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Stoking the fires of fear

Dear Editors,

A recent letter from the head of the local Republican Party echoes Tancredo on immigration and shows why Republicans need to take back their party from the right-wing nuts that run it. Immigration is a complex issue, but too many people think the answer is a militarized border, shifting government spending from helping people and building community to building a warfare state; spending (but not taxing to pay for it) more on security and walls to protect our way of life from other people who don’t look like us, talk like us or think like us.

Makes you wonder what their next step is. Why stop at building a wall along the Mexican border?

In fact, why not build a wall along the border between New Mexico and Colorado? That way they can stop people they don’t like at the state border. This will have the additional benefit of reducing the number of people that go to New Mexico to buy stuff and increase the amount of money people spend in La Plata County. Come to think about it, for us Durangotangs, they may see a need to build a wall around the city. Just think about the increased security that will provide. And maybe instead of tax incentives for solar energy they can get tax breaks for building walls around their houses and paying for armed guards.

George Bush’s “base” – those making $200,000 to $1 million a year, who just got another tax break – have already been building walls. As the gap between the rich and poor gets ever wider under Republican regimes, they will be safe, behind their walls, and soon we will have…well…a Latin American city! We can call it “new urbanism” based on that good, old-fashioned American value – every man for himself. Not what I call community. For long-term security we are better off not forgetting that we are not North Americans and South Americans. We are all Americans, and we are in this together.

– James Callard, Durango

Full throttle hyberbole

Dear Editors,

I’m writing to respond to Mr. Swing’s letter (Durango Telegraph, May 25). Once again I can’t help but feel that a passionate participant of the democratic process has let him (or her) self run astray of reality in their pursuit of venting their anger. While I would admit that I think the current administration is the most repulsive example of statesmanship that I have seen in my lifetime (40+ years), I can’t condone the blatant disregard for truth that you seem to display with your use of innuendo and fact twisting to try to indict certain administration policies or practices. To claim that contingency plans are plans “for conquest of Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and other nations” is just full-throttle hyperbole. Likewise to claim that NORAD had “ample time to intercept” the passenger planes that flew into the Trade Center and Pentagon is completely without any evidence to that statement. You make numerous claims about the buildings’ collapse. Do you understand how hot jet fuel burns? Other buildings you compare probably did not ignite and burn due to similar circumstances. Yes, the 911 Commission was a farce, but what political public relations measure isn’t?

All these and most of the rest of your claims are either curious or just down right simple-minded. The world is a complicated landscape, and it’s a shame that people like George Bush and his cronies sometimes get in positions of power to make the bad decisions that they have made. But to attack their ineptness and arrogance with such weakly founded claims does little more than add fuel to their attacks against those of us who would challenge them on credible facts and claims which can be substantiated. These pseudo-patriots are certainly worthy of criticism and have cultivated more than enough spoiled ground to harvest just so much criticism from, but let’s leave the arrogant finger pointing to the conservatives that perfected that technique. Especially since it seems as though the public is finally tiring of accepting such childish measures.

– Mark Garvin, Silverton

Not amused by the joke

Dear Editors,

I must say, I very much enjoyed the spread put on at the Taste of Durango, two weeks ago Sunday. There was so much good food and drink. It was fantastic to see so many people out enjoying the beautiful day.

I was stopped in my tracks, however, when I saw the T-shirts worn by the employees of J. Bo’s Restaurant (I understand if the name can’t be printed). Apparently referring to ribs and pizza, they read, “Bone N Pie” in bold letters. Considering the fact that Jason Wolff, owner of said restaurant, has recently posted a quarter-of-a-million dollars to get out of jail on the charges that he has molested a child in his care, as a coach, is so far beyond reprehensible that my stomach hurts just writing these words.

I know that many businesses and Durango townspeople take pride in the collective sense of humor. I get the joke. But the joke is not at all funny when there are allegations of an adult man having sexual intercourse with a child, a CHILD!

Of course, Mr. Wolff is innocent until proven guilty. The fact that he has such a blatant disregard for the gravity of the crime, for the pain suffered by all victims of sexual abuse, is atrocious, appalling and revolting.

– Janet King, Durango    

Leadership, experience, drive

Dear Editors,

I support Joe Colgan for District 59 as my state representative. Joe has the leadership, experience and drive to speak for Southwestern Colorado. Addressing the issues in the campaign: health care, green technology, renewable energy, investing in education, affordable housing, protecting rural areas, attracting quality jobs are issues I have heard him address with knowledge and concern.

His leadership as mayor and city councilor for eight years, board member of La Plata County Regional Housing Authority, Durango Adult Education Center, La Plata Economic Development Partnership, Animas La Plata Water Conservancy District show me his 24 years in public and community service reflect the values of a man that I want to speak for me in Denver.

But even more important, Joe is a bridge builder that can partnership with Sen. Jim Isgar to protect all that we love in Southwestern Colorado. I trust Joe Colgan with the future. Energy and vision to represent all of us make him my choice for the 59th District. I respect his integrity, qualifications and service to Southwestern Colorado. Elect him in November and know that his love for our communities will serve us well in Denver.

– Sweetie Marbury, Durango

Addressing unique challenges


In the upcoming campaign for state representative, I look forward to a spirited debate with Ellen Roberts on our region’s critical issues. With official predictions showing our population doubling over the next 25 years, our leaders must properly address the challenges that come with such growth. Our community needs a living wage and workforce housing, protection of our fragile environment, affordable health care, extensive public transportation, and school systems that prepare our children for an increasingly complex world.

Running for state representative has provided me the privilege of meeting many people who have shared their concerns and encouragement. I appreciate the confidence voters have shown me, and I am working hard to prepare for the responsibilities of an effective representative.

Our community’s unique challenges require a new generation of vigorous leadership. I ask for your vote so that I can step up and provide that leadership.

– Jeff Deitch, Democratic candidate, Colorado House of Representatives, 59th District

Having fun with politics

Dear Editors, Whoever said politics couldn’t be fun didn’t attend the campaign kick-off for Joelle Riddle on May 22 at the Kennebec Café. Riddle is running for La Plata County Commissioner and is trying to build some early momentum. The crowd at the event was proof positive of the momentum that Joelle and her campaign team have already built.

The standing-room only crowd was an interesting mix of young and old, Democrats and Independents (and maybe a couple of “borderline” Republicans). You could almost hear a collective sigh of relief that “Finally!” there was hope of having a commissioner who is actively and passionately involved in protecting our quality of life in La Plata County.

The crowd cheered during Joelle’s remarks, feeling that her stand on the issues was their stand on the issues. When she told us that the campaign was about us, we really believed it. Joelle is one smart, spunky and knowledgeable bundle of energy. This is one campaign that will prove to be both fun and refreshing! At last!

– Mandy Mikulencak, Durango

Making the world a better place

Dear Editors,

Recently I saw the film “Eight Below” – the somewhat (allegedly true) story of an Antarctic research station sled dog team and how it coped with being marooned on an Antarctic island or continent for a half year without its handler. I give the movie two “thumbs up.”

If all movies had the “production quality” of this movie, the world would be a better place. Seriously though, I did have a few problems that I would like to mention and give out one warning – and rating of my own. I’d give it a PG-10. There is an animal-marine mammal that might give children nightmares. If the animal in question really does these types of things in real life is beyond my knowledge. I’m just a guy who knows sled dog behavior in a “hobby fashion.”

The animals they used in almost all the shots or sequences were Siberian huskies, a very independent and energetic breed of dog. They must have used a lot of liver … I would say that they have a short attention span. I wouldn’t want to give away too much of the movie but to suggest that sled dogs could revert to an ancestor-like behavior of stalking and ambushing for the prey source is a little unrealistic.

Wolves are better hunters, and they have to be to bring down animals like deer, elk and even a stray moose or two. A second wolf has been sighted and photographed above Walden in northern Colorado. At this time, it has been left alone and stayed away from I-70 and large traffic roadways. Hopefully, it won’t meet the fate of a Yellowstone wolf about a year and a half ago. Such is life in the wild.

“Eight Below” is worth viewing.

–Kevin Chedd, via e-mail