Is Roberts just too cozy with media moguls at Denver's dailies who are partners to a pollution scandal they'd rather deny than fix? In a letter published last week, Troubleshooter Tom Martino (Roberts's last target) revealed that local media know how to keep quiet what they don't want known: If "reporters came back with facts that did not support the angle, the stories were often dropped. In other words, media enterprises often'censor' by 'exclusion.'"
Yet while Roberts appears befuddled, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Eileen Welsome gets it (as chronicled in "Dirty Secrets," her series in Westword's own pages), as did the judge who ruled in my favor in my whistleblower case, ordering whopping punitive damages in no small part for Denver's dailies' willing part in a defamation campaign designed to shut me up after a secret deal was cut to foist polluters' poisons and future pollution liabilities onto the public, without our knowledge or consent, and all at our expense. To keep the lid on the boiling pot at Lowry, Scripps-Howard promotes polluters' paid patsies like Kyla Thompson, while publishing anything she'll say to damage my professional credibility and threaten my position at CU-Boulder on behalf of her polluting clients.
So let's keep the focus on my fallopian tubes, and perhaps no one will notice the facts regarding some of the worst pollution crimes in the country, like how this is the only place in America where wastes from a plutonium-saturated Superfund site are being routed back into the public domain, mixed with sewage sludge being dumped by the tons each day as "fertilizer" on eastern Colorado farms, where crops are grown for America's dinner tables, and toxic water is "recycled" onto Denver parks and schoolyards, or flushed to the South Platte River, where deformed fish are -- not surprisingly -- turning up downstream.
Instructor, Environmental Studies Program
University of Colorado at Boulder
The soft cell: Michael Paglia, as people who frequently read and very much enjoy your columns (although we may not always agree with you), there was something almost vitriolic about your March 3 "Blind Justice" piece concerning the proposed jail/Justice Center. You sounded unreasonably angry.
As boardmembers of the Golden Triangle Association and members of the Justice Center Task Force, we were intensely involved in the mayor's decision-making process. We respectfully disagree with your analysis of the process. We live in the neighborhood and walk the streets every day. The reason so many people and groups came out in support of the process was because it was ably conducted by James Mejia and the mayor's staff in an open, transparent fashion, with everyone's ideas given careful consideration. Nobody wants a jail in their neighborhood, but a jail and new courtrooms are desperately needed. One logical place is the Civic Center -- in keeping with an old American tradition of courthouses, and even jails, downtown.
I don't know if you're aware that the Golden Triangle Association: 1) submitted 22 design guidelines for the facility to assure that it would be a quality addition to the Civic Center, and all were accepted; 2) requested that a Civic Center master plan be prepared in advance of any decisions, and it was, with major input from our neighborhood; and 3) worked out an agreement that no new criminal-justice facilities be constructed south of 14th Avenue and no additions be made to the prisoner beds in the future (this will be assured through Planned Unit Development zoning).
Can you be serious about "new/old urbanism"? We don't think that's the issue here. The city needs the facility, and it can be built at this location, creating a better situation for the Golden Triangle than present conditions; each morning as we walk to work or to activities downtown, sheriff's officers with guns poised stand by while shackled prisoners shuffle across our sidewalks. Not good -- for us or the sheriffs or the prisoners!
We believe the proposed Justice Center can be a facility the city can be proud of; it can offer a safer environment for the prisoners, the sheriffs, the attorneys, the witnesses, the judges and the neighbors. Thank you to the mayor's staff for a thoughtful, inclusive process to arrive at this solution.
Billie Bramhall, Eric Boyd and Dennis Humphries
Michael Paglia responds: Guidelines can be dispensed with at will, because they're only suggestions. I do not believe that an enormous jail should be built at the Civic Center, even if the people who thought it up -- including the authors of the letter above -- do.