Letters to the Editor

Drive-by, He Said

Outrageous impression: Ed Thomas's statements in David Holthouse's story about the new skate park ("Big Air," July 19) are truly outrageous. He is totally out of touch with reality. Skateboarding is a mainstream sport (whether you like it or not) with hardcore roots. Thomas's impressions of thuggish skateboarders are offensive and bigoted. As for his comparison of skateboarding to "knife throwing" and "drive-by shootings," give me a break. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commision ranks the danger level of skateboarding below bicycling and swimming. Maybe Mr. Thomas would be happy if we got rid of these recreational hazards from our schools and parks in the name of public safety.

It will be interesting to see how many users the skatepark has, compared to your average football field.

Ben Cornish

Mean streets: I could not believe the letters in the last issue criticizing Ed Thomas for speaking his mind about the new skate park. What gives these kids the idea that it is up to the city to provide a place for them to skateboard? It is up to the city to give them schools and to keep the streets safe -- not to build a place where budding juvenile delinquents can show off the "skills" they learned on the streets.

Joan Duffey
via the Internet

No Job Snow Job

Unfair fair: I read with interest Jonathan Shikes's piece on the stilt-walker getting booted from the Denver Post Career Fair ("Walking Tall," July 19). I was surprised to learn that they booted him because he was attracting the only thing the fair organizers wanted -- people (as opposed to employees). I made the mistake of attending the heavily advertised and much ballyhooed Post-News Career Fair, and my reaction is similar to others I heard at the fair: There are no jobs there. Well, some temp agencies list a few $12-per-hour assistant jobs, and then there are $50K-a-year jobs for very experienced career professionals, but hardly a volume worthy of a fair.

Do people really think they will find a job waiting in a thirty-minute line to talk to a ruby-faced 22-year-old human-resources assistant? But they throw a fair anyway. Why? To charge $5 parking, to market a variety of temp services, to market technical colleges and for corporate prestige. In the end, it's a marketing-and-sales event for employment consultants, career management firms, local colleges and, most of all, the newspapers themselves. It's a scam.

It would be difficult to find out how many people actually obtained positions versus how many people attended, but I assure you the latter number is all they are interested in. At least I got my time's worth by sneaking into the exhibitor lounge and getting some free lunch.

Jack Kurtz

Group Think

The cause that refreshes: Word travels extremely fast through the "rabid following" of the "cultlike" World Family of John Denver, so I suspect Westword is about to be inundated with e-mails from all over the globe in response to the July 19 Off Limits. I certainly appreciate the exposure that you have given Jim McCrain and his expedition in their attempt to honor the memory of John Denver, one of this world's greatest humanitarians and environmentalists. However, I take offense at your referral to myself and the friends and acquaintances with whom I share the common thread of admiration for Mr. Denver's achievements as being "rabid" and "cultlike."

The cultlike part I can tolerate, because one of the definitions my Webster's dictionary gives for "cult" is "a group devoted to a person, fad, etc." Since most of us are devoted to continuing the work that John Denver did for the environment and people who are less fortunate than ourselves and to the cause of peace, then I guess we are a cult.

The same dictionary defines "rabid" as "1. irrationally extreme, 2. furious or raging; violent, or 3. affected with rabies." Now, I just can't see how this fits!

If you would like to see for yourself some examples of the good work that is done by this group of wonderful, caring people, I suggest you have a look at the growing list of events for the annual Aspen in October gathering (you will find it at events/aspen2001/index2.html). Please note how many of these events are fundraisers for humanitarian or environmental causes; this is only a small sampling of the causes that are helped by these wonderful people.

So I ask you this: When a group of nice people organize themselves to do good work for the world, why would you feel the need to speak of them in a derogatory manner? I do not see any harm being done here -- only good.