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

A host of canine concerns

To the Editors:

Saturday, April 15, seemed like a beautiful afternoon to take a walk in my neighborhood until I was bitten in an unprovoked attack by a dog.

The tear to my calf needed 35 stitches to repair, doctor’s order’s to elevate it and use crutches. Less than two weeks later, I had surgery to remove dead tissue and close the resulting 3-by-4-inch gape in my skin. I’m still on crutches and have been unable to work for two weeks. The bite would have ripped a child’s cheek off. The fall I took on the sidewalk could have broken a senior’s bone. If the end costs of this injury are less than $12,000, I will be surprised.

As people, friends and strangers ask what happened, I have been a magnet for stories of dog concerns: cats eviscerated and deer taken down in front yards, threatening dogs at large with no owner in sight, senior citizens unable to go out of their home because of dogs on their property. As well as nuisance dogs barking, too many dogs at residences, and dog feces along public walkways, in parks, and at playgrounds.

I have addressed my concerns to the Durango City Council and La Plata County Humane Society about the need for updated ordinances, better education, and increased patrol, authority and enforcement for Animal Control.If you have issues and concerns please contact City Council by e-mail: http://www.durangogov.org/ contact_us/index.html or send a letter to 949 East Second Ave. The La Plata County Humane Society e-mail link is: http://www.lpchumanesociety.org/ or send a letter to P.O. Box 2164, Durango, 81302. Please send a copy to dgodogconcern@yahoo.com.

I’m hopeful that increasing education, resources for animal control and improved city ordinances, public safety and our quality of life will be protected.

– Karen Carver, via e-mail

No new wars

To the Editors: Just last week I saw and heard our president saying emphatically “I read the headlines … .” OK, now that

we know that much, how about a week’s worth of headlines all across the nation saying simply “NO NEW WARS, MR. PRESIDENT!” That is to say, no more preemptive war based solely on your world view, overriding intelligence and reason.

Of course, the crises du jour are the price at the gas pump and our immigration dilemma. But my fear is that the war machine is working quietly behind the scenes, and that our president will act precipitously. Skilled diplomacy with Middle East nations has not been this administration’s strong suit. We are hearing too much about the prospect of invading Iran without adequate consideration of alternatives, without international cooperation, without knowledge or apparent concern for the unintended consequences all around the region, with (once again) too little concern for loss of lives on both sides.

Economically and morally, it seems inconceivable to be planning new deployment of troops and resources. Will Congress find the strength to deny him this? We can expect this partisan Congress will enable it, but the world will pay a terrible price.

– Caye Geer, Durango

Scump Rivers

Scump Rivers served in the same platoon with my Dad.

He stood no taller then five foot

And a few inches higher than his M1 rifle.

Back in ’44

He always volunteered to take point,

Even if it was through the suicidal bocage.

Dad always thought it was God that watched over Private Rivers

Only because he took such pride in his short stature.

Scump was one never to cower to anyone or anything. A German taking aim through the crosshairs

Just couldn’t fire. Who could kill such a short man standing so proud.

Scump never married, walked with a bowlegged limp and drank like a fish.

He would stay with us more often than not.

While fishing with Grand Pa, Uncle Burt, Scump and Dad, I first learned a thing

Or two about philosophy. Dad said there were only two things that you take

With you when you die: your integrity and health. Scump chimed in, “You’re missing

The other two, to square it up: love and spirit.”

I liked Scump because he told it the way it really was. He didn’t care much for some

Politicians. He always said, “They’re the first to send good, young men to die but were

Always the last to get in line to fight.” In the same breath he reminded me that Lincoln and FDR were good men.

Scump loved to pick guitar and one of his favorite songs was “The Year Clayton Delaney Died.” He’d play it all the time. Scump walked off alone quite often.

It was late November and colder than hell, a Sunday night as I recall. Scump walked up to the Bellingham field. Dad found him the next morning frozen solid, leaning against

An old derelict farm truck. His foot had to be chipped from the rusted running board.

Dad wouldn’t let me see him

Until the funeral.

I always thought that if anyone deserved dying standing up

It was Scump Rivers!

– Burt Baldwin

The metabolic nightmare

Dear Editors,

Every loving parent wants the best for his or her children. We want them to have the best education. We want them to have the best lifestyle. And we want them to have the best future. As a father of two, I know this first hand. I also know that before any child attains the best of anything, they must first attain the best of health. Sadly, this is an obstacle for most due to excess sugar use.

When sugar is consumed, the body responds by releasing mass amounts of the fat-storing hormone insulin. The insulin spike sets the stage for a metabolic nightmare. The brain says eat, eat, eat and the body says store, store, store. Raging appetite (seen as a tantrum) and obesity are the outcome. But that’s not all.

Courtesy of the metabolic nightmare, the health of U.S. children is worse in virtually every category relative to children in other industrialized countries. The biggest threat: type II diabetes. In 2003, the Journal of the American Medical Association predicted that one in three children born in the year 2000 would suffer from this “sugar-eating” illness. The prediction is becoming a harsh reality.

In the last four years, the number of American children and teens taking prescription drugs for type II diabetes has increased two-fold – the fastest increase in prescription drug history! This wanton drug use has done nothing to curb the epidemic. These children are now faced with the debilitating symptoms of type II diabetes. Their entire lives will be encumbered by depression, heart disease, stroke and even cancer. It doesn’t have to be like this.

Avoiding obesity and type II diabetes requires the avoidance of sugar. This is not as easy as you might think. The term sugar refers to a long list of dangerous additives that have infiltrated our food supply. They are sucrose, glucose, dextrose, evaporated cane juice, maltodextrin, galactose, corn syrup, dextrin, beet sugar, raw sugar, brown sugar, white sugar, concentrated fruit juice, syrup, sorghum, honey, maple syrup, high fructose corn syrup, monosodium glutamate, hydrolyzed proteins and milk sugars such as lactose and maltose. Artificial flavors must be avoided too. Studies are showing that they too induce over-eating and fat storage.

Parents must be vigilant about reading labels and eliminating the aforementioned sugars from our children’s diet. If done, the best things in life await. The metabolic nightmare of type II diabetes will be nothing more than a bad dream.

– Shane Ellison, via e-mail


In this week's issue...

July 18, 2024
Rebuilding Craig

Agreement helps carve a path forward for town long dependent on coal

July 11, 2024
Reining it in

Amid rise in complaints, City embarks on renewed campaign to educate dog owners

July 11, 2024
Rolling retro

Vintage bikes get their day to shine with upcoming swap and sale