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A negative take on a positive plan

To the Editors,

It is truly difficult for me to understand why the presscontinues to buy into the idea that Renee Parsons is an authority on planning and growth in this county when, to my knowledge, she has no formal education, no training, no planning experience, and has never volunteered or served on any formal or informal board, commission, committee, focus group, etc. She represents a small group of people who love toberate anyone that disagrees with them, be they a public official, a city employee or an average citizen.Very often they do not know the facts about the issues they are critical of, but in spite of that you continue to give them credence.

In your article about the Downtown Plan you interviewedRenee Parsons for her opinion. Surprise, surprise, she had nothing positive to say, even though this has been an extraordinaryexercise in public involvement and she constantly demands that the City havemore public participation! For the past 10 months, the City, the Downtown Durango Partnership, and many citizens havebeen involved in an on-going public process of developing a new plan for Downtown Durango. Approximately 20 meetingshave taken place, all of which were publicized and open to the public. After many focus group meetings and a kick off meeting in August, which again were open to anyone, the City sponsored two three-hour public planning charrettes to allow those attending a chance to shape a plan for the future of Downtown Durango. Almost 90 people showed up at each charrette and were given the opportunity to offer any and every idea they had. To my knowledge, no one from the Friends of the Animas Valley bothered to show up, either to participate or see how the planning process, which they so eagerly criticize, actually works. If they had, they would have found that it has been a very open process, many good things will come out of it, and those that have chosen to participate will have made a positive contribution to the future of downtown Durango. It is really unfortunate that some people are so tied into being negative that they can't let go and see the positive things that are happening around them. It is also unfortunate that the Telegraph and the Durango Herald seem to love and promote this sort of negativity.

- Antonia Clark,


Let's get with the times

Dear Editors,

This is a quote from my 4-year-old daughter. "Mommy, look at the train. It has black smoke that is making the air dirty. If I had a choo-choo train, I would make it clean."

We need to get with the times. Pollution is neither quaint nor nostalgic. In the past, we did not have the technology to avoid pollution, but we do now. Let's purchase those filters. If a 4-year-old can see it, why can't we?

- Tracy Ford, Durango

Bizarre and offensive coverage

To the Editors,

I am glad that the Telegraph chose to write an article on the Downtown Durango Vision and Strategic Plan process. The high level of interest and diverse range of people who have participated in the openly public and democratic process amaze me. Countless volunteer hours are represented in the almost year old process. Ideas and perspectives from community members have been broad based. I encourage anyone wishing to join the hundreds who have already been involved to visit http://downtown.Durango.net (note no www) and peruse the downtown Durango website for an exhaustive disclosure of the process that has taken place to date. The procedure is not complete. Public input is ongoing and the consultants have yet to make any recommendations.

As a weekly reader of the Telegraph, I have come to respect the Telegraph for unbiased and well-researched articles. The article entitled "Shaping the future of downtown" written by Missy Votel was short of that standard.

It is puzzling to me that the Telegraph qualified Ms. Renee Parsons and/or the FOAV as authorities on the downtown planning process given their admitted lack of participation in or thorough understanding of any part of the process. While I am happy that the Telegraph chose to publish a story on the continuing Downtown Durango Vision and Strategic Plan, giving such extensive credibility to the editorial commentary from Ms. Parsons is bizarre while also offensive to the many people who have chosen to donate a lot of time and honest effort to the democratic process.

- Thanks, Bob Allen, via e-mail

Thumbs up to Shan

Dear Editors,

Thumbs up to Shan Wells for reminding us all of the real sources of Christmas traditions. Few realize that Christianity adopted pagan traditions to attract more converts.

- Tom Harman,

via e-mail





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