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A real sleazy episode

To the Editors,

On Sept. 15, my wife and I visited Durango for a weekend vacation. We unfortunately made the mistake of parking after 6 p.m. in the private lot at 600 E. Second Ave. (Habitat Home Supply), adjacent and connected to the municipal lot, which was full. After a great dinner at Cyprus Café, we found our car booted and were charged an extortionate fee of $100 by two goons in a pickup truck (license # 632-JWA) to get it released.

I checked in daylight and found a sign (placed rather high at the front of the lot) warning of such action. There is, however, no warning sign at the side entrance and several other visitors were victimized at the same time we were (one was wondering how she would get groceries for the rest of the month). The owner of the lot is not trying to discourage night use of the lot; rather, he is working it for the income.

We cancelled our Saturday night hotel and dinner reservations and left, not feeling welcome in Durango any more. It was a real sleazy episode.

A solution to the problem? Either require the lot owner to put up a warning sign at the side entrance, or have the city install a chain or cable to prevent any crossover. Either method would put these sleazeballs out of business.

– Yours very truly, Alan Klug, Fort Collins

Campaign goes below the belt

Dear Editors,

I just saw an extremely disturbing and shameful negative ad regarding Joe Colgan, one of the finest human beings I know. He served Durango in many capacities over the years, including eight years on City Council, two of those as mayor. The ad states that Durango’s city budget doubled under his watch. He had only one vote, even if he had been doing the things this ad claims. In a static environment it could double every 10 years anyway, just due to inflation. During his tenure, Durango built the rec center, expanded the river trails system and acquired open space plus developed much-needed infrastructure to deal with the growing and substantial population increase in both the city and the county. Under Joe’s watch and leadership, Durango in real dollar increases accomplished so much for so little for this fine community.

The second point of this ad is even worse, it claims Joe increased council salary 150 percent, a blatant lie, and so indicative of those who distort and lie. Joe’s salary was $200/mo. while a council member and $300 while mayor, which was the salary when he began. Those salaries remained unchanged his entire tenure. Incidentally that salary was put in place in 1972 (council salary has since gone up to $500/month). When he first served on council, there was comprehensive health coverage, now council members have to contribute to this. In reality, their true benefits went down not up.

Furthermore, Ellen Roberts signed a civility pledge for this campaign. Obviously, she is not keeping to that. Is this indicative of the type of representation she would offer Southwest Colorado? She needs to immediately pull those ads, or if they are not hers, but some outside group, she needs to publicly, vigorously and categorically denounce this ad, as she committed to do when she signed the civility pledge. The airing of this ad is another reason why we need to send Joe to Denver. He will not reciprocate in such a hostile manner, but those of us who support him must insist that voters know the truth. Honesty and integrity mean something to the people of Southwest Colorado. Please consider carefully when choosing our next House representative.

– Helen James, via e-mail

Bush Derangement Syndrome

Dear Editors,

I am writing in response to the thumbs down you gave for “Bush’s approval rating rebounding to 44 percent courtesy of falling gasoline prices.”

A classic case of acute Bush Derangement Syndrome. Symptoms: You cheer bad news for the country because it will result in a decline in President Bush’s approval rating and give a thumbs down to good news such as falling gas prices, merely because President Bush derives some political benefit from that news.

Don’t fret, I am not questioning your patriotism. You have clearly answered that question for all to see.

– Bill Zimsky, Durango

(Editors’ reply: The thumbs down in question was aimed at a fickle American public more than George W. Bush. The point was that the price of gasoline is irrelevant when we have oil companies freely gouging consumers at the pump, an interminable war in Iraq, rapidly declining international standing and a price of oil that has mysteriously tripled since Bush took office.)

In defense of multiple use

Dear Editors, I realize that the Thumbin’ It section is usually lighthearted fun. That said, I would like to defend the right to use the “highly trafficked trail systems” for recreation other than bike riding. Bow hunters have just as much right to use those trails as you do. Personally, I would rather see people in camouflage than Spandex! I’m not condoning these people’s choice in hunting sites, although I’ve seen a lot of deer up in Horse Gulch. When I am using trails while bow hunting, I’ve seen hikers, horseback riders, and the occasional bike track. Why would I get angry that others are using their public lands in a different way than I am? That is why they are there, for all of us to enjoy. Hunters in general already have a less-than-ideal public image, brought on by the unethical minority. Why is it that seeing a hunter in camouflage is so bad? That person may have thought the same thing when he/she saw you hiking or biking, but then again maybe not!

– Thanks, Jim Hughes, Bayfield

Highly recommended

Dear Editors,

I have been to Durango Urgent Care twice recently. Both visits were due to accidents on my mountain bike. I needed stitches, an urgent but not life threatening situation. I highly recommend Durango Urgent Care because of the excellent medical care and service I received: convenient, minimal wait time, friendly, efficient, professional. The fee was also reasonable. I paid up front and then was reimbursed by my insurance. I am grateful to have this valuable medical service available here in town. The walk-in clinic is at the site of the old Mercy Hospital, 1800 E. Third Ave.

– Thanks, Barb Brazes, Durango

Artificial reality

Dear Editors,

There has been an awful lot of talk on whether or not our little mountain town is changing. The buzz word this month is “faux.” Are we a “faux” town or not? Just using pretentious words like that means we probably are. Webster’s defines “faux” as artificial. Yes, we definitely seem to be going faux.

– Sincerely, Doug Quinones, Durango

A truly spectacular idea

To the Editors:

Of all the ways we could use the hospital building site, a library is a truly spectacular idea.

First of all, a library would open up wonderful learning experiences for all ages. Without books, the human race would probably have forgotten half the things we know now, but books don’t have to teach you anything. They are a great way to entertain yourself and others.

Also, the new library will be on the bike path, allowing people to get more exercise with a good motivation: books. I can’t wait to ride my unicycle to the library!

I may not be old enough to vote, but if you are, I would really appreciate it if you voted “yes” for the new public library.

– Ben Wilbur, 10, Durango


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Rolling retro

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