section and your opportunity to weigh in and be heard. Send
us your thoughts and profundities. You can contact us here.
In support of safe
We write in support of
the "Safe Haven Resolution for Noncitizen Residents" presented to
the Durango City Council by Los Companeros and the San Juan
Citizens' Alliance, scheduled for a vote July 6.
This resolution will NOT
cause more noncitizen residents to move to our community. Any such
increase will be the result of job opportunities. As the global
economy continues to favor rich nations over poor through "free
trade" agreements, those unable to survive in their homelands will
migrate to those places where opportunities exist for hard work to
ensure their families' well-being.
What this resolution
WILL do is provide noncitizen residents the ability to report
crimes and seek health care and other social services when needed,
without the fear of being reported to authorities for the sole
purpose of deportation. Our law enforcement agencies do not have
the labor power to do the work of the INS-now-U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services; neither do the health-care providers and
social workers that provide essential services for a healthy
Durango can make itself
a safe home to all, including those who come here to do the work
needed by our tourism, agriculture and building industries, those
who are, in fact, hired for these jobs by our own local business
owners. We should go no further than necessitated by law to "round
up" individuals who are already plagued by race and poverty
profiling. Only in those instances in which a crime is committed,
by citizen or noncitizen, should the Durango Police Department be
alerted to or make inquiry about the citizenship status of any
resident. We pay public employees with our tax dollars to ensure
community safety and physical/social health. It is not their job to
step beyond those roles in capitulation to the present politically
constructed climate of fear and oppression.
Remember the experiences
of many of our ancestors, who suffered similar persecution upon
immigration to the U.S., not to mention the genocide visited via
such policies upon the first inhabitants of this land. Consider the
true values of caring, compassion and peace. Support this positive
Signed, SW Colorado Peace & Justice
Coalition Organizing Committee members Jacque Armstrong, Amber
Clark, Marsha Cohen, Mary Dumetria, Dawn Farrington, Kalin Grigg,
Faith Lemon, Lyn Patrick, Anita Phillips, Greg Rossell, Lynn
Sutherland, Charlie Swift, M'Lou Swift
So much for representative
To the Editors,
The Durango Telegraph's June 24th issue contained an article
entitled "City Blasts Smart Growth Push" which quoted City
Councilors Castro, Colgan and Garland as being in opposition to the
Responsible Growth Initiative.
For members of the council to speak publicly against a
legislative matter to come before them in the next few weeks is
highly improper and inappropriate. It is also incredulous that
council members spoke before the Initiative petitioning process has
been completed. Since the councilors have not yet heard the merits
of the Initiative, their comments were premature and contained
inaccurate suppositions. For instance, it's a no-brainer that the
costs of any voter election would be passed on to the developer who
will reap the profits rather than the city taxpayer.
Also, the article raised the issue of representative government.
With the exception of River Trails Ranch, current and past city
councils have a history of unanimous approvals of every development
that comes across their desks. To many citizens, the term "done
deal" seems more fitting than representative government. So who
exactly are our elected officials representing: the people or the
moneyed interests of Durango?
Once the Responsible Growth petitions are "certified," the
Initiative will be presented to the City Council for consideration.
Councilors will then vote on whether to adopt the Initiative or
forward the Initiative to city voters for the November ballot.
Is it possible that council members are not familiar with the
city's own election process? Did the city attorney advise the
council that such comments, prior to public review, would be seen
as prejudicial and biased? Were members of the council aware that
the public would view such comments as advocates for development
rather than the opinions of a panel of thoughtful, publicly
elected, independent fact finders. Were members of the council
acting responsibly by speaking out thoughtlessly during the
petitioning process? Has the public process now been tainted beyond
any assurance that the matter will be dealt with in a fair and
So much for representative government.
Given that all council members are hard-working volunteers, it
may be that our part-time council, which depends on an entrenched
staff for information and recommendations, is no longer an
effective structure to represent the voters of Durango.
If democratically elected officials consistently fail to
represent the interests of their constituents, it is the
responsibility of the people to assert their will. The Responsible
Growth Initiative with its voter approval of major land-use
decisions is a necessary step to restore true representative
vice-president, Friends of the Animas
Make Durango safe for everyone
I am writing this letter
in support of the upcoming resolution declaring the City of Durango
a Safe Haven for Noncitizen Residents. A resolution similar to this
one has been supported by numerous cities across the United States
such as New York, San Francisco and Santa Fe. The mayor of Denver
and the Albuquerque police chief have issued executive orders
prohibiting the use of city resources to discriminate against
immigrants. This resolution is part of our constitutional right of
local self-governance under the 10th Amendment.
Mainly, I am in support
of this resolution as a public safety matter. I believe that people
who are the victims of domestic violence should not be afraid to
turn to the police for help. Nor should someone be discouraged to
seek medical attention when they need it or refrain from calling
911 when they are witnessing an emergency. Local police departments
have supported similar resolutions and policies in manycities because
resolutions such as this one can help them in their work of serving
and protecting our community.
It should be noted that
no city that has already passed a "Safe Haven" resolution has
witnessed an increase in the number of illegal immigrants or
immigration agents migrating to their city. This resolution does
not endorse a sanctuary. Immigration Services will continue to
arrest suspected criminals, regardless of immigration
This resolution will
increase the safety of our community and allow immigrants, both
legal and illegal, to live outside of fear and seek out a life in
which they and their children can live up to their potential. I
encourage the City Council to support the proposed resolution
offered by Los Compa`F1eros and make Durango a safe haven for
Durango, via e-mail
Back in action
Thank goodness!! After a
few weeks of feeling sorry for myself that Mike Sheahan left town,
and took "The Goods" with him, I found myself joyfully reading "The
Society Page!" The Goods was always my favorite part of The Telegraph despite the lack of time, money and
motivation to go out and actually participate in all the wonderful
music events that it told of. It made me laugh, every week, and
once or twice, I almost drove myself and my family to town to check
I begged Mike not to go, but the Sheahans packed it in anyway.
Then today, I was thrilled to see that Ted Holteen has taken over,
and everything is under control. The same great information in a
fun-filled, laugh-packed column - just like The Goods. Not many
people in this town have as much humor and musical knowledge as
Mike, but Ted is one of those few.
Thanks for keeping up that good work. I enjoy your paper.
But, now I miss "When Animals Attack." What happened to that
Have a happy day,
Pamela Marshall, via
(Editors' note: "When Animals Attack"
now resides in southern Arizona with cartoonist Patrick Brawley.
The mysterious Pookala has moved into the "When Animals Attack" slot.)
Sex in a really small town
Y'all crack me up,
single Durangoans whining about your small town dating selves.
Actually I'm not alone, we all laughed at you, not a belly roll
kind of laugh, but a definite collective chuckle outside the coffee
shop one morning. You see, you should try heading about 50 miles up
the mountain and jumping into the dating pool of our little
dysfunctional family of 400. This is the town where one of my best
friend's best sayings is: "When you break up in Silverton, you
don't lose your girlfriend, you just lose your turn." Get the
When I moved to
Silverton three years ago, my friend Ann warned me that if I didn't
hook up with someone in the first year of living here, my chances
of actually getting a date would decrease considerably. After that,
she said, all the guys just think of you as a sister, and you'll
never hook up.
But then, choosing
someone to hook up with is easier said than done. Even if someone
special does catch your eye, there's a strong chance that he has
also caught someone else's eye, and when you're hangin' out with
the sistas on Girls' Night, it gets a bit uncomfortable when
everyone has their eyes on the same guy. Which will definitely
happen because there are only so many of us to go around. And even
if we women do sit around and compare the place to Neverland (lost
boys who never grow up), we do get a bit territorial about the boy
of our choice. (For the record, my guru says that we are all
runners, men and women alike. It's just that the boys are running
farther and faster than their female counterparts.)
And those lost boys?
They have their own complaints, and the comment I hear most is that
the women just have no style. Don't dress up and look pretty. It is
true that we women at 9,318 feet have been known to accessorize our
Christmas formals with hiking boots, but seeing as I'm female and
am writing this, I can address this issue and explain it with a
simple visual: Tight skirt, 2-inch heels, carrying a casserole dish
across a parking lot that resembles a skating rink, in the dark no
less, just to get to the party. Need I say more?
But let's say some poor
couple does finally get together for a night of loving, or even a
first night in a long line of loving you think there is no
anonymity in a town of 10,000? Try a town of 400. Example: The guy
down the street was saying the other day that he was pretty sure
that his neighbor and so and so girl had just gotten together
because he had witnessed the "walk of shame" when she left to walk
home "the morning after." Then there was the evening when I left a
party and offered the new guy in town a simple ride home because it
was on my way. The next morning our (beloved) librarian wanted to
know who he was, where we went and if I scored.
Nothing is sacred or
private here, but overall we manage. Someone new moves to town and
sweeps us off our feet. Or that guy in the coffee shop we've seen a
hundred times finally strikes up a conversation and voila, there's
a spark. We still find a way to order a drink from the bartender
who used to date our new boyfriend without feeling like we betrayed
our girlfriend, and we can still enjoy a potluck with an old
girlfriend who is now dating our roommate. It's all in the family,
and besides, this way there are no secrets. By the time our eyes
meet those of that special someone across the room, we already know
their history their little idiosyncracies. Or at least, their
ex-girlfriend's version of it.