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

Bicycle friendly?

Dear Editors,

When I read that Durango was recently designated a “Bicycle Friendly Community,” I broke out laughing. Auto and truck traffic has more than doubled in the 14 years I’ve lived in Durango. Cycling in and around Durango is more dangerous than ever. What exactly has Durango done to make cycling safer or more enjoyable? Does a pair of “Share the Road” signs on CR 240 justify this award? Holding a once a year “Bike-To-Work” day? As far as I can tell, Durango has done nothing, nada, zip, other than constructing the River Trail to make cycling better or safer the entire time I’ve lived here. Just try calling CDOT to get the shoulders of 550 or 160 swept of gravel or glass. Despite having broom trucks that can do the job in a couple of hours they claim they “Don’t have the budget or the manpower.” We’ve got CR 250, undoubtedly the single heaviest bicycled road in Colorado, and has La Plata County even discussed adding bike lanes? No. As a result we have perpetual conflict between drivers and cyclists on this route. Chip sealing has made several previously great roads miserable to bike along, although the County did do a vastly improved job chip sealing CR 240. In order to ride down Florida Road, our city’s most heavily traveled bike/car artery, City Councilors were forced to ride mountain bikes. That’s because at 25mph on a road bike Florida is completely and utterly unsafe. As far as I can see the city, county and state are completely reactive, rather than being pro-active towards making our town “Bike Friendly.” We could start by designating certain roads “Colorado Bicycle Training Routes” and adding bike lines, signage, and occasional speed enforcement to actually make them safe for cyclists. As for the League of American Bicyclists “Bike Friendly City” award, Durango should send it back until we’ve actually done something to deserve it.

– Wade Nelson,

via email

Renewed on the Colorado Trail

Dear Editors,

There is something to be said for living in a small town for almost 17 years. At times, you love it, but right now, I’m down right schmoopie! This year marks my third year to be closely involved with the CT Jamboree, and the community support we’ve received has renewed my love for our little mountain town. The CT Jamboree is an 80 mile, two day bike ride from Molas Pass to Durango on the Colorado Trail. The event is limited to 60 riders, each responsible for raising money to benefit Multiple Sclerosis, and ultimately the Heuga Center. This year, the riders raised $45,000! Impressive to say the least. The donations and support of this community absolutely blew me away...and while theTelegraphpolicy cannot “list” thank-yous, I hope they will indulge me with these few words of appreciation. I cannot express my gratitude enough to those who helped make this event such a success, and you all know who you are!!

– With Many Thanks,

Heather Hooten

via email

Help change the political tides

Dear Editors,

Did you know that even if 100 percent of Colorado’s registered Democrats get out and vote for Barack Obama that he may still lose Colorado? That’s because only about one-third of registered voters are Democrats. It is imperative that registered Independents, unregistered voters and disillusioned Republicans cast their votes for Obama if we are to change the direction of Colorado and our country. 

Volunteers are needed to register voters, reach out to undecided voters, and host house parties to discuss the issues that people are concerned about. If you care about the outcome of this election, then it’s time for you to get involved. The election is in less than three months. Thanks for any help you can offer. Visit the Democratic office between 10th & 11th on Main Ave.

– Diane Morazan,


A true countywide alliance

Dear editors,

The League of Women Voters congratulates the Town of Bayfield on its recent decision to join the Regional Housing Alliance. In addition to making available to the residents of Bayfield excellent housing assistance in the form of grants, down payment assistance and other services, Bayfield itself can now take advantage of the talents and resources of the RHA in both developing land and in encouraging green-built affordable and attainable housing.

Bayfield’s membership also means that the RHA, now a true countywide alliance, can coordinate the planning and execution of its vision and mission across all of La Plata County. It also means that all residents of the county have an equal opportunity to benefit from the RHA’s fine work.

– Marilyn Brown, spokeswoman,

LWV of La Plata County

Serving with integrity

Dear Editors,

We are lucky to have the opportunity to re-elect Wally White as county commissioner. Wally has proven his ability to serve with integrity as a strong, effective advocate for a wide range of citizen interests across the county. His constructive, creative leadership stems from Wally’s remarkable ability to promote the positive exchange of ideas.

I had the privilege of getting to know Wally during my tenure on the board of a local nonprofit organization. During that time, I found him to be a positive influence, interacting constructively with disparate interest groups. His effectiveness stems from his willingness to listen thoughtfully to diverse opinions – then offer options and help proponents move toward creative solutions.

Wally’s commitment to the dynamic needs of the county is evident in his wide-ranging service. He is a member of the Board of Housing Solutions, the La Plata Economic Development Executive Committee, the Durango Library Board, the Durango Independent Film Festival Board, and is liaison for the Bayfield Senior Center. Wally supports rural water districts, fire protection districts, health districts and protection of our agricultural lands and legacy; he worked to secure recreation water rights on the Animas River and is a volunteer for Ignacio Bike Week.

I urge you to help re-elect Wally White, so he can continue to build consensus from diversity through constructive leadership and the positive exchange of ideas.

– Kathleen May,


San Miguel or La Plata?

Dear Eds,

Letters that start out “We don’t want to be like Telluride” are about four years to late. San Miguel County Commissioner Art Goodtimes and La Plata County Commissioner Wally White share several things in common besides their far left agenda. Like Art, Wally was elected without a majority of votes in his precinct or his district. There’s something wrong with a system of representative government when the voters in the district that the candidate seeks to represent reject that candidate.

One has to wonder if Wally is getting his marching orders from former La Plata BOCC member and spokesman for the San Juan Citizens Alliance Josh Joswick. White has a problem understanding that good paying jobs are the key to making housing affordable. His record on pro-business issues is dismal at best. My votes will go to Kellie Hotter and Dr. Harry Baxstrom. We need adults to run La Plata County, not over-the-hill hippies.

– Dennis Pierce, via email

Off-shore illusions

Dear Editors:

I would humbly request a shift in focus, away from Recreate 68, and toward “the Unused 68.” Today, 68 million acres of oil leases go unused by oil companies, many of which are off shore. If drilled, these leases would double domestic oil production and increase natural gas production by 75%. Obama’s “use it or lose it” policy, which gets virtually no coverage, simply makes sense. We should put these acres into production before we move into new areas off-shore.

The drill-first-ask-questions-later policy adopted by Senator McCain and President Bush was perfectly manufactured for this campaign. If offshore drilling would have served our national security interests, why did Senator McCain and George Bush wait until six months before the election to raise the issue?  Why didn’t they lift the ban when they controlled Congress for the first six years of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

The answer is simple – new off-shore leases will not change a thing. I work on the assumption that oil companies like making money and are willing to spend it to make it (consider the $2 million spent on John McCain to ensure $4 billion in tax breaks and loop holes). If drilling on the outer continental shelf would have created a reasonable return on investment before gas reached $4.00 a gallon, oil companies would have drilled holes all over the 68 million acres already available to them. If new leases would have presented a better “return on investment” before we reached $4.00 a gallon, Bush and McCain would have lifted the ban when they controlled Congress. Problem: gas was too cheap back then.

The reality – drilling offshore will only make sense if gas stays at $4.00 a gallon – a horrific side effect of McCain’s one dimensional energy policy. We need a different future. We must seize our future today by investing in truly domestic sources of energy which are powered by American ingenuity: wind, solar, hydro, thermal, improved efficiency standards (Obama is pushing for 150 mpg) and revolutionary changes in rechargeable battery technology. Any one feel like going to the moon in five years!

–Aaron P. Bradford,

via email

Highlighting humanity

Dear Editors,

Last week I picked up my tickets to A Safer More Compassionate World II with speaker, Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea. As someone who deeply respects the work of Mortenson, I am grateful for the opportunity to hear him speak in person. As  Nickolas Kristof said in his column in the New York Times op-ed piece, Mortenson “has done more to advance U.S. interests in (Afghanistan/Pakistan) than the entire military and foreign policy apparatus of the Bush administration.”

I would like to say thank you to all those responsible for highlighting Mortenson’s humanitarian work which we so badly need to hear about and emulate in our own ways. FLC and the League of Women Voters are demonstrating the ability of our community to work together and to provide badly needed community events that are reflective of  the best of our society. The sponsors of this event should also be thanked for their support: FLC Foundation, FLC Office of the President, the FLC Community Concert Hall, the Ballantine Foundation and the Wells Fargo Bank.

Unfortunately, I understand that the tickets for the public are already sold out, but more may be available after reserved tickets are released in September.

– Candice Carson,

via email


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January 25, 2024
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January 26, 2024
Paper chase

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January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows