From the week of October 1, 2009

"Fear Itself," Off Limits, September 24

The Sprawlful Truth

Gitcher shit straight, okay?

 I know the Off Limits piece warning the host of some dumbassed TV reality show was supposed to be humorous, but can't you lefties ever say a thing about your Mother, the Earth, without it's gotta be utter elkshit?

I grew up here. Forty years ago, I'd have given my not-yet-dropped left testicle to run across a prairie rat — er, dog — whilst roaming rural Arvada with slingshot, pellet rifle or bow and arrow. No such luck. The brass ring of those halcyon days was a non-native red squirrel, but mostly I had to satisfy my bloodthirsty urges with another non-native, the tiny English sparrow. At least that improved my aim!

We are not seeing more critters in urban areas because of sprawl, but because there are more of them! Lots more. There are a lot of reasons for that, including expanding, not shrinking, habitat as better farming methods (until the idiotic "organic" craze) allowed farmers and ranchers to grow more on less land; fewer kids these days killing everything in sight and fewer hunters doing it the right way. Another big reason is that until the 1980s, nobody'd dreamed of giving deer, bears, cougars and elk virtual highways to commute on — we call them "greenbelts." 

 Fact-check, please. Not all left-enviro "facts" are. In fact, few are. 

J.M. Schell


"In the Dog House," Jared Jacang Maher, September 24

Man Bites Dog

Thank you so much for the very informative article in Westword. I have trained dogs for over thirty years, and they are a huge part of my life. I currently have two pit bulls that I rescued while working for the city of Englewood. I live in Lakewood in the lower Green Mountain area; I would be totally crushed if Lakewood ever went to a ban.

I also think the real problem is the breeders who keep having more pups just to make a buck, as well as certain breeds seeming to attract irresponsible owners. This is so true. I also feel a lot of the problem has to do with people making laws about dogs who truly do not understand dogs.

Robert Kunselman


This is another example of horrible reporting, in my opinion. All these anecdotal incidents may be interesting, but hopefully public officials are using statistics and public opinion polls to determine policy. And if city officials are too silly to have a professional polling service conduct an unbiased poll, then the newspaper should have done that as part of the story.

Let's not forget, the only reason Michael Vick was prosecuted was because he was stupid enough to bury the dogs he was fighting and killing on his own property. If not for that, he would still be killing dogs and torturing them to fight every single day. But I doubt we will ever see anyone involved in this blood "sport" make that same mistake again.

I'm sorry, but if I was a high school English teacher and had to grade this story, I could only give it a D or an F.

If you want a different perspective on this, join one of the poisonous snake groups and see how many people think it is unfair to ban ownership of entire species of snakes and that we should only prosecute owners after their poisonous snake has attacked someone. But they never seem to mention how we would prove who the owner was after a snake escapes. And this may surprise you, but not everyone can tell poisonous snakes from harmless ones. Does that then mean we should not ban any poisonous snakes?

Where did Jared get a journalism degree from?

Bill Zardus

Camden County, New Jersey


Where, oh, where is the bowdown emoticon?? You deserve about five.

I lived in Denver for six years, and while I loved the city, I moved away in early 2006. My dog was confiscated in 2000 by the Gestapo. She was/is a therapy dog, and has never had an incident or even gotten out of the yard. She is a model canine citizen, and I strive to be a model dog owner. I relocated her, and she has lived with my mother for the past nine years. I hope your story will help people look at the whole picture and not just the hysteria created by the city council and Kory Nelson. I also hope that one day this insane ban will be repealed and my husband and I can move back to the Queen City of the Plains that we loved so much. Until then, we will continue to stay in hotels, eat in restaurants and shop in stores outside the Denver (and Aurora) city limits when we visit the metro area.

Robin McClure

Monte Vista

Interesting that the same day your story on pit bulls came out, I got a call from my daughter telling me that their pit bull, the one the kids play with that's so loving, snapped while she was playing with it and almost took her face off. The problem is not that pit bulls cannot be loving and sweet dogs. The problem is that they have been hard-wired for something else. You can't change the wiring, you just can't. Try to stop a border collie from herding; it is impossible.

They are flat-out dangerous — and everyone I have ever known who owned one, somewhere deep inside, kind of found that appealing to their ego. I have also met very few owners who could control their dogs.

There is no need to have dogs that have been bred for ages to fight living in an urban environment where they are going to constantly have to interact with other dogs. There are hundreds of dogs you can pick from; it simply isn't necessary to own a pit bull.

James Martin


What people really need to understand is the rarity of fatalities; it makes no sense to kill thousands upon thousands of dogs because of the actions of a few. This type of profiling we would certainly not condone against a person. The vast majority of these dogs are not and have never been used in fights. Yet the actions of a few people condemn all.

Are you familiar with Daniel Gardener's book The Science of Fear? An excellent read, and you can see how the "pitbull" hysteria fits into his premise. It is sad to see the pictures of these dogs and know that they probably never made it out. The most poignant is the dog with Doug Kelley; how can he say the dog is vicious and should die.......? To me it looks like a dog well worth keeping...

T. E.Houston

Sacramento, California

Editor's note: For more photos of dogs living on Denver's death row, as well as many more comments about Jared Jacang Maher's pit bull story, go to

"Drink Up!," Patricia Calhoun, September 17

Bitch, Bitch, Bitch

Pure hypocrisy. I'd rather go through life as a loser/failure than as a hypocrite. Steve Horner may come off as a killjoy or nerd, but he has a point, and has the courage to face all the hysterical ridicule.

Host any "Men's Privilege Only" event, and the screams are inevitable, as are the lawsuits.  Equality means equal time, bitches. Women who so strive for "equality" should be truly offended whenever an event, circumstance or ritual occurs that bows down to them.  Like alimony, opening doors, not hitting you back. You've heard all the arguments before, but disregard them when it's convenient. Independence is a rough road paved with hard times. Men have dealt with it since time began; what, women can't?

Sure, I want happy hour and ladies' nights and drunk bimbos I can get a piece of ass from here and there. But more important to me than any of that is integrity: Don't make me pay your alimony and read about your discrimination lawsuits every damn day of the week while you turn a blind eye toward all of the perks you get simply for being female. Integrity and being taken seriously is an all-or-nothing endeavor. Horner may be an ass for all of the lawsuits he's petitioned, but he's doing more to preserve the arguments for equality than any woman I've ever known. Some of those arguments require losing some perks, but women don't seem to get that.

S. William Stevens


I can't imagine you would want this domain name,, which is registered with, but just in case... I am very not fond of Mr. Horner, and have enjoyed and appreciated your efforts to shove him back down whatever hole he came from. Thanks.

Jeff Matthews


"Going Viral," Alan Prendergast, September 17

This Rose Doesn't Smell Too Sweet

Hospitals, like doctors, carry malpractice insurance. Every patient exposed to Kristen Parker deserves compensation. All those who contracted hepatitis after exposure to her, regardless of how they might have contracted it, deserve full medical treatment for hepatitis, which for some will be for life — not to mention compensation for lost wages, etc.Kristen Parker was a walking, talking 9/11. Such oversights close hospitals.

Gene W. Edwards

Colorado Springs

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