"Access Denied," by Michael Roberts, February 10, 2000

I howled with laughter upon reading Michael Roberts's "Access Denied," in the February 10 issue. This one time, I applaud Westword for revealing to the public the kind of idiot Jann Scott is. I urge all people everywhere to reject nihilistic types like Jann Scott, with his siren song of self-destruction and idiocy. He's no good to others and no good to himself.

John Bales

Michael Roberts's article left out some important segments. Let me fill them in. Jann Scott is a talk-show host, an entertainer, and a good one. Michael Roberts interviewed Jann Scott the Act. This whole thing with CATV is a sketch. If Scott is on the air or talking to a reporter, he's on; a few of his friends actually know him. He is an Andy Kaufman character or a Howard Stern type. People love him. Even those who hate him watch him; when CATV threw him off, they all came to his aid. Whatever TV channel he is on, he is number one. They love him on TCI/DCTV 57/ASPEN 12 and Boulder 54. But as everyone knows, Denver TV execs and talk-radio execs aren't exactly known for picking new hot talent. Boyles and Rosen, the masters, are decades old -- still hot, but not new. Current management tripped over their dicks and fell on those guys twenty years ago.

Every year, Jann makes the Nielsen ratings. This guy is a certifiable TV star. In Boulder alone, there have been 35 news stories about him since Thanksgiving. In Denver, of course, Westword wrote the bomb of them all. But the Post and News are so out of touch with hip, popular TV culture.

Part of Jann's allure is that he is so not like what you expect on television, with his use of ambush video, the way he lovingly insults callers. Jann has made five films and 200 documentaries, all serious. On live talk TV he is a nut, and if he is on your cable system, you are in bed watching him before you have sex.

Last week at the CU Buffs game, he got a standing ovation when it was announced that he was back on the air. CATV and its staff and board are about to be kicked into the street because they picked on Boulder's favorite TV celebrity. All of the city council, city managers, cops, DAs and power people watch this guy kick them around -- and they love him for it.

Jon Graham

"Born and Razed," by Michael Roberts, February 10, 2000

Is Nick Mystrom single? He's the guy from Michael Roberts's "Born and Razed" article, in the February 10 issue, regarding the I-25 expansion. I opened up the paper to find his lovely mug instantly gripping my heart. I don't believe in such things as love at first sight, but I might be convinced if I met him. If he is single and you're so inclined, you should set me up on a blind date with him. Or at least pass on my dimensions: Attractive SWF, 5'5", burgundy/ hazel, 125 lbs., 25, financially stable, kitty owner, Wash Park resident.

Giulia Rossi

"See What Matters," by Eric Dexheimer, February 10, 2000

I thoroughly enjoyed Eric Dexheimer's well-written February 10 article "See What Matters," on the Northglenn Judo Club. It was four years ago that a friend of mine lost an adult son in a farm accident. That incident led me to examine the relationship I had with my own growing children and the amount and quality of the time we spent together. I had heard about the Northglenn Judo Club, and my youngest son and I signed up. It's impossible to fully describe the many positive changes that occurred in our lives as a result. I can only tell your readers that I rediscovered the meaning of quality time, not only with my teenage boy and my wife, but with the most amazing group of talented and caring people I have ever met in my life. As the article described, my son has found other interests for the time being, but I have developed a passion for a sport that I know will last my lifetime. The values, the friendships and challenge of judo have me hooked!

If anyone else is interested in improving their quality of life, grab the phone book! Northglenn Judo and other clubs are listed. If you are like me, you will end up with a bump or bruise or two but will never regret the day you moved from being a spectator of life to jumping into the game with all you have...heart, body and soul!

Dan Overland

"Organized Chaos," by Julie Jargon, February 10, 2000

Thank you for Julie Jargon's "Organized Chaos," in the February 10 issue, regarding Denver-area nurses organizing to fight unfair and unsafe working conditions. A recent 20/20 program also addressed how hospitals have reduced RN staffing and replaced nurses with non-licensed assistive personnel, and the negative impact on patient care and outcome as a result. The American Nurses Association has long maintained that inadequate RN staffing has put patient care in jeopardy. I congratulate Denver nurses for their courage to address these issues.

This conflict is not about salaries, though the idea that $15.50 an hour is "competitive" is almost comical. In 1993, R.N. Magazine reported that the average salary in the Rocky Mountain region was $16.70 an hour. How odd that during a critical shortage of nurses, salaries have decreased in seven years. Could this be attributed to wage-fixing?

While nurses have seen their wages and benefits diminish along with staffing, we have seen our workload increase dramatically. Today hospital patients require more skilled nursing. Patients are admitted to floors with endotracheal tubes, open-heart surgery patients are sometimes out of ICU in 24 hours, and many patients have multiple intravenous lines with infusion pumps for multiple medications. A patient newly admitted to a floor can consume at least one hour of a nurse's time, while he or she may already have eight patients and be responsible for an LPN's patients who may require the RN to perform some advanced care; at the same time, the RN must deal with any emergency that may arise. If we voice our concerns about these issues, we often see our positions deleted.

As responsibility for the RN increases, so does the liability. If a nurse makes a serious mistake, his or her license could be up for review by the State Board of Nursing, not to mention that he or she could face a malpractice lawsuit and even possibly be charged with criminal negligence. But hospital staffing at the time of the error is rarely addressed.

Patient safety is at risk when hospitals reduce their RN staffing. California nurses organized to pass legislation to mandate specific nurse-patient ratios, prohibit unlicensed personnel to perform invasive procedures and restrict floating nurses to another floor where they have no orientation or expertise. Now it is time for Colorado nurses to speak up, not only for their patients' safety, but also for their own professional safety and integrity.

This is an important election year, and nurses represent the largest health-care provider in the country. It is time to make our concerns public.

Marty Smith

"Organized Chaos" shows the results of the massive anti-worker, anti-union propaganda campaign instigated by the capitalist upper class. Their highly successful, pre-union busting strategy is to keep working people fragmented and divided. They want whites fighting with blacks, men fighting with women, employed fighting with the unemployed. Keep the pot stirred. Keep the tension level up. Keep the working class off balance. Divide. Conquer. Control!

John Cassella


"Origin of the Specious," by Juliet Wittman, February 10, 2000

Thanks for Juliet Wittman's controversy-perpetuating February 10 article, "Origin of the Specious." I was staring at the "mad" Wartella cartoon on the cover, trying to ascertain where I stand on the evolutionary scumbag scale, feeling grateful that in this modern age, I don't need to club my cyber-porn babes into submission. Then I turned the page, and what greeted me on page 3? A hot little breeder chick in an ad who appeared to be "just asking for it."

Seriously, I feel that scientists have this hyper-rational need to quantify everything, including human behavior. Rape has no single motive any more than murder does. I have a qualitative notion that on the anger/lust scale, the act of forced sex is more about release than punishment -- because erection cannot be faked and is dependent on arousal, which is primal and sexual in nature, not conditioned. Sure, we've all been told that in certain deviant individuals, anger/revenge is a turn-on, and then the rod becomes an instrument of retribution for real or imagined wrongs. Then again, the percentage of these individuals among the male population is so infinitesimal, the whole issue becomes an exercise in "deviant fascination," which all of us seem to have, to some degree.

Except, of course, for the victims and their loved ones. (I have been a loved one on two different occasions; the rapists were never caught, to our knowledge.) For them (and us), the inference that all males are genetically programmed to impregnate breeder females by any means is an insult to every healthy heterosexual relationship everywhere.

James Greenfield

I am outraged by your decision to put an unproven statement and a grotesque cartoon on the cover of your February 10 issue. Not only does this condone rape, but the artist is also making light of rape. This statement is a threat to the safety of women, as it sensationally captures the attention of young impressionable men.

By presenting this statement in the present tense you are erroneouly comparing Y2Kman to the caveman. Let us not simplify human behavior so much so that we do not consider what is meant by the most basic understanding of evolution.

Maryellen Mullarkey

I am writing about the pages of falsehood to lessen a man's self-esteem by referring to him as a rapist. How dare Juliet Wittman compare us to primates? We are born in the image of God. Does she not know that the power of speech can be used to destroy? All she does is quote bits of information that misinterpret the authors' whole meaning. I think she needs to be quiet and keep her mouth shut.

I like your paper, and as a rule, you have educational information that is helpful. Please continue to have true and good informative articles -- not this garbage written by Juliet Wittman.

Name withheld on request

Editor's note: For more discussion of Juliet Wittman's story, visit our discussion board area, Talk Amongst Yourselves. There you'll also find the complete text of the much-flamed Mike Donley's letter published in the February 17 issue; the print version omitted the modifier "political-" before "lesbian." Our apologies.

Letters policy: Westword wants to hear from you, whether you have a complaint or compliment about what we write from week to week. Letters should be no more than 200 words; we reserve the right to edit for libel, length and clarity. Although we'll occasionally withhold an author's name on request, all letters must include your name, address and telephone number.

Write to:

Westword Letters

P.O. Box 5970

Denver, CO 80217

or e-mail to: [email protected].

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.