Regarding Andy Van De Voorde's "The Alaskan Pipeline," in the August 10 issue:
Wait a minute. Let's see if I've got this right. We have an unusable $3 billion airport because a contractor can't get a $190 million baggage system to work. So the city is going to spend another $50 million to install a system they know will work. And all of this is to provide a place for a bunch of planes, which are owned by a bunch of either bankrupt or money-losing airlines, to park.
As if that weren't enough, the city and the great business minds in the Denver Chamber of Commerce are courting MarkAir to move its headquarters here. How? By committing $10 million--not of private money, but of fuel-tax receipts--as security for a bank loan so MarkAir can buy more planes.
Here we go wooing a firm that just got out of bankruptcy, is in a fight with the FDIC over $6.2 million of unpaid loans, owes the state of Alaska $8.6 million in unpaid loans, owes $12 million to unsecured creditors and agreed to make payments on a $408,000 phone bill only after a bankruptcy judge forced it to. Meantime, MarkAir lost $5.8 million the first two months of 1994, and the president raised his monthly salary from $12,500 to $22,500.
If it had not been for the article that Andy Van De Voorde wrote, we would never know the sorry financial state this airline is in.
Kudos to Andy Van De Voorde for his MarkAir story. Bad enough that the airport is a monument to the Colorado fat cats who pushed it through in order to save their asse(t)s. Now we have to import bankrupt businessmen to keep it open?
To Air Is Human
Regarding Patricia Calhoun's "Fold Your Tents," in the August 17 issue:
I took advantage of one of the city's art tours of DIA several months ago (back when we thought the new airport would open one day!) and was very impressed with Gary Sweeney's work. I am no art critic, but it seemed to have a sense of humor that helped put that grand circus tent in perspective.
Now the only way to keep DIA in perspective is to have a sense of humor.
I'm sorry that Denver is losing Mr. Sweeney. I wish we could lose those baggage planners instead.
Another blast at DIA and Mayor Webb regarding the circus on Pena Boulevard. Kudos to Westword for beating a dead horse (or white elephant).
Back in 1989, just before Denverites had their one chance to vote this turkey down, Calhoun told her readers to flip their levers for "yes" (Stapleton seemed way too small and busy to the editor). Speaking of birds, marinate that crow overnight, then televise the dinner on Channel 12's Colorado Inside Out. Recipe by Gene Amole, of course.
Next, Westword may wish to sponsor a bigger fundraising event. Invitations to all the media moguls and editors, the Greater Denver Chamber of Commerce, the bond salesmen, the lawyers and the politicians. If Fed Pena shows, why not Neil Bush as well? Proceeds go to Citizens Rebuilding Democracy--a grassroots coalition for strong finance reform. That's why Denver built DIA--big money. It's high time we wrest control of our government from the plutocrats, both Republican and Democrat.
"Imagine a great city" as far as the eyes can see. Well, we've got it!
I was a bit nervous and a bit drunk,
As I endeavored to sort through the bunk.
I had strolled about the Denver International Airport building site,
When I thought I'd inquire as to a future flight.
Resting in the shadows of the moon
Upon hearing voices from the gloom
Of a far-distanced room
I became intrigued as to their plan of doom.
Their secret spilled from their lips,
As I slipped a flask from my hips.
They had chartered a course
For Loan Shark Resource
With a school of moneyed suckers on the concourse.
A million dollars a day
Would be their pay
For every day
They could delay.
In Kenny Be's otherwise fine Worst-Case Scenario in the August 17 issue, "The Mayor Bottoms Out at the Big New Library Top-Off Gala," he forgot one thing that would make this construction project parallel the airport: Move the entire Denver Public Library 28 miles away.
If we build it there, what the hell makes us think they will come?
Game, Chet and Match
Regarding Eric Dexheimer's "Love at First Set," in the August 10 issue:
While setting up his article, author Eric Dexheimer also set up Chet Niemeyer for the subtle ridicule shown to every older generation. This gentleman appears lively and rather distinguished and fit for the respectful age he has reached, and his face appears nothing like a "muffin."