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“An Inconvenient Truth”

Dear Editors,

If all contentious social issues could be laid out before the public as clearly as global warming is in the movie “An Inconvenient Truth,” the tide of political polarization so extreme in America today might have a chance to ebb.

The movie is not an Al Gore end-run for President. Gore simply moderates a message he feels deeply about, and many experts helped him to articulate pictorially, in ways both powerful and easy to grasp, a complex topic. Please see this film.

Mr. Gore implores the viewer not to make global warming a politically partisan plaything, wasting time haggling over this phenomenon that gives the word “crisis” meaning. Global warming is a moral imperative we must confront.

Morality plays itself out personally and politically, however. Clearly, Gore is pleading with us to realize that this developing maelstrom is about as discretionary an issue as was Pearl Harbor, in 1941. So, besides making personal assessments of habits that must change, let’s go beyond partisan politics.

As political campaigns ramp up this summer for August primaries and November elections, consider informing all candidates that your vote will go to the person – no matter what political party – who not only states clearly that we have a global warming crisis that must be aggressively confronted, but who also best articulates the specific steps he or she intends to take to help put on the brakes. After all, these are the people asking for our trust, requesting the power to manage and establish policies that affect public health and welfare for the future. They better have a plan!

In addition, request that local officials sign on to the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, also mentioned in the movie. Call or write officials, or stop by Maria’s Bookshop and sign a petition. Why haven’t officials already acted, joining more than 250 other communities in the nation, representing about 50 million citizens? Though I read like a broken record on this point, having already written one article and another letter urging this action, perhaps “An Inconvenient  Truth” will inspire officials to finally do something, leading to production of a regional emissions inventory that can give us the baseline needed for making improvements.  Of course, if local officials refuse, elections in November and then April of 2007 can change this. Then comes November 2008, giving us an opportunity to shift the state of this nation. I’m counting down the minutes.

– Nancy Jacques



Protect America from invaders


We live in a small Arizona town about 40 miles from the Mexico border. Arizona is the nation’s busiest crossing point for illegal immigrants.

Because of these invaders we pay out millions of dollars yearly in taxpayer money for health care, education costs, law enforcement, and other social services for their free upkeep; our lands are covered with tons of their trash; we must be highly alert while recreating on these lands due to increased hostility from illegals; private property is destroyed. We are being overwhelmed by these criminals.

Don’t think this stops in Arizona or the other border states. From here many fan out north, west, and east. That means to where you live, and then you begin to pay your share.Last year the House passed a strong enforcement bill (HR4437). Please, contact your House members and urge them to stand firm on these measures during the House/Senate negotiations. Immigration reform must start with enforcement, and securing our borders and no amnesty, under any disguise, should be at the forefront.

Help stop the erosion of America’s sovereignty and the misuse of billions of dollars nationwide on illegal aliens.

 –Clair and Carol Flatt

Green Valley, Arizona

Making peace possible

Dear Editors,

Braided River Mediation Center would like to thank the community and all who assisted and sponsored our recent Peace Pole Fundraiser. We would like to offer a very special thanks to the area artists who created such awesome poles for the auction, to the area schools and their teachers for assisting the students in making Peace Poles for the schools, and to the businesses who sponsored each school pole.

Thank you to San Juan Mountain Nursery for allowing us to hold our event at their location and to the Cinco de Mayo committee for letting us display the poles at their event. We would also like to thank all of the businesses who provided supplies and donated food and beverages to the fundraiser.  

Because of all of you and your wonderful support, Braided River Mediation Center is able to provide no- and low-cost mediation, conflict resolution and restorative justice programs to the communities in La Plata County – Thank You!

 –The Board of Directors and Staff at Braided River Mediation Center

Missing Todd Newcomer

Dear Editors,

We will all miss Todd Newcomer as he moves on. What an elegant eye. His photographs consistently demonstrate his great sense of design. He excels at landscape and still life, always discovering beauty in the most mundane details – a stalk, a curb, a fence, a doorway.

On assignment Todd has been the consummate professional: punctual, courteous, full of ideas, and open to suggestion.

As a Telegraph contributor, my favorite assignment with Todd was a story about the Red Shoe Piano Trio up at Fort Lewis College. In addition to a compelling photo of the musicians, I wanted one shot of the red shoes – the group’s signature. Todd obliged, arranging the shoes in a variety of ways on the piano keyboard. It could have been a pedestrian photo; Todd turned it into a creative challenge.

For your professionalism, your quiet good will, and your enormous talent, thanks Todd. I’ll miss you.

 –Good luck,  

Judith Reynolds

In praise of wild places

Dear Editors,

The Wilderness Act was passed in 1964 and the law now protects some of the wildest parts of our federal lands in 44 states. These make up our National Wilderness Preservation System, a sort of Smithsonian Institution of the original American landscape. Still, today less than 5 percent of the United States land base is protected as wilderness; outside of Alaska just 2.5 percent of our nation’s lands are protected.

Opposition to wilderness designations from motorized recreation and energy development interests is stronger than ever, yet we still manage to move legislation. Why? Because those citizens who see beyond our immediate and material wants and desires understand that wilderness is the very fabric upon which human history is written – and they refuse to give up.

Today in Colorado we have the opportunity to protect wilderness areas in Rocky Mountain National Park and Browns Canyon. Both the Browns Canyon Wilderness Act and the Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness Act have widespread support from local governments, Colorado’s Congressional delegation, and community and recreation organizations, with essentially no local opposition. It’s time.

In the words of Edward Abbey: God bless America. Let’s save some of it.

–David A. Lien

Backcountry Hunters and Anglers