Published: June 1, 2014

Narelle Helmer

Invisible War

Thanks for the excellent article about sexual assault in the military as seen through the horrific experience of Narelle Helmer (Comm'03). It's an important subject, and your reporting helped shed light on it.

John F. Leach (Jour'74, MA'79)

I always enjoy the Coloradan, but Tori Peglar's (MJour'00) article, “The Invisible War” [Spring 2014] was the most powerful I've seen on the subject of military rape. My first impulse was to track down the major and kill him. My daughter joined the Army so it would pay for her to go to medical school. I strongly disliked the Army when I was in (1964–66) but her tuition alone was more than my yearly salary, so I didn't try to stop her. Now that the rape statistics have come out, I tremble to think what might have happened. The bill that Obama signed preventing commanders from overruling court martial verdicts is only a baby step. All accusations of rape should be tried in a civilian court. The former superintendent of the Air Force Academy who was in charge when the rapes occurred was reduced in grade and allowed to retire. Not punishment enough.

Jeff Arnold (Engl'69)
Avondale, Colo.

That was a fine article on military justice [The Invisible War, Spring 2014]. As a former defense attorney and public defender, I know how difficult these things are but the military system seems a world apart from what I remember as civilian justice. Good work.

Morgan Smith (Law'66)
Santa Fe, N.M.

Our Man

I was thrilled to see Robert Redford (A&S ex'58, HonDocHum'87), with his CU kids, Jamie Redford (Engl'85) and Shauna Redford (Art'85), in the Spring 2014 Coloradan [Our Man]. I had the pleasure of interviewing Redford before he accepted an award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival this year. We started off talking about CU.

Tracy Lehr (Jour'84)
Oxnard, Calif.

In the Spring 2014 issue of the Coloradan in the laudatory article on Robert Redford (A&S ex'58, HonDocHum'87), the picture of the Kappa Sigma pledge class of circa 1951 on page 19 has at least one other notable alum. On the far right end of the front row is Dale Douglass (A&S'59), CU golfer, PGA and Senior PGA golf tournament winner. Dale's accomplishments have been overlooked for a long time.

Frederic Tietz (Geol'54, MS'56)

I found the cover article on Robert Redford (A&S ex'58, HonDocHum'87) in the Spring Coloradan [Our Man] to be quite interesting, but I have one slight emendation. It mentions that two of Redford's children, David and Shauna, attended CU in the 1980s but fails to mention that his youngest daughter Amy Hart Redford, who is a director and actor, also attended CU in the early '90s. I know, because she was a student in a drama class for which I was the graduate part-time instructor. According to Wikipedia, she got her bachelor's degree at San Francisco State in 1994, so she didn't graduate, but the article does corroborate her attendance at CU.

Douglas W. Gordy (PhDThtr'94)
Walnut Creek, Calif.

I suppose I should not be surprised that the cult of personality continues to besiege CU's journalists. Mr. Robert Redford (A&S ex'58, HonDocHum'87), an unexceptional actor and director, is not “my man.” As with far too many incoming CU students, he achieved neither his degree nor very much enlightenment judging by his own pronouncements. Had he been more assiduous in his studies he might not have become an intellectual poster child for Cicero's proscription that “He who knows only his own generation remains always a child.” Alan Kay (Bio, Math'66) [one of the giants in computing written up in Paul Danish's (Hist'65) column on page 8, Spring 2014 issue] would have been a far better choice.

Todd D. McIntyre (Psych'77, MA'83, PhD'86)
Chester Springs, Penn.

Fractured Communities

Thank you for Emery Cowan's (Jour, Span'10) reasoned report on the divisive issue of hydraulic fracturing [Fractured Communities, Spring 2014]. The new research will benefit us all. I would like to address some misleading statements.

  1. In the past, population centers moved to where resource extraction occurred (e.g., Boulder was settled to support mining).
  2. A spill into irrigation water is unlikely to contaminate vegetables the day of harvest since harvest is performed on dry fields.
  3. The article implies that the natural gas riches were discovered suddenly. The Denver Basin has been producing hydrocarbons for over 100 years.
  4. The diagram has two errors: one, natural gas is not trucked to a pipeline. It flows from the well directly to pipelines after treatment. And the diagram implies that fractures travel vertically, very close to the surface. Fractures propagate horizontally along bedding planes, generally deeper than a mile.

Thank you for considering this matter and for your excellent publication.

Edward M. Baltzer (EnvEngr'81)
Grand Junction, Colo.

Losing a Legend

It was bittersweet reading of physics professor Al Bartlett's passing [“Losing a Legend,” page 9, Winter 2013 issue]. It was bitter because of the tremendous loss to the university, the teaching profession and the physics department. But more importantly, it was sweet because of the great memories I have of him. He was a terrific teacher who made himself available to his many students on a regular basis. I was fascinated by his demonstrations during his lectures and always came away from his classes with a much better understanding than I did from the textbooks. He will be missed. Thank you for including him in the Coloradan as a legend.

John G. Warner (MCDBio'73, DDS'79)
Breckenridge, Colo.

Moneyless in Moab

This is regarding a letter to the editor published in the Spring 2014 issue of the Coloradan, regarding Daniel Shellabarger Suelo (Anth'84) in “Moneyless in Moab” [Winter 2013 issue]. Daniel needs no defense from me, nor would he ask for it. He's heard every criticism possible hurled at him. But I was so saddened by a letter printed in this quarter's Coloradan that I felt compelled to comment. Daniel is not a “bum.” He is a gentle soul who gets by in his world without using the exchange of money. That's all. It's that simple. He begs nothing. He expects nothing. He wastes nothing. He needs little, just the basics of food, shelter and clothing. And he earns everything he needs. He wishes no ill will to anyone who differs with his philosophy. Daniel's chosen path is, however, so unique (and interesting) to what our world would call “normal,” that he does get attention. He is, in fact, quite reserved. Highly intelligent, with an obvious faith in life and a quiet demeanor, he possesses such an aura of peace about him that I just want to give him a big, motherly hug each time I see him! Our world could use a few more “bums” like Daniel Suelo.

Judy Dillard Purser (PolSci'64)
Grand Junction, Colo.

Alamo Ranch Memories

It was with great pleasure that I saw Alamo Ranch once again on page 53 [40s, 50s, 60s and 70s Class Notes] of the 2014 Spring Coloradan. I was there when the photo was taken in the summer of 1952. My husband, Donald C. Hagerman (A&S'51), deceased in 2013, is the climber on the top left. We worked as guides for the summer Mountain Recreation Department for three years climbing the mountains, preparing food for the Steak Fly and doing weekend climbs. Our happiest memories have been of those summers, the wonderful people we worked and climbed with and the tremendous amount we learned from that experience.

Margaret Hoyt Hagerman (A&S'51)
Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Photography courtesy