Fill in the Blanks
After reading Patricia Calhoun's "Blank You Very Much," in the February 15 issue, I'm ready to apply to the city for a job. We paid $116 an hour for someone to copy documents and put a "confidential" stamp on them? Hell, I'd do the same thing for $10--and probably do a better job, too. And I'm certain I'm not the only overqualified, underpaid person in town who'd be happy to have the job.

Rosie Foster

After reading Calhoun's latest, we now know why City Attorney Dan Muse didn't want to release those bills: He didn't want us to see how Denver wastes taxpayers' money.

Read my lips, Mr. Muse: Blank you.
H.T. O'Neill

All at C
Regarding Steve Jackson's "The Hep C Generation," in the February 8 issue:
I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful article you printed regarding the epidemic prevalence of hepatitis C and the story of Michael Lamb. I was fortunate enough to have been one of the many doctors who took care of Michael while he was at University Hospital awaiting his liver transplant. He came to us with problems breathing due to his liver disease and, unfortunately, began to deteriorate as a result of his hepatitis C. Slowly, his disease began to affect his kidneys, lungs and brain as well as his liver. The hospital team of doctors, nurses and staff worked day and night to sustain Michael in anticipation of his liver transplant. Unfortunately, his wait was too long. Michael died on the same day your article was released.

That same week, my heart-transplant candidate who had waited a year on the list and 37 days on IV medicines in the hospital received his new heart. The stroke victim who no longer had any higher brain function donated his corneas to someone without sight.

It is important that we all realize that there are real people waiting at the other end of organ donation. That the lack of organs allow people like Michael to die when they have so much desire to live. The challenge is for all of us to sign our donor cards and to express our wishes today to those we love. Ask: "If I were to find myself in the situation, would I want my vital organs to be able to give life to someone like Michael?"

Peter Nutson, M.D.
University Hospital

Thank you very much for your informative article on hepatitis C. I agree there is very little information available on hepatitis C and very little money available for research. I do believe, however, that the money going into AIDS research will produce a spinoff of benefits for those of us with hepatitis C.

I tested positive for the virus two years ago, and my life has changed dramatically since. My biopsy showed that I had beginning cirrhosis and that my SGOT and SGPT enzyme levels were five times the top of the normal range. As you pointed out, there isn't much my doctor can do right now. I ceased all alcohol consumption and was put on interferon after my diagnosis, but I did not have a very positive reaction to the drug. Since I have tried the one available interferon, I am considered ineligible for the other interferons currently undergoing testing.

I guess my liver is not bad enough to qualify for an exemption or "sympathetic use" of the new interferons. I say "guess" because, with liver problems, it's hard to predict the long-term prognosis. A doctor I visited at the hospital said, "Well, you might notice problems in a few years, but it might not show up for twenty years."

I, like Cathy in your article, turned to herbal medicine. I really didn't put much faith in vitamins and herbs, but after six months my liver enzymes have dropped dramatically. Now I'm a believer.

There is no support group that I know of, and this, combined with the limited knowledge of hepatitis C, combines to make one's life a bit stressful, which doesn't help your body fight off the virus. For others with hepatitis C, I would like to tell them to ask their doctors about Actigall (bear bile) and to look into milk thistle (which you mentioned), along with vitamin E, active B12, amino acids, green tea (which lowered enzyme numbers in Russian and Chinese studies), discontinuing alcohol use and starting an exercise program.

Your article painted a pretty bleak picture for those of us carrying the virus, but I'm sure as research continues and people begin to share their experiences and treatment methods, things will improve.

Name withheld on request

Fat Chance
On behalf of overweight people everywhere, I want to congratulate Westword and Robin Chotzinoff for the terrific story on Miss Gay U.S.A. At Large ("A Really Big Show," February 1). Stereotypes are always very hurtful to people, and for these men to "strut their stuff" is brave indeed. I hope I can take courage from their example.

Susan T.

Skinny or fat, a drag queen is still just a pervert.
Josephine Rose

Police Squad
Regarding Karen Bowers's "Cops Against Cops," in the February 15 issue:
As an eyewitness, I was very impressed by the accuracy of the reporting on Sheriff Mack. The description on Sheriff Mack's part was truthful. Statements by the "impact team" are mostly false. The "impact team" was never surrounded. As a matter of fact, there were Denver police hiding behind a fence watching the incident. Who was surrounded? The peaceful people or the gun-toting armored police?

Never did I see Bryant become aggressive, let alone poke the female officer. If the officer was poked in the face, where is the blood and scar?

The female officer chased Bryant down while he was leaving and aggressively grabbed the pen and threw it to the ground. Who is harassing who?

Is it a crime to stand for the United States Constitution? Are we the enemy? Yes! Trading With the Enemy Act, amended on March 9, 1993, subdivision (b) of Section 5. Now that we are the enemy, who do the police answer to? Is this not what Nazi Germany was made of? These are questions you must answer yourself.

Scott Caswell

This letter is to set the record straight on Craig Silverman, Saddam Hussein and Denver's Geheime Staats Polizei--aka the Denver Police Department, per Karen Bowers's "Cops Against Cops."

Despite Patty Calhoun's flair for attempting to spin conspiracy-this and conspiracy-that theories to spice up the Off Limits column, I did not try to link Craig "The Comedian" Silverman with Saddam Hussein. What I did do was tease Craig about his costing taxpayers thousands of dollars by referring to a murder defendant as "Saddam Hussein," thus causing the trial to be overturned. (That's hardly trying to "link Silverman to Saddam.")

The "Cops Against Cops" story further illustrates how Chief Michaud is trying to turn his chickenshit impact teams into some new kind of "Schutzen Staffel" (SS). Maybe if the impact teams had been focusing on 26th and Arapahoe, instead of acting like some sort of Gestapo unit filming law-abiding citizens at a high school meeting, there might not have been four fatalities at 26th and Arapahoe!

The time has come to corral the "real criminals"--those "real criminals" being the factions within the Denver Police Department that are engaged in activities that have nothing to do with "law enforcement," as compared to fascist, police-state harassment of those who believe in the 2nd Amendment. What I am calling for is for those who have documented instances of harassment, civil-rights abuse and arrest by the Denver Police Department for merely trying to use their 1st Amendment right to advocate their 2nd Amendment right to defend themselves and their families from the wave of violent crime that the DPD seems unable or unwilling to adequately deal with, to either contact me, Daniel King, the ACLU (which really should be doing more about this pattern of abuse) or other constitutional-minded organizations, so that a class-action suit can be given serious attention.

Or, to repeat what I said ("Up Against It," Westword, November 10, 1993) to members of Denver's less-than-finest when they hassled me for similar chickenshit charges related to 2nd Amendment advocacy and asked if I didn't mind taking help from communists (police reference to the ACLU): "Well, if you feel that the ACLU are communists, then it's only fitting that they defend me from fascists."

Daniel King

More Junk Mail
Thank you, Robin Chotzinoff, for a wonderful story about George Murray and his auto-salvage yard ("Love Among the Ruins," January 25). I was somewhat surprised that someone would care enough to take the time to so thoroughly write this story. It is an interesting piece about a very unique man, his life and his place.

I was an infrequent customer there, having bought a few cars and parts over the years. George was quite surly at first, but as soon as you got to know him and he could see that you were going to treat him right, he became the nicest guy you could know. Looking back now, I can see that George was down a lot of the time. Maybe a different perspective on life creates these unique circumstances, such as George's penchant to save old things and vehicles and to help people, too.

This story felt too familiar to me, because I do the same things that George did, but the personalities are different.

Duane Hayes