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The folly of the fence

Dear Editors,

Stop the madness now! I refer to the recent Telegraph article (March 23) explaining the City of Durango’s proposed fence around City Reservoir based, “... on a strong recommendation from the Department of Homeland Security.” According to a city official, “The primary goal is to keep people from poisoning the local drinking water.” Durango must be a pretty special place if all of the world’s terrorists are going to attack here.

Consider: Chicago’s water supply, Lake Michigan – no fence; Denver’s water supply, Dillon Reservoir – no fence; even the terrorists’ main target, Mancos, with its water supply in Jackson Lake, a state park – no fence. Durangatangs unite and stop this folly before $80,000 of your “local taxpayers” money becomes the first drop in the bucket of a future attempt to “install an alarm system” as well. Homeland Security? Think nationally, get active locally.

– Jim Skvorc, Mancos

Pushing past smear

Dear Editors,

While Joe Colgan’s campaign team has chosen to start another round of smears against Jeff Deitch, I am proud to see that Jeff is pushing forward and talking to the voters about the crucial issues of children and the elderly.

The Democratic Party can win only by offering a candidate who cares about the good of the people, not the preservation of party insider power. Jeff is a candidate who has seen the people’s needs gone unmet for decades and has decided to do something about it. He

is a strong leader with a lot of backbone and doesn’t take orders from political manipulators.

Jeff Deitch is the best choice to be our next state representative.

– Sincerely, Joe D’Aleo

Getting stamped at Haviland

Dear Editors,

This is to answer questions about the need for a Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp at two state wildlife areas near Durango. An item in last week’sTelegraph4 needs to be clarified.

If you buy a hunting or a fishing license, you will automatically purchase a habitat stamp for an additional $5. If you do not buy a license, are 19-64 years old and plan to use any Colorado State Wildlife Area, the cost of the habitat stamp is $10.

At Andrews Lak,e the Colorado Division of Wildlife owns only the water in the lake. If you fish at the lake – or anywhere else in Colorado – you must have a fishing license. If you go onto the lake with a boat you must have a habitat stamp. The land around the lake is owned by the United States Forest Service, so a habitat stamp is not required for hiking, picnicking, etc.

At Haviland Lake, the DOW does own land on the north, south and west sides of the reservoir. A habitat stamp is needed to use those properties. A habitat stamp is not needed on the United States Forest Service campground on the east side of the lake. Explanatory signs will be posted.

– Tony Gurzick, assistant regional manager,
Southwest Region, Colorado Division of Wildlife.

League supports health district

Dear Editors,

The League of Women Voters of La Plata County supports the proposed La Plata County Health Service District and urges you to support it as well. After thorough review of the service plan, and various other studies and surveys used to develop the plan, League members agree that the proposed ballot issues, Ballot Issue 500 to authorize the 1.7 mill levy and Ballot Question 501 to create the District, address the health-care needs of La Plata County residents in an appropriate way.

According to study chairman Jill Patton, LWV members, as individuals, have participated on various community committees, such as Action Coalition for Medical Excellence (ACME) and Citizens Health Advisory Council (CHAC), for several years, and provided the LWV study committee with access to the studies conducted in La Plata County to determine the unmet needs of county residents and to other information leading up to the development of the HSD service plan, which is the basis of the ballot proposals.

In the fall of 2004, the LWV membership served as a focus group for the community committee exploring issues related to the feasibility of setting up an HSD in La Plata County. Prior to the adoption of the LWV study, the LWV canvassed seven other similarly situated health service districts in Colorado to determine why and how they had become HSDs and how they were working out.

Folks familiar with the LWV know that we have two very separate arms, one arm that provides nonpartisan, unbiased information on issues and candidates, and the other, which advocates for positions on issues that we have thoroughly studied and on which we have reached thoughtful member consensus. The LWV never takes positions on candidates or political parties under any circumstances.

A health service district, which would make additional funding available to current service providers to assist underserved La Plata County residents, is sorely needed. These providers have suffered significant cutbacks in state and federal funding in recent years. We will all benefit from a healthier community. We urge you to vote yes on both proposals, to create and to fund the HSD.

– Marilyn T. Brown, president,
League of Women Voters of La Plata County