Letters to the Editor

Waste Not, Want Not

Unsafe at any speed: I don't know why Patricia Calhoun thinks South Carolina should be happy to take the waste that Colorado doesn't want ("Deliverance," May 23). Or why she thinks that all the states between Colorado and South Carolina should have to endure plutonium shipments on their highways.

We are all in this together. Plutonium not only lasts forever (or close enough, as Calhoun says), but spreads everywhere. Nowhere is safe. None of us are safe.

Jayne Freed
Charleston, South Carolina

Here comes the sun: Has anyone considered putting the nuclear waste on a space vehicle(s) and sending it to the sun to burn up? After all, the sun is nothing more than a continuous nuclear explosion, and a little more nuclear fuel won't bother it one bit. Furthermore, I'll bet it could be done cheaper that way than spending $4 billion on a MOX plant, plus all the other costs associated with monitoring and controlling the waste plutonium before it gets converted.

Ken Krause
via the Internet

Qwest for Ire

The baby bells are wringing: "Wring Out the Old," in the May 23 issue, was an excellent article. Now show how Qwest would do without the pension fund. Show their real earnings and how the execs profited. The coming Qwest bankruptcy will have the largest impact on Denver since the town was founded. And the workers are really left holding the bag.

Stories like this are what newspapers used to do.

Al Jordan
via the Internet

Indecent exposure: I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for the excellent job Stuart Steers did of exposing Qwest for the thieving bastards they truly are. Many of us at Qwest are fully aware of this, but sometimes it helps to see your own observations echoed back in black and white. For those who were not aware, Steers's piece should provide them with some valuable insights.

Name withheld on request

Sunset breach: Thank you for your well-researched and well-written story about Qwest. It is sad but true. I am grateful that I opted to leave US West with an enhanced retirement package in 1990. Much like Jeri V., I started as an operator and advanced to a middle-management position.

In any case, I want to state that, like most other retirees, I am appalled at (what appears to be) the self-serving actions of Mr. Nacchio, key executives of Qwest and the board of directors. As a shareholder and retiree, I feel helpless as I watch Qwest fade into the sunset. Is this another mega-corporation that the government will have to rescue because it appears that no one can or will stop the poor management practices? I watch with great interest and even greater sadness.

J. Wilkinson
via the Internet

Post Toasties

Giving credit where edit's due: At a Denver Post staff meeting announcing the departure of editor Glenn Guzzo, the paper's owner and publisher, Dean Singleton, reportedly denied that Neil Westergaard had been editor of the paper -- an interesting statement in light of the fact that Neil took over the editorship, succeeding me in October of 1993 (Michael Roberts's "Changing of the Guard," May 9).

Responding to a member of the staff, Singleton said Spencer, Britton and Guzzo had been editors, but that Westergaard had been given a tryout for the job and had failed to pass. Dean should damned well know better. Choosing to gratuitously castigate a professional who in no way had it coming was not only mean-spirited and inaccurate, but it left one with the impression that during the years Westergaard was running his paper, Singleton was somewhere north of Saturn or, at least, Colorado.

Neil Westergaard was editor of the Denver Post and a good one. If the owner of the paper can't deal with that for reasons only God knows, he needs help. I worked for Dean Singleton and like him, but there are days when his mouth could outrun War Emblem.

Gil Spencer
New York City

TV or not TV: Michael Roberts, in your May 23 "Letter to the Editor," you forgot: Dump Joanne Ostrow, and get someone who knows something about radio and TV!

Jay Marvin, WLS Radio

Credibility gap: Upon reading Michael Roberts's comments about the appearance of the Denver Post in his "Letter to the Editor," I had an idea: Maybe someone at Westword could loan the Post a copy of the tired template used to create Westword, SF Weekly and all the other tired alternative weeklies in the Starbucks, I mean, New Times chain.

That way, the Denver Post could be just as cool as the Gap, I mean, Westword.

Brian K. Trembath
via the Internet

Green achers: After reading Michael Roberts's article about Chuck Green's "resignation" (" Three the Hard Way," May 16), I could not help but write you of our own experience with this "journalist."

After my daughter, Lisl Auman, was convicted of felony murder, Chuck Green wrote in one of his columns that "Lisl spit in the face of a police officer" when she was arrested. This is an outright lie. It never happened. We received threatening phone calls the day this was printed. To write something as horrible as this as fact was deceitful to the readers of the Post. Many people were enticed to believe Lisl was pure scum and deserved her sentence of life in prison without parole. We tried to contact Mr. Green by phone and e-mail, and he would not return our calls. How his editor could allow this to go to print without verifying the information and/or sources is beyond me. I guess no one questioned his character or more, his motives.

Colleen Auerbach
via the Internet

A wing and a prayer: I can tell that May 23 letter writers Name Withheld and Palden Yangtso Hester are right-wing heterosexual males, because they Just Don't Get It. Lucky for them, I do.

Holger Jensen lost his journalistic credibility when he utterly abandoned the last shred of his professional dignity and used his "news" platform as a stick with which to endlessly bash Israel. I'm not a Jew. And unlike Name Withheld, odds are my relatives in ze Old Country were solidly on the morally wrong side of the jackboots. But Jensen's bigotry became so obvious in his writing, you'd have to sit right of David Duke not to notice and be offended by it. He is so blinded by his anti-Semitism that when the Rocky spanked him for it by moving him out of news and into commentary, he took it as a license to grow even worse.

Reggie Rivers wasn't doing news, so on-the-job eruptions of his personal political and philosophical views, no matter how he twisted truth and logic, were just fine. That's not why he got the bum's rush; it's because listening to him was like listening to a more out-there Gary Tessler. Rivers's strident leftist screedstering was not only counter to the perspectives of today's average listener, it was also just plain boring. Rivers, to his credit, never milked the "I was a Bronco!!" thing, which might have appealed to sportsholes in the afternoon drive-time slot. But boring radio hosts can watch their Arbitron numbers drop like the gas gauge in an overloaded SUV.

You lefties out there can screech and stamp your feet over it, but you just ain't gonna create that vast right-wing conspiracy you have been so desperately seeking in these local media turnovers. Jensen and Rivers got sacked for one reason: money. They were costing the Rocky and KHOW (both private businesses) more than they were worth, whether that meant advertisers leaving holes because of Jensen's virulent anti-Semitism, or listeners who had to flip the dial on Rivers because they couldn't sleep and drive at the same time. Pretty simple math. Even a right-wing heterosexual male can get it.

As for Roberts's May 23 column, the Post's "Colorado Voices" makes fine fish wrap. Too bad if you're looking for interesting regional-angle commentary instead on Sundays.

JM Schell
via the Internet

Foreign correspondent: This is our country. Get the hell out of our newsrooms!

Foreign elements have been waging propaganda wars in America since its discovery by Europe, and I've certainly had my fill of the modern one. Still, I'm compelled to observe that Arabs -- and Palestinian Arabs, in particular -- who wish to see more even-handed U.S. policy in the Middle East should emulate their pro-Israel competitors here and abroad:

•Mobilize their relatives in America to prepare their sons and daughters for careers in journalism, so they, too, can be dispatched to cover events in Palestine and Israel.

•Cultivate foreign and domestic corporations that can threaten to withhold advertising from U.S. media that publish opinions or stories perceived to be "unfair" (i.e., objective).

•Find wealthy, politically aggressive backers who will fund the purchase of strategically important media outlets in the U.S.

I really don't care to see yet more foreign manipulation of my news, but hey, fair's fair.

Karl Sutterfield

The Hole Truth

Taken to tax: I take exception to Nick Werle's letter in the May 23 Westword which, while apparently in defense of Douglas Bruce in his feud with the City of Denver (Alan Prendergast's "Vendetta," May 16), characterized him as an a-hole. Perhaps it would be more meaningful if Werle were to take the time and mental effort to explain why he personally doesn't like Bruce instead of making a mindless insult, which only shows his ignorance and lack of class -- in addition to Westword's irresponsibility in publishing his foul characterization.

I worked with Mr. Bruce on the ballot initiative for Tax Cut 2000 and found his character and concern for his fellow citizens inspiring. He has spent his own time and money so our state government and its lavish spending can be held in check, so that average people like Werle might actually be able to keep more of what they earn, so that seniors can stay in their homes instead of being taxed out of them. If that's an a-hole, I strive every day to be one. I think Jefferson and Madison would think highly of Mr. Bruce. I know I do.

Dennis Hammond

Street Legal

Cheap tricks: Once again, David Holthouse shows us that he's not afraid to dive into the dark issues in writing the May 2 "Tricks of the Trade." Our city has many dark issues hiding in dark corners, and prostitution is but one of many. Drug and alcohol abuse, as well as prostitution, have become all too easy to ignore. It takes a true journalist like David Holthouse to dust off the shadows and bring issues like these back into the light and awareness of the city of Denver. It's become far too easy to look the other way, yet what message does this send to our children? Drugs are illegal, yet lawmakers tell us we can't stop our loved ones until they ask for help. This tells our kids that it's okay to use illegal drugs because no one can make you stop until you ask for help. What kind of crap is that?

Involuntary commitment is an option that's rarely mentioned. This resource could and should be used for drugs, alcohol and prostitution. No one in his right mind wants to be involved in these lifestyles. As for the excuse of no jail space, I say: Look at all of the vacant buildings and partially used space in churches and warehouses. Couldn't some of it be used to house this type of offender? What does a cry for help sound like anyway? Lawmakers, are you listening? Isn't it amazing that this unique breed of lawbreaker can always find a place to "set up office," yet lawmakers can't find a place to put them when they are caught breaking the law?

Pimps, prostitutes and drug addicts are quite content to hang out in the aforementioned empty buildings to crash or get high. As David Holthouse so aptly put it, "theirs is a special breed of mental slavery."

Lynn Harris

Gutter snipe: "Tricks of the Trade" is an appropriate title for David Holthouse's May 2 article about prostitution. His trick is to mix facts and fiction. I believe he actually interviewed police officers and other verifiable sources for this article. I also believe that most, if not all, of the quotes and behavior attributed to Kid Rock and the whores are made up by David Holthouse. This is one of the tricks of his trade, to include quotes from verifiable sources to give fictional scenes credibility.

What really set me off was the May 16 letter to Westword allegedly written by Marrianne (two r's?) Rizzuto.

I believe this letter (and perhaps others) was written by David Holthouse and submitted under a fictitious name or submitted by someone he knows. This is another trick of the trade -- overly enthusiastic letters praising the writer, but actually written by the writer or his close friend, especially if the writer is being challenged or criticized for his or her work. The same thing happens on talk radio when politicians or people with an agenda encourage their staff and friends to call in with loaded questions and exaggerated praise. This latest charade places David Holthouse at the same level as his fictional pimp: gutter sludge.

Robert Dawson

Editor's note: Marrianne Rizzuto (yes, two r's) assures us that she does exist, did indeed write the letter published in the May 16 issue -- and does not know David Holthouse. For that matter, neither do any of the other readers (all real) whose letters in response to Holthouse's article were published in recent issues.

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