive look at reality in action. I watched the same fiasco repeated in Dallas/Fort Worth, which does have 400 or so major companies domiciled in this area. Neither Denver nor DFW really needed Boeing, which should have located its corporate headquarters near Washington, D.C., because Boeing is going to need a lot of political clout in its war against Airbus Industrie and the snotty little frogs who run it. Henri Coupron wouldn't eat a Denver meatball even if it meant refusing the Frontier Airlines order. My uncle and his daughters live in Denver and like it just fine as it is; they will like it even better when Monsieur Coupron has departed.
Denverites seem to have survived the entire Boeing affair, whereas we Dallasites are still unhappy over the outcome because we thought we had the best shot at landing Boeing. In addition to $60 million from Illinois, Boeing also picked up two pretty good U.S. senators, which, along with two each from Washington State and Kansas, makes a Richard Daley sixpack. Hey, someone had to fill the vacuum created when Bernie Lincicome ditched Chicago for Denver. Why not Boeing?
via the Internet
Hitting close to home: Believe it or not, there are those of us here in Denver who are pleased as punch that Boeing did not choose our fair city for relocation. I'll bet that would include just about all of us native Denverites who are tired of you transplants who have decided that Colorado is a wonderful place to live, thereby overcrowding our roads, adding to urban sprawl, clogging up the hiking trails and consequently making Colorado a much less appealing place to be. If you are interested in the booming big-city life, why didn't you just stay where you were rather than come to this pleasant "cowtown" and attempt to make us more like Chicago?
In the early '70s, we voted to keep the Olympics away from here, and for good reason. Now that we are being overrun by non-Coloradans, it seems we only delayed the inevitable. Colorado was a beautiful place. Now there are just too damned many people here. Let's not invite more.
Pressing engagements: So Mayor Webb thinks that Denver "benefited from the tremendous amount of publicity that was associated with the Boeing process," as Calhoun quoted in her column last week. Let's consider who benefited the most from the publicity: Boeing itself.
As soon as Boeing announced it would move its headquarters from Seattle to one of three cities, the press started slobbering all over the story. Newspapers and TV stations in Denver, Dallas and Chicago weren't the only ones drooling; this became a national story. A story that got Boeing the sort of good press money can't buy.
All that, and $63 million in incentives from Chicago, too.
via the Internet
Pray as you go: Boeing chooses Chicago! There is a God!
Mind over money matters: Decades ago, infants abandoned by their mothers were allowed to lie alone for hours in state-run orphanages, with no attention whatsoever. Any human contact they received was the cursory change of a diaper, the giving of a bottle. Within months, these young lives often extinguished themselves, having been denied what so many of us take for granted: touch. Quite simply, they died of broken hearts.
Those young ones who made it past infancy had emotional, mental and behavioral problems no one knew how to explain. People considered "learned" or "educated" in such matters would write those problems off as a defect, something there since birth. Those with a more religious perspective on the matter would say the child was "possessed" or "touched." In this day and age, we know that the explanations are not so simple. We know that babies need to be held, nurtured, talked to -- by anyone, if it cannot be their birth parents. We also know that children who do not behave in class, who act out violently, who cannot control their impulses, can't be so easily dismissed as "crazy" or "defective." We now know that sometimes these children have seen, heard or felt unspeakable things done to them and those they love, and their child-sized mentality cannot comprehend these things.
I read Julie Jargon's May 10 "Teach Your Children Well," her story about psychological services in daycare. I must say, it was very encouraging to learn that in a time when the State of Colorado has chosen to cut funding for mental-health care, including monies formerly directed toward maintaining an adequate staff of counselors for public-school students, that there is such a place as the Renaissance Children's Center in Lakewood. I truly believe that the dedicated staffers of this facility are helping the children in their care take a huge step toward breaking the cycle of abuse and poverty that might otherwise continue for generations.
While reading the article, I couldn't help but recall the age-old battle of nature vs. nurture. We know that yes, some children are born with certain challenges, but we have also read and heard stories that prove to us that many children are born into their challenges, whether they be simple poverty and lack of opportunity or more dangerous circumstances. There is also overwhelming evidence that both kinds of challenges can be overcome with the right kind of nurturing and guidance. The Mental Health Association of Colorado's Pro Bono Mental Health Program gives these children a chance of getting help while they're still young enough for it to have a real, positive impact on them.
Jargon quotes psychologist Ann Prosser: "The more we can serve kids at an early age, the more likely we are to stop the cycle of abuse. If kids can learn empathy for others and learn ways to express anger, they may not react so violently later." I applaud those involved in this program for their efforts toward improving the lives of children who might not otherwise get such an opportunity.
via the Internet
Leggo his ego: Regarding Michael Roberts's "OutFoxed," in the May 10 issue:
Boy, when the tiger gets bitten on the ass, the whole jungle has to hear about it. Either Mrs. Martino's little boy, Tommy, who was swindled out of $50K by former Channel 31 wig and social blowfly Scott McDonald, is putting Denver on, or he's one of the biggest phonies and whiners we've seen since Patsy warned us to keep our babies safe.
Let's not throw the baby out with the bathtub gin, though; you have to give Martino his due. He built himself into a successful media guy on grit, determination and a real service rather than the usual mix of gams and/or broad shoulders, good hair and Armani suits. Chunky, swarthy, loud and obnoxious, you can't put Martino in the same beauty-salon chair as Denver's other fluff 'n' puff TV personalities. And though Martino's swollen ego first has him claiming he paid McDonald fifty grand just to go away (nice work if you can get it), we oughta be able to forgive the guy for being suckered. Hey, even P.T. Barnum coulda lost his shorts to a good-enough grifter. What really doesn't pass the behind-one-hand, polite-chuckle test is the fact that Martino -- whose business and political ideologies make KOA's Mike Rosen sound like Ralph Nader in frilly panties -- is blaming his employer for not slapping this con-man-in-knickers down and protecting Tommy from his own greed.
You gotta wonder whether it's all a ratings stunt. Will Ron and Libby be doing courtroom play-by-play à la Court TV? Martino, who frequently screams at his callers to grow up, is now snuffling that since the "entire transaction took place at Channel 31 headquarters," and since station management (like his boss, 29-year-old McDonald?) didn't spank some fannies and send the bad boy to time out, the station is equally liable and should pay him back his $50-large. What next? Will he ask the floor manager to hold his hand when he has to go pee-pee? Nannyism is fine with children and the mentally impaired, but Martino is not only Colorado's leading consumer advocate, he's also constantly boasting about his own business acumen. So why does he need some 24-year-old assistant associate fax-machine monitor at a TV station wiping his behind for him? Time to grow up and take your lumps like a man, Tommy.
Board games: That search for the Denver Public Schools superintendent gets curiouser and curiouser (Julie Jargon's "Hide and Seek," May 10). Not only did the search firm not recruit the ultimate winner, but one of the runner-ups, Jim Polsfut, did not meet the published job requirements. The "Invitation to Apply to Be Superintendent" specified that "Applicants are required to hold or be eligible to receive a Colorado Superintendent Certificate..." Not to worry: Polsfut explained in his public forum that school-board members had assured him that they would waive that requirement if he were the chosen applicant. Indeed, state law allows for such a waiver. But nowhere in the published job announcement does it state that a waiver was possible for that very specific job requirement.
And if the DPS board was willing to waive that requirement for a white, male Democrat, would it also have been willing to waive it for a Hispanic, female Republican? How would anyone know? How many qualified people "outside the box" never completed the application process because they saw that requirement and knew they couldn't meet it -- mistakenly thinking that if it was published, it was binding? Or perhaps allowing people to make that assumption was intentionally designed to automatically eliminate some candidates.
Joanne Marie Roll
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.