"Fare Treatment," Melanie Asmar, September 27
Thank you for the thorough article about RTD Board of Directors candidate Claudia Folska. Although I don't often use public transit, it was good to learn more about issues related to the transit system, as well as to be reminded that this position is more than just a "bottom line" on a list of candidates, and that the board's decisions can make a difference in many peoples' lives.
As for Vince Chowdhury's rather nasty remark that Folska would receive a "sympathy vote" (I assume he means she'd get sympathy votes simply for being blind, rather than based on her merit as a good fit for the RTD board), that's a ridiculous statement that just reeks of jealousy. If everything in this article is accurate, Folska has accomplished more in her life than most people I know — sighted or otherwise. The article would have been interesting if she were not blind; the fact that she is simply adds to my belief that she is an excellent candidate for this position — a capable, smart and creative thinker who isn't afraid of a challenge.
I'm just disappointed that I don't live in District E so I can't vote for her.
"Gag Reflex," Patricia Calhoun, September 27
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We have lived just south of Rocky Flats, in the Fairmount area, since 1970. I have seen neighbors that worked at the Flats die of cancer. I have talked to others who seem resigned to the fact that cancer is or will be a fact of life for them. I am a stage-four survivor of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Was it from the Flats? My doctor says it's possible, but there's no way to prove it. I could list example after example in my immediate circle of deaths — but what good would it do? Now there are new neighborhoods and more planned immediately south and southeast of the Flats. Who will tell these people about the missing plutonium that may have escaped during the fires or through burial of "low level" waste?
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I am saddened that yet another generation will experience more unexplained cancer because developers felt the need to build on contaminated land to make more money. Not that many years ago, there was a proposal to widen Indiana Street. It was stopped because they were afraid to dig up the dirt unless the workers wore hazmat suits! Gee, now kids can build sand castles in the same soil in their yard! I suppose I was wrong in thinking that the half-life of plutonium was quite a bit longer than forty to fifty years!
We will never know what has been buried out there during the time different companies ran the place. What I believe is that there is much much more than they (the Department of Energy) says there is.
Thank you, Patricia, for bringing this to the forefront again; perhaps your article will be read by some families who were thinking about buying in that area, and they will change their mind and buy elsewhere.