section and your opportunity to weigh in and be heard. Send
us your thoughts and profundities. You can contact us here.
Our botanist was on vacation
Dear Durango Telegraph,
Love the weekly. Good job you all. Makes me laugh every time,
especially like the fashion, thumbs up/down and “Ask the
Diver.” Hate to tell you though, but the flowers on the
cover of this week’s issue are not black-eyed Susans.
They are wild sunflowers.
- Jennifer Kleffner
Durango Nature Studies
Editor’s note: We are glad to know the flowers on
last week’s cover were indeed wild sunflowers and not
black-eyed Susans. We hate to endorse flower abuse in any form.
Playing games with constituency
Having learned that constituent calls to 70 Senate offices are
running overwhelmingly against the passage of a war resolution,
I decided to call our representatives in Washington and find
out what the tally was.
Rep. Scott McInnis’ office was the only one that actually
gave out the information on first try. They said the calls were
running “heavily” against military action. When
I asked how Mr. McInnis squares his support of a war resolution
with his constituents’ obvious opposition to it, I was
politely told that he “takes into account” those
views. I guess this translates to “he has decided to discount
Sen. Campbell’s office declined to give any information,
saying it was against policy. I left a message indicating my
opinion of that policy, and 45 minutes later his assistant called
back to apologize. She said that calls were running about 70/30
against, but that the numbers were slowly shifting to 60/40.
Apparently Mr. Campbell is undecided on his support of a war
resolution but would “consider supporting the bill if
the plans made sense.” There was no talk of “considering
opposing the bill since his constituency is against it.”
Sen. Allard flatly refused to give me any indication which way
calls were running, stating that information was “for
the Senator’s private use.” Frankly, I can see no
reason for such Nixonian withholding of public information other
than it would force the congressman to admit that he is making
decisions that run counter to his constituents’ desires.
Since we apparently have no right to know, we’ll have
With war in Iraq comes the certainty of increased Arab hatred
of Americans, thus swelling the terrorist ranks. At the very
least, war will kill thousands, wreak environmental devastation
and possibly destabilize the Mid-East for decades. In the worst
case, it could ignite a nuclear struggle with the potential
to start a third world war, killing millions and poisoning the
Given the gravity of this, I think that we the people have a
right to know why our congressmen are making the decisions they
are making, particularly if they run counter to what they hear
from their constituents. I realize that calls and faxes do not
necessarily indicate majority opinion, but since our representatives
have not arranged public meetings on the topic, I must assume
they are satisfied with this system of feedback. Our congressmen
have a direct responsibility to us that overrides loyalty to
their president, party and any political games they are inclined
to play. Give them a call and remind them of that.
- Shan Wells
Editor’s note: If you’d like to give the guys
in D.C. a call, reach McInnis at (202) 225-4761; Campbell at
(202) 224-5852; and Allard at (202) 224-5941.
Random thoughts and solutions
I think you’re doing a great job with the paper. Hopefully
I can unload some thoughts here.
It seems to me a new Home Depot or Target could design one of
their exterior walls to be the screen for a new drive-in movie
theatre. A parking lot is going to be there anyway. It may not
be all that nostalgic, but it’s better than losing our
drive-in with nothing to replace it. Maybe the folks that have
the Rocket could run it.
Imagine a minivan but maybe twice as long. There is a side door
for every row of seats. It’s comfortable, but you can’t
stand-up; there is little extra space because it has to be as
light as possible. The engine could be a hybrid or electric
with fuel-cell power. This thing has no driver and is computer
controlled. It has roller coaster wheels and runs on tracks.
The tracks can pass over roads and intersections. The turns
are banked for a comfortable ride. The tracks connect Bayfield,
Durango, the airport, Bodo Park, Fort Lewis College and Hermosa.
We can widen the roads for more than a million dollars a mile,
put in more traffic lights and access roads, but traffic congestion
will still get worse. It will continue to be difficult to cross
the street and the roads will have to be resurfaced again and
Town Plaza should have an open hallway between stores that allows
pedestrians to walk from Main Avenue to the storefronts. A simple
pedestrian walkway could exist over the railroad tracks. Town
Plaza stores would get more downtown foot traffic.
If you have ever walked by Rite Aid in Town Plaza during the
winter, you can probably relate. The landlord from Albuquerque
chains-off the sidewalk, forcing pedestrians to walk around
the parked cars and in the traffic. (That is no way to treat
a customer.) This is their lame solution to a freezing sidewalk
that lives in the winter shade. A real solution would be to
install hydronic heat into the concrete of the sidewalk and
turn it on when it needs to be cleared.
All CDOT designers, city planners and council members should
try crossing Camino Del Rio just about anywhere, but especially
at Main and 14th Street. Bring your running shoes.