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

A new day

Dear Editors,

I’m sitting writing this on the morning of Nov. 4. The morning started with a spectacular bright red sunrise in the eastern sky. It was like a light being turned on after eight years of darkness. I can feel it in my bones, a new era has come. A time of change has arrived. The United States can and will take a major step forward. I have waited since demonstrating in Alabama in 1960 for a black man to reach the top. It did not seem possible that, in my lifetime, I would see this day. I know that the average readers of this paper are half my age but it doesn’t matter. I had a dream in 1960 that this could happen. Take your dreams and work toward their fruition. It is not time now to sit back and relax. Take the energy of this election and continue to push for the change that we all know can benefit this country. Stay in touch with all those elected officials that you worked so hard to put in office. Hold them to their promises. Let them know that you care beyond the three or four months leading up to the election.

Be aware folks we have taken part in a historic moment in U.S. history and it is up to us to make sure this history changing event is positive.

– Frank Klein, Durango


Living up to promises

Dear Editors,

The Twin Buttes annexation has posed some interesting questions for the city. The developers have done a great job of putting together some of the best architects and planners in the country for what appears to be a cutting-edge development. This could be a real opportunity for Durango to affect a positive change in how development can look in the future here, and all over the country. All of the pieces of a sustainable and livable development are there. Opponents to the project have raised numerous local issues that need to be studied as this process goes forward. These issues will not be resolved by denying this development. They are certain to reappear at some point as people continue to move to the Durango area. Any opportunity to acquire Twin Buttes for open space was lost when the current developer bought the land.  

One thing is clear; the residents of Durango are very interested in how this area develops. The clearest choice may be to annex Twin Buttes. With annexation there will be community oversight as to how this development occurs, without annexation anything is possible.

We have all heard developers make promises before; my question to the city is this: Will the city of Durango be able to ensure that promises made in this annexation and the subsequent development be brought to bear in the agreement they reach with the developer? Too many times in the past, developers have been able to change or modify agreements to the detriment of the public good.

The success or failure of this development lies with the city. As we all have learned from the latest economic melt down, public oversight is important. Only if the City is up to the job, I think the Twin Buttes annexation will be a good thing.

– Jim Sims, Durango


Too much of an activist

Dear Editors,

I was recently fired (asked to resign) from my job at 4CORE. Phrases like “job/person fit” really don’t tell you anything about what actually is going on, but keeps them out of legal responsibility in some way. By asking me to resign, it does keep with their trend of never actually saying what they mean. How about just saying, “We’d like to fire you, but unfortunately that would create a lot of political drama and legal liabilities for our organization, so could you please just do what is best for us and resign?”

The real point here is that one of the reasons I was dismissed was because I was “too much of an activist” for the position. While I don’t feel I had done anything over-the-top to warrant that decision and I hope that many community members I worked with would agree, I am mostly just offended that the word “activist” gets used in a negative context and that my background as an organizer is being used as an example of how I cannot build community relationships. In fact, that is what you are trained to do as an organizer and what I have done in the past.

So, an opportunity has arisen from the ashes of my lost job. The opportunity is that now I can shout from the rooftops that ACTIVISM IS A GREAT THING. Our country was founded upon it, and we would not have the society and benefits we have now without the work of thousands (perhaps millions?) of activists over the course of history. Government acts like it is a swear word, locally, nationally and at every other level. The problem is, governments should be in demand of activism because it means citizens participating in democracy, which just so happens to be the revolution that founded our country and the philosophy that affords them the jobs that they have. But, unfortunately, it also means moving away from the status quo and accepting that change is an inherent piece of government and citizen participation. My favorite activist is Saul Alinsky and here is what he has to say:

“The price of democracy is the ongoing pursuit of the common good by all of the people. One hundred and thirty-five years ago, Tocqueville gravely warned that unless individual citizens were regularly involved in the action of governing themselves, self-government would pass from the scene. Citizen participation is the animating spirit and force in a society predicated on voluntarism. To lose your “identity” as a citizen of democracy is but a step from losing your identity as a person. People react to this frustration by not acting at all. The separation of the people from the routine daily functions of citizenship is heartbreak in a democracy.” ~ Saul Alinsky, 1971

4CORE is a great idea in theory but continues to prove to me that they are not interested in actually promoting the best ideas and efficient ways of moving forward on energy efficiency and renewable energy. My ideas and energy have been taken advantage of, and now 4CORE wants to continue to put them into practice without recognizing that it sometimes takes those with energy and passion (activists, even?) to even have the good ideas and bring them to fruition. If you agree, then maybe you should let them know. Is an intergovernmental and utility-funded organization that is inherently about change working well when those who want change are asked to leave? Is change only defined by the 40+ age group (and typically white men) in this county, or can that change be defined by some of us who want something more? Why is it that if I call it a climate crisis, I’m considered a radical, but if I call our current situation an economic crisis, I’m logical?

In the end, I want to make a specific call to young people in this community: high school students, college students and young professionals. We need to stand up for the issues of our generation and get engaged in local politics because our voices are NOT being heard, and are actually being dismissed. Our perspective is an important one that should not be ignored, and our desire for honesty and transparency in these affairs is something this town could really use in community dialogues. I want to help form a Youth Coalition in this area. If you are interested, please contact durangoyouthcoalition@gmail.com and let’s get this going.  

– Riley Neugebauer, via e-mail 


Damaged credibility

Dear Editors,

I read your weekly faithfully, and I’ve never written before- I’m a big fan of Obama, but just had to let you know your “Face Value” on pg 15 was too much and unnecessary. Grabbing photos of anyone in between blinks and words will always produce “interesting” results. It was high school humor, and it just wasn’t that funny given the seriousness of this election and the times in which we are living. Call McCain what you want, but his presence in our little town marked the importance of everyone’s voice in this historic election and deserved better, cleaner coverage, even by the liberal Telegraph.

You guys are better than that, your readers are smarter than that, and we are hungry for someone in the media to step up and give us solid, pertinent info on both sides, not just the liberal or conservative slant of the publication. I think it was a prime example of what everyone is so tired of … needless ragging on a candidate, instead of issue/stance focus and education. A simple blip on his coming to Durango would have done the trick; I think it hurt your credibility, in this instance (the power of charades one, in particular, just not OK to print during these serious times!)

Again, love the publication, and I know it’s yours to do with what you want. Just a faithful, but frustrated with the times, reader’s take….

– Judi Nutter, Durango


Taking issue with the toon

Dear Mr. Wells, Ms. Votel and Mr. Sands,

I am a firm believer in the First Amendment and the rights of the press to publish its opinions freely. Not only do I strongly believe in the rights you are guaranteed by the United States Constitution, I have a son who, as a member of our United States Air Force, has spent the last 10 years of his life defending those rights that you continue to enjoy.

It is because of that, I found your ReTooned of Oct. 23, 2008, extremely offensive and distasteful. Using a flag-draped coffin as a table for your political punditry was not only inappropriate but insulting to those of us who have children giving their lives to defend your rights.

Your politics are not the issue; your use of the flag-draped coffin most certainly is.

I sincerely hope an apology for such insensitivity will be forthcoming.

– Sincerely, Mrs. Betty Wiley, Bayfield


Something in the water

Dear Editors,

The FDA considers fluoride a “drug.” We, at their warning, drink it every day.

Every month, Durango’s City Hall hosts a “Water Board” council; this group discusses and makes decisions, or calculated suggestions, towards what will take place for the future of our water supply. It works outside the official government, but makes very important motions relative to us all. Their conversational regards cover agriculture, tourism, recreation, businesses, housing and, finally – health. Overall, our water supply is a fairly clean one, in comparison to other cities in Colorado, or to the Four Corners region in general. Much of the mining refuse that people worry about is filtered. Coming from the Florida River, the water has no pharmaceutical pollution. That is, except for the added sodium fluoride, or fluoro-silicic-acids. These are literally considered nonmandated mass public medications, yet they are industrial waste byproducts from the phosphate fertilizer and atomic weaponry/energy industry. Telluride and Pagosa Springs have already stopped the medical fluoridation of their water, with good reason.

Fluoride has actually been administered in Europe, through the 1970s, to people suffering hyperthyroidism, to quell their thyroid glands. The drug has this effect no matter what sort of thyroid activity a person has. Metabolism, mental awareness and sexuality are only some aspects of health that a normal thyroid moderates. The ADA knows well enough, and can scientifically prove, that topical fluoride treatment (from dentist treatments or toothpaste) works to fortify the enamel of teeth. The ADA does not, however, have any direct scientific proof whatsoever that ingestion of fluoride does the same; and so, in fact, we are consuming an experimental drug – one that clinically alters our hormones and cardiovascular system, and one that we have a collective choice over – for something as vain and unproven as tooth whitening.

There is myriad documentation, from over 1,800 signatory physicians, dentists, naturopathic practitioners, vets and university professors (www.fluoridealert.org) that this substance actually degrades human mental, physical and reproductive health in far too many ways for it to be legal any longer. And, by measure, these findings merely consider the adult populace: what about infants and children, whose bodies are extremely susceptible to chemical neurotoxins? Does anyone, at all, need this type of treatment?

On Nov.3, this year, the City Hall Water Board will meet once again, in a public-open council, to discuss this and other topics.  Please be there to voice your opinion so we can stop drugging our great water supply – but first, see the legal facts for yourself at the Keepers of the Well website: www.keepersofthewell.org/due_diligence.html And remember: don’t’ swallow your toothpaste

– Brendan Bombaci, Durango