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

Scarred in Bodo Park

Dear Editors,

I just came from my bank in Bodo, and as I pulled out, I saw these people holding signs on the corner. I thought, “Wow the weather is really bad for a car wash,” until I got closer and realized they were not advertising a car wash, or a baking sale, they were protesting abortion! I only looked at one woman, standing with her toddler, a big smile on her face, with a sign reading “Planned Parenthood Kills Babies.”

And then I looked away in disgust. I wanted to flip them off, or roll down my window and tell the little toddler that his mommy was an asshole. But I decided that would be spreading more hate, so instead I looked away as if they were non-humans.

I am surprised at how angry I am! I’ve never had an abortion, I took the morning after pill once, and that felt like abortion to me. I’ve thought a lot about abortion. The cons, the emotions I would feel, and honestly although I might have been able to do it when I was younger, I probably couldn’t now.

But as I drove home, I couldn’t help but imagine the woman that was surely in Planned Parenthood right then going through the procedure, and the fact that when she came out, those people would be there making her feel worse. Who WANTS to get an abortion? Maybe she had been raped, or maybe she was really young, or maybe she just made a horrible decision and didn’t feel that she was responsible enough to care and provide for a child. Or maybe, she was ignorant.

Either way I felt scarred by witnessing these smiling waving jack-asses, that were no doubt exercising their freedom of speech, but who never the less ruined my afternoon.

– Jennifer Penquite, via e-mail

Why I’m voting for Ellen Roberts

Letter to the Editors,

I am supporting Ellen Roberts for many reasons: her work ethic, honesty and integrity. I admire her for balancing raising a family, building a business and contributing to the community.

She will be an effective voice in Denver and will look out for Southwest Colorado. She will support less4 government in our personal lives and work toward a more efficient state government. It will be worth your time and good for your future to support Ellen Roberts for District 59. For more information about her, visit, www.ellenroberts.com.

– Patti Zink, Durango

Send Roberts to Denver

Dear Editors,

Even though I have lived in Durango for the better part of 88 years, I know there are some residents who don’t know me. My family took over the hardware, paint and farm supply business in 1920, and I gave Kroeger’s Hardware a face-lift in 1967. I would like to think of myself as retired, but friends keep giving me worthwhile projects to work on! I have served on City Council and been the mayor, among a host of other community service jobs over the decades.

I give you my background because I want voters to understand the context for my opinions. I know all three candidates for the 59th district seat in the State House, and I am actively working to get Ellen Roberts elected. We met over a complicated real estate deal involving a church, the college and La Plata County about 17 years ago. That’s about the time Ellen set up her law office here in Durango.

From that moment until today, I have always found Ellen to be fair, thorough and honest. She is well qualified to be our state representative – and she is the best of the three, running regardless of party. Ellen has been learning the job by working on legislation through Mark Larsen’s office and on behalf of Club 20 (Western Slope counties and cities). She is ready to work the day we vote and send here to Denver. We’ll have a representative who can speak for the rural way of life and get herself heard. Please join me in supporting Ellen Roberts for the 59th.

– Sincerely, Fred Kroeger

Hold Israel accountable

To the Editors,

I am writing you in relation to the events in Lebanon. Today, and luckily for humanity, the world is increasingly connected and forming a global village. So, despite biased media reports for the benefit of Israel, we as citizens of the world have a clear idea of what is happening in that part of the world and the United States of America.

Israel is destroying Lebanon and any economic viability that it has been struggling to build over the past 16 years. Before that, it was unleashing its terror and destruction on the people of Gaza. They are killing children, women and innocent civilians. Israel has been displacing families from their homes in villages ever since its establishment in 1948. In six days since July 12, it has displaced over 700,000 people in Lebanon alone. It also pounded to the ground Lebanese people’s homes and infrastructure: roads, bridges, airports, ports, highways, energy plants and communication networks. These are all structures that we may have paid for with our tax money through international aid projects as we know that Lebanon’s post-war reconstruction was partly possible because of foreign aid to the then war-torn country. Israel has torn it away again, an entire country. It has no right to do so.

Israel is carrying out the same, if not worse, collective punishment that some of its people suffered during the first half of the 20th century.

We are constantly being told that we should appreciate the fact that we live in democracies, in the free world, where freedom of speech and expression are not an issue. We are also being told that our governments are waging a war against terror to protect us. But today we wonder whether such violent actions carried out by states, which use unrestrained and disproportionate force, clearly breaching international law and justice, are not but exasperating the problem by creating more angry people who are willing to bomb themselves in train stations and skyscrapers in an attempt to turn attention to the injustice they are enduring.

Based on our concern for our own security and based on the fact that we live in democracies where an individual’s freedom of expression holds the power to change and improve, the following actions should be considered to mobilize all diplomatic efforts to:

1.Stop the Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Gaza;

2.Pressure the United Nations Security Council to meet immediately and issue a Chapter 7 Resolution condemning the Israeli attacks and imposing sanctions on the Jewish state in an attempt to prevent it from repeating these attacks in the future. The international community’s failure to treat Israel like any other belligerent state has led to its recurrent resorting to violence. Ten years ago, it committed the Qana Massacre in South Lebanon at a UN base. As it remained unpunished for its unlawful acts in Qana, Jenin, Sabra and Shatila etc., Israel allowed itself to commit the mass genocide in Gaza and Lebanon in 2006 using the same argument and justification “self-defense,” “fighting against terror,” etc. But killing children and the innocent is far from self-defense and fighting against terror unless it is the intention. Israel should face the same treatment as Saddam did when he invaded Kuwait and if it does not, we as citizens of United States of America need to understand clearly why. Our country pays membership fees to be part of the UN, I presume it is our tax money. We expect and we have the right to request that this money is used effectively. No nation should enjoy the privilege over others to kill, and the UN should be able to implement its charter the first article of which is “to maintain peace and security.”

3. Pressure Israel through the UN or any other effective means to pay compensation for all the destruction it has caused at least since July 12. I as a citizen of the United States of America and the free world, the policies of which supposedly rest on the sum of individual votes of choice, count on you to take my request into consideration and forward to action. Together officials and citizens can make this a better world for all races to enjoy.

– Best regards, Karibeth Gibbs, via e-mail

A successful term in jail

Dear Editors,

The March of Dimes would like to thank the people of Durango for their support of our recent Jail & Bail fund-raising event. More than $15,000 was raised, due to the efforts of our jailbirds, their donors and our host (Steamworks Brewing Co.) This achievement will help enable our mission of improving the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. A special thanks to Durango’s top jailbird, Nate Zick, who raised $1,281.

The March of Dimes is proud to have funded more than $240,000 in services for Western Colorado babies and families over the past five years. We will continue to do all that we can to give every baby a healthy start. Any group in the state that provides infant and maternal health education and care is invited to apply for a grant. Plus, our Pregnancy and Newborn Health Education Center is available 24/7 for free information. More may be learned about March of Dimes’ healthy-baby resources by calling our local office at (970) 243-0894.

Again, thank you, Durango!

– Sincerely yours, Debbie Horwitz. Western Colorado Division director, March of Dimes Colorado Chapter

A cuff for Condoleeza

Dear Editors,

It’s kind of ambiguous and yet I think heartbreaking to watch Condoleeza Rice as she implements Bush policy, starting with no ceasefire in the Middle East. Gee, I wonder where that policy is going? But back to Condoleeza. American Africans, Caribbean Africans and even African Africans are almost forced to admire the woman’s nothing-less-than-brilliant achievements in both American business and academia. But my God, as I’ve said before, she seems as serenely impervious as Dubya to certain realities of Middle Eastern geopolitics much less the plight of the people from which she came. It’s wrongheaded policy that she follows. An example would be her requesting millions to spread “freedom”, hee, hee, hee, in Iran (by radio and other media I believe) while thousands were still starving and trying desperately to survive in the aftermath of Katrina. No, uh-uh, I just can’t accept it. Let’s put it simply and clearly: Condoleeza Rice, the madame secretary, continues to use her razor sharp rhetoric and subtle sophistry to deceive, as she’s apparently been deceived. Maybe in her oil industry experiences, eh?

And I will bet any of you out there, that history will judge her along with the rest of this administration quite harshly. And she, as they will, so definitely deserves it.

– Grant D. Cyrus, via e-mail


In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows