Norton Hears a Who

Letters to the Editor

Janey, get your gun: Regarding Patricia Calhoun's perceptive "Calamity Jane," in the November 7 issue:

Jane Norton and Bill Owens, extreme in any other era, are just your average 21st- century Republicans.

Only minutes after the Republican takeover of the state senate had been confirmed, my senator, John Andrews, raced to the cameras, and the first words out of his mouth were NRA-scripted (after all, there can never be enough guns in Colorado glove compartments). Next up, he trotted out his robotic old mandated-Pledge routine (surely there's room in there somewhere, John, for "Every Knee Shall Bend").

Then there's Bob Beauprez, with his servile "I sleep better with God and George Bush in charge" line at a Bush pep rally, the one where Marilyn Musgrave whipped up the carefully screened crowd in Clinton-bashing. (Anyone doubt that this outfit will still be blaming the Clintons for the state of the world four years from now?)

Finally, there's Tom Tancredo, the darling of Douglas County and shameless craver of attention, with his "bunch of retard Democrats" line. What does he have to lose? If you put an "R" after his name, Ken Lay would carry the 6th District.

Robert Ellis

Pros and cons: Patricia Calhoun needs to wake up and smell the gunpowder. She and all the other feminazis and their wimpy supporters and sycophants lost last week! Colorado voters chose Owens and Norton and Wayne Allard (and no doubt Bob Beauprez) because they recognize they are pro-life, pro-rights, pro-America.

John Foster

Out of here with a bullet: My family's favorite way to spend summer days is visiting Cherry Creek State Park, and I was outraged to learn from Patricia Calhoun's column that the state allows a private shooting range on that land. I don't care if the business dates to the days when Roy Romer was governor -- as a father and concerned Coloradan, Bill Owens should put an end to it, not encourage more guns in our state parks.

Joy Frankel
via the Internet

Editor's note: On November 5, Arapahoe County Deputy Sheriff Tim Klisnick was dispatched to the Cherry Creek Shooting Range, the private range at the very public Cherry Creek State Park, on "a report of an injury." The injury was to Don Cherne of Lakewood, who was "bleeding from his left hand, left side of the face and nose and with numerous teeth knocked out." Cherne was with Curtis Moore, also of Lakewood. According to Deputy Klisnick's report, "Cherne had been having problems with his Winchester Model 70, .270-caliber rifle misfiring and firing prematurely. Cherne was using reloaded ammunition loaded by Mr. Moore and had been warned by a gunsmith that he was using ammunition that was loaded with too much powder for the gun. When Mr. Cherne fired the rifle the last time, the gun exploded at the chamber, causing the gun to fragment and injure Cherne. No other injuries were reported, and Mr. Cherne was transported to the hospital. Deputy Klisnick placed the gun and ammunition in evidence for safekeeping."

Fire when ready.

It's a Wonderview Life

Check, please! Robin Chotzinoff hit a nerve with her October 31 "The Wonder Years." I've lived here for thirty years, having moved from Maine -- which was singularly free from zoning (except in Portland) and other rules and regulations. About fifteen years ago, I figured out what was going on: At that time, it was reported that 37 percent of people in Colorado were directly dependent on a government check! What is it now?

It should come as no surprise, then, that the only solution to anything here is to make a rule...create a regulation...pass a law. Hire more enforcement officials. Get more lawyers. Grit your teeth. I recall when Dick Lamm said he couldn't understand why Oregon could get a lot done and we couldn't get anything done. Oregon only had 12 percent getting a government check.

Why worry about an axis of evil in the world when it's right here? Mike Speck: Here's to you!

John Bright

Eat my dust bunnies: Hooooooooly smokes! Mike Speck, meet your Lakewood condo counterpart. As I read Chotz's piece on the hullabaloo in Wonderview, I had a wicked feeling of deja-pew. You see, I live in an unassuming little condo-townhouse community in the Green Mountain area of Lakewood. I won't write the name because I'm selling -- that's how bad the situation has become.

It's a severe case of control freaks abusing the system to drive me nuts! Let's see... One hot summer day, to conserve energy, I left a bedroom window open rather than run the air conditioner. Oh, but shame on me, said a notice from the HOA threatening a $50 lienable fine! My lace curtain was billowing out in the breeze; obviously, I'm a miscreant of the worst kind.

Oh, and "dog at large" -- you've got to love that one. We actually have nosy, bored souls just waiting to catch people walking dogs off the leash even at 6 a.m., or failing to scoop the doo so they can report it to the association and the police. Wow, how do they bear the excitement?

The topper that convinced me I need to live on acreage in an unincorporated area, however, is the persistent noise complaints by two neighbors. We live in glorified apartments, for God's sake! I can hear the neighbors have sex, use the toilet and take a shower! But these two have decided they simply can't harbor any single sound coming from my son's stereo. I'm not talking about middle-of-the-night-rattle-your-brain-'til-you're-dumb loud music, but a mild vibration of bass from some of this rap stuff kids like. Their whines have been in the middle of the day on weekends. They've called the police eight times, and until the last visit, no citation was ever issued.

As a special bonus, the homeowners' association had a kangaroo-court hearing where none of the whiners bothered to appear, although I did. They levied their signature $50 fine but offered to waive it if I would let them snoop around in my house and "recommend" solutions. Why should I let a bunch of nosy old-fart neighbors who don't know their backsides from their noses come sniff around my dust bunnies? They can wait until I close on the sale of my home to get their $50, too, by cracky.

Anyway, I feel for Mike Speck's situation. It's a bloody shame he has to spend time, money and energy fighting ninnies, but good for him for doing so. Me -- I'm outta there.

Kathy Robinson

Lax Standards

Show him the Gait: I enjoyed Eric Dexheimer's "Big Lax Attack," his November 7 column about Gary Gait. I, too, grew up in upstate New York (in DeWitt, just outside of Syracuse), and reading the article brought it all back.

I also appreciated Dexheimer's nod to Hobart College, which I attended from '79 to '83. I played lax there for three years (two junior varsity, one varsity) and was on one of their national championship teams. While they're struggling a bit with their current Division I status, I think that they are becoming more and more competitive. During my four years at Hobart, we split with Syracuse 2-2. No doubt if the Gaits had been attending 'Cuse at that time, the results would have been quite different.

As a field-lax snob, I have always pooh-poohed the indoor game (although I have very fond memories of watching the Onondaga Warrior box lacrosse games at the Syracuse War Memorial in my youth). However, Dexheimer's article made me genuinely excited to check out some of the Mammoth's games.

Steve Payne
via the Internet

Play Bawl

Covering the bases: I had to write a fan letter about Bill Gallo and tell you how much I love reading both his movie reviews and his sports columns. Great eye for detail, historical reference and heart -- a very wonderful combination.

I especially want to let you know that his recent column on Morris Kleinman and baseballs ("Baseball's Treasured Orb," October 31) made me cry. Please keep Gallo writing so that we can keep being educated and moved.

Andria Bronsten

Eat, Drink and Be Maris

Ghoul crazy: I really enjoyed Laura Bond's piece on Maris the Great ("Methods of Mayhem," October 31). She's a talented writer, and I love the duality of her words, how she somehow managed to include the description of the two adorable dogs alongside all the blood and gore.


Mary Guiden
via the Internet

Keeping Up With the Jones

Ditch the dictionary: Marty Jones is one of the few talented writers on your staff -- never flowery or overboard, and I don't have to get out my dictionary. He writes for the reader.

I do not like your new food critic, Jason Sheehan. He's terrible. Tell him to use language the average reader can understand and to talk about the food and not himself. This is not journalism class; he doesn't need to razzle-dazzle us. Just give us the lowdown, what's good and what isn't. It's only food, for cryin' out tears!

Tracey Hunter
Highlands Ranch

Sweet Schemes

Life is not a box of chocolates: Regarding Julie Jargon's "Knock, Knock, Who's There?" in the October 24 issue:

Finally someone is taking notice of these kids! We have had them at our door even in the middle of blizzards, and they never know who they are working for. I have always thought these kids were being exploited and working under very dangerous conditions. Several times I have called the police department, but they do not seem able to help. I have called social services, etc.; no one seems to want to get involved.

Thank you for bringing this to the attention of the public.

Margaret Christopher
via the Internet

Evolutionary War

Boohoo brouhaha: In response to all the readers in the past two issues boohooing young-Earth creation, there are plenty of advance-degreed scientists who are brave enough to admit the speciousness of the secular darling cow of evolutionary theory. I am Webmaster of the Creation Research Society, and we currently have over 600 advance-degreed scientists who are young-Earth creationists. You do not have to "check your brains in at the door" to believe the literal account of Genesis. There is plenty of scientific evidence supporting an Earth much younger than the billions of years our kids are taught, there is plenty of evidence of a global flood, and no viable evidence of large-scale, molecules-to-man evolution.

There is a reason evolutionists generally shy away from public debates: It's extremely difficult to defend a theory that is built on sand, a theory that is really a religious belief system requiring an incredible amount of blind faith. I submit it is the evolutionists who check their brains at the door when they allow themselves to believe that random chance and blind selection produced the diversity of complex life we see today.

I also believe you may have misquoted B.C. Tours guides. I doubt if they "denounced scientific creationism," which is a term that can be associated with either young-Earth or old-Earth creationists. They likely were referring to "theistic evolution."

Fred Williams

Sink or swim: I feel I should point out that the October 31 letter from John C. Eastman II regarding evolution misses the point. Both of the examples he cites are of mutation (or variation within a species), and not evolution. In the end, his mutated germ is still a germ and the finch is still a finch.

I don't think anyone disputes mutation. It's what allows us to breed dogs and horses for certain qualities. In such cases, it's pretty surprising how quickly (in "evolutionary" terms) these mutations happen. No dog breeder has ever ended up with a horse for his efforts, though.

The evidence for cross-species evolution is what's really in question.

Incidentally, I'm sure we've all seen the fish symbols that many Christians have on the back of their cars. Now I've been seeing a similar item, but it's a fish with legs and has the name "Darwin" in it. Sometimes it's eating the other fish. Ask yourself, which one is based in reality? The fish, or the "fish with legs"? Curious choice of symbol, a fantasy creature that no one has ever seen.

Kurt Cowling
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

Taking out the trash: I just wanted to thank David Holthouse for writing "Book, Chapter and Verse," about B.C. Tours. It was nice to read an article that was obviously unbiased in a paper that is so biased toward liberal views. I find it funny that the "tolerant" liberals are so intolerant of religion, particularly Christianity. Take the October 31 letters from John Eastman and Elijah Senn, for example. These guys really got upset: Eastman called Christians stupid and uninformed, and Senn compared teaching children Christian beliefs to teaching kids how to smoke.

According to these two angry guys, I guess that if you don't believe that we came from monkeys, then you are stupid. The truth is that there is no concrete evidence to support evolution, and as a Christian, I have a right to express my beliefs to my children. Obviously, Christianity offends Eastman and Senn. Well, evolution offends me. Senn made the silly comment that he feels Christian churches should provide tours showing a scientific view at their establishments. Might I remind this idiot that churches are not supplemented by the taxpayers, while the museum and zoo are.

As for B.C. Tours, thank you and keep it up. It is good to know that the truth has not been completely wiped out by our liberal society.

With all that said, John and Elijah can go on reading about gay priests, porno, Columbine and the other typical trash put out by Westword. I think it's safe to say they won't have to wade through unpopular articles such as "Book, Chapter and Verse" for a while. But if they want to expand their knowledge by reading The Case for Christ, by Lee Strobel, at least then they can say that they are making informed judgments.

Jeremy Reitsema

Background Check

The wheel thing: Laura Bond's interest in First Transit ("Drive, She Said," October 3) is good. I don't think she got the full story, though. People like the private companies because they offer opportunity. I'm not sure I know all the reasons why, but more opportunity for hiring, for job placement, changes and personnel choices seem to be available in the private companies than in RTD. It's a dynamic environment, personally and in job assignments. This is why the private companies draw people.

I have what I believe is the most exciting, fun and challenging job I have ever had in my life, and part of that fun is the people. There are people from every country imaginable working there. I believe it is a core group of very good drivers (and others) that keep our company afloat. There is a life here not easily found elsewhere. People from all backgrounds drive buses. And all are accepted equally in a camaraderie I've not seen anywhere else. They are educated people and career people from other professions -- even former government representatives of other countries. Many return to their former homes and come back. I've seen Africa being called on a cell phone.

As for the comments about the driver asking for help on Route 10 -- well, we are trained to ask passengers if there is any uncertainty as to the route. Route 10 is not an easy route, with many twists and turns and narrow lanes -- and at night it's even worse. Did this driver get this lady where she needed to go? If so, then I believe he did his job and learned a new route, to boot.

In retrospect, I believe the private companies are doing what the legislature wanted, although perhaps not entirely exactly as envisioned. But that's the excitement of life!

David H. Unger


In his October 31 "Deeper Into Columbine," Alan Prendergast referred to an Arapahoe County investigator's interview with a young woman named Sarah Cudworth, who claimed to have known gunman Eric Harris and another Columbine student, Robert Craig, who also committed suicide. Many details contained in the investigator's report are disputed by Cudworth, who contacted Westword after the article was published.

According to Cudworth, the investigator misquoted her: "I was not introduced to Eric Harris by Robert Craig, nor is there any connection between the two. Robert Craig's name came up in connection with what seemed to be a large number of students falling to tragedy in such a short period of time from that high school. I in no way had any knowledge of anything involving the Columbine case, and was only interviewed after my name somehow came up in connection to Eric's. I did not know either Eric Harris or Dylan Klebold well and had only met and spoke with them briefly on a few occasions. The detective who interviewed me (who was female) seemed to realize that I was a 'dead end' for their case and that I knew nothing of any value. It was for this reason that I was not interviewed again."


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