Regarding Richard Fleming's April 19 article, "Don't Spread on Me," on the dispute between the City of Boulder and the Somerset housing development over the spreading of sludge bio-waste on rural land: I hope that the residents of Somerset each have their own septic systems and drainage fields. It would be unjust and hypocritical of them to put their sludge on any other community, county or ecosystem.
David W. Olson
I say "Sludge away, City of Boulder!" As a Boulder resident who has watched with horror as housing developments have threatened to take over the county's open space, I heartily cheer the city's attempt to buy more land to be treated with biosolids and used as farmland.
Debbie Quackenbush claims Boulder is "using the city's sludge...to punish newly arrived residents and real estate developers...for the Californization of their community." Good. I've seen the overdeveloped hillsides of California (and the resulting mudslides), and I don't care to see the same thing surrounding Boulder. One look at Rock Creek (tract housing of the Nineties) is enough to turn my stomach. Quackenbush says she left California to get away from development, yet she moves here and does the very same thing to Colorado. Thanks a lot.
My hope is that there will be another boom state in a few years, and all these transplants/boom followers will find their next dream home there. Have any of you been to Montana lately?
Out of the Norm
Westword, you artfully withheld facts regarding talk-show host Dr. Norm Resnick and patriot gadfly Mark Koernke to make it appear that KHNC supports Koernke (Off Limits, April 26). As you said, Dr. Resnick interviewed Koernke last year. But after a few times on the air, it became apparent to Resnick that Koernke was not credible, and he has repeatedly said as much on his show. In addition, KHNC hosts Paul Dinsmore and Ray Parker have regularly vilified Koernke on the air as a nutcase who is hurting the patriot movement. It's odd that you only obliquely referred to this "falling out." While President Clinton demonizes conservative talk-show hosts as "purveyors of hate," the public needs facts about the patriot movement, not coy journalism.
Editor's note: For more of those facts, turn to Ward Harkavy's story "Doom and Doomer," on page 15.
An Inside Chance
Regarding Richard Fleming's "Choosing Sides," in the April 26 issue:
As a longtime activist on Rocky Flats issues, I think it's encouraging and hopeful that Melinda Kassen is environmental counsel for the new Rocky Flats contractor, Kaiser-Hill. She's a committed and experienced environmental lawyer and an intelligent, articulate person. Who better to work for an adequate, safe cleanup at Rocky Flats?
Melinda's hiring shows a new attitude on the part of the Department of Energy and its contractor. No previous Rocky Flats contractor hired an environmentalist who had spent years making life difficult for the plant.
The cynicism of those environmentalists who say she has sold out to "the other side" is disappointing. Do they think that everyone on the public payroll is a sellout? Does not the same conscientious conviction that drives them to work for change "from the outside" also drive others of good conscience to work for change "from the inside"?
Thomas M. Rauch
Regarding Eric Dexheimer's "Plane Truth," in the April 26 issue:
Who is Eric Dexheimer, anyway? Obviously a paid flunky for John Andrews or Renee Reinhart. If he knows so much, how come he has not made himself known to the Citizens for General Aviation? We meet once a week, and if he is there, he never says a word. One thing for sure: He doesn't live in the neighborhoods near Jeffco airport. If he did, he would be as violently opposed as C for GA is.
The truth: Real estate prices will drop $15,000 to $20,000 per home, according to anyone trying to sell around here and local agents who work the area. How can Rik Hansen compare our neighborhood to the one around Stapleton? They are about as different as could be. And he has not noticed an increase in noise for the past twenty years--this guy must be dead from the neck up.
This "non-issue" is "the issue" for C for GA. We will not tolerate the noise, pollution, increased traffic for an already increasingly crowded area, drop in property values (of course, we will all file tax grievances and have our taxes reduced as a result of this airport) or endangerment to the bald-eagle nesting area, not to mention the danger that increased use of Jeffco airport will pose to the thousands of children who live around here.
I encourage anyone wishing to, to stand up and fight. Go to Citizens for General Aviation meetings. Write to the Jeffco commissioners. Why did we open DIA, anyway? Certainly not to put more jets in our backyard.
I suggest that Eric Dexheimer go to a C for GA meeting and get his facts current. Believe me, we would love to meet him.
We're in that weekly newspaper window where an event occurs after the writing but before the reading--in this case, Denver's election. So readers will know--but I don't--that auditor candidates Jack McCroskey and/or Sandy Adams are/are not in the June 6 runoff election. Arthur Hodges's otherwise excellent piece on wannabe watchdogs, "Check, Please," in the April 26 issue, included two minor errors: First, I am not campaign manager to my friend of twenty years' standing, father of light rail Jack McCroskey. I'm just another dedicated hardcore fanatical volunteer for this honest, tough, mean old dude. Second, Sandy Adams's transfer of her expired New York CPA registration (void since 1987) to Colorado occurred after the beginning of the auditor's race, not before it. Specifically, it was on February 22 that Sandy transferred her New York license here, using a loophole in Colorado law, despite the fact that she does not meet continuing education standards to be a current CPA in either state. Why does that matter? Because Sandy had been holding herself out as a current Colorado CPA for months before that, which violates state regulations. And because continuing education (although halfway just a union card) is halfway relevant to maintaining competence and ethics. She ain't got either.
Regarding Claudia Hibbert's "A Course of a Different Color," in the April 12 issue:
I'm not anti-Native American--I just don't understand what Native American studies are and why they are being taught in the universities. Are Native Americans being forced to attend these classes--and why? Since they are the only ones qualified to teach these classes, they must already know all there is to know about the subject. If these studies are their exclusive domain, why aren't they taught on the reservation and funded by their own effort, skill and industry? Is an Inuit qualified to teach Mayan history? Is an Iroquois qualified to teach Northwest Coast culture? Is a Kwakiutal qualified to instruct about the Kiowas? What is it that is taught in these Native American studies---that some of the nations and tribes practiced human sacrifice and slavery and self-mutilation? Do they teach that some of them developed the torture of enemies to a fine art? Yes, they had enemies prior to Euro-Americans. Do they teach that they spent considerable time warring and taking over their neighbors' hunting ground?
And once you have acquired this knowledge, what do you do with it---go back to the reservation and slug Thunderbird and beat your tom-tom while you wait for unqualified Euro-Americans to send up a couple of truckloads of food and used clothing?
Believe me, I am not anti-Native American. I have an Indian friend I worked with for five years. He transferred to another department and now makes sixty grand a year and owns three vehicles (one a Lexus) and more real estate than most Euro-Americans even dream about. I never heard him whine about who was qualified to do what, and I think I probably know more about Indians than he does.
Then there is this idea that Native Americans are the real owners of this country. Is there any country in the world that is owned and operated by the indigenous population? The aborigines own Australia, right? Do you think they will get it back real soon? Tibet belongs to the Tibetans. Tell it to China. They'll leave immediately, bet?
It will be a little while before the buffalo roam and the men sit around the fire discussing the day's hunt and pass the pipe while the women do the work. The intelligent, educated Native American women of today may not be ready for that.
Everything the average American of today needs to know about Native American studies can be learned in Boy Scouts or Camp Fire Girls. Once Massasoit taught the Pilgrims to plant corn and squash and roast turkey, they got on with it. So why don't we knock off the bullpuckey and get ready to move into the 21st century?