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Help DHS race a truck in Nevada

Dear Editors,

I am going to keep this short and sweet.

I am the metal fabrication instructor at Durango High School. I teach welding, metal fabrication, engineering and the math that applies to fabrication. My students want to build an off-road race truck and take it to Nevada to race in the desert .. and this is a good thing.

Remember high school? Wasn't it supposed to be a fun learning experience?

In order to become AWS (American Welding Society) Certified, students will have to take a test consisting of welding pipe and sheet metal. Can you think of a better way to teach students than students actually having fun doing it and gaining a lifelong experience? Once we get the truck built, it will be a matter of repairing it. The big expense is getting all the parts.

Can you help?

We are looking for sponsors. I donated the truck, a 1982 Ford Bronco. Now we need parts. Parts like tires, seats, engine parts, shocks, chromoly tubing, a third member, oil coolers, fuel cell, hardware and a C-6 Ford transmission.

We can engineer and build the truck, but we need community support in the financial department. We have sold projects to raise money, and the students and others have donated what they are able, but how much does a person in high school make?

We have the body sheet metal, the truck frame, a 351W engine block and the rear housing. I will donate the MSD ignition box, MSC billet distributor, MSD 8.5mm wires, some labor and the transmission. That's about $2,500 for me.

Can you help?

Can the local tire shops donate one 37"-by-12.50"-by-15 wheel and tire each? Can a parts store donate the heads and engine internals: another fuel injection system. The welding shops could donate the tubing. Each auto dealer could donate one Fox off-road shock and the engine gauges. The local restaurants could donate small items. I tell my students that no "one" person can build an aircraft carrier, that it takes a team.

Can we get together as a community?

This is an opportunity for a great learning experience for the students. This is a chance for parents to go to Nevada as chaperones and camp out for four days in the summer. This is an opportunity to have your sponsorship name on the truck. This is an opportunity for you to help students learn while having fun.

What do you say, Durango? I can be contacted at 259-1630, Ext. 124.

Padraig Lynch, Durango

Solve the dog park dilemma

Dear Editors,

The dog park is a success! It has become a popular recreational destination for both area residents and visitors alike. It has become so popular that pedestrian and vehicular congestion has become a serious problem near the entrance to the designated park. These problems arise from the lack of parking near the entrance and the condition of the access trail beneath US 160.

In the Durango Herald's cover story on March 5, 2004, Dale Rodebaugh reports " owners are finding the walk from Schneider Park too strenuous." And quotes Cathy Metz as stating "Dog owners are parking illegally to avoid walking a little more than six-tenths of a mile ." For the sake of comparison, the Herald offices are six-tenths of a mile from the Doubletree parking lot, and the Recreation Center is five-tenths of a mile from the north City Market parking lot. I doubt many patrons (or reporters) would find these walking distances acceptable to use the recreation center facilities.

The city has made attempts to provide safe access and parking for dog park visitors by designating a parking area west of the entrance on the south side of U.S. 160. However, this parking area is undersized, with poorly marked limits, and in conflict with private residential accesses.

Rather than offer alternates or potential solutions to the problems, the City is now threatening to close the park if the present conditions persist.

It seems the city has three choices to address the current situation:

n Designate and construct a parking facility specifically for the off-leash area. The ideal location for this parking lot would be on the south side of U.S. 160, near the existing entrance. This alternate would be costly and would necessitate approval by CDOT for the access.

n Investigate alternate locations for use as off leash areas. As it exists now, the dog park is located distantly from residential areas. It seems that the best way to minimize the need for parking facilities at a designated off-leash area would be to centrally locate this "dog park" nearer to those served.

n Abandon the concept. The off-leash area does not beneficially serve all city residents. However, the recreation center, Chapman Hill facilities, BMX park, skate park and even public schools are examples of investments made by Durango residents which are not beneficial to all who finance them. It is apparent (or should be apparent) that a sizable population of this community feels the dog park concept is beneficial.

If you feel that an off-leash area within the city limits is a benefit to this community, please make you voice heard. Too often only those opposed to progress will react.

Rob Harries, via e-mail

In the name of democracy

Dear Editors,

What about Haiti?

How many readers have seen the news on Haiti? Seems some very connected, wealthy, rightwing people accomplished a violent overthrow of the democratically elected government whom they didn't like. Why didn't America speak up in defense of the Rule of Law and the Democratic system in Haiti?

I'm confused on this: Didn't we just send hundreds of Americans to die? To say nothing of the injured or the thousands of dead and injured and homeless Iraqi civilians as well as combatants or the astounding destruction of Iraq's infrastructure and cultural heritage or the alienation of the Islamic people. All in the name of Democracy? Isn't that the sound bite President Bush keeps throwing at the news cameras?

We Americans believe him: "Sure we can do this for Democracy." That's because regular Americans like us still believe in principles and the notion of Democracy. I believe in Democracy too. So why didn't our president speak out in clear unequivocal terms that he supported the legitimate democratic system in Haiti? Democracy is about a system of order, not a personality. Why did President Bush and his foreign policy side with pro-coup forces? Like him or not, Aristide was still the legitimately elected President of Haiti. Why didn't we encourage the Democratic exchange of power? If all of this is up and up, why are American forces holding Mr. Aristide incognito?

I'm constantly told, it's OK, trust President Bush, listen to his patriotic words. OK, I do try that, but when Bush's foreign policy actions constantly belie those patriotic principles, I have to wonder. What's most frightening is that the Bush Administration seems proud to be conducting foreign policy with the finesse of a cancer surgeon wielding a chainsaw. I believe we Americans have become too casual about shedding blood this can only come back to haunt us.

Makes me want to ask Bush supporters: What is going on here? Why are President Bush's actions so often the opposite of what he claims to believe? Do you really know the president you believe in? Can you understand why so many distrust Bush and his administration?

Sincerely, Peter Miesler,Durango

Vaccinating for cash or medicine

Dear Editors,

Does Senate Bill 139 represent genuine concern or corporate greed? Follow the money. SB 139 will set forth a statewide database of all Colorado's children. The system will be used to phone parents and coerce them to have their children "fully" vaccinated. This means the child must have every single recommended vaccine. When I was a child I only had two immunizations: polio and smallpox. These shots were for serious diseases that affected large populations. I am truly grateful for advances in modern medicine that have eradicated deadly diseases. Today, though, Colorado's children are required to receive 29 vaccinations by the age of four. The risk of children contracting some of these diseases is minuscule. For instance, the hepatitis B vaccine is promoted

as necessary for infants and schoolchildren yet, over a period of years, there was only one chronic case of hepatitis B in the birth through age 4 category. The calculated average would be less than four in a million cases. These are the children who contracted the disease from their infected mothers.

Children of infected mothers should be the only children needing this vaccination. In that same time period, there were only 15 cases in the birth through 14 years age group. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health Environment fact sheet: B is not spread through casual contact or in typical school, office or food service settings. It is not spread by coughing, sneezing or drinking out of the same glass." The Centers for Disease Control admitted there is not one documented case of transmission of hepatitis B from sharing toothbrushes, razors or ear piercing. Most important, the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons has declared that children are more at risk of being harmed by the vaccine than the disease.

Why the drastic increase in vaccine requirements for diseases posing no risk to most children? Is the vaccine industry really concerned about the welfare of our children, or have our children become a captive market for the vaccine industry? To answer these questions we must follow the money.

Congressman Dan Burton was instrumental in uncovering the corporate profit connection to the increase in vaccine requirements. His interest started when his perfectly healthy grandson turned autistic overnight after receiving nine inoculations in one office visit. These vaccinations contained 40 times the toxic level of mercury for humans. He became determined to uncover the truth. What he discovered is sickening, if not shocking. A majority of the members on the committees that approved vaccines had financial ties to the pharmaceutical companies that produce the vaccines. Either they were being paid as consultants or lobbyists, or owned vaccine patents or stocks in the pharmaceutical company. One member owned a patent for the vaccine being approved and was also being paid by the pharmaceutical industry to travel around the country and promote vaccines as safe. This is tantamount to letting the vaccine industry write its own profitable government mandates. When committees approve a vaccine as safe, federal funds are released to buy the vaccines from the manufacturers.

Corporate Executives of the major vaccine manufacturers have invested large amounts of time and money into the creation of a framework for a national database to tag and track citizens to enforce compliance with government vaccination policies. SB 139 fits perfectly into their plan.

Around the country parents have been threatened with losing custody or losing insurance coverage if their children were not "fully" vaccinated.

Section 1 (1) ( c ) of SB 139 states: "The Colorado Department of Health and Environment has a stated performance goal to increase the number of fully' immunized children ." Why "fully" immunized when some vaccines are unnecessary and cause more harm than good? According to the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons: "the federal government pays the state a bonus of up to $100 for every fully' vaccinated child. What's their motive money or medicine?" The state does not receive the money if a child is exempted from just one vaccination.

If SB 139 passes, responsible parents who choose to exempt their child for valid reasons will be harassed by the Colorado Department of Health into full compliance.

Brad Johnson,

via e-mail





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