Letters to the Editor
2001, a spaced odyssey: The last year was definitely a year to forget, as Jonathan Shikes observed in the December 27 "Year in Review" issue.
In fact, I would have been very happy if Shikes had never reminded me of how petty our behavior was before September 11 put life into perspective.
Buried treasure: Regarding Michael Paglia's "Going Down?" in the January 4 issue:
Sally Perisho, now former director of the Center for Visual Arts, Metro State, was treated unfairly in her abrupt firing. She is a treasure in this state, so noted by many artists, donors, granting agencies and gallery visitors. Why couldn't her superiors see this?
I, for one, a very active museum and gallery visitor, do not plan any visits soon to the gallery Sally built so beautifully. It just won't be the same.
While I am very sad to see Sally treated so unfairly, I am happy to finally be in total agreement with Michael Paglia and his story on the disaster.
The creator: I want to congratulate Michael Paglia on his insightful article on the cowardly firing of Sally Perisho as director of Metro State's Center for the Visual Arts. Not to be sentimental, but firing a person four days before Christmas and then leaving for a two-week vacation so that person has no chance at redress is chickenshit! I am sure that Sheila Kaplan and Carolyn Schaefer Wollard have been careful to dot their i's and cross their t's, but their action is inconsiderate and despicable.
Sally is the reason the CVA is a crown jewel for Metro State, and she deserves better treatment. At the least, she deserves to retrieve her personal effects from the office that she was locked out of; at most, she deserves a severance package and an explanation in writing as to the cause of her dismissal, neither of which has been forthcoming.
Whoever Metro finds as the new director will be well advised to look at what happened to Sally after ten years of award-winning service to the college. With the kind of treatment she has received, who do you think they'll end up with? I doubt it would be someone with Sally's qualifications and dedication. As Michael says in his article, "By its actions, Metro, in the persons of Kaplan and Wollard, has cast a shadow over the CVA that's going to last for a while."
As for my resignation as advisory council member, it is my way of showing loyalty to Sally, whom I have known for her entire ten years with the CVA. The center is the thing she created, and I'm not loyal to the "thing," but to its creator.
William D. Havu
A helping hand: As a fifteen-year volunteer at CAP, I feel I need to comment on Julie Jargon's "New Life," in the December 20 issue. I have worked several volunteer jobs at CAP: "buddy" to ten clients who are now deceased; intake interviews with about 1,000 new clients; education/prevention; fundraisers; alcohol/drug addictions counselor; phone information line; receptionist. During those fifteen years, I have not observed the type of treatment described by Tony Garcia. Yes, clients have been denied services; these denials were based on specific policy, dictated by limited financial resources. I have never observed any denial of service based on color, race or sexual orientation!
Yes, mistakes have been made. In CAP's eighteen-year existence, policies were based on legitimate needs of clients. However, the availability of money has always, by necessity, been the bottom line. I have known many CAP clients. These clients were able to live, and die, with dignity, thanks to assistance provided by CAP.
I worked several years with the American Red Cross. I learned very soon that in an organization whose function is to provide services to those in crisis, "You are damned if you do, damned if you don't." I am proud and happy that I have been able to help CAP in providing services to persons with AIDS.
Robert L. Garrett
People who needle people: In her article on the Colorado AIDS Project, Julie Jargon quoted from a Resolute! interview with former CAP executive director Julian Rush concerning the challenges he had in making CAP broaden its focus beyond the gay HIV community. It was presented in her article like it was a recent development, but Julian was referring to incidents that happened at the agency over ten years ago.
She also reported that the PWA Coalition Colorado became a minority-based organization because we saw disparities in prevention for communities of color. This is incorrect. We saw disparities in treatment and health outcomes for people of color. White men were enjoying remarkable improvements in health after the advent of new medications, while women and people of color were not. And we did not "unseat" our old board of directors; we had the old board elect a new board and then went about building the board and staff from communities of color that would help us address those disparities through our Peer Advocacy Project.
Finally, Westword could actually help the Denver AIDS community by reporting on all the good things that the Colorado AIDS Project and other agencies do today instead of taking potshots at them for past failings. They deserve financial support from all of us.
Al McKittrick, executive director
PWA Coalition Colorado
Give a hoot, don't be a snoot: Westword has always been on the forefront of bringing us news on music and letting its readers know what is happening in the not-so-mainstream scene, at least until December 27. In "Discmania," I was surprised to see Melanie Haupt call Radio 1190 "snooty" and go on to write that the station does not play the Gorillaz album. Where in the world has she been? Does she listen at all to Radio 1190, or have mainstream music stations robbed her of her senses? The Gorillaz album received an immense amount of airplay on 1190 and was also in the station's top-100 countdown.
Not only is Haupt's info wrong, but calling 1190 snooty is just ridiculous. It is the only station in Colorado that plays bands like the Gorillaz, or the Coup, or Wesley Willis, and it is the only station in our area that supports the local music scene like no other station around.
Here's my suggestion: If Westword wants to stay ahead of other papers in regard to writing about music, make sure your writers know what they are talking about.
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