Our letters section and your opportunity to weigh in and be heard. Send us your thoughts and profundities. You can contact us here.

Genetic modification blows into town

Dear editors:

Saturday, April 26, was windy. Driving east from Delta to Paonia, our dark mountains were virtually obscured by a thick haze. Dust blowing off of the adobes, dust from dry, open fields, dust blowing from agricultural areas miles away. The sky was streaked high with yellow dust.

Like many areas in Colorado, ours is frequently windy. What if our wind contained the residues of genetically modified drug crops? Industry claims that pollen’s altered DNA is quickly destroyed, but what of error? What of seed mistakenly spread? Corn is promiscuous, humans fallible and nature unpredictable. Contamination will creep past the designated fields and gradually pollute crops and grasses beyond. Because homeostasis occurs in nature drug production belongs in controlled settings, not in open-air fields. A moratorium must be placed on biopharming in Colorado until the safest, most conservative methods are agreed upon by a broadly represented panel with public input.

Colorado citizens must have a voice in biopharming, a life-manipulating technology that could harm us all. Currently, citizens will be denied information about the types of drugs and chemicals grown. The crop locations will be kept secret.

– Suzanne Watson


Practicesesh: “Tom P.” braces for a landing while skating on the Fort Lewis College campus Monday./Photo by Todd Newcomer.

Arrest fashion police

Dear editors:

This week, my festering gob was forwarded to a page on the Durango Telegraph website. Supposedly the Fashion Police caught a rare glimpse of local royalty on parade. Who is this Fashion Police and why did they not even ask the highness gentleman his name? Everyone deserves a good photo credit.

This piece, typical of similar Fashion Police bits all over the country, obviously takes jabs at people who wear clothing different than the mainstream norm.A0I myself have been persecuted for my “scurvies” (pants frayed at the bottom similar to ones worn by The Incredible Hulk).

I believe the Fashion Police should follow up on their gesture by continuing the adventures of The King. They did, after all, want the readership to “stay tuned for breaking news of the forthcoming uprising.” It would be nice to see if something can be continued. Who knows, “Harvey Snead King of Durango” could become a local celebrity whilst getting his views out to the masses.A0It is a rare opportunity that should be explored. This man may hold some unique power. I know his real name!

It is a shame that the photographer did not even attempt to contact “Harvey Snead” and get his permission to publish the photo. That way, the paper could remove the filthy black box from his face. The black box “identity hider” only cheapens the overall effect of the Fashion Police’s credibility.

As the Fashion Police should undoubtedly know, it’s not very fashionable to wear a black box over the eyes! I feel especially dirty that they so harshly and cheaply tried to hide his identity. Huzzah.

– Russell A. Dale


Shame on the Telegraph

To the editors:

Last Thursday, May 8, 2003, the Durango Telegraph published a picture and three paragraphs of total fiction as their weekly “Fashion Police” news.A0 Possibly intended to be funny, it is stupid, puerile and contains not one word of truth.

I would like the good folk of Durango to know that this cruel and embarrassing article hurt a gentle man who has lived here and contributed to the community for over 15 years. The picture and article were done without his knowledge and consent, while he was participating, by invitation, in the Cinco de Mayo Festival.

Not being a Telegraph reader, I wonder how many others have been humiliated.

Publisher Will Sands, shame, shame, shame on you.

– Adrienne Bernhardt,

via e-mail

Absolutely no humor

Dear Editors:

As commander of the Post for four years and additionally, the La Plata County Veterans Officer for over 8,000 veterans and dependents, I and others find absolutely no humor in the article and find no truth to the events Mr. Sands references happening at the American Legion. I would respectfully request a response to this.

– John J. Hardardt,

via e-mail

Hiding behind a little black box

Dear Editor:

In regards to your publication, Vol. 2 No. 19, I find your “Fashion Police” to be puerile, inconsiderate and churlish in their ill-conceived attempt at humor.A0The portrayal of a man as a modern day Don Quixote when he was in fact a member of a local group asked to take part in a public celebration shows that your reporter would rather hide behind a little black box rather than take the time to learn anything from anyone who does not “go with the flow.”

Thank you so much for hurting and humiliating a man that has been a surrogate father, brother, mentor and friend to many.A0And thank you for showing us what you consider “humor” at the expense of such a man.

– SM Trujillo,

via e-mail

Bad fashion taste

Dear Editor:

Concerning your Fashion Police article VOL 2. You showed bad taste in allowing this particular bit of fiction to run in you paper. Especially considering you didn’t ask permission to run this man’s picture. Obviously your poor attempt at concealing his identity was insufficient as anyone who knows him can easily identify him. He’s a real good person who didn’t deserve your public mocking.

– Kevin Dawson,

via e-mail

Better suited to tabloids

To whom it may concern,

In the most recent issue of The Durango Telegraph (Vol. 2, No.19), a man was highlighted under the “Fashion Police” section. This man was singled out for unwarranted ridicule for his costume and accusations of drunkeness. This man’s picture was published with the slightest anonymity possible, without his consent or knowledge, and without having been approached for comment as to his costume or his reason for being present at the Cinco de Mayo Festival.

This man was an invited guest of the festival and an active participant. The article’s sarcastic, infantile attempt at humor by implying the gentleman had “crowned himself ‘King of Durango’ at the American Legion last Friday night. His ordination was consecrated over several luke-warm glasses of Rock and Rye” is an insult not only to his character but to that of the American Legion. If such a callow paragraph had been penned in regards to any of the many other cultural representatives present during the celebration, or such juvenile assumptions made about their manner of dress, I have little doubt their population would feel equally slighted.

This man you effectively dubbed Harvey Snead, the drunken King of Durango, has lived here unobtrusively since 1986. The costume so inaccurately described as a “Fair-weather Dublet” is the hand-sewn result of weeks of research into historical garments. The also inaccurately named “Traveling Crown” was a gift given to him by the hundreds of people in this city, in this state and others who hold this man in the highest regard and awarded to him amidst a standing ovation of at least 150 people. This man you have so callously insulted has shown friendship and hospitality to more people, even opening his house to complete strangers, more often than I can count. This kind man has been a surrogate father for a dozen or more individuals. This man portrayed as an inept delusioned drunkard has sailed boats, raced cars, designed aircraft, raised a family and touched hundreds of lives with his kindness and joviality. This man is my father, and I hold him in the highest esteem, and with as much respect as any man I have ever known; and I am better for having been his son.

Perhaps the author of the article would find their time better spent interviewing the person in the viewfinder of their camera than composing “humor” better suited to tabloids or Third-Grade classrooms.

– Max Bernhardt

Aurora, Colo.

In response

The Telegraph offers its apologies to the man pictured in the Fashion Police, Vol. II, No. 19, to the American Legion and to the multitudes insulted by this and other “Fashion Police” columns. The sincerity of this apology is evidenced by our sacking the column and printing all of the responses generated by an apparent letter-writing campaign.

For the record, the small feature printed on the final page of the Telegraph always has been tongue in cheek and was never intended to be malicious. Anyone who has read more than a couple editions of “Fashion Police” knows that we never deliberately target people or make genuine accusations. In this case, the American Legion was mentioned merely as an establishment serving alcohol. We tried to make the subject anonymous, and when published, we believed the few paragraphs to be a sleight on city government, not on the man pictured.

The “Fashion Police” has always been an attempt to elicit a little laughter and capitalize on Durango’s status as the “worst-dressed city in America” – nothing more. Perhaps, when this blows over, we will be able to laugh at ourselves once again.

– Will Sands and Missy Votel





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