section and your opportunity to weigh in and be heard. Send
us your thoughts and profundities. You can contact us here.
A call to arms
Reading last week's top
story, preserving our roadless areas and open space is an ongoing
problem and constant fight. It's so unfortunate that our government
is disregarding the future of our lands and allowing corporate
greed to intervene. Several years ago, Earth First! members took
action and started driving spikes into pine trees in the HD
Mountains to preserve those old growth stands from invading oil
company activity. It worked for a while, since the companies'
employees were in grave danger while operating chainsaws. I think
the only way our government will listen to the people of America
nowadays is when we stand up to the redneck-oilman president with
anything that will deter/delay development of our natural
treasures. It's never good conduct in resorting to Earth First! or
ELF tactics, but if guerilla warfare raises brows and concern, then
so it be! A call to arms, the war has started!
Safe passage to Raider Ridge
Our family lives in
Hillcrest Greens. I am writing in support of the Raider Ridge Trail
that is being discussed.
Being an eight-year
Durango resident, I started mountain biking only a few of years
ago. I had seen the "scars" (trails) above Chapman Hill area, and
felt that these trails were really unsightly. I was then introduced
to the Durango Mountain Park trails and some of the trails off
Goeglein and up toward FLC, Animas Mountain and Horse Gulch. These
trails were so well conceived, designed, built and
that I did not even know
they existed, and with minor exceptions, they remain so now. Trails
CAN be built that are virtually invisible and are responsibly
We have two young
children who can't walk very far before tiring out. My wife and I
own our own business and therefore have very limited free time.
Thus, if we want to hike with the kids we must drive to the Horse
Gulch area, or over to the college or to the Durango Mountain Park.
We love to hike with our kids but would like a trailhead within
walking distance where we could actually get up on Raider Ridge,
where we could see town and the beauty of the distant
As for the danger of
multi-user trails, I have hiked and biked hundreds of miles around
here. I have had many encounters with others, including a few
"tricky" close calls, but they have all been handled with
consideration, apologies and no hard feelings. I have always shared
the philosophy that we are all here to respect and enjoy the
outdoors, and that includes giving each other kindness and "safe
Don't take voting for
I recently got back from
Ghana, West Africa. After decades of military coups and
dictatorships, Ghanaians finally voted in a free election in 2000.
That was just four years ago. Ghana today is a vibrant, loud,
argumentative democracy where everyone has an opinion and everyone
considers it a PRIVILEGE to vote in elections (and not have to risk
their lives to do so).
We are spoiled here in
the U.S. We take our democracy and our chances to vote for granted.
Most of us ignore election days: only 7 percent of Coloradoans
bothered voting in the 2002 Primary. No wonder we get candidates we
don't respect. This year,democracy begins on Aug. 10 when we are
allowed to go to the primaries to decide on candidates for the
November ballot. It is your primary right to vote on Aug.
10; 4 make it your primary
Pick the candidate for
U.S. Senate who is working unbelievably hard in this race because
he is such a committed public servant, not the paid politicians or
the corporate bigwig. Pick the guy who has worked his whole life as
a soldier, a diplomat and an educator. Pick the guy who is a true
patriot: the man who's in this race for you, not for himself. Pick
the guy whose commanding officer once said he has, "Bedrock
integrity, unsurpassed moral courage and standards."
Pickthe guy you can
respect. On Aug. 10, pick Mike Miles for US Senate. See you at the
The selling of Durango
To the editor,
Referring to Mr. Evans'
letter in the Soapbox of July 8,'04, perhaps "Friends" (of Animas
Valley) intend to treat the valley and residents as friends,
someone and something you treat as you want to be treated, not
someone to manipulate or ignore, and something to profiteer from.
Finding "traction" was nothing more than channeling desperation
felt by people here, as they watched power brokers sell Durango out
from under us. What RTR would have deprived all of us of, amongst
other things, is safe passage on limited roadways of Durango. The
vistas saved at Kroeger Ranch are ones that have been known for
ages by those who come and deposit their money in Durango
That River Trails Ranch
would provide housing for those with "moderate" income is an
ongoing joke and marketing manipulation. Sounds good, too bad it is
simply a store-front picture with no real meaning. Families biking
to work already risk their lives in the ever more dangerous traffic
accepted by most urban dwellers. The dream of a consolidated,
urbanized, civilized Durango is a developer/Realtor dream, and a
nightmare for common folk.
Do we want more trophy
homes? I vote for taxing trophy home builders an extreme bundle for
squandering our finite resources; forests (lumber), water and
energy (more coal-fired power plants to satiate greed). No friend
of Durango prefers this company, and it can be avoided. One of my
customers remarked to me that in 1990, greed moved to Durango. I
witnessed it next to me, and I still see it daily. Even too many
old-timers have succumbed. Sell Durango, make a bunch of bucks.
Make Durango an important star on the map. How important we
We've all heard the
argument that this is a republic, not a democracy. OK, fine. When
this government ignores the will of the people, it's time for the
people to lead. We have local governments rife with "old boy"
networks, selling out Durango left and right. Now that's a
short-term objective with no accountability for bad outcomes. Whom
can we trust? Whom can we respect?
It is the people that we
have not elected, those in positions to determine our future, that
manipulate those we have elected, and us, that we need to oppose.
The initiative by the "Friends" is the first viable alternative
I've heard of to counter the selling out of our water, our forests,
our agricultural lands, our wild lands and our energy sources to
satiate the power and wealth of modern marketing brokers. Let's
preserve freedom for our children and their children. We can do it.
You go, Friends!
A different take on Los
I read with interest the
letter you published last week, from Ms. Parker who reports
democracy triumphant in Los Alamos.
I agree wholeheartedly
with her, that elected representatives who do not fulfill their
mandates should not (indeed, will not) be returned to office. I
even advocated that outcome in my last letter, for those who felt
that way about the present Durango City Council.
On the other hand, it is
erroneous political thought to say that elected public officials
must "execute the will of a majority of the people." They take no
such oath and have no such obligation, political or ethical. Their
elected terms, and varied responsibilities, allow them to adopt
majoritarian positions sometimes, and minority positions other
times. The time between elections, and the many subjects they must
weigh in on, allow elected officials to make unpopular decisions
sometimes, but not all the time.
This is because the
founding fathers understood, what many of us never knew, that many
majoritarian decisions are bad ones.
Now I have no doubt that
things work differently in Los Alamos. Indeed, issues of growth and
expansion which stimulate and trouble Durango are moderated there,
by its remoteness and strenuous topography. The remarkable
educational achievements of all those PhDs is negatively correlated
with numbers of offspring, so their small families don't need the
extra room that burgeoning families of less intellectual Durangoans
may require. Social skills haven't been a strong suit for
hyperintellectuals, so they may be a little less attractive to new
neighbors than we robust and physical Durangoans. And of course, in
Los Alamos they're forgetful (especially of the location of
classified data, see New York
Times, p. 1.,
July 16, 2004) and tend to budgetary largess with others'' funds
(see Wall Street Journal
, "Advisory Panel to Set
Criteria to Run Los Alamos Lab," May 12, 2004).
These last traits might be particularly characteristic of
participants in a true democracy, where there is no accountability
at election time. No wonder it has sprung up in Los Alamos.