Take pet ownership seriously

To the Editors:

I appreciate all the work the city staff and the study group has been doing to revise dog ordinances. It is unfortunate that there are those who equate accepting responsibility for owning a pet with loss of freedom. I think the perception of the freedom to allow your dog to behave in certain manners is due to lack of education and enforcement and the attitude of “my dog would never do that (chase, bark, bite).” People tie their dogs up along Main Avenue even though there is an ordinance not to. People leave their dogs unsecured in back of pickups, unattended in front yards and utilize leashes longer than 8 feet, all contrary to current ordinances. There has been a blind eye turned to many annoying and unsafe behaviors. Just this afternoon, I saw two dogs run out of a yard in the 2300 block of Delwood, barking and snarling and chasing two 12-year-old boys on bikes. I called dispatch to send animal control but don’t know of the outcome. Of course the ordinance won’t change anything on its own. Pet owners will need to be informed through their vets, the Humane Society and education outreach. I do agree that the fines need to be serious and substantial, so that people take pet ownership seriously. I hope the next statement doesn’t sound ridiculous, but I don’t allow my kids to yell at passers-by any hour of day or night, leave garbage on people’s lawns, or negatively affect anyone’s quality of life. Dog owners who regard their pets as family members need to be as responsible.

–Thank you, Karen Carver, Durango

A welcome fat-tire trend

So Will,

The front of your story about mountain biking sounded more like something that should be found in a trade magazine than the Telegraph. And the problem with fewer mountain bikers is? I think it is good there is a down trend. Less pressure on trails in need of less traffic, more room for multi-use, more room for “old timers” that remember how it used to be. Like you mention in the article, people are buying bikes that better fit their needs. Now if we can convince Trails 2000 and our local government that more folks would like to safely commute to work on their bikes than ride the north side of Raider Ridge, then we will see some real progress around here.

– Jim Sims, Durango 

Strong ethics and a level head

Dear Editors,

Vote for Joe Colgan in the August primary for the 59th District Colorado House of Representatives. I met Joe as one of my accounting professors at Fort Lewis College. He sponsored me in Rotary 17 years ago. His commitment to our community has shown in his service on nonprofit boards, Durango City Council, and his commitment to Rotary with the motto “Service Above Self.” He has been a Rotarian far longer than I. If that weren’t enough, he has remained active in the Boy Scouts throughout his adult life, so I know his commitment to the environment is strong. I trust him for his high ethics and level head. We need a person with good financial sense representing us. He devoted much of his life to education and will help provide that insight to the House as well. I strongly urge you to vote for Joe on Aug. 8.

– Virginia Miller Cavanagh, via e-mail

An A+ for Joe Colgan

Dear Editors,

Joe Colgan means action for Southwestern Colorado when elected to the House to represent the 59th District. His progressive stand on global warming, health care, jobs, and education captured my vote. His leadership and experience guarantee his actions will benefit our community. Attracting green technology, advocating for solar credits, creating budgets that reflect the priorities of Southwestern Colorado, promoting agriculture, and understanding that education is the backbone for Colorado means I trust Joe to carry these issues to Denver for me. As an accountant, he understands budgets. Protecting our water and the wilderness are priorities for Joe. I’ve been a teacher for 31 years, and Joe Colgan gets an A+ from me on his stand for Southwestern Colorado. Vote on Aug. 8 for Joe Colgan and know you made the right decision for our community.

– Sweetie Marbury, via e-mail

A man with strong values

Dear Editors,

I am voting for Joe Colgan on Aug. 8 as my house representative for the 59th District. I trust his experience and leadership. Joe believes Colorado must have an educated work force and will carry this message to Denver to reduce class sizes. Joe promotes preschool and after-school programs for our children, bringing quality jobs to Southwestern Colorado and increasing the opportunity for education, which is good for all of our communities. Joe Colgan, because of his decades of service to the public, understands the needs and priorities of our communities. I urge everyone to support Joe Colgan as our state representative by casting your ballot for a man with strong values that reflect his beliefs in Southwestern Colorado.

– Susan Dahl, Durango

Taking time to listen

Dear Editors,

The Democratic Party needs strong leadership at both the national and local levels. I am very pleased with the strength of character and depth of knowledge shown by Democrat Jeff Deitch in his campaign for state representative.

I have spoken with Jeff at length, and I am voting for him because I am impressed with his attention to the needs of working people and senior citizens. It is also encouraging that he is making health-care reform a top priority.

Jeff Deitch takes the time to listen and understand the concerns of our communities. I support him and ask you to vote for him on Tues., Aug. 8, in the Democratic Primary.

– Sincerely, Llois Stein, Cortez

Addressing needs of the people

Dear Editors,

I listened to the candidates for state representative at the League of Women Voters forum on Monday. Certainly everyone is for apple pie, motherhood and making Colorado better. Jeff Deitch has taken a stand and offered solutions for the difficult problems we face in Southwest Colorado. Whether it’s the environment (no Wolf Creek Village, no more coal-fired plants), or health care (a private practice, single payer program for all Coloradoans) or any of the critical issues discussed at the forum, his solutions are based on the needs of the people. There are plenty of lobbyists representing oil and gas, real- estate development and other private interests. We need someone to lobby for the people of Colorado. I urge you to vote for Jeff Deitch at the Aug. 8 primary.

– Burt Coleman, Durango

I’m voting for Jeff Deitch

Dear Editors,

I am voting for Jeff Deitch for State Representative in the Democratic primary on August 8. He is the best candidate to represent the 59th District and would successfully manage our affairs in Denver on a team of impressive fellow legislators.

Locally and statewide, there is surging interest in what the Democrats have to offer. They are a driven, diverse majority in the Legislature successfully working the people’s agenda. They do so with bipartisan solutions to a host of challenges, from funding a workable state budget to crafting a financially accountable state retirement trust. They have revived greatly needed infrastructure plans, including upgrades for local highways, and have delivered a reasonable tax platform in the interest of citizens and business alike. They are currently in session addressing the security-sensitive immigration issue.

We want to be served in these Four Corners. We want commitment and vigilance on the issues. We have the good fortune to live here safely, freely, industriously and prosperously, and now we know that change has found us in a big way. We must have trustworthy, intelligent and energetic representation. Change is now and focus is the demand!

I will vote for Jeff Deitch on Aug. 8, adding a new piece to the Democratic team. He is aware of the political focus of our area. He has the advantage of perspective as a lawyer, journalist, businessman and educator. He is informed, direct and appropriately hard-nosed for the task. Mr. Deitch is open to questions and questions openly, wanting to know. Talk to him, he will engage. He is without political debt, independent and conscientious. The people of the 59th District would be well served to have Jeff Deitch as their state representative.

– Steve Schain, Durango

Deitch will be accountable

Dear Editors,

Environmental policy is not about party politics as usual. It is about facing critical problems and fulfilling public trust. That is why I am supporting Jeff Deitch for State Representative and encourage you to do the same.

Jeff understands that using our existing resources wisely is a better, safer policy than merely preserving the old way of doing business. He is truly a “green” candidate who understands the importance of responsible environmental stewardship. Jeff is committed to preserving the resources of Southwest Colorado. I am pleased that he has made his opposition to the village at Wolf Creek a top priority. It is reassuring that a well-educated, seasoned litigator will be protecting our interests on that critical issue.

It is high time to elect candidates with new ways of thinking about our scarce resources, as opposed to the “use it or lose it” mentality espoused by some of our prominent local politicians. At this critical environmental juncture, we must hold our elected officials accountable. I am certain Jeff Deitch will take environmental issues seriously and will work to implement effective conservation policy.

– Denise Rue-Pastin, Pagosa Springs