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A chance for change

Dear Editors:

The ubiquitous conspiracy and tyranny of the Bush Cartel makes a regime change imperative for the 2004 election cycle.

The two progressive candidates are (senator from Ohio) Dennis Kucinich and (governor of Vermont) Howard Dean. Unfortunately for Dennis, his three syllable last name will most likely preclude his acceptance by the American populace even though he is certainly the best choice for the most people (read: unsold to the corporation). This leaves Dean. Dean, nice ring to it; cool and rebellious like James. Dean (doyen) means “uniquely skilled by long experience” – we could use that. What a refreshing change it would be from the Dicks and Bushes and Colins. But, since most Americans are so easily deluded by ignoble and simplistic words and explanations, a “Dean” may come across as too haughty and unapproachable.

Are Americans as a whole ready to elect an intelligent and mindful president (Dean is an M.D.), or are we still so shallow and dull as to be swayed once again by jingoistic and seductive rhetoric? The answer is that we don’t need America to come together on this one. Remember, Bush was elected (forget the racist Florida ballot busters for a moment) with less than 25 percent of eligible voters’ support nationwide; if we can simply get one in four people to vote progressive we can change the world. I urge everyone to read up on these two candidates and contribute to their noncorporate funded campaigns at: www.kucinich.us/ and www.deanforamerica.com

– Paul Iverson,

Losing ground to trash

Dear Editors,

A small, square bumper sticker, which most of us have seen, says something to this effect: “Never, ever hurt a child.” Here’s a thought in connection with that: What does it do to a child’s sense of values when he or she observes adults indiscriminately, carelessly, arrogantly tossing their trash along our highways?

Take a walk along just about any street in our community, through any neighborhood. There is every imaginative kind of discarded trash along the way. There arises the question, where do the younguns get their example?

One of the chief sources of litter, of course, is the ever-familiar cigarette butt. I’ve heard the justifications and the defenses of the perpetrators: “They’re biodegradable” and “It’ll all get picked up eventually.” It seems apparent to me that the biodegrading takes longer than most of us will live, and the picker-uppers are losing ground to the trashers. This is especially true when that one carelessly tossed cigarette does more than just create a “little litter.” Then, I think the reasoning must go something like this: “Oh well, ‘everybody’s doing it,’ and who can say I was the guilty party? Who will ever know?” My answer to that insidious question is that on the future Day of Judgment every one of you who thus justifies yourself will be found equally guilty.

I wish to conclude by saying that not “everybody” is “doing it.” No doubt, the majority of smokers are polite and respectful. I know just from conversing with hundreds of them – they are just as offended (many of them more so) by this blight as are nonsmokers.

An afterthought about trash: If the clean-up crews, volunteers and others were to go on strike, would the time ever come when the trashers might be brought to their senses enough to ask, “Hey, what kind of Colorado (world) am I trying to leave for my kids?” Not to mention anyone else’s kids.

– Sincerely, Paul Griner

Pueblo, Colo.

Bring the wild to every child

Dear Editors:

Durango Nature Studies (DNS) announces its free 19th semi-annual volunteer naturalist training.A0Once our naturalists have completed this 17-hour training, they will lead small groups of Four Corners area school children on nature-learning hikes. DNS has been bringing “the wild to every child” since its inception in 1994. In that time, we have trained over 200 naturalists to lead nature walks with over 14,500 school children. Volunteers come from all walks of life from students to parents to retirees. All bring with them enthusiasm for the outdoors and a belief in the importance of getting children outside to experience nature.A0While many move on to other jobs, new families or other community commitments, their respect and increased knowledge for the land goes with them. Their influence and impact are like ripples in a pond, cumulatively making our community a better place. Their impact on area children is immeasurable.
Durango Nature Studies would like to thank all those volunteer naturalists who have gone before (many of whom are still with us) and invite a new group of community members to join us this September.You help make Durango a great place to live.

– Best regards,

Jennifer Kleffner, volunteer coordinator


It takes a village

Dear Editors:

It is that time of year again – school has started! The first day of class was Wednesday, Aug. 27.

The Durango Police Department is requesting all drivers to please drive with extra caution and obey the posted speed limits not only in the school zones but in the residential areas surrounding the schools, as many children walk to and from the schools each day. The posted school zone speed limit is 20 mph and the residential areas are 25 mph.

Officers will be strictly enforcing the speed limits within the school zones. Drivers need to be aware that the fines are doubled for violations within school zones.

There will be school-crossing guards at several locations, so please obey their request to stop while they assist the young children safely across the street.

It takes a community effort to assist in keeping our children safe. Please watch out for the children as they walk to and from school, and report any suspicious activity.

– Cpt. Dale R. Smith,

administration division commander,

Durango Police Depatment





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