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


Kudos to Durango’s finest

Dear Editors,

I wanted to give kudos to the City of Durango and its emergency services for the work performed last week during the fire. I arrived on main street around 3:30 p.m. to take part in witnessing a couple of famous Durango landmarks go up in flames. What I noticed more than anything though was the teamwork being displayed between all of Durango’s finest. The police department was taking control of the area directly around the fire along with the Fort Lewis Police. LPEA was in the alley behind Seasons working extremely close to the fire on a service pole. The Sheriff’s department seemed to handle the traffic re-routes on the outer perimeter of the action. I saw some folks from Starbucks and other restaurants bringing in supplies to keep the troops fueled. And of course to the various fire departments involved in the “war zone” of a fire. You guys kick ass!

It’s been a busy winter here with snow plow drivers working over time, and this weekend crews were out repairing Florida Road.

Thanks to all of our city and county staff that are out there for the public and to those who volunteer to better serve this great community we live in. Yea Durango!

– Roland Mora, via e-mail


A land of languages

Dear Editors, I guess I will rise to the bait and respond to the fool who wondered why election ballots were printed in languages other than English. One reason I suppose is long time tradition. When the Colorado Constitution was made public in 1876 it was printed in three languages: English, Spanish and German. I guess we have dropped the German.

But more to the point, there is no requirement that an American speak any particular language. It is after all, a free country. Look it up in the Constitution.

Last summer, I met a woman who spoke nothing4but Spanish. She was 80 years old and grew up in Tierra Amarilla, N.M. I have met other people who speaknothing but Navajo. I would be willing to bet that their families have been in the United States of America far longer than the letter writer’s. And many have livedon land that was their family’s CENTURIES before the USA was even conceived. Keep in mind not all Americans came to the USA. A good number of people (particularly in the Four Corners) had the United States of America come to them.

I suggest that the letter writer get off his tush and look around. He would not have to travel very far before discovering any number of people who speak English as a second language, yet whose citizenship is exactly equal to that knucklehead’s. And who NEVER had to become naturalized citizens.

– Michael Black,  Durango

Back to the woods

Dear Editors,

Good news! We now have the chance to restore basic free access to undeveloped areas for hiking, visitor centers, parking, restrooms, water, picnicking, scenic drives and overlooks, and wilderness, with the recently introduced Fee Repeal and Expanded Access Act, S.2438. New fees to access our own public lands began over 10 years ago, with the Fee Demo Program. Public outrage followed, as did resolutions opposing such fees by the State of Colorado and 12 Western counties.

Unless we act now, our national forest, BLM and BuRec lands will see more and higher fees – forever. In Colorado and the Southwest, fees are now required for access to remote, undeveloped areas, such as Gunnison Gorge and Cedar Mesa, Utah. Arizona is the “land of the fee.” Colorado’s Indian Peaks Wilderness fees rose from $0 to $5 to $12. So much for McInnis’ analogy comparing fees to the price of a pack of gum! Oregon, New Hampshire, Washington, and California now have parking fees for entire forests.

All public lands were once free to all U.S. citizens as part of their birthright and heritage. Now, access fees place a double financial burden on us with taxes and fees, affecting tourists, locals and local economies, and limiting or barring access to those with lower incomes.

Where will it stop? Will more popular areas have higher and higher fees, excluding more people? At the other end, areas that can’t pay their own way with fees now face closure, possibly sale. Meanwhile less federal money is getting to the ground, and we could see areas developed just to bring in more fees. The present fee bill is being illegally interpreted and contains severe criminal penalties for not paying.

If you love our public lands the way they are, please contact Sen. Wayne Allard and ask him to co-sponsor S.2438. Thank Ken Salazar for co-sponsoring this bi-partisan bill. For more information, contact wsnfc@hotmail.com.

– Sincerely, Jan Holt, Durango

Another year of community

Dear Editors,

It was with great pleasure that I attended Friday’s local United Way end-of-year campaign celebratory lunch. The luncheon honored multiple individuals and businesses who tirelessly advocate for over 40 local nonprofit organizations that are providing vital services to members of our community. For the fourth consecutive year, United Way, under the direction of CEO and President Tim Walsworth, has exceeded its annual campaign goal, ensuring another year of support for Del Alma and 39 other organizations, together representing over 70 programs. The level of giving within our community to the United Way campaign is remarkable, as is the degree to which so many freely give of their time and resources. Del Alma relies on United Way funding to help fulfill its mission to promote cultural competence and educational excellence for multicultural youth. We, and all the other recipients of this generosity, feel blessed and grateful to be a part of such a caring and giving community.

– LeeAnn Vallejos, executive director,Durango Educational Alliance for Multicultural Achievement   

Rekindling idealism

Dear Editors,

Kudos to Shan Wells for his Feb. 7 “Retooned” of the week’s Precinct 17 caucus. His illustration of the speaker and the memory the man shared of JFK captured a truly remarkable evening of democratic dialogue. The man spoke of the power of JFK’s idealism and the need to re-ignite that spirit. 

I believe the spirit was lit that night thanks to the rare opportunity 140 Democrats shared speaking and listening to each other. We haven’t been listened to, nor have many of us spoken these past eight years. Now, people are finding a voice, believing a change is at hand. Let’s keep speaking, listening and sharing. Thanks, Shan, for moderating a democratic dialogue.

– Maureen Keilty, Durango


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