A Fur Piece
Regarding Eric Dexheimer's coverage of the three knuckle-dragging, Cro-Magnon trappers ("Fur Fight," March 7): When these gentlemen have shot, clubbed, hacked and skinned the last fur-bearing mammals they can snare in their steel-jaw leghold traps, they may want to consider migrating west to Humboldt County for a career logging the last stands of redwood forest. Redwood is bringing up to two dollars a board-foot in the Japanese market. That's right up there with a twenty-dollar bobcat pelt.

Hell, that's good beer and gas money.
Brian Brock

I would be interested to know what Mr. Dexheimer's feelings and thoughts were after interviewing these primitive, sadistic, savage fur trappers he wrote about in his article. I wonder how he kept from vomiting out of sheer disgust and revulsion on witnessing the "hobby" of torturing and killing defenseless animals.

Killing one animal, of course, also kills by starvation the rest of the family--the babies left behind. It's hard to imagine the mental processes of a creature who thrives on this activity--who gleefully delights in inflicting terror and a horrible death to so many of God's beings.

One would hope that these cold-herted, ignorant old bastards will die soon, and this barbaric practice will not be condoned by subsequent generations.

Carolyn P. Sommerville

Target Practice
Regarding Bill Gallo's "Shoot to Thrill" in the February 14 issue:
I just read the review of Broken Arrow, and I can't believe you barely managed to mention Samantha Mathis and then only as a pretty park ranger! Her part almost equaled Christian Slater's part. And she was terrific.

Is male chauvinism still as blatant in journalism as it was thirty years ago? And does Westword promote it?

Doris Sullivan

Learn As You Go
Thanks to Patricia Calhoun for walking outside the doors of Mitchell and actually talking to some of the people in the neighborhood ("Will They Ever Learn?," February 29). It is an outrage that the Montessori program is going to be taken out of a school in one of the poorest areas in the city, and an even greater outrage that Family Star could suffer. Sometimes it seems like the Cole neighborhood will never get a break.

A.T. Washington

I am not a Denver Public School parent; I'm in Jefferson County. But this is the best explanation I've read over all these months about Mitchell. So thank you for the wonderful article.

Name withheld on request

Westword editor Patricia Calhoun's broad swipe against the Denver Board of Education was poorly researched and misleading.

More than anything, Calhoun left the impression that the board's decision to move the Montessori program was heartless and without concern. However, the board held many public meetings on the issue, many of them lengthy and large. The Denver Post called these public sessions "protracted." The board patiently waited for the Montessori leadership to produce their best ideas. And, ultimately, the board delayed their entire timeline by weeks while the attempt was made to resolve this one dilemma. The rest of the district waited.

Several boardmembers met individually with the Montessori community, too. All understood the potential impact on the Family Star program.

On an issue that has been hanging fire for nearly three months, Calhoun gave district staff exactly five hours to produce answers to her specific list of questions. The column displayed no effort to show that the board had weighed the issue carefully, but snickered at the suggestion that the district can't count the numbers of students who would be displaced if the Montessori program was allowed to stay at Mitchell.

And that's the rub. Those students step off buses daily at Force, Palmer, Steck and Carson Elementary Schools and would continue to ride a bus--somewhere--if Montessori stayed put. These are children from poor neighborhoods, and the board agreed, above all else, that they deserve an equal right to education in their neighborhood.

The Montessori program isn't being destroyed; it's being moved. Family Star could still feed any Montessori program that takes root in north Denver, in a DPS school or elsewhere. The loss on the community fabric in the Cole neighborhood is something the board would have preferred to avoid. However, the board took several significant steps to ease the space crunch in north Denver, including allowing students in 24 elementary schools across north Denver to attend less crowded schools in central Denver. That's a potentially expensive plan proposed at a time of diminishing public school resources. But it's a plan Westword probably won't bother writing about. The reason? There's nobody complaining.

Mark Stevens, director, Public Information
Denver Public Schools

Patricia Calhoun responds: As the former education reporter for the Post, before he began officially flacking for DPS, Stevens knows that Westword's request for information required no heroic measures. After all those "protracted" meetings, DPS officials should have had those answers at their fingertips.

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