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

Senatorial spam

Dear Editors,

I received spam e-mail from Sen. Ken Salazar the other day. I was extremely annoyed, and immediately fired off a letter ordering him to remove me from his mailing lists. Sen. Salazar’s e-mail was full of references to agriculture, the land and rural living. He also makes a big deal of being a native Coloradan, when, in fact, statutes prevent people from running for U.S. Senate who are not state residents. The man spends the majority of his time in D.C. and Denver, at any rate. What hyperbole!

First and foremost, Ken is not a “farmer,” in the sense of one who tills a plot in his back yard to feed his family, but a businessman and a politician. Why he thinks all his references to farming might impress me is beyond me. If he knew me personally, I would gladly accept e-mail from him. He most obviously does not; assumes I’m some pickup drivin’ good ole boy who watches NASCAR, chews Beechnut, and votes for moderate conservatives!

While he was attending FLC’s student senate in 2004, I asked Ken what he intended to do to end the war in Iraq and oppose presidential policies. I also insisted that this nation needs an opposition party. The Democrats used to be that party, but now there is no one willing to man up and protect America from the depredations of the current regime. Ken replied to the effect that the war is necessary and that he would support GW.

To Ken and all those like him, be advised: My issues are international in scope and quite radical in nature ... you’ll never appeal to me with your provinciality. And Ken ... spamming is a fun game in that two can play at it.

– M.K. Swinderman,

via e-mail

Compassion on the border

Dear Editors,

Those who see market forces as the primary solution to all social and economic problems consistently abandon this position to impose their will onto the lives of

others. The situation on our southern border, caused by both the economic disparities between the United States and Mexico, and the insatiable demand for drugs from the U.S., is an example. Both problems can be solved using the free market, of which the fundamental force is supply and demand.4

If we take most of the money that we now spend on walls, surveillance, imprisonment, and deportation and devote it to uplifting the lives of people on the southern side of our border, we could curtail the supply of immigrants by limiting their legitimate desire to cross into this country seeking a better life. No demand for a better life in the U.S. means no supply of immigrants. We’d still have money left over to maintain reasonable borders.

Let’s redirect the resources used to criminalize drug consumers and use them to overcome the forces driving addiction in our society. These forces are both karmic and cultural, reflecting the deep sense of disconnection experienced by so many, and the fact that experiencing some amount of pain in this life is unavoidable. Those who want to control, kill and imprison others manifest this disconnection and pain also. Condemning others for their addictions, they, too, have painful addictions to money, power and control, which also bear scrutiny. Anyone having an angry/fearful response to this letter is likely one of these people, for anger is a conditioned response to fear. Curtail these addictions from our side, and the demand for both drugs and prisons would largely disappear.

The openness of compassion, not the rigidity of control, will allow market forces to solve the problems on the border. This is true “compassionate conservatism.”

– Pete Giuliani,


Library opportunity of a lifetime

Dear Editors,

Picture this. It is a snowy winter’s day. You are sitting cozily in a comfortable chair curled up with the latest book from your favorite author, and a steaming cup of gourmet coffee in the new Durango Public Library. From this cozy, comfortable chair, you have a great view of the Animas River, and perhaps even the occasional bald eagle that frequents the river banks. Though it is snowing, you braved the elements and walked or biked the river trail to get to the library.

Perhaps while you are a world away in your cozy chair, your children are in another section of the new library perusing their interests in books or engrossed in a story-time presentation. Your teen-agers might be meeting with friends in the young-adult section, studying or working at one of the many new computers available to them. These children are the future leaders of this community maybe even this country, and the whole world is at their fingertips through books, computers, CDs and downloadable electronic offerings including audio books and publications.

Your dream might be for your reading club, archeological group, garden club or just a group of friends with a common interest to have regular gatherings in the new Durango Public Library’s meeting rooms. Meeting in the library gives your group immediate access to the latest publications, subscription databases or the Internet to research your area of interest.

Booklovers will finally be able to choose from an extensive collection fit for a growing community of our size, but there is more to the library than just the written word. Having sufficient space will also allow the library greater opportunity to offer topical programs, author lectures and classes on using the library more effectively.  

Maybe the history of the Southwest or the Durango area in particular interests you most. Many interesting resources will await you in the new Southwest History Collection, including 125 years ofThe Durango Herald, historical phone books, yearbooks and memorabilia, making the library another research stop along with the Center of Southwest Studies, and the Animas Museum.

On a warm sunny day, you can take your latest book, newspaper or magazine to the outside reading deck, listen to the river, enjoy the panoramic views, watch the world pass by on the river trail or admire the xeriscaping of the library grounds.

Leaving the library, you decide to stop by the Friends of the Library Store to check out its latest offerings. Now you don’t have to wait for the annual book sale, and the Friends will have a steady income to support the library and its ongoing activities.

These dreams can become reality. The residents of this community have the opportunity of a lifetime to build a new state-of-the-art library on the banks of the Animas River at the old Mercy Hospital site. The best part is, this modern library can be built with no new taxes and without an increase in taxes.

In 2005, city voters authorized the revenue stream to pay for capital projects like the library. The only remaining step is for voters to authorize the city of Durango to issue municipal bonds and use the revenue stream to retire these bonds issued to build the new Durango Public Library. The ballot for the November election is extremely long. Please take the time to find Referred Measure 2A  near the end of the ballot and vote YES!

Then the true work of building the new Durango Public Library can begin! Vote yes, and this dream can become a reality in 2008.

See our Web site: www.durangopubliclibrary.org for additional information.

– Bob Dolphin and Steve Redding,

co-chairs of the Yes! for Durango Library Bonds Committee.

Proaction over reaction

To the Editors,

I keep seeing letters and ads for Sheryl Ayers touting her “experience” that she has gained in her first term as county commissioner. Granted experience is a good thing. However, without vision and purpose, experience becomes a moot factor. My concern is, that with Ms. Ayers, the status quo is good enough because that’s the way it has always been. It seems that with the commissioners, the status quo is standard procedure and they constantly function in a “reactive” mode. At this point, we need a commissioner with a vision of the way things can be and be “proactive.” One only needs to drive from Glenwood Springs to Basalt to see what has happened there in the last 10 or 15 years. A once beautiful valley of farms and ranches is now one of second homes and golf courses. Do we in

La Plata County want to continue with status quo4 and see our beautiful valleys and mesas be covered with hodgepodge growth of more and more gas pads and second homes? I certainly do not. My vote is going to Joelle Riddle who I believe has the vision, the energy, the intelligence, and the fortitude to serve our county with great purpose and distinction.

– Ed Lehner, Durango

Sportsmen should support Ritter

Dear Editors,

It’s difficult to deny that during the last four-plus years, America’s and Colorado’s hunting, fishing and outdoors culture has been in decline, for many reasons, but most prominent among them has been a concerted political effort to develop our last remaining wild and roadless public lands. Our votes for governor in November will help determine if this trend continues.

Come November, hunters, anglers and outdoorsmen and women in general will have a choice. Bill Ritter is first and foremost an advocate for what matters to us. Born and raised on a farm in eastern Colorado, he fully supports the preservation and protection of wildlands and wildlife and the age-old quests of hunting, fishing and using the land in a sustainable fashion.  

His opponent, Bob Beauprez, is clearly out of touch with what Coloradans want. For example, instead of promoting a balanced approach to energy development, one of Beauprez’s solutions is to change certain elk migratory patterns to allow for more oil and gas development on the Western Slope. For this and other pro-industry views, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) has named Bob Beauprez to its “Dirty Dozen” list.

Who do you think is going to better represent the views of hunters and anglers in the state capital? We need, and deserve, Bill Ritter as our next governor.

– Sincerely, David A. Lien,

via e-mail

Invisible ballots

Dear Editors,

Congressional hearings were held Sept. 28 on the lack of security with electronic voting machines. Diebold machines were the main focus. C-Span covered the event and a Princeton professor of computer sciences showed how the Diebold machine security was breached in less than 10 seconds. Then he went on to install a “malicious program” to transfer votes from one candidate to another – all in less than two minutes! The Diebold security door keys are sold on the Internet!

If you lose your vote, you lose your voice and the people need to be heard on Nov. 7. To learn the truth about these voting machines, the people who make them, and about why the judge in the recent Colorado citizens lawsuit against the use of these voting machines has declared them “decertified” (not t o be used) on Nov. 8. The day after we vote. Our secretary of state told the judge enough paper ballots could not be printed by Nov. 7 – strange: other states are doing it.

Join your neighbors on Oct. 22 at the Abbey Theater at 4 p.m. to see the short movie “Invisible Ballots,” and then participate in an open forum with speakers who want to tell you the facts about your vote. Do not vote absentee – come learn why; do not vote on the Diebold TSx; vote in person on the paper ballot and optical scanner – which, sorry to say, is not totally reliable but our only other choice on Nov. 7.

Make your vote count. Listen to the invited candidates for the County Clerk’s office, Linda Daley and Jean Walter, plus Claudia Kuhns, who is flying in from Denver to tell us about the citizens recent court case on these voting machines. Protect your vote with information.

– Susan Troen,

Concerned Citizens of La Plata County

Vote for a sustainable future

Dear Editors,

I had the pleasure of serving with Joe Colgan and other concerned citizens a few years ago on the Sustainable Economic Development Study Circle sponsored by Operation Healthy Communities. We unanimously supported the following definition to guide development in our area: “Sustainable economic development is a system based on diverse businesses, services and industries which foster, nurture and encourage social, economic and environmental balance while providing opportunities to prosper for all current and future community members.” As a proponent for sustainable development, Colgan is the best choice for our state legislator. The advocates for sprawl – i.e. the homebuilding lobby – are supporting Colgan’s opponent using negative campaign tactics. Vote for Colgan – we need a representative who represents us, not the special interests.

– Chris Paulson,

via e-mail

Chime in for new tennis courts

Dear Editors,

There are only two public tennis courts in Durango but with public e-mails of support to Recreation and Parks Director Cathy Metz at metzcl@ci.durango.co.us and participation in a Parks and Forestry meeting this Thurs., Oct. 19, at 5 p.m. at the Durango Recreation Center, tennis enthusiasts and all those interested in learning to play tennis have an opportunity for two additional public courts at the new Skyridge Park, which is a public facility budgeted to be built in 2007. As many are aware, with over 2,000 tennis enthusiasts in Durango, finding a court that is not being used is a huge problem. Your participation and e-mails are needed for these two public courts to become a reality.

The money for this project is in the budget for 2007 but without your support through e-mails and participation at the Oct. 19 meeting, this funding request can be denied due to a small group of vocal neighbors. Tennis courts were in the original park plan when the Skyridge development was approved by the city. Your participation will make a difference.  If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie Cooper, president of Durango Community Tennis Association at 382-9957 or e-mail stephanie@durangotennis.com.

– Stephanie Cooper, Durango



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