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Bring change to mosquito control

Dear Editors,

An upcoming election in Durango has an important impact on the health of Durango! The board of the Animas Mosquito District has two seats up for election.Registered voters in the Animas Valley from Weaselskin (5 miles south of town) to Bakers Bridge, as well as Falls Creek and some areas east of the valley, are eligible to vote.Polling takes place on Tuesday, May 4, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the La Plata County Fairgrounds and the Animas Mosquito Control Facility at 870 CR 252.

Two candidates, Travis Stills and Dean Mullen, are running for the five-member board. I encourage you to vote for them. They are both arguing for a more holistic approach when addressing mosquito challenges.

West Nile virus is expected to hit hard this summer and it is important to manage mosquitoes on a variety of levels instead of simply spraying.Neither Stills nor Mullen is anti-spraying. They advocate for an integrated pest management (IPM) approach. This includes focusing on public education, using biological controls, focusing on larvicides (which are less toxic than adulticides), advocating for better public notice prior to spraying, encouraging greater cooperation with area residents, respecting the no-spray list, and spraying as the last step of mosquito management.

Although this election is small, it is very important for the health of our community and represents some of the best attributes of a democratic society. This is grassroots politics. Please vote for Travis Stills and Dean Mullen on May 4 and help keep our community healthy.

Michael Rendon,


Sex in the Small Town

Dear Editors:

During my divorce, living in a distant city, I turned to marathons of DVDs of "Sex in the City" for solace and perhaps some answers to my dilemma. I inevitably found that the main character, "Carrie," and her friends are completely obsessed not only with men, but with SEX, hence the name of the show. Further viewing brought questions like: Even writing a sex column, how the hell can Carrie afford Jimmy Choo shoes? (and if she can, why does she live in the hell hole she does?); and, how can Carrie be so sexy with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth and veins popping in her arms.

However, she does have an enviable, unavailable true love, a career to aspire to, friends that can at least find time to get together and a fashion sense to kill for. She lives a single life, in New York, and gets paid to contemplate her life. It would be nice to have a life that remotely resembled a sitcom. With trials and tribulations beginning, climaxing (such an appropriate word) and resolving all within the 30 minutes allotted, ending with the 20/20 vision of hindsight. The real world is ... well much more real. Smoking is a horrible and disgusting habit; but it is based on a vain and sick belief that somehow things are better now that you're killing yourself, and it has the emotional pull of a long lost love, as most true addictions do. I lit another, with the hope it would deliver some inspiration, some companionship in that same overvalued way it does on TV and in the movies. ( Throw in a trendy martini, or perhaps a caffeine-free skim milk latte, then add the token slow-motion-throwing-back-of-the-head with spontaneous laughter and it really is a sitcom.) I considered leaving the "city" and moving clear across the country to a "small town."Being newly single,I WASN'T GOING TO HAVE SEX IN THE CITY. I made a very big decision in the big city to trade my 5-inch, strappy heels, business suits and sports car for Tevas, Uggs and an SUV. I packed my stuff, called Mayflower and moved to Durango. Which still makes me giggle nervously.

I spent the first year here trying to carve out a living. I put work first of course, it's just as hard to make a living here as the city. Even Carrie couldn't afford a shack on East Third. After a while, I began walking around in a daze, in complete and total disbelief of where I was and wondered what on earth I was doing here. Even though one has no anonymity in Durango (you can run into a friend visiting from the East Coast or the lady from work in the grocery store everyday) I began feeling singular and as though I was not having any well-deserved fun. So I very deliberately decided to endure "dating." I put my sites on someone that might be OK, once he shaves his goatee and starts wearing sunscreen. I flirted shamelessly with him, and we started "hanging out"* a while later (*see below) .

There is a true art to successfully "hangin" in a small town. And there is plenty of help, everyone is so friendly here that they are all willing to give advice, along with the current gossip. So ask the questions, lean back with your Pinstripe or True Blonde and learn.

The most pertinent thing I have learned so far I have termed the R3 factor. Short for : Relationships + Rumors = Reputation. From what I understand, it is a serious and irreversible condition, much better avoided if possible. Some advice I've been given:

You absolutely DO NOT EVER have a relationship. Apparently this is termed "hanging-out exclusively." One doesn't date, either. This is termed "hanging out." But is not to be confused with "just hanging out" as friends, which somehow is more casual though both can involve sex.

"Hang out" at home (or rendezvous in romantic Farmington) until you decide you can actually LIVE with being seen together "in town."

If you are seen in the Durango area with someone you are unsure of, don't introduce them to people you run into. Why?

Everyone knows everyone, so why bother with introductions?

If they don't know each other, you can later claim you didn't know either one of them.

Ask people about your love interest's "reputation," hear the rumors, and find out who they have not had "relationships" with.

Start your own rumors and therefore control your own reputation.

NEVER speak above a whisper in any caf`E9, market, street or even on the phone, unless you are starting your own rumors as suggested in No. 5.

Consider the source when you hear a rumor, ask around about the spreaders' reputation and follow the formula in No. 4. (Cross your fingers the answer is not someone you're currently sleeping with.)

Order sex toys from the internet only.

If someone uses the line "My ex is hanging out' with your ex, wanna get a beer?" Run, honey, don't walk.

In light of all this friendly input, I am confused. Am I dating, umm, I mean "hanging out" with Mr. "Clean-Shaven" or not? And how on earth will I ever know for sure? I am only sure of one thing; there is great sex in the small town.

Name withheld

for obvious reasons





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