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

Back at the blowhard

Dear Editors,

Over the years, I have read Durango’s biggest blowhard, Dennis Pearce, whine like a 3-year-old on many different issues he feels he is an authority on. He consistently blames liberals for all of life’s ills and his latest rant against cyclists, I feel, deserves a special response. 

Dear Dennis,

I am a cyclist. I am going to be using the road you drive on. If you don’t like it, don’t drive. Stay at home, dreaming up more nonsense proposals. Durango is more of a cycling town than most, so get over it. Maybe with the price of gas so high, more towns will have a booming cycling community like Durango’s and start consistently turning out world class professional riders. Yeah, some rules get broken, I won’t deny that. So what? People in cars consistently break the rules, or haven’t you noticed? That means we all have to use good judgment when driving thousands of pounds of metal around on roads we all paid for. Just because you don’t ride a bike doesn’t mean no one else should. If you don’t have the patience to wait behind a group of cyclists, then again there is a simple solution – don’t drive. Wouldn’t you slow down for someone on horseback, a jogger, or a guy on a tractor and wait for safe passage? You, and all who feel the way you do, think you have some special right to the road, and God help us if something is in front of you.

If everyone were riding bikes, Florida Road wouldn’t need repairing in the first place, but you make the case that cyclists should pay for the road damage caused by cars and trucks. I guess in a right-winged mentality, that makes perfect sense – charging those who aren’t responsible for the things you are directly responsible for. 

Most of us who ride do it to stay healthy or commute. Healthy, active people ease the strain on the health-care system and lower the overall cost of health insurance. Using no gas to ride to work means less pollution and less demand for oil, lowering the overall cost of fuel. So indirectly, cyclists are actually saving you money by riding their bikes. Instead of bitching about cyclists, maybe you should thank them. Not all who ride are perfect. And yes, an occasional pee on the side of the road is necessary because we are human and thankfully there aren’t enough convenience stores for every pee break. But here is a news flash for you – animals pee outside all the time. Maybe you can start ticketing them.

– Peter Campbell, via e-mail

Long view leadership

Dear Editors,

Scott Graham gets it. We hire great city managers, spend over $50 million and employ 304 people to run our city government. They do a superb job. We elect city councilors and county commissioners to have a long-term vision for the community and the leadership to build the partnerships to implement that vision. Graham takes the long view, which is almost always best for the taxpayer.

A recreation bond issue that focuses on multiple needs of the community is a superb idea. Putting the issue on the ballot in 2009 does several things.

First, it allows time for coordination with other government organizations. For example, what role will Fort Lewis College, the County, the Tribe, and the School District play? As taxpayers, we want the biggest bang for our buck.

Second, the key to expanding recreation facilities throughout the community is a good transportation system. I just returned from Great Britain where gas is close to $9 a gallon. Think past the tips of your skis and think about how future fuel costs factor into the master plan. What would you do different? Do you want hundreds of people driving to Grandview every day to drop off and pick up their kids? Can visitors or members of our community get to trailheads with or without a bike via public transportation? Should it cost $60 for two people to take a taxi from the airport to Durango?

We need a 21st century public transportation system that connects all of the communities and facilities in La Plata County. City government has a role, but the transportation system for La Plata County ought to be a top issue in the county commissioner’s race this year as well. Based on long-term trends, a robust transportation system is the key to sustainable economic development and a workable recreation concept.

Kudos to Scott Graham for providing leadership to the community and giving us a vision to work with.

– James Callard, Durango

Primary issues

To the Editors,

As the primary race drags on, becoming a weary marathon, not one of the candidates has discussed three crucial issues nor has any attempt been made by the media (or anyone else) to question the candidates on these issues. While the voters are being forced to focus on terms like “elitists,” “superdelegate” or whose preacher said what, or why is fuel for their precious SUVs so expensive, each candidate is hoping to slip to the finish line without confronting these issues.

The first issue that every American should worry about is Bush’s Patriot Act, which can make each and every citizen a terrorist and deny them the right to due process under the Constitution. Is that act going to be repealed? We don’t know, do we? Probably not, unless somebody has the inclination to stand up.

The second issue is that of Blackwater (who may be coming after us next) and the unlimited powers this administration has granted them. Blackwater, the largest private army in the world, has run unchecked in Iraq committing untold war crimes in our name. The candidates, much like the majority of America, have ignored this issue, too.

And lastly, why has the failed “war on drugs” not been mentioned? Millions of our citizens have been incarcerated at great expense to the taxpayer on a problem that will never go away. If drugs were legal, the government could no doubt levy a tax like they do on everything else. The revenue from that would easily pay for Hillary’s national health care.

It is no wonder our elected officials have no accountability; we don’t even hold them accountable while they pander our votes. The reprehensible state this nation has fallen to in the last eight years will probably continue unless Americans wake the #*@% up and become proactive, demanding accountability from candidates for elected office. 

– Doug Quinones, via e-mail