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

Type of spokeswoman we need

Dear Editors:

As a relative newcomer to Montezuma County (only 9 years), I do not look askance at people, events, businesses that support the regional economy but happen to reside in La Plata County. Let’s be realistic about this – if the four counties in the 59th State House district will actively seek ways to work together, the folks in Denver might notice we are here, do worthwhile things, and often will provide them ample return on tax dollars invested in this wonderful corner of the state.

But I am very busy running my business, and I do not fly up to Denver to keep track of what the legislature, bureaucracy or governor are up to. I have greatly enjoyed the “window on Denver” that Mark Larsen and Jim Isgar have provided in the local newspapers. But Mark is term limited – and we get to select a new state rep. Ellen Roberts is the person to vote for. Period.

Roberts is a small business owner – a lawyer – and has some experience as a prosecutor. Yes, that means she can talk, persuade, and debate with the best on them – and it is that type of spokesman we need.

Roberts chose this area to live in, start and raise a family with husband Rick, build a successful law practice, and do years of community service (most recently the hospital board). She is here because she loves it! Isn’t this the type person you want representing you in Denver?

I believe Ellen will always put legislation to the southwest district test: Is it right for the 59th district voters?

Please take the time to meet her and talk with her– and I hope you will join me in voting Roberts for the 59th in the November election.

– Sincerely, Susan Scott, via e-mail

The heck with civil rights

To the Editors, I wish to respond to the letter from Patti Zink that appeared in the Aug. 10 issue. She mentions that Ellen Roberts will “support less government in our personal lives.” I would hope so, but I believe that Ellen Roberts is a Republican. I believe that it has been under the Republican leadership that big government is intruding more than ever into our personal lives, the heck with our rights under the constitution.

– Ed Lehner, Durango

Holy smoke!

Dear Editors,

I dropped back into Durango after visiting other states for three adventure-filled months only to learn of many changes. One was the fire at the Central Hotel/El Rancho where I lived twice and the other was the public smoking ban that Colorado initiated.

Holy smoke! We became California while I was away. People with too much time on their hands, also known as special interest groups, have been very busy making sure the rest of us fit into their image of a perfect world. Of course, there wasn’t enough planning in enacting this law because a newer and uglier problem has been created.

I’ve noticed that parking lots and sidewalks are becoming giant ashtrays. Soon we will be wading through mountains of cigarette butts and somebody will think it’s a good idea to make business owners sweep the sidewalks.

The good news is that, theoretically, we will have cleaner air, right? Sure, let’s forget about the exhaust fumes from the SUVs no doubt driven by nonsmokers. Nonsmokers with one hand on the wheel of their air-polluting, fossil-fuel-burning MEGA vehicles and the other hand clutching the ever-present cell phone.

Cell phones are said to cause cancer just as the propaganda says second-hand smoke can cause cancer, although there is no indisputable proof of either. However, the fact remains that both are at the least, annoying.

Now I have heard smokers turn to the next table and ask permission to smoke, but I’ve never seen one of those obnoxious cell phone users do that. They seem to assume that the rest of us are impressed with their personal life. It happens in restaurants, the grocery store, and waiting in line at the post office.

If Colorado really needed to ban something, I’d have suggested banning cell phones in public and definitely while driving. That seems like a larger hazard. Like most laws, this one seems to be designed for no other purpose than the erosion of personal liberties. It’s hard to believe that we care more about who smokes what and where than we do about the carnage in the Middle East. Colorado, it’s time for a reality check.

– Doug Quinones, Grand Junction


Surely someone is paying attention

Dear Editors,

Surely this administration understands that we’re not all going to be stupid and/or just uninformed all of the time as much as they so ruthlessly work to keep it to the contrary. Surely now they recognize just how much trouble they’ve gotten us into economically; being in hock to the Chinese for billions and billions and even to some Arab countries. In addition dealing with virtually any country or government no matter how corrupt as long as they’re willing to play along the “good ole boy” business way.

Surely they realize by now that they have scared the world half to death and have them questioning our every motive, indeed our sanity as a nation.

Surely they don’t think for a moment that “hiding all of this big business and government war collusion/corruption right in front of us” isn’t insulting to the sensibilities. Trying to weave and terrifyingly force their myths, their bloody, bloody farce into our everyday lives whether we like it or not. (Except of course for their precious Fox Faux News.) Surely they are aware of these things if even in the most rudimentary way, and that they have underestimated us.

Surely they are. Someone please tell me that they are.

– Grant D. Cyrus, via e-mail

P.S. Really do admire the talent and strategy of the Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Second City’s along with many other artists/humorists that try to keep it all both funny and barely bearable though. That’s one (smart) way to deal with it.


V is for vandalism


I am writing to respond to the individual or individuals who vandalized my sign ... again. After being open for just more than one year, my sign has been stolen, had Homeslice stickers placed all over it, and now written on with black permanent marker saying “P is for Pizza.”

Let me make something known to you. I GET the fact that I am next door to a restaurant that also serves food beginning with the letter “P.” It is purely coincidental. I incorporated my business, and thus the name, many months before ever finding a location.

The name of my business is a reference to “Sesame Street.” My children love that show. You know, “C is for Cookie, that’s good enough for me.” And speaking of “Sesame Street,” it seems that you could have benefited from watching a few episodes of that show – the ones where they talk about manners and respect for other people and things.

– Yours, Sarah Smith, Durango

The other side of the HDs

Dear Eds, When the government sold mineral leases in the HDs 50-some years ago, the Sierra Club was a genuine hiking club, and the people running San Juan Citizens Alliance and Colorado Wild weren’t even born! These outfits, plus Great Old Broads for Wilderness, are now calling for the USFS to stop all drilling in the HDs as well as halt the sale of future leases.

What the enviros aren’t addressing is the liability issues of the USFS were they to cancel existing leases in the HD Mountains. Not only would the USFS be liable for the costs of the original leases, but the value of the potential income to the lease holders far into the future. We’re talking billions of dollars!

The environmentalist organizations in Durango are less than candid in presenting both sides of an issue. For instance, go read the signs at Haviland Lake protesting a land swap for an insight as to how the enviros twist the facts and confuse the issue. Or how about Colorado Wild’s lawsuits against legitimate access to private inholdings created in the early seventies?

Quite frankly, I resent the multiple lawsuits filed by environmental groups that are funded with tax-exempt contributions. In essence, as a taxpayer, I end up paying for both sides of the litigation when tax-deductible contributions pay attorneys for Colorado Wild’s suit against the USFS.

There are constant “sound bites” from leaders of the environmental groups in Durango challenging the ethics and integrity of government officials as well as private enterprise. Perhaps it’s time that we challenge the truthfulness of these same nonprofit administrators when it comes to issues involving public lands. At times, I suspect that these groups step beyond the line of public advocacy and become involved in political issues that are in violation of their IRS 501(c)3 tax-exempt standing.

Perhaps Colorado Wild, Great Old Broads, SJCA and the Sierra Club can hold bake sales on Main Avenue every Friday and raise money to buy the HD mineral leases and cut out the middleman; in this case the USFS.

– Dennis Pierce, Durango


In this week's issue...

July 21, 2022
Wildlife success or deal with the devil?

Land swap approved in Southwest Colorado, but not without detractors

July 21, 2022
Tapping out

The latest strategy to save the San Luis Valley's shrinking aquifer: paying farmers not to farm

July 14, 2022
Hey, good environmental news

Despite SCOTUS ruling, San Juan Generating Station plans to shut down