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Low-cost, high-value theatre

Dear Letters to theDurango Telegraph:

French literary critic and poet Stephane Mallarme once wrote, “There’s no accounting for taste,” but he was a real stickler for accuracy, whatever one’s opinions might be! Therefore, imagine the dismay of Durangoans who sought to read a “preview” piece by Judith Reynolds for the Summer Play Reading series at Fort Lewis College in the May 25Telegraph and instead read an ill-directed and largely non sequitur critique of certain individuals. The two-page article contains a plethora of inaccuracies and misquotations.

The inaccuracies, easy enough to have corrected, include, among others, the facts that: (1) the works in progress which were performed on May 25 included the work of five playwrights, and it is simply incorrect to characterize James Ashby, Cliff Hershman, and Katie Griesar as “friends” of Tina Satter; (2) records show that the three-year summer festival was a critical success but was terminated due to statewide budget cuts in higher education; (3) Fort Lewis College launched the Durango Shakespeare Festival in 1998; Mona Wood-Patterson was the guest director for “Man of LaMancha” during that summer season; (4) Kathryn Moller was not “again in Italy” this spring; (5) the Fort Lewis College Department in question is “Theatre,” not “Drama.”

There certainly have been different directions that various Fort Lewis College theatre initiatives have taken in recent years and for good reason: radical fluctuations in statewide and internal funding, changes in academic administrative leadership, and the continuing need to find interesting, innovative opportunities for our theatre students and faculty, for the greater good of the Four Corners region. In a continuing tight budget environment, how wonderful that we lighted upon a low-cost, high-value theatrical opportunity for our students, faculty and Durango citizens who participate in theatre!  

For a better and more worthwhile rendering of what actually happened during the premier of “Voices in American Drama” and which will recur with similar readings on the fourth Thursdays, of June, July and August, I inviteTelegraphreaders to read the Durango Herald (30 May 2006, pp. 1B, 2B) which noted, “Fort Lewis College’s new summer series, ‘Voices in American Drama,’ got off to an exceptional start Thursday.” Ms. Reynolds is of course entitled to her opinion, butTelegraphreaders deserve to read corroborating support for her statements. Quite honestly, where Tina Satter’s boyfriend works for a living or incorrect statements about the process that put the accomplished Ms. Satter in the position as Artistic Director for the summer series are inappropriate and irrelevant – and do not serve any purpose for theatrical journalism or the readers of theTelegraph. Let us continue to nurture hope as a community that we will get the theatre reporting that we deserve, that is, journalism that is accurate and factual.

– Very truly yours, Richard Sax, dean, School of Arts, Humanities & Social Science, Fort Lewis College

Stalling on global warming

Letter to the Editor:  

Since last year at least six separate lawsuits have been filed around the nation to get the Bush Administration and power companies to establish policies that don’t exacerbate global warming. If the plaintiffs win, it won’t be the first time in our history that courts force Washington’s political thrust and the social behavior of this nation to change. Legal pundits closely watching these contests believe plaintiffs have a chance.

In the meantime Telluride, Boulder, Denver and Aspen have signed on to the Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement, joining 234 other communities across the nation in curbing global warming. Durango officials, both county and city, keep stalling.

Maybe officials have bought Washington’s line that a precautionary principle is bad for the economy – never mind the illogic, disregarding what global warming will do to local economies.

Maybe they’ve lost sight of the need to aggressively seek more and more energy-innovation opportunities and new sustainable local industries that can help diversify mountain economies, instead believing the myths that “free markets” will create the move toward energy-efficiency. Talk to small business innovators: Generous subsidies flow not toward innovation but directly to the entrenched and favored energy-related funders of Washington politics.

Or maybe it’s just too uncomfortable to read Less Snow, Less Water: Climate Disruption in the West, a study released last year by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization, projecting more heat, less snowfall, smaller snowpacks, earlier snowmelt and more wildfires for Colorado.

I can’t read officials’ minds, but I can wonder: Are they thinking global warming is someone else’s problem?

I understand the conundrum of tackling a global issue with local action, except where else, really, do you begin? At the same time, however, Durango’s inaction is also a stellar example of why leaving this issue to local choices alone simply isn’t enough. Aspen does an inventory to curb emissions, Durango does not. Albuquerque signs on to climate protection, Santa Fe skips out. Las Vegas signs but not Reno, nor any city in Arizona. This is akin to leaving the management of nuclear weapons stores to local voluntary measures. Feel comfortable?

We need strong federal action to curb global warming emissions, in line with the aggressive mandated moves being made throughout the world, which, not-so-incidentally, are proving profitable. But until court decisions are handed down to forcibly change Washington’s deadly direction, or until we get it together to vote this sick regime out of their offices – throwing appointed cronies out on their ears as well – we all better begin taking action at home. After all, when Washington finally takes action – hopefully not after it’s half underwater due to rising waters – we’ll have to change anyway.

Check out the Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement and the cities that have signed on at www.seattle.gov/mayor/climate. Find out what other cities are doing to curb global warming and see how Aspen assessed their contribution to our hot mess. Then call our officials. It’s time for them to stop procrastinating and lead our community into a cooler future.

– Nancy Jacques, Durango

Perks of paving Hidden Valley

Dear Editors,

Falls Creek Ranch is comprised of all socio-economic groups, from single mothers to college students to retired principals and teachers. Not everyone who lives here is fabulously wealthy, nor is anyone extremely poor. Over the 14 years I have lived here, I have watched the efforts to protect the lower valley from vandals, drunken partiers, development and more. Most of those efforts have been spearheaded by Falls Creek residents. Rather than ask why Falls Creek residents want the lower road paved, I wonder why the county wants the road paved.

Falls Creek will bear the largest portion of the paving costs, with our share being over $100,000 and while we will benefit from it in reduced maintenance costs over the life of the road, we will also see an increase in traffic, more people enjoying the beauty of the lower valley, a safer road with speed limits posted and enforced, so will all the people who visit the lower valley. The paving will benefit everyone who has discovered this beautiful valley.

– Ann Perkins-Parrott, Falls Creek Ranch


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