From the week of August 27, 2009

"Cut Off," Melanie Asmar, August 20

The Unkindest Cut

Melanie Asmar recently wrote an outstanding piece on Denver's Underground Syringe Exchange, and now, in "Cut Off," she details the impact that cuts in Medicaid funding will have on adults with disabilities and their families. Speaking as someone who grew up in a household providing care to a cognitively disabled adult, I found the article particularly resonant. If you're looking for a well-honed story about how state funding is determined for individual care in Colorado, please give "Cut Off" a look.

Chris Conner


I have just finished reading Melanie Asmar's piece on the new Medicaid waiver for developmentally disabled people. She did a lot of homework. Her information was spot-on, and the presentation was well balanced. I have friends and family who rely on this waiver for assistance. While we did not agree with or like everything we read, we all appreciate the hard work you did.

So often in life, no one says, "You done good." Well, Melanie, you have done good.

Lisa Howe


"Writer's Block," Joel Warner, August 13

Block Heads

As a resident of Writer Square, I wanted to thank you for Joel Warner's timely article. There are problems afoot, and the secretiveness of ACF with respect to residents and tenants is disturbing and causing real concern. There is also a bit of deceit: Joel points out in his article that ACF is scaling back the sign plan and has said there are no clocktower LED panels, "period." But — and it's a big but — ACF has taken no steps to amend or modify the plan as submitted, and seems to be moving forward toward the September 2 planning board meeting as if its plan will (or should) be approved in its entirety as originally presented.

Second, and perhaps even more troubling, is the fact that ACF keeps speaking about the "need" for LED panels to fulfill some "vision" that it has for Writer Square without ever sitting down with the residents to explain what that "vision" is and why LED panels are a necessity for fulfilling that "vision." I am not talking about some pie-in-the-sky architectural or design vision, but rather ACF's vision of what our community will look like and how it will operate one, five or even ten years from now. What kind of tenants and uses (and what lease rates) are required to satisfy the insatiable appetite of a ruthless commercial developer that paid nearly $59 million dollars for Writer Square's commercial component, and how can that "vision" of tenants be meshed with the 42 existing, longtime (25 years) residences located in the very heart of that mix?

Geoie Writer created a wonderful community that has always been and needs to stay a whole hell of a lot more than simply separate and distinct components. By architectural design, common area usage and reliance, and simple construction, it is an undeniable fact that we are all in this together, as a single community of commercial interests, business interests and residential interests. Until ACF is willing to talk about its "vision," including tenant mix and uses, and how that "vision" can both be created for, and work harmoniously with, the residential component of our community, I am afraid that we will continue to live with the fear and distrust that ACF has created within our community.

Rob Hueston


It sounds like there are all kinds of arms up about this project. The big issue I stammered over was when I heard that all of the trees and planters are going to be removed. In a time when building in green space in any urban city is desired, this is shocking to me.  The other wonderful aspect of the trees is the shade they provide, encouraging people to gather and sit. How can they take them out?

I do not know what the intentions are for gathering spaces and new benches, but please, share the importance of the living plants. It is sad that so much of that has been removed already.

Erin Rolf


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