Bad News Bear

Letters to the Editor

Trouble's bruin: Your "Bear Facts," in the August 23 issue, was in extremely bad taste. A reason, if not the reason, bears are moving to lower altitudes is to find food. There are various reasons for this: development, and a late spring snow that killed their higher-altitude food supply.

What happens when a bear looking for food encounters humans? It is tagged, returned to the mountains, and most likely faces death if it returns in its search for food.

Westword finds this sort of thing funny? Of course you do. You have made it known previously that you think the murder of unborn children is funny as well.

James C. Hess
via the Internet

Grin and bear it: Bears have been much in the news recently. Let's take a cue from a traditional event: the Running of the Bulls in Spain (

If we established a Running of the Bears Festival in Denver, we could gain positive national and international publicity for Denver and for Colorado. The race course would begin at I-25 and Speer Boulevard at 4 p.m. on the Running of the Bears Festival Day and would continue south to I-25 and Colorado Boulevard. Since traffic in both directions is mostly stopped at that time, there would be no necessity for road closures.

People who have moved here from other states during the past ten years would be required to participate. This would include the CEOs of development companies working in Colorado who might be residents of other states. Each annual Running of the Bears Festival would feature all the immigrant members of state and local government. The Colorado congressional delegation would also compete each year.

Anyone who could outrun a bear would be able to stay in Colorado. Those who failed would have to leave.

The participation of government officials offers a solution to the problem of term limits and would reduce the size of government. The publicity generated by the annual event would stem the tide of immigration and would make another food source available to bears who have been vexing suburban residents. The physical conditioning required of successful participants would also do much to reduce the costs of health care in Colorado.

Harry Spetnagel

Noise in the 'Hood

You're in the army now: I'm ready to enlist in the war against Clear Channel. After reading your August 23 "This Means War!" package, I realize why concerts costs so much, why concerts suck and why radio sucks.

If consumers don't fight back, Clear Channel will think that we don't even notice the general suckiness of the music business.

Never surrender!

Ally Pierce
via the Internet

Light's on, Nobody's home: Go, NIPP! Clear Channel destroyed radio, and now they're destroying concerts (Michael Robert's "Taking on the Empire," August 23). It's going to be a hard fight, but Nobody in Particular Presents has my full support. NIPP should throw an anti-Clear Channel concert to rally the troops!

Marnee Koehler

Fey's way: If Barry Fey has such a problem with Clear Channel and how they do business (Laura Bond's "His Way," August 23), why is he promoting events (KBCO World Class Rock Festival)? Could have been an interesting point that was somehow missed in this article.

Thomas Downey

Pardon his French: Whatever, Barry, n'est ce pas? After reading "His Way," I'm struck by the irony of the House of Rules hiring Fey, the great wannabe Peter Grant aka Carp Man, "Carpline" concerts, etc. Barry used to have first dibs on every date at Red Rocks; he blew it.

Any smart businessperson knows that if you go on a buying spree, you eventually need to sell something to realize a profit. As Barry knows, he started the process of buying and selling that led to the current situation in the Denver concert market. If Bill Graham called him anything, he called him a putz. Ask some of us who grew up in Denver what we call him.

A real music lover does it for the music. Who's crying now?

John R. Longmire

Razing the Roof

Building resentment: Well, doesn't it just figure? As Michael Paglia's August 16 "The More Things Change..." points out about the current misdeeds of the Denver city government in the razing of buildings and the resulting lowering of cultural standards, these people have nothing but contempt for the intelligence of Denver's citizens. They rely on the indifference of the average person here, assuming those people won't know what they're up to. If it weren't so literally devastating, all of these so-called improvements would be laughable.

I am repeating myself when it comes to architectural sense and sensibility. But I guess if the city can keep doing these stupid things over and over, I can at least repeat my ardent objections to it.

Thanks again, Michael, for a wonderful article about the moribund taste of our city fathers.

John Haeseler

Sprawl in the Family

No halfway measures: It's taken me a week to find a way to say this nicely, so here goes: After reading Michael Jones's letter regarding urban sprawl in the August 16 Westword, I can think of two possible reasons that might have driven him to write such a diatribe.

1) His self-righteous anger at the social, economic and global ills of the world has caused him to forget that women do not spontaneously give birth to children without a significant (and sometimes brief) contribution from men; or

2) He has been given few (if any) opportunities to contribute his obviously perfect genes to our decadent and corrupt society, so naturally it's all the fault of women. You see, ladies? If you had just said yes when he asked you out, the world would be a better place.

My suggestion for Michael Jones is this: Take a breath, calm down, and don't put your share of the blame on other people's shoulders. Remember, you're half of the problem you're bitching about.

Michael Burger

Keeping up with the Jones: All those letters in the last issue about Michael Jones (wanna bet that guy is feeling pretty bruised?) made for hilarious reading. But I can only hope that the authors of those letters remember the original story Jones was responding to, Alan Prendergast's August 9 "Scenes from the Sprawl," and continue to complain about this state's runaway growth as loudly as they complained about Jones.

Susan O'Rourke

The last word: I am flattered by the number of letters that appeared in response to my thoughts on population growth. The wording of my letter was intentionally inflammatory, and apparently it had the desired effect. If I had instead written something along the lines of "Due to increasing pressures on societal infrastructure, couples may wish to review carefully their reproductive decisions," would there have been such an outcry? I think not.

Several organizations exist that have been attempting to bring population issues to the public's attention for some time in a quiet and non-confrontational fashion. Their political clout hovers around zero. The cause needs a militant faction. That being said, perhaps I might offer a few rational comments concerning points brought up in the replies to my letter.

Jim Bernath suggests that immigration rather than baby-making is responsible for the increase of Colorado residents. I doubt I need to point out that this is simply a restatement of the problem, albeit once removed. To recap the battle cry: Population growth does not come from Texas or California; it comes from having babies.

Mark Otis apparently feels that those of us who question population growth do so only with the ulterior motive of protecting our opulent lifestyles. His proposed solution of conservation is noble, but it is a dangerous fallacy. The "preponderance of scientific evidence" he claims is far from conclusive that conservation is the issue. In fact, without population control, any program of conservation can merely prolong the inevitable. Growth will end, I assure you. It is simply a question of when and how. Even Mr. Otis must appreciate that any exponentially increasing process that consumes resources will eventually exhaust any resource that is itself not increasing exponentially. Population is increasing exponentially. Resources, as a rule, are not. Conservation will not change that.

The largest offense, of course, was to women who claimed that I failed to recognize a male contribution to the problem, but they fail to make a distinction between sex and procreation. Whereas the male and female contribution to the former is equal, any given male's contribution to the latter is, let's face it, insignificant. Pregnancy represents a mandatory (and substantial) commitment to the woman alone. To the male, commitment is optional, ethics notwithstanding. Men can (and do) walk away from a pregnancy; women cannot.

But what is the point of all this, anyway? As if a few letters bantered about in Westword are going to make any difference. If you have any real desire to address these issues, there are organizations such as Zero Population Growth ( that can provide you with information and a means of action. Locally, Al Bartlett of the physics department at the University of Colorado gives superb public lectures on the nature and effects of population growth. Go read Ehrlich. Hell, go read Malthus. I assure you that none of these sources are anywhere near as offensive as I am. They will attempt to reason with you; as far as I can tell, it's too late for that. I believe it was Malthus who said, "If we do not control our numbers voluntarily, nature will do it for us in a most brutal fashion." We haven't, and she is.

Michael S. Jones


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