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

Slow down and share

Dear editors and community members who drive and/or bike,

OK everybody, we’ve heard it. The finger pointing is not only tired, but it misses the point. We all know that there are bad drivers and bad cyclists out there. We all know the arguments for and against this incredibly heated issue – share the road. Can we just slow down and think a little further than our noses? We live in an amazing community, a healthy community and a diverse community. That’s a good thing. But it requires a little more common sense and mutual respect to live together and make it work, because at the end of the day, at this rate, someone will get killed on a bike and that will be pretty tough to live with for all involved. I drive. I bike. My children bike as well, and the last thing I want is for one of them to experience the raw nerved rage that I have been so unfortunate to experience while on my bike. I don’t run stop signs, I don’t pee on the side of the road in plain view, I don’t yell at cars, I don’t stay in the middle of the road when a car is coming, I don’t even ride in large groups, I’m usually riding solo or with one or two friends. I have been buzzed, yelled at, flipped off, cut off, squeezed into the gravel and verbally harassed ... because I happen to be riding a bike, I think. Obviously there are unavoidable situations that could cause either a driver or a cyclist to have to make a quick and sometimes poor decision, but really most of the bad stories you hear could have been avoided. Most of the time, it’s a lack of patience and unchecked or irrational aggression. As a parent that drives a car, rides a bike regularly and pays taxes, I’m asking that the next time you are in one of those potential situations – whether in a car or on a bike – just slow down and think a bit before you react. It could save a life, which is really what this boils down to.

– Kris Hickcox, Durango

Settle it with a wag-off

Dear Editors, This petty bickering between Dennis and Peter regarding cyclists and motorists is getting pretty ridiculous. I can’t imagine that this argument is even worth the ink used to print the paper. So I am suggesting that these two guys settle their differences in a public “weenie wag-off.” It will be a great event for Durango (maybe not a family event). We can close off Main and all the local businesses can sell beer and food. That way we can keep the public comments in this great paper focused on issues that are of actual importance!!!

– Jarrod Regan, via e-mail

Making healthy kids the priority

Dear Editor:

Too many of our state’s kids remain uninsured, including an estimated 1,200 children in La Plata County alone. However, on Tues., June 2, Gov. Bill Ritter signed Senate Bills 160 and 161 into law, expanding health insurance coverage for children and reducing barriers for families eligible for health-coverage programs. The passage and signing of these bills demonstrates to Colorado kids and families that our leaders know that healthy, strong children create a healthy and strong state. Thousands of children who would otherwise go without eyeglasses for reading a bedtime story, prescriptions for breathing easily while playing sports, or counseling that fosters the skills necessary to grow into bright and thoughtful young adults will have access to essential health-care coverage because of strong leadership from the governor, lieutenant governor, the Colorado General Assembly and the people of our state who have made it clear – healthy kids are a priority. It’s one small step for Colorado and one giant leap for Colorado kids.

– Sincerely, Jeff Brown, It’s About Kids Steering Committee

Two points of contention

Dear Editors,

I have a couple points of contention with your last issue. Number one, what’s the deal with the ads slowly taking over a Day in the Life? Didn’t it used to be two full pages with no ads? Please tell me you’re not selling out. Number two, Missy displays some backwards logic in her blurb about old and new autos. Using the thinking in her article, no one should put up solar panels or wind turbines because it might take a few years to offset the energy used to produce these things. Of course, she didn’t even mention the difference in the carbon footprint between an old Jeep and a Prius. I’m guessing she is trying to justify the personal use of inefficient auto. Switching to energy efficient autos, homes, and lives is a good thing; even if it takes a little extra work.

– Dan Wright, via e-mail

(Editors’ reply: Dan, please send a check to 556 Main Ave. to help offset the future costs of publication. This “free” paper is actually quite expensive to produce and lands on your coffee table each week only by the grace of our advertisers and the fact that we’ve tightened our belts for the last six years and drive tired, old Subarus.)

Code the vegetables

Dear Editors,

In regard to tomatoes and salmonella, if all tomatoes were locally grown, this would not be a problem. Making sure all tomatoes have bar codes indicating source or point of origin would help. According to the major news rags, tomatoes do not have bar codes in most cases. This is really why the salmonella outbreak in tomatoes is a problem.

– Peter Meheran, via e-mail

Stop the rape of the Roan

Dear Editors,

On Mon., June 9, the Bureau of Land Management announced it will offer all 55,000 acres of unleased, undeveloped public lands on top and at the base of the Roan Plateau at their August lease sale. Despite eight years of overwhelming public support for protecting the Roan and with legislation currently in Congress, the Bush Administration is moving full steam ahead with their irresponsible plan to drill. This move represents another slap in the face from the administration to a broad group of Coloradans – from our congressional delegation and governor to sportsmen, local communities and concerned citizens across the state. The top of the Roan Plateau is one of Colorado’s gems, the drilling of which would provide a mere drop in our fuel bucket. We cannot drill our way to energy independence, and our most spectacular places should not be sacrificed for short-term demands, lost forever to our grandchildren. There’s still time to put a stop to “the rape of the Roan.” Please write your senator and congressman today!

– Veronica Egan, executive director, Great Old Broads for Wilderness

Something in the water

Dear Editors,

I am a current Anthropology student at Fort Lewis College. I hope to involve myself with the greater human rights movement, both inside and outside of the USA. One concern I always bring to those around me is of the contents of our water supplies and also, thereby, the agricultural foods we consume. There’s a lot more than H2O in there. Luckily, however, we have a powerful water treatment plant here in Durango that sweeps up the vast majority of those issues, and water mostly extracted from the Florida River (from whence it comes) doesn’t even contain those pharmaceutical chemicals that currently outrage so many folks – despite the fault (mainly),  rather, existing upon civilian pollution to begin with.

There is, though, one problem left unchecked in our tourist-heavy, outdoor enthusiast-populated, health-minded territory: silica-fluorides (sodium fluoride) in our drinking water. When our own Waste Water Treatment Plant specialist, Robert Ludwig, mentions how the stuff was used as rat poison in the 1930s and now is sourced from industrial waste as a Louisiana fertilizer byproduct (fluoride also being labeled as a “drug” by the FDA), it’s no surprise that even the National Academies Press has written up special concerns and regulative suggestions expelling the hazardous chemical, with studies on IQ deficits, pineal gland calcification (and inhibition of melatonic/DMT synthesis) and immunodeficiency. The Water Board here, which handles fluoridation of our water, as a group of five-or-so people separate from our acting government, discusses the matter once every few years. They’ve only concerned themselves with how much ends up back in the river when waste water is cleaned, which ends up being a positively tolerable amount, for environmentalist insight. But Telluride, Cortez, Pagosa Springs and Colorado Springs have all stopped fluoridation for health reasons, and the Four Corners “gateway town” here is clueless.

By the American Dental Association, in their recent Fluoridation Facts handbook, a claim is made that the institutional opposition is presenting data or questions “based on myths and misconceptions advanced by a small faction,” yet in this very handbook, there are absolutely no proofs from their own scientific advisors that digesting fluoride works at all to protect teeth (because they know darned well that it actually causes a condition called Crippling Skeletal Fluorisis, either slowly until your last years, or quickly, only depending on dosage and sensitivity). Topically, it works. But think once more about how much you should really be brushing with that stuff when the consumption of “a pea sized amount” is enough to warrant going to the ER immediately, and you are putting it directly into your blood by agitating your gums (like “dipping” tobacco). Moreover, who needs the stuff at all?? First, Nazis put it into water, food and air at concentration camps to brainwash Jewish prisoners before the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission declassified it for use here, shortly after. Secondly, a brilliant discovery was made by Arman Sadeghpour, of Tulane University: he conducted his doctoral thesis on how “cocoa extract (found naturally in chocolate, teas and other products) was even more effective than fluoride in fighting cavities,” and he then graduated in conclusion.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (in 2003) concluded that “there are some data to suggest that fluoride does adversely affect some (human) endocrine glands” akin to, but more potent than, the affects of lead or mercury exposure. New news from big guns. Let’s go back a little bit. The American Medical Association said (all the way back in 1943) that “fluorides are general protoplasmic poisons” they inhibit enzyme systems, and water containing 1 part per million (ppm) or more fluoride is undesirable... this was the AMA’s stand on fluoridation shortly before the U.S. Public Health Service endorsed nationwide fluoridation. Ours is 4ppm. And this too, adapted from “Comparative Toxicity of Fluorine Compounds.” Industrial and Engineering Chemistry. Vol. 26, No. 7: July 1934: synthetic fluorides are 85 times more likely than natural fluorine and calcium fluorides to cause cellular growth inhibitions or death in biological subjects.

Think about children. With organizational data from Fluoride Action Network (www.fluoridealert.com), we can stop it now, before this accumulative toxin does to the future generations what it’s doing to you and yours. References on that particular website are very credible, resourcing work from UNICEF, Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Wall Street Journal to the National Research Council, Journal of Dental Medicine, American Journal of Public Health, and the European Journal of Pharmacology, only to mention a few.

– Empowered, Brendan Bombaci, via e-mail





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