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The price of profit

Dear Editor,

During the April 7 and 8 sessions of the Durango City Planning Commission on the River Trails subdivision, an either/or proposition was presented. If residents did not want sprawl (that is, hundreds of septic tanks up and down the valley), then residents had better submit to the new high-density urbanism of the River Trails development. This is not an either/or situation. If River Trails (high-density sprawl and traffic) is approved, there is no guarantee that hundreds of septic tanks will not happen elsewhere in the valley. All that is guaranteed is that wealthy developers will "build it so they will come," and make big bucks.

I used to joyfully think that our town was a world-class town. We had a youth hostel. Can't beat that. So much for a world-class town, someone decided a strip of condos was more profitable. Hello "Californication."

Affordable housing (trailer park) was destroyed on the south end of town. Now there are fancy townhomes instead, with big bucks in someone's pocket, but not the pockets of the previous residents. Remember the folks up the valley thrown out of the Cottonwood camper park? Will River Trails accommodate them?

Steve Osborne ended the May 28 City Planning meeting stating that overpopulation is the problem that River Trails and other over-developments are a symptom of. Next, he is accepting these symptoms and the "build it and they will come" concept in Durango.

Who will profit, construction?

Who profits from overpopulation? Who wants more "cannon-fodder?" Who wants increased competition for jobs, acceptable slavery? (Too bad for paying your mortgage. Someone is going to show up who will accept less to do the job you do.) As Durango is overpopulated, agricultural land is lost (gee, I like to eat). "No-trespassing" signs proliferate; there are fewer places for a burgeoning population to stretch. Traffic will become unbearable (and our only source for population control). Resources and environment will be stressed. But hey, someone will profit.

Since no one has the audacity or ability to think outside the box concerning population control, the developers will make big bucks, but everyone else around Durango will only pay, and dearly. Come on fellow lemmings, remember, population crash follows population boom. Anyone remember the lesson of the ancients here?

Kassandra Johnson,


Too little too late

Dear Editors:

I have been following the ongoingcampaign to get the City Council to get the anti-Patriot Act resolution passed. I have been struck by a couple of things. While I have no love for the Patriot Act, one or two of the main backers of this resolution, the Southwest Peace and Justice group, seem the wrong people to be protesting it. On their Web site they list as allies, communists, socialists and all sorts ofleft-leaning statists. I would think that they would embrace big government and big bro' with joy, or is it that "their" guy (Al Gore) is not the leader, and therefore they don't trust the government. I wonder if they remember the anti-terror laws that Bill Clinton gave us (they are similar to the Patriot Act).Why did they not protest then? Was it because it was aimed at "those right wing wackos" and not them? If they were REALLY concerned about our constitutional rights, they would be fighting against ALL the unconstitutional laws in this country instead of just this one in a long list of rapes of our rights and freedom. Sorry folks, too little too late, and soon you will have the all-powerful state you always wanted.

Gary Grammer,


McInnis' healthy logger act

(Editors' note: The following reprint was originally sent to U.S. Congressman Scott McInnis.)

Dear Congressman McInnis,

Last summer, just months before I made the mistake of voting for you, I spent a fair amount of time fighting small wildfires near Crested Butte and Gunnison. Mr. McInnis, your "Healthy Forests Restoration Act" (a.k.a. HR 1904) is the wrong approach. Your idea seems to be to thin out the national forests, regardless of the proximity to communities. Thinning out the built-up fuel in the heart of the forest is a good long-term goal, but before going into the wilderness to thin trees, it would probably be a good idea to first allocate funds to clear out the areas near the people who might vote for you again.

You see, Mr. McInnis, wildfire isn't really the problem, it's part of the natural cleansing and revegetating process of the forest. People are the problem because we decided to put houses, our possessions and our loved ones in the forest, thereby creating the area known as the "urban interface." Right or wrong, that's what we did.

I know I'm not the only one who's written you on this issue. I know that representatives from the City of Glenwood Springs, the Town of Basalt, the Pitkin County Board of Commissioners and the Summit County Board of Commissioners have written you as well. One commissioner had a good recommendation. He suggested that you allocate funds to thin out the fuel-loaded areas closer to the communities in Colorado you know, closer to the people and our homes.

But, with HR 1904 heading unchanged to the Senate Agriculture Committee this week, you seem to be ignoring the input from the representatives in the communities you claim to be protecting with your plan, which leads a lot of us to think your plan isn't really about protecting us against wildfires at all. It leads a lot of us to think that your plan is about lighting a little economic fire under the logging industry.

If I'm wrong, please let me and the rest of the community know. Otherwise, a lot of us are just going to assume that your disregard for the suggestions of Western Slope community leaders, and your continued drive to push HR 1904 through the Legislature, is a clear sign that you don't really represent us now and therefore should not be chosen to do so in the future.

Edward Stern

A better way to run the big rig

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Interested, call me at (970) 349-5614.

Robert Warren





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