Regarding Tony Perez-Giese's "Waiting to Exile," in the January 21 issue:
Loi Nguyen's problems as a resident alien who finished his time in prison and now is in limbo awaiting deportation is truly underwhelming in its tragedy. It is unfortunate that he sits in limbo at the Wackenhut private prison, but it is a limbo he created for himself with his own incredibly stupid choices. Immigrants have made this country the most powerful nation on the planet. Their works and contributions, their cultural enrichments, their overall input into the glory of America is what makes America so great. But the flip side of that is the small minority in each nationality and ethnic group that comes here and is truly negative and worthless. These are the individuals who come here and truly miss the point, involving themselves in criminal activities and parasitism. They are the predators and freeloaders who are the shame upon their own immigrant communities and have effectively annulled their "right" to the gift of staying in the USA. Immigrants like the southeast Asians that Loi's community represents have had a fabulous success as well as having been a fabulous asset to the USA. But individuals like Loi, who choose to be here as criminals and parasites, pose only one question: Do they pay for their own airfare out of here, or do the taxpayers do so?
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I would like to extend my greatest appreciation for "Waiting to Exile." As a longtime friend of Loi Nguyen's, it was extremely comforting to know that someone far removed from this situation also thinks it's wrong. Although the article may not directly allow Loi to be given his long-awaited turn at justice, it may assist in expediting it.
I was shocked to learn that almost 3,500 other people are in the same situation as my beloved friend. It's rather ironic that a country that prides itself on justice for all allows these situations to continue. Perhaps some consideration should be given to the fact that although people like Loi may not have the technical status of citizen, he considers himself an American. He pays taxes, works and was educated here. What is it, then, that constitutes a citizen? I myself, born a citizen, cannot answer that question. Sadly, Loi wishes to ignore the answer he seems to have been given; it disappoints him.
Also, I have a few words for INS director Joseph Greene. He stated that he would not release Loi or give him bond because he has gotten in a few scuffles while under 23-hour lockdown. In response, I would urge him to ponder the following statement: Treat them like animals and they shall act like animals.
Jennifer K. Coffey
Regarding Marty Jones's "Election Losers," in the January 14 issue:
Aw, so some "professional" petition gatherers got stiffed out of their ill-gotten booty. I hope they realize that the region they lied about to get their $1.75 per signature had to raise one million dollars in order to correct the results of their actions. This means that a million dollars is no longer in the San Luis Valley and can never be used to back loans, support nonprofits, keep interest rates down, augment charity work or simply help float an agricultural community through a low economic time.
There are affidavits on file from petition signers attesting as to how they were lied to in order to coerce their signature, only to find out later it was a fabrication. Obviously, research is not the strong suit of these clipboard jockeys, but what do they care? They're paid well; they may live out of state. I hope they take some solace in the knowledge that they only built the ovens. (By the way, I was disappointed to find that Westword's November 12 article on Boyce's defeat excluded Stockman's efforts to market Colorado water to Palm Desert, California.) At any rate, I do appreciate your continued coverage of this subject, and my thanks to the 75 percent of Colorado that recognized the truth and killed Boyce's initiatives.
What a Way to Grow!
Thank you for printing Alan Prendergast's article about urban sprawl in Colorado ("The Sprawlful Truth," January 14). As a native of this once pristine state, I feel that this issue is of the utmost importance and should be addressed by both legislators and the community as a whole. Denver is number six on the list of the most threatened cities in the United States (source: Sierra Club). Although the population of this state is on the rise, the rate of land development far exceeds the number of newcomers. It is tragic that most people don't realize the irreversible effects of land development for "economic" purposes. The economy can successfully grow without unwanted development. I only hope that Colorado legislators wake up to the facts and reconsider the anti-conservation approach that has been part of the agenda for far too long.
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Are we destined to remain a "cowtown" and "sprawlville"? Bill Owens will make sure of it. By reversing Roy Romer's decision to allocate state funds to light rail, Owens is ignoring the federally mandated study that concluded that light rail along I-25 would be the most efficient and affordable solution to traffic congestion. The study also concluded that twelve additional lanes would be needed along I-25 to calm traffic congestion. It is irresponsible of Owens to throw away a chance for federal matching funds for light rail.
Last week a writer from the New York Daily News poked fun at Denver's lack of transportation services and even called us a "cowtown." Most Denverites are a bit touchy about the subject. More lanes on I-25 will not improve our image or our quality of life. I hope Owens will reconsider.
Are you going to be publishing a recipe from each place Kyle Wagner reviews? If you do, will they be available on the Web so that we don't have all these little bits of paper waiting to be organized and typed? Love Kyle's column.
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Editor's note: Kyle Wagner's Mouthing Off columns are archived at www.westword.com. Go to the Cafe section and search with the keyword "recipe."
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