All Bets Are Off
Regarding Karen Bowers's "Laws of Chance" in the May 18 issue:
Great story on the gambling community's problems. Just what the hell did those people expect? Instead of finding creative solutions to economic problems, the first thing they lunge for is legalized gambling. We now have what were once quiet, sedate places being overrun by every pinhead with an extra quarter to throw away. These towns got what they deserved: cops with more than dubious backgrounds and more work than they can handle. I feel sorry for the people who didn't want gambling but got reamed by the majority in their stampede to legitimize an industry that has no place in what is the most beautiful state in the Union.

I don't feel sorry for the morons who throw away their life savings on slot machines and then cry about it. Wake up--nobody forced you to go. What this world needs is a serious dose of self-control.

J. Gilbert

As a frequent visitor to the casinos in Black Hawk, I am always impressed by the tidiness and safety of the town. Going up there is just good, clean fun. Whatever his experience in Littleton, it seems that Chief Jerry Yocom is doing a good job of keeping order in Black Hawk. Shouldn't we judge a man by what he does now, not by past rumor and innuendo?

Mrs. Arthur Powell

I Love Lucien
While reading Robin Chotzinoff's story about Lucien Wulsin ("The Lucien Show," May 25), all I could think was: What a way to go! His zest for life is truly inspirational. At half his age, I wish I had half his energy.

Sally Fernandez

As a longtime acquaintance of Lucien Wulsin, I want you to rest assured that Robin Chotzinoff captured his unique personality perfectly. Would that we all could burn our business suits and dance through life.

Name withheld on request

You Auto Know Better
Bill Gallo's vehement defense of auto racing ("The Race Issue," May 25) was colorful and well written. Unfortunately, high-quality writing without equally high-quality thinking may well do more harm than good. There was a defensiveness in tone similar to those who assert their right to own assault weapons or smoke wherever they damn well please.

I've been to Indy Car and Formula One races, but I've been more impressed by downhill ski racers and cyclists whose skill and courage are primary to their success rather than secondary to the skill of engineers. The problem isn't inherently the Indy Car or Formula One circuits thmselves. The greatest argument for their adding value to society is one Gallo didn't raise, which is that they greatly advance the state of automobile engineering and encourage innovation, though why they eschew things like airbags escapes me.

No, the problem is with image. If we emulate our racing heroes by tearing up the landscape on ATVs or dirt bikes, or by driving fast or more frequently, or in any way give in to a car-worship that does more than anything else to unnecessarily consume, pollute and aggravate, then the image of these heroes testing their courage and skills is something less than heroic.

P.S. How did Gallo know we have a Toyota Tercel in the driveway? Happily, on the vast majority of our family's outings that's exactly where we leave it.

Richard Brenne

Pity Is as Pity Does
In response to the May 18 letter from Tom Gomez of National Image about Kenny Be's May 4 Worst-Case Scenario, "Risa":

Mr. Gomez, if you insist on sweating the small stuff, I'm offering a serious rebuttal to your tear-jerking, pity-pot letter.

The cartoon that angered you was neither derogatory nor offensive, but in my opinion a true representation of part of the Hispanic community. Take a good, hard look at our community. The number of illegal aliens living in this country is appalling. Women cross the border, have their children on American soil, and the American taxpayers (such as myself) are paying their bills. In addition, there are the gangs, drugs and violence surrounding the Hispanic community. This is not a groundless, bigoted accusation; it is fact.

I am proud of my Hispanic heritage, but I live in America and I speak the language of this country, which is English--not Spanish. Those who feel that Spanish should be taught as the primary language in the school system should go back to Mexico. America is a melting pot, and despite the divergent backgrounds of her citizens, most Americans gain fluency in the English language. Would you live in Germany and expect the German people to change their academic benchmarks for your benefit? Would you move to Algeria and expect printed material to show both Arabic and Spanish? Why is Cinco de Mayo celebrated here? Is the Fourth of July celebrated in Mexico? I think not.

And what of the purchase price of the old DA's building? You are not willing to pay the price the City of Denver is charging. Instead, you want the building either free of charge or at a reduced rate. Equality? I think not.

Mr. Gomez, you and those like you are responsible for the heightening of prejudice in this country. You do not want equality, you want special treatment. You and your organization are doing more to keep prejudice alive than anything said or done in the Anglo community. I am happy that I have always earned my way in the world through merit, not through my last name. If my name were changed, I would still be the person I am now. If your name were changed, who would you be?

C.M. Gomez, American!

A Rose by Any Other Name...
Regarding Brad Jones's review of Madder Rose in the May 25 Playlist:
Have you ever even been to New York City? The scene is far from stale (especially in comparison to Denver). I have seen Madder Rose numerous times in both New York and in Vancouver, B.C., where Madder Rose's enthusiastic set made it nearly impossible to sit through the Juliana Hatfield Three, whose set seemed uninteresting in comparison. As for the New York scene being stagnant: I moved to Denver from NYC, where I worked at Maxwell's, consistently voted the best nightclub in New York, even though it's in Hoboken, New Jersey. So I feel I am qualified to speak on the scene in NYC. Let me give you a few clues: Eve's Plum, Yo La Tengo, Surgery, Jeff Buckley, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and--must I remind you--Sonic Youth. If only every city's music scene was as stale as New York's!

Elizabeth Colatrella

Flats, Busted
After reading Patricia Calhoun's May 11 column, "Straighten Up and Fly Right," I have been waiting for some other newspaper or TV station to report on Wes McKinley's award. So far they have ignored it. Shame on them!

I, for one, am proud of what the Rocky Flats grand jury did. As a Coloradan, I'm proud that the Cavallo Foundation keeps honoring people from our state. I only wish that Colorado's media people felt the same way.

Thank you, Westword. People probably tell you this so often that I sound like a broken record, but the public has a right to know--and without you we never would.

Jerry Fine

As unbelievable as it sounds, it is likely that if the Department of Energy goes ahead with a plan to bring a private company to Rocky Flats to build products from radioactive waste, vast quantities of such waste will be brought to Rocky Flats. Known as the National Conversion Pilot Project (NCPP), its purpose is to employ former weapons workers in new jobs at Rocky Flats. The DOE is moving swiftly with a project in which radioactive and chemically hazardous waste would be used to make nuclear-waste containers, parts for a nuclear fusion reactor and commercial goods.

Before the DOE proceeds any further with the NCPP, it should consider what health impacts bringing more waste to Rocky Flats will have. Beryllium, one metal to be used in the NCPP, has already caused an incurable lung disease in 41 workers. Another substance to be used is depleted uranium--a radioactive metal used in the Gulf War that some veterans say caused illness for them and their offspring.

Should Rocky Flats go ahead with this project, it will also expose more workers to the exceedingly hazardous plutonium recovery work that will take place during cleanup. In addition, it will open the door for British Nuclear Fuels, Inc., a secretive company with a poor environmental record, to do cleanup work at Rocky Flats.

At a time when we are trying to figure out how to contain and clean up one of the most polluted sites in the nation, it seems unwise for Rocky Flats to embark on a project that will expose more workers to health risks and bring more waste to the site.

Samuel H. Cole, Executive Director
Physicians for Social Responsibility,
Colorado Chapter