The Conversation

Letters, emails, posts, tweets, and more.

August 2011

Balancing Act

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Patrick Doyle and 5280 for providing a balanced and fair article on Battle Mountain and Minturn in your June edition (“The Last Resort”).

Doyle wrote a thorough piece that carefully outlined both the opportunities for the town of Minturn and the risks and challenges. This warts-and-all approach is all too often lacking in today’s publishing world.

Our hope is that careful collaboration with the town will result in a Battle Mountain that will maintain the historic and cultural heritage of Minturn, while at the same time providing the opportunity for new economic vitality and sustainability for this gem of a community.-Dave Kleinkopf, General Partner, Battle Mountain, MINTURN


The Price is Wrong

Our national debt is $14 trillion, or $43,000 for every man, woman, and child in this country. If unchecked, this debt will collapse our economy. By fixing our health-care system, we could help the problem immensely. 5280’s April issue sheds light on our health-care costs. In “One of These Docs Is Doing Her Own Thing,” Maximillian Potter describes how the old Denver General, under the leadership of Dr. Patti Gabow, quickly overcame a 1992 deficit of $39 million and has since operated in the black. Renamed Denver Health, the hospital expanded operations by 30 percent while also providing a staggering $380 million in uncompensated care in 2010.

Dr. Gabow knows how to cut health-care costs while improving care, so her views are worth listening to when she says: “Health care is a $2 trillion industry. If it cost us what it costs the rest of the world, we would (only) be a $1 trillion industry. Think how many people’s pockets you’re going to get into if you really [fix the problem and] take $1 trillion out of the system.… People are making a lot of money off of the dysfunction. And this is the core of why the system needs to change.”

So, in Gabow’s estimation, our country wastes $1 trillion annually on unnecessary costs. If we were to eliminate this waste and apply the savings toward our national debt, we could pay off the entire amount in 14 years. So where to begin? I suggest we consider the basic difference between the United States and other countries that provide health care for all their citizens at far less cost. We have private, for-profit health insurers and they don’t. Doesn’t this suggest a good place to start? -Bob Balhiser, HELENA, MONTANA


Time Heals Some Wounds

I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your piece about the tragedy we had in Parker (“Rewrite,” May). My daughters knew all four boys. We went to church with the Budges, and my youngest daughter was very close with Sydney Budge, the younger sister of Michael. Most all of the Parker community knows without a shadow of a doubt that Todd Stansfield is indeed terribly sorry.

I am so happy Todd’s been able to escape, at least somewhat, to New York, where my daughter will be going to pursue Broadway. She and the rest of Ponderosa High School hated that Todd wasn’t allowed to go to football games and prom and graduation with them. They argued that it was an accident—one that many of us could have gotten into ourselves. I’m pretty sure there isn’t anyone on the planet that can claim they’ve never driven too fast or never driven when they may have had too much to drink. Todd Stansfield has paid a high price by losing his three best friends and having to live with that.

The bumper sticker the Budges had printed that kept all four boys in our thoughts and prayers has worn off my car, but the sadness that surrounds this tragedy is still close to my heart and to the rest of the Parker community. Thank you for writing such a thoughtful piece. I hope it brings peace to Todd’s family. -Chris Morin, PARKER


There Goes the ’Hood

I recently picked up your “Best Places to Live” issue (May) and I was disappointed that you did not cover new ground here. What hasn’t already been said about Curtis Park, or East Wash Park, or Arapahoe Acres? Denver has many fine neighborhoods that are unique and, while maybe not as “trendy,” appeal to those looking for some architectural diversity, more value for the money, proximity to parks, light rail, and other amenities. Why not push the editorial envelope and make 5280 stand out from the boilerplate articles you find in other local magazines? -Edward Popovitz, DENVER


A Titanic Personality

I just wanted to let you know I really enjoyed the way you built in the real facts about Margaret Brown, and wove your story in as well (“Molly & Me,” March). I can totally relate to your passion for her, the home, and the museum, too. About 20 years ago, I rented an apartment in one of the Victorian-era homes only a few blocks from her house, and my memories of it still bring me smiles. When I drag my visitors to Denver—from Vail—the highlight for me is showing off the Molly Brown House, and the historic home and carriage house I once got to spend a few months in. Thank you so much for delivering Ms. Brown’s history—and yours—in such an eloquent way. -Kirsten Texler, VAIL


Strong Words

I was so struck by the quote from Enos Mills in the last paragraph of Laura Pritchett’s recent article “Nature Boy” (June). It just about gave me chills. It cuts right to the point: “The forests are the flags of nature. They appeal to all and awaken inspiring universal feelings. Enter the forest and the boundaries of nations are forgotten. It may be that sometime an immortal pine will be the flag of a united peaceful world.” What if we could live in a world where that could be the case? I wish we could send his words to Congress, all over the world, and then just sit back and watch everyone fall into place. -Dottie Spivak, FORT COLLINS