Letters to the Editor

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Naomi Yoder

Mystery data: I enjoyed reading David Holthouse's "Building a Better Mousetrap" and was very interested by Rob Ramey. One of the scientific tenets some "environmentalists" forget in the heat of their agendas is to ask, "Where are the data?"

Loren Hettinger
via the Internet

Editor's note: On January 28, Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton announced that her department has formally proposed removing the Preble's jumping mouse from endangered-species protection, based largely on research conducted by Denver Museum of Nature & Science biologist Rob Ramey. In updating work done five decades earlier by Arizona wildlife biologist Philip Krutzsch, Ramey and his team determined that the Preble's mouse was not a genetically distinct subspecies, as it had been classified since 1954. "Many of the expert reviewers thought this study's conclusions were wrong," says Erin Robertson, staff biologist with the Denver-based Center for Native Ecosystems. "It is premature to be talking about removing protection." Even so, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service started the "delisting" process last month; until a final determination is made in 2006, the Preble's mouse will continue to be protected under the Endangered Species Act -- and its habitat tightly restricted from development.

"Building a Better Mousetrap," originally published in the January 20 issue, is now archived at It was David Holthouse's last feature for Westword.

Knuckle Sandwich

Ani gravity: Hey, Jason Heller! You must have had your head too far up your ass when you were listening to Ani DiFranco's Knuckle Down, and this interfered with your reception (Playlist, January 27). This is an excellent album, one I'd rank as her best since Dilate.

I get a kick out of you music critics, people who lack any type of creative ability taking potshots at a creative genius like Ani DiFranco, who has accomplished more in her 34 years than you could ever hope to in ten lifetimes. So what if she's been nominated for a Grammy! It just goes to show that there are some people out there (not including you) who recognize true talent.

Chart-riding? When was the last time you heard an Ani DiFranco song on the radio other than that wretched cover of "32 Flavors" by Alana Davis? Swiping shamelessly? Why would anyone want to swipe from Tom Waits, who always sounds to me like some unintelligible drunk bum? Have you ever seen her perform live? Her acoustic-guitar style is amazing, and the connection she makes with her fans is something I've never seen with any other artist -- ever. You have to see it to truly appreciate it.

Get off your ass and get to a show instead of sitting in your office painting with your broad brush. Ani DiFranco is an incredibly gifted singer-songwriter. I think you owe it to her and yourself to perform a little more research before you "review" someone's work. Your review really pissed me off!

Richard Bom
via the Internet

Mission Aborted

The truth hurts: Kenny Be's January 27 Worst-Case Scenario, "EmbryObituaries & Immemorials," was one of the most brilliant things I have ever seen -- concise, irrefutable. To heap further praise upon it would ruin the sparse beauty of Be's creation.

I'm sure you'll get a lot of angry letters from the anti-abortion crowd. I guess I can't blame them; it must hurt to get sucker-punched with the truth like that. Of course, not being able to think rationally or recognize sense when they see it, they just know they are hurt and will no doubt lash out at Westword with the stuttering incoherence that is their trademark.

Todd Linn

The Hate State, Redux

Inflame throwers: I have to comment on Mike Triplett's laughable letter last week, in which he referred to Neil Haverstick as a "hate-filled inflamer" from Lakewood. I am also a Lakewood resident and even know Neil, although I haven't talked to him in probably well over a decade. Somehow, Mike Triplett got things all mixed up in his non-hate-filled little brain when he read what Neil wrote. I believe Neil's point was that "Tom Tom" Tancredo is once again making a buffoon of himself in his typically xenophobic, racist manner. "Dumb Dumb" and "Dik Dik" are both pretty good replacements for his first name, as Neil suggested, but "Ass Ass" and "Knob Knob" probably fit Tommy T's persona better, even though they don't roll off the tongue quite as well (no pun intended).

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