While I appreciate that Patricia Calhoun's reference to my essay "The Loss of Zeckendorf Plaza" ("Razin' in the Sun," May 16) allows that even bureaucrats may have hearts, I do take issue with her charge that neither DURA nor the planning director put up much resistance to the Adam's Mark proposal. The assertion is contrary to the facts and to one of the primary points of my essay. A tremendous effort was made, led by Jennifer Moulton and Jerry Glick, chairman of the DURA board, to improve the quality of the project and to find alternative design solutions. Design was the primary focus of discussion for the better part of a year.
As long as we perpetrate the suspicion that DURA and the City are antagonistic to preservation or that our design and preservation communities are not supportive of redevelopment, we will make it harder to build the coalition we need to prevent debacles like the Adam's Mark in the future. We all share a dream of a better Denver. As Lewis Mumford's quote implies, only the community--all of us working together--will achieve the quality government and the quality architecture that we deserve.
Denver Planning Office
Your recent recap of Moffat Tunnel events, "Still Railing," by Andy Van De Voorde in the May 16 issue, represented another excellent example of thorough news coverage.
While it is true that the Moffat Tunnel Commission is rumbling into the sunset, many issues remain. Senate Bill 96-233 set the table for the sales agreement between the Winter Park Recreational Association and the Commission, but the deal has yet to be finalized. The deal has not closed. It should be additionally noted that efforts to sell the remaining Commission assets will be considered.
Senate Bill 233 calls for Commission assets and sale proceeds to be divided among the nine counties which, in whole or in part, comprise the district. Denver fought hard and won a provision which will send 90 percent of the money to Denver, even though a large portion of Denver is not in the Moffat Tunnel Improvement District. The Commission will continue to work to make sure the Moffat Tunnel Commission money is returned to the taxpayers who paid property taxes, not to those living outside of the district. It should be noted that Denver residents did not pay 90 percent of the funds to retire the tunnel construction bonds. The railroad paid half the debt, meaning Denver residents actually paid only about 45 percent of the debt.
Once the Commission is dissolved, what business remains will be taken over by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. Senate Bill 233 initially carried a fiscal note of $160,000, indicating that that would be the yearly cost to the state to manage Commission affairs. The figure is roughly four times the amount expended by the Commission in non-election years. The fiscal note was removed from the bill at the eleventh hour; as of last week, the Department of Local Affairs did not know what its appropriation would be to manage the Commission's business.
Much work remains before the Commission is dissolved. Rest assured, we'll keep "railing."
Edward J. Jakubowski, Jr.
Secretary, Moffat Tunnel Commission
Poetry in Motion
I read with great interest Robin Chotzinoff's "The Odd Couplet," in the May 23 issue. Hooray, hooray! Finally, someone daring enough to print the truth on the Colorado Center for the Book. I, too, entered two names for the poet laureate, but I got the envelopes back three days after the contest expired (even though I sent them in four weeks before the deadline) stamped "Return to sender, unclaimed." What does this mean? How about that I didn't pick the right person they have already lined up? It seems the decision is rigged, but the question is: Which friend of the board will get it?
There are plenty of people who enjoy reading and writing in our fine state. Whether poets, writers or readers, the Colorado Center for the Book does not acknowledge them, they rebuke them--unless they are pals with someone inside. No one seems to care about the fact that only a few of the contest forms were distributed and only a few people were aware of the position. The Center for the Book kept it nice and quiet.
This whole poet laureate nomination is a joke. Why doesn't the Center for the Book just pick its friend and get it over with? Rarely do you find someone in literary circles who supports it anyway. Most feel the same way I do: The Center is a waste of space.
Gone to the Dogs
I enjoy reading Bill Gallo's sports column. It's one of the first articles I peruse when I pick up Westword. But, come on, what's with the greyhound/horse racing, auto racing and boxing articles? Why not devote just a bit more time to the Silver Bullets, the Foxes and the college teams? Hell, even high school action would be more interesting than another article about the exploitation of animals. Just a thought.