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The drift of mosquito control

(Editors' note: The following letter was originally sent to the Animas Mosquito Control District board of directors.)

Dear Animas Mosquito Control Board:

I live across from the nursing home on Junction Street, about two blocks from the city-county line. About a week or more ago, AMC sprayed just across on the county side, which I verified. Yet I received a huge amount of drift, very easily detected by the odor and the foggy-looking night, though I did not see or hear a truck spraying. As my windows were open, I ended up with a house full of the stuff and was very, very upset, to say the least.

As air moves down the valley every evening like clockwork, this problem will occur again. I've lived in this house for eight years and know that each evening I will get smoke from all chimneys to my north, up valley, and now pesticides also. I have seen trees being sprayed during the day where the drift of pesticides was huge, though there was no breeze at all, so I know I will get pesticide drift again, from both county and city spraying.

I'd like to know why I can't be notified by a phone call or e-mail, or by checking a web site. I called and talked to someone at AMC and was told that I could not be notified if the spraying was in the county and I lived in the city. Unfortunately the spray does not know to stop at the county line. I was under the impression that only a few people had registered complaints against spraying, so I can't imagine there would be many people to call when spraying is scheduled. Nevertheless, since someone like myself does not want to discover that they are suddenly being sprayed, and it is too late to run for cover and close up the house, I feel that all efforts should be made to inform one of spraying.

Please rectify this situation and let me know by what manner I can be forewarned, so that I can protect my organic garden, myself and my housemates.

Sincerely, Jan Holt

Stories of Storyville

Lovely editors,For several years, Storyville was for many Durangoans what Cafe de Flore was for Hemingway and Fitzgerald in the 1920s, what Vesuvio was for Kerouac and Ginsberg in the 1950s, what St. Elmo's Fire was for Rob Lowe and Demi Moore in the 1980s.Namely, it was a public gathering place where comrades would discuss lofty visions of the future and the regrets of an escaped yesteryear. That and Storyville was a really cool place to get all hopped up on the beer and the whiskey and jump around like an idiot.

The music lovers among us were fortunate, in a town Durango's size, to have a place in which to enjoy live acts that most often strayed in style from the local norm. Dave Thibedeau was not afraid to book a little known (but stellar) touring act on a weeknight, often to see that band play for just me and a handful of others.

But Dave and Storyville trooped along, and on the way hosted some of the best shows I have seen.Who can forget Hank III, BR549 or any of The Gourds' trips to town? Who, no matter how hard they try, can forget Michael Jackson Night?

It was an awesome run, and I can't imagine my tenure in Durango without Storyville.So here's to you, Dave, thanks for busting your hump to bring us all that great food, booze and music. But mostly, thanks for the cranberry juice.

Mike Sheahan, Eugene, Ore.

A slam on abstinence

Dear Editors,

With regards to your article by Todd Thompson in the Aug. 19 edition, I find it hard to take him seriously when he can't even get the proper name of the organization he is so eager to "slam."It is not difficult at all to see the name of the organization, Durango Life Foundation, it is right in the photo of the baby bottle in big letters. Todd used the wrong name four different times in his article.

Also, just to be "fair and balanced," how many times has Todd actually visited Durango Life Foundation in person to interview the executive director, or toured the facility to see exactly what it is offering the public free of charge? Has Todd Thompson actually viewed any the educational materials Durango Life Foundation has available?

OK Todd, tell the people of Durango just how informed you really are regarding the services of Durango Life Foundation and what the abstinence program really teaches! It is ALL about education!

Peggy Shoemaker, Durango

Vote no' on snob zoning

Dear Editors,The proponents of the Responsible Growth Initiative are asking you to cast a vote for "snob zoning." They're sugar-coating their initiative hoping to lure you into their trap. Their arguments may sound like apple pie and ice cream, but, when you study the issues as responsible voters do, you'll find their initiative is pure poison to our community and certainly not "responsible!"

With the median home price now tipping $300,000 and a severe shortage of decent housing in the lower price range, the snobs want to kill any new development, which will drive up the cost of housing. That means minorities, retirees, young people and low income families will be among those deprived of living where they grew up or where they choose to live. Can our teachers, police, firefighters, social workers, afford higher home prices? Can they afford these prices? Even rental prices are spiralling! The proponents say, "it's not our problem!"

Check their website (www.animasvalley.org) and see how they attack new housing developments in the city, such as the 71-unit Parkside Terrace Townhome subdivision, which (1) was priced in the $180,000 to $240,000 price range (well below the current median price), and (2) utilized existing city infrastructure. Lest we forget, Parkside Terrace replaced a broken-down trailer park that was an eye-sore to the community and the scene of a tragic, life-consuming fire just prior to redevelopment.

When asked about potential "sprawl" into the county (where infrastructure is lacking) if this initiative passes, the proponents again say, "it's not our problem!" How can you be a "friend" of the Animas Valley with this attitude?

Durango is by choice an "inclusive" community. By effectively killing new development and restricting housing supply, the proponents hope to make Durango an "exclusive" community. These initiatives haven't worked elsewhere in Colorado, and it won't work here. We need to solve the housing problem here, not make it worse...

Call it what it is: Snob Zoning! Please vote against the Intelligent Growth Initiative!

Edmund P. Andersson,Durango




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