Face it: I am very grateful to Patricia Calhoun for bringing some sanity to the controversy over illegal immigration with "Names and Faces," her column in the May 26 issue. Pablo is just the sort of person we should want in this country. He may not be an American, but he is living the American dream that we encourage everyone to follow.
Short-sheeted: Patricia Calhoun's bleeding liberal heart bled all over her column last week. But the fact remains that no matter how great a kid this Pablo is, he is breaking the law. Even though his parents made the bed, he has to lie in it. And we shouldn't have to pay to clean the sheets.
Bike to the future: Regarding Eric Dexheimer's "Rough Ride," in the May 26 issue:
How about telling the truth about mountain biking for a change? I am surprised that Dexheimer fell for the International Mountain Bicycling Association's propaganda.
1. Mountain bikers are not excluded from wilderness or national parks; they can walk, just like everyone else.
2. Mountain biking obviously does not have the same impact as hiking. If you actually read the "research" that Gary Sprung refers to, you find out that the authors misinterpret their own data. Their research actually proves that mountain biking has much greater impact than hiking (for the science on mountain biking, see http://home.pacbell.net/mjvande/scb7).
Please restrict bicycles and other vehicles to pavement, where they belong and where they can't do much harm to wildlife. Mountain biking is a very destructive activity and has no place in natural areas. Anyone who wants to visit nature can already do so on foot (or via wheelchair). Mountain biking drives out all other trail users. There is absolutely no reason to allow access by large pieces of machinery, such as bicycles.
Ah, wilderness: "Rough Ride" leaves out important details and gets others completely wrong. Cross Mountain (near Dinosaur National Monument -- not "Park") is a Wilderness Study Area (WSA) recommended by President George Bush to be formally designated as wilderness. Cross Mountain is, paraphrasing the author, a place worth protecting, with fantastic scenery, solitude, quality wildlife habitat, endangered species and a high concentration of cultural sites.
Only formal wilderness designation will offer the level of protection this amazing landscape warrants. Contrary to the article's assertions, there are no special protections bestowed on Bureau of Land Management roadless areas, a status that agency refuses to consider for non-WSA lands. Neither do National Recreation Areas provide any specific protections for wilderness, but they can include any number of non-wilderness activities, structures, etc. The reservoir called Lake Powell, for instance, is a National Recreation Area (Glen Canyon) with buildings, roads and a lot of motorized activity.
There is no doubt that wilderness is a contentious issue. Much of this contention is based on misunderstandings and false information about what wilderness entails. Stories such as "Rough Ride," full of half-truths, mis-statements and inaccuracies, do little to help the situation.
In blog we trust: Regarding Michael Roberts's "7th Hell," in the May 19 issue:
I have some advice for Darrell Brown and corporate news media: Stop shoveling it and just report it. American news media has a trust and integrity rating of 7 percent. After the Newsweek debacle, I imagine it's dropped even further. The other 93 percent are either fed up or have galvanized to the left or the right. This deep divide is literally tearing the country apart.
Bloggers and fake news is the popular new way to obtain news, according to recent polls; it's painfully clear corporate news media is not. In fact, corporate news media has become such a sick, sad, pathetic joke that journalists, commentators and newscasters have spoken out -- most notably Andy Rooney and Tom Fenton.
Mr. Brown, we don't need another news outlet that exploits and preys upon the public's human nature and intelligence. There are clearly people hungry for thought-provoking, rational, newsworthy stories worth exploring.
In with the Institute: I have drunk at more than one bar in Denver (quel surprise!), and until I read Patrick Osborn's May 26 column, I was unaware that there was a possibility of new members in the Institute for Idiot Behavior. I am a 43-year-old Welsh male, and being from the same culture as Dylan Thomas, am able to quaff large quantities of beverages without getting arrested. I also have a sense of humor that can be described as "quirky," "sick" or "f**ked up." If any events are planned and a large, shaven-headed man is needed for the purpose of ridicule, being ignored by ladies and occasional off-key singing, please let me know.
What a hole: In seeking to salvage his reputation from record-setting inaccurate reporting, Jason Heller has dug himself even deeper into his gender-bigoted hole with his response to last week's letters. To quote: "It might make his [Glenn Sacks's] open anti-feminist tirades and affiliation with the 'men's rights movement' a little less terrifying. Special rights for men in a country that's run almost exclusively by and for men? Makes about as much sense as white power."
By implicitly associating not only Glenn Sacks but the entire men's and fathers' rights movements with the "white power" philosophy of the KKK, Jason Heller has gone beyond reporting, beyond self-defense, beyond the pale and over the edge to enter the worlds of racial and gender bigotry.
I most fervently hope that Jason Heller does not represent the editorial opinion of Westword. Either way, I would hope that the editors would make clear their views.
Gordon E. Finley