Our letters section and your opportunity to weigh in and be heard. Send us your thoughts and profundities. You can contact us here.

Vote 'yes' for enhanced community

Dear Editors:

Whether you use the library, walk/bike/run our trails, visit our parks or use other recreation facilities, at least two things happen: you do what you planned to do (check out a book, exercise, push your child on the swing, etc.), and you connect with others in our community. More than 1,000 people a day use our library - what an opportunity to run into folks you haven't seen in awhile and meet new friends! The same thing happens in our parks and on our trails. We build community connections while getting exercise, locating information or attending a program.

Ballot question 2A includes projects that enhance community: building a library that is large and modern enough to serve today's community with the materials, technology and services needed while also providing both adequate study and quiet reading space and public gathering space; increasing pedestrian, biker and driver safety by providing funds for safer roads, intersections and sidewalks; extending and paving trails so they are accessible to all; purchasing fast-disappearing open space to ensure that our views and natural lands are not developed and that our wildlife and water quality are protected; and providing new parks for individual serenity and group/community events.

Ballot question 2A includes accountability with citizen review, regular City Council review, and on larger projects, a subsequent vote on bond ballot questions. In the case of the library, passage of Question 2A would secure the funding to build a new library; voters will then have a second opportunity to vote on the site, conceptual drawings and actual costs when a bond approval question is placed on a future ballot.

Vote Yes! On ballot question 2A to ensure that Durango continues to provide and enhance the quality of life we all enjoy.

- Betty Dorr,


Of junk food and closed campuses

Dear Editors,

For the sake of argument...

I have heard so many complaints about the issue of the school lunches not being healthy and the kids wanting to get out of school. They wish to have freedoms and as parents we want them to eat right.

The schools have been making an effort to make the lunch room more "user friendly," and in time there will be a noticeable difference, I commend them in their challenge. I have a hard time planning the menu at home let alone for so many other picky eaters, and without moms and dads watching over them, they will stray to the "junk" over a healthy choice. Good luck to you, never surrender.

Now for these kids who want the campus to remain open, show the rest of us that you want to keep this privilege. Get in the cross walks! Cross the street like a responsible human should. I get so frustrated with these kids who want to be treated like young adults and yet there is this flush of unresponsible, inconsiderate and down right stupid young people running across these streets in front of the school. Should we get crossing guards for you? If you wish to keep this campus open, show it. Act like you have respect. It is the people who will make the final decision who are about to run you over out there ... Did that ever cross your minds?

The few who are careful are in the minority. What a shame, you kids wish to have respect and yet you are giving very little.

- Brandi Alliprandine,


Bring mental health to the fore

Dear Editors,

Thank you to Dean Powers for writing an informative and compelling article (Feb. Feb. 3) about the mental-health needs of our community. In his article, Dean referred to the efforts currently under way to bring a Health Services District to the vote of La Plata County residents. The Health Services District, should it receive the approval of voters in what we hope is a May of 2006 election, would provide tax dollars to address financial shortfalls impacting delivery of health care in our county. How those dollars would be allocated would be determined by an elected Board of Directors charged with evaluating the community's pressing health care, including mental health needs and dividing revenues to help address those needs. Among the needs currently recognized are preventive care for children; prenatal care for pregnant women; health services for homebound seniors and persons with disabilities; support services for persons experiencing severe mental health crises as well as preventive mental health care; and access to primary care for Medicare, underinsured and uninsured residents of La Plata County. Though Dean's article stated that the Health Services District would channel roughly $350,000 toward the operational costs of the much-needed new Psychiatric Urgent Care facility, it is important for the public to know that an elected Board of Directors would make the final decisions about how tax dollars from the district are spent. The design of the Health Services District is to be flexible in addressing changes in external funding and community needs.

I applaud The Durango Telegraph and the Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center for bringing this critically important health- care issue to our attention and hope that the community will support the the establishing of of a Health Services District.

- Missy Rodey

Health Services District

Campaign Committee

Put your refund to work for water

Dear Editors,

The Colorado Watershed Protection Fund (CWPF) needs your help to protect Colorado's essential water resources. Help support the Fund by checking off the Colorado Watershed Protection Fund, a tax refund check-off, on your 2004 Colorado Individual Tax forms. By checking off this box, you will help fund a program that protects streams and watersheds, and provides assistance to local watershed groups.

In only its second year, the CWPF has raised almost $200,000. It provides crucial support to local watershed protection groups throughout Colorado on a competitive basis to ensure that our water stays clean and available. To learn more about the Fund's current projects, visit http://www.cowaterfund.org/

Colorado's check-off program allows taxpayers to designate a portion of their tax refund to one or more charitable foundations. Take advantage of this unique opportunity this tax season! By checking off the Colorado Watershed Protection Fund on your tax forms, you are protecting our most vital resource, one that we cannot go without: water.

To view the check-off tax form, please visit http://www.cowaterfund.org/cwpfHowTo.asp or page 24 of the 2004 Colorado Income Tax Guide at http://www.revenue.state.co.us/pdf/04104.pdf .For questions about this check-off, please contact: Elizabeth Mozer at the Colorado Watershed Assembly by email at: elizabeth@treeswaterpeople.org .

Let your refund make a world of difference!

- Steve Glazer

via e-mail

Let it snow

Let it snow

That we may grow

Time to slow down

And hibernate

Shift gears to low

Journey safely home

Two hands on the wheel

Signal your intentions

Or choose to yield

Than go within

Your heart and soul

Sleep deep, dream all

That snow may fall

Pray for snow

Then pray for sun

Then pray more snow

Cleansing everyone

Dance for snow

Sing for snow

Drum for snow

That we may grow

In many ways

Give thanks and pray

Peace and love will grow

To bless the lands

Hold someone's hand

Dream deep, visions high,

Snow falling from the skies

Love strong, plant seeds

Many mouths to feed

Clean water for one

Clean water for all

Will grow the food

Gentle rain will fall

Cleansing rain, shining sun

Steady snow, we all are one

Sustaining one, sustaining all

Children the rainbow's call

Rainbows here, rainbows there

Rainbows, rainbows everywhere

Friends of mine

Hugs and love to one and all

Dreams of snowing

Waters flowing

Seeds of love growing

Knowing dreams of hope

Peace and love always





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