Topic of Cancer
Regarding Michelle Dally Johnston's "Critical Conditions," in the January 3 issue:

Whatever happened to taking one's word, especially a friend's word, as justification for assurance of almost anything? Personal existence, in this case.

I try and live my life by my word. When I say I will do something to, or for, anyone, I do my damnedest to hold to those previous words. Sometimes it's hard for me to follow my verbal agreement, but I guess you could call it honor or personal pride. In return, I like to see others uphold their word and thus gain my respect. This usually leads to friendships. In Megan Jones's case, it seems that she was given word that she was covered for a surgery that was pertinent to her life. This "yes, you are covered" came from a highly influential person in her situation: an insurance agent/close friend.

She was later told she would not be covered due to a pre-existing-condition clause in her insurance form that was not even in there when she filled it out. "Computer error," the company calls it. Now, whose fault is that? Not hers. Now she needs more treatment but faces a possibly impermeable financial barrier. I talked to her son after I read the article, and he told me, "It was just like she was getting a death sentence." That sucks. When did insurance companies take over the role of a court of law?

Megan Jones was given the runaround, and since her agent/so-called friend Mr. Cushner said she was covered, then he should stick to his word and cover her himself, if need be. He might not be able to take trips to SilverCreek for a few years, but more important, he would be saving both face and the life of a so-called friend of his. And a friend of mine, who is loved by many.

Bill Lamm
Highlands Ranch

Get a Life
I would like to thank Steve Jackson for his January 3 story concerning Ken Scott, "Suffer the Children." I was featured in Mr. Jackson's last article regarding the abortion protesters in the area around 20th and Vine, and as was noted in that story, the protesters are not pro-life when it comes to me or my neighbors. Tragically, it appears that this disregard for the life of the already-born extends to their own children.

My neighbors and I have had to put up with the ravings of these lunatics for years. I am frequently told by people standing in my own front yard that I deserve to die from the AIDS that I am currently fighting. Given such a mindset, I suppose it was to be expected that these people are not fit to be parents. How sad it is, then, that these are the very people trying to convince women to proceed with unwanted pregnancies to bring ever more unwanted children into this world.

I, and I believe all of my neighbors, wish Mr. Scott's children well and hope that they are able to lead happy and fulfilling lives despite their unfortunate parentage.

Luther Symons

Mile High Hype
I am writing to protest the damaging and very incorrect quotations attributed to me by Stuart Steers in the December 20 "Bowlen for Dollars."

I did not say the costs of repairing Mile High Stadium "have been wildly overestimated." I would never use the word "wildly." But more to the point, I have not studied the cost comparisons and so could not make a judgment as to how they compare with reality. They are probably conservative (on the high side) because that is the nature of such studies: to include every reasonably expected future cost, even though in reality the money may never be spent.

And I certainly never said LONCO was "the least qualified of the five firms that applied for the Mile High consulting job..." I don't even know who the five firms were, so it would obviously be difficult for me to make such a judgment. Our firm did not apply for the contract to perform the study. LONCO is one of the top engineering consulting firms in the Denver area, and it has a strong reputation. I emphasized this repeatedly to Mr. Steers, but it was obvious he had his own agenda, and this was not one of them. Such careless journalism is not in anyone's best interest.

Don T. Pyle
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates
Wheat Ridge

Editor's note: Westword stands by the story.

The Iceman Cometh
How soon they forget.
Naturally, the Colorado Avalanche are making hockey history in Denver by exciting fans and stealing Patrick Roy from Montreal, but how could Bill Gallo recap the year in sports ("The Balls and Strikes of '95," December 27) without the slightest mention of the IHL's Turner Cup champion Denver Grizzlies? The Grizzlies paved the way for the Avalanche by bringing hockey out of hibernation and giving this city a championship by dominating their league like no other Denver sports team before. On top of that, the organization pushed all the right buttons, with a great name, a striking logo and sharp uniforms, and by making games a complete entertainment experience (are you listening, Comsat?). And before anyone dismisses the IHL as "minor-league," remember that the league is stocked with many NHL veterans and that Coach Butch Goring could and should be coaching in the NHL. The difference between the IHL and the NHL is slight and cannot be compared to the gap between minor- and major-league baseball. So let's give the Grizzlies their due and honor them for the title they brought to Denver in 1995. The Avalanche may soon bring the Stanley Cup to Colorado, but Comsat would not have bought the team had the Denver Grizzlies not broken the ice.

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