Ear to the ground

“We knew we were in trouble when an $8 charge at a Christian book store showed up on the statement.”

-A Durango victim of credit card fraud explaining the first of several strange clues

Mesa Verde sets sail

Mesa Verde is now ready to head into battle. The USS Mesa Verde, an amphibious transport ship, will be commissioned Saturday in Panama City, Fla.

The ship is designed to deliver a fully equipped battalion of 699 marines and is the first U.S. Navy ship to be named for Mesa Verde National Park. The craft was christened Jan. 1, 2005, by Linda Campbell, wife of former U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell.

In 2000, then-Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig weaved a fairly bizarre patriotic yarn as he explained why Mesa Verde was chose as the warship’s name. “Mesa Verde is a jewel of our national park system that celebrates the extraordinary beauty and diversity of that region and our nation,” he said. “The real richness of Mesa Verde and that of our country’s naval service, however, lies in the people – the remarkable legacy of their past and a future with great promise. The naming of USS Mesa Verde establishes a strong and fundamental link between this nation and those who serve and truly value that bond.”

The ship’s crest is an arrowhead shape and contains representation of the Cliff Palace and the yucca plant. The Mesa Verde’s crew also looked back to the ancestral Americans in developing the motto “Courage Teamwork Tradition,” saying it “reflects the courage, teamwork and tradition of the Ancestral Puebloans who lived in the Mesa Verde region and built the cliff dwellings.”

They added that similar attributes are “displayed by the 21st century Navy/ Marine Corps team.”

Polluted by plastic

Put down that Nalgene bottle. Evidence is mounting that drinking from the Durango staple and other containers made of polycarbonate plastic could lead to cancer and reproductive problems.

Last week, Canada’s largest outdoor-goods chain, the Mountain Equipment Co-op, pulled polycarbonate water bottles and food containers from its shelves, according to a Reuters report. The culprit is a chemical known as bisphenol A. Scientists have linked the plastic with cancer and reproductive problems in animals. The chemical has been shown to mimic the effects of the hormone estrogen in cells. Nalgene counters that “there is no danger posed to humans from polycarbonate bottles.”

In addition to hard-plastic water bottles, bisphenol A is found in some baby bottles and the linings

 of food cans. Five years ago, Japanese manufacturers voluntarily stopped making products from polycarbonate plastic.


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