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A voice on Twin Buttes

Dear Editors:

“Only when the last tree is cut, only when the last river is polluted, only when the last fish is caught, will they realize that you can’t eat money.” – Native American

To modernize that quote: “The bottom line is NOT measured in currency. The bottom line is the health of our ecosystem.”

POINT ONE: Developers propose to put 600 homes and a shopping mall at Twin Buttes, touting their “green” buildings and “green” consciousness. They gloss over the fact that they would destroy valuable wilderness. First to go down are the very trees that support our wild-bird population. These species cannot tolerate human disturbance. Here come the crows, jays and magpies.

Their proposed “green” community would cut off the only remaining access to the river – the source of life – for the wildlife. Crucial wildlife corridors would be compromised. Twin Buttes is their winter refuge. Where can they go? No low-elevation land is left to them. Here come the skunks and raccoons.

If the development goes through, the developers will make their bottom line of a lot of money...and we will be the poorer for it.

POINT TWO: I recently heard that the developers will present yet another long slideshow (90 minutes) at the upcoming public hearing. At the last hearing, they presented a two-hour slideshow. I object to their presenting such an advertisement at a public hearing in the first place. But twice? One councilor responded to my concern saying he needs to hear their presentation. Where was he the first time?  

Solution? Give the developers their very own session at another time. Or have them speak AFTER the citizens of Durango.

Consider. Who does this elected council represent? Certainly NOT the developers ...   

Consider also – while the developers are currently slated for 90 minutes, the citizens are limited to 5 minutes. FIVE MINUTES! Mere sound bites. That’s no way to truly develop an argument. 

Solution? I propose that we be given the option to speak for 15 minutes each. 

Give us our voice.

– Thank you, Sara Ransom, Durango

Honest-to-God extraterrestrials

Dear Editors,

On the internet, for those tuned into such information, are predictions of a huge, Oct. 14 event: a slow flyover of at least one, perhaps many, huge extraterrestrial craft over populated areas of the planet. No more explaining them away as swamp gas or weather balloons. There could be multitudes of smaller craft in the skies also.

Internet speculations are flying at nearly the speed these craft are reported to travel. The Vatican has recently announced that “extraterrestrial life most probably does exist.” Many believe the Oct. 14 event will really happen. Others who have followed government conspiracies for years say it will be a false flag operation using government/military back-engineered alien reproduction vehicles to simulate an attack by ETs, forcing the U.S. population to give up the last of their freedoms, giving total power to the government. Dr. Carol Rosin, protégé of Dr. Werner Von Braun, warned specifically of this scenario in the “Disclosure Project Witness Testimony” film of Steven Greer’s Disclosure Project. Another possibility being discussed could be the government/military projecting a hologram of such images into the sky overhead from a secret project called “BlueBeam.”

I think there is much more to this contact event being discussed over the internet than government/military subterfuge. When one makes the leap to knowing that extraterrestrials are real due to their own experiences, one enters almost another reality altogether, parallel to our “normal” world. You do tons of reading and research. You find out just how many like yourself are out there, about the volumes of written, visual and audio material available. Just as there are good and bad people, there are good and bad extraterrestrials.

I’m not going to waste time discussing bad extraterrestrials. From accounts I’ve come to give credence to, they have already been here and caused much trouble. See the works of Zecharia Sitchin or David Icke, much available online.

What really inspires me is this much talked-of Galactic Federation of Light. These are supposedly spiritual, benevolent extraterrestrials who resemble us and have been working quietly behind the scenes to find a way to intervene gently, lovingly, in a way that will empower us to save our environment, create a world of peace and cooperation, and improve greatly the quality of life for every person on the planet, not just the elite rich. These are beings who, with their technology, shut down nuclear weapon facilities and have stated, through channels, they will not allow these to be used due to intensely destructive effects.

A couple reasons to keep extraterrestrial reality under wraps are no longer of any consequence as our economy IS in crisis, and our government looks desperate to hang onto power/authority by bailing out Wall Street. If ETs of benevolence and integrity have been holding back with regard to not unduly disrupting Earth societies, there is little reason to hold back. With so many films about both good and bad ETs in cinema and TV for decades, people are able to consider at least the idea of extraterrestrial contact.

Because of all of this and so much more that I’ve been following for years, the time is ripe for an honest-to-God extraterrestrial contact event to finally occur. If these good ETs can shut down nukes, then they likely can neutralize any false flag operation or hologram projected into the sky and have actually stated in their messages that they will shut them down, with no harm to anyone in the process.

As to how our societies and cultures on Earth could change as a result of such contact, I can only imagine. But I’m imagining the very best I can. A sustainable, environmentally restored, free world of peace, cooperation and united in the best ways possible. Free energy to move goods and provide services. Power returned to the hands of all global citizens, where it belongs. I invite everyone to join me in envisioning the best, and keeping our eyes on the skies.

Durango Exopolitics is a local discussion group committed to education and awareness of the impact of extraterrestrial civilizations with the people of Earth. I publish a blog at http://durangoexopolitics.blogspot.com/ and can be contacted at gaiatribe.niara@gmail.com. To begin your own research on extraterrestrials, search Google video on “Disclosure Project Witness Testimony” parts 1 & 2, and Richard Dolan’s, “How UFO Secrecy Has Damaged American Society.”

– Niara Isley, via e-mail


Seeing problems, finding solutions

Dear Editors,

Peter Tregillus gets my vote for county commissioner. He understands the issues that we care about: smart growth; affordable housing for all; mass transit opportunities; and oil and gas regulations. Peter created the Road Runner busses that I see every day on the streets providing transportation all over the county. Peter saw a need and created a solution before the price of gas skyrocketed. Peter built a network with Bayfield, Ignacio, Forest Lakes and Durango to help our community. Recognizing problems and creating solutions defines Peter Tregillus.

Experience as a city planning commissioner and making decisions that impact smart growth each week makes Tregillus a valuable asset in this election. On the County Joint Planning Commission, he works to solve problems for all of us. The insight and thoroughness of this man gives me confidence that as my county commissioner, he will make the best decisions. He has a proven track record. The commissioner’s job is not just about roads and bridges but about community. Peter believes that this community should have housing not only for the newcomers but for the children who grew up here.

With Peter’s leadership, the county can move forward with oil and gas regulations that will be fair to the landowners as well as the industry. La Plata County is home to the oil and gas industry, agriculture, recreation, education and families that need Peter Tregillus. This candidate is not in the back pocket of any industry. His campaign contributions come from neighbors and friends. I urge you to vote smart and vote for Peter Tregillus for county commissioner.

– Sweetie Marbury, Durango

Folly above treeline


Red McCombs has re-engaged his drive to build a resort/housing complex at the top of Wolf Creek Pass, in the middle of an incredible expanse of undisturbed fens (biological resource areas made up of organic material only – no soil). They are integral to this watershed area because of their vast water holding and purifying abilities. They are home to a host of small but important creatures. The health of these creatures is of importance and should not be ignored.  

All downstream stakeholders and even the Rio Grande River would be adversely affected should McCombs’ project be allowed to plow up and concrete up that pristine resource.

Today’s decision makers must look beyond the myopic dreams of self-interested developers and take the growing body of scientific information, and our greater future welfare into consideration.  

All indications seem to be warning that the Southwest will become drier in the next decades, possibly much drier. Can we really continue to be plowing up unparalleled upland watersheds for vacation homes? Where will the water come from to feed that proposed town, when current allocations are already fully contested?

Economically, all indications are that the future will become much leaner. The politico/media chorus that current economic trends can somehow return to better, normal days is pure delusion.  

Extravagances like a 10,000-resident vacation town being plopped in the middle of the Rockies highlands, in an area that receives some of the highest snowfall in the nation, are no longer tenable. To allow McCombs to start a doomed project would be unforgivable.  That wetlands resource cannot be plowed up and backfilled, then all’s well again. Any damage inflicted is long-term, we can no longer afford such self-conceited folly.

Another point: that land was ill gotten to begin with. Unfortunately, the statute of limitations stands between McCombs and a full accounting of those acquisition proceedings. McCombs has no moral justification for his conceit that he’s got the right to do whatever he wants with that property.  

Express your concerns about the “Village.”  Comments are due to the Forest Service by Oct. 31. Send your letter to: Wolf Creek Access EIS, C/O Content Analysis Group, 1584 South 500 West, Suite 202, Woods Cross, UT, 84010; wolfcreek@contentanalysisgroup.com; or fax: 801-397-5628. 

For more information, check out:  www.friendsofwolfcreek.org.

– Sincerely, Peter Miesler, Durango

Won’t get fooled again

Dear Editors,

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where…” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

– Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

For many of us, the November election is a defining moment. There is a clear choice between more of the same and the possibility of real change. We have a choice between the politics of fear and the politics of hope; a choice between spending our taxes creating a warfare state, or creating a welfare state – one that pursues the common good, striving to produce the best public education system, the best heath-care system, and the best system to take care of the elderly in the world. 

Do not be fooled. The recent DVD called “Obsession” sent to 28 million Americans by the neo-cons is intended to spread fear and hatred. It is pure propaganda. Ditto on the Orwellian Freedomwatch.com robo calls and flyers trashing Udall. Palin’s suggestion that Obama is a terrorist and that he and the veterans that support him just want to wave the white flag is sophomoric, spiteful, simplistic and just plain wrong.  Hate and fear is the message. Hitler and Goebbels would have been proud.

This is not America at its best. For eight years this country has been on the wrong path. Finally the majority of Americans get it, and we have the opportunity to plot a new course. It will take years to recover from this mess, and the biggest obstacle to recovery is denial. Too bad not one Republican running for office in Colorado, from the top to bottom of the ticket, has the courage to tell the voter what a huge mistake voting for Bush was. 

But the words of Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, in a “Letter to a Young Activist during Troubled Times,” are reassuring: “Do not lose heart. We were made for these times.”

Don’t get fooled again. Read, think and vote.

– James Callard, Durango

Cast an informed vote

To the Editors,

In the upcoming General Election on Nov. 4, Colorado voters will be asked to vote on 14 state-wide ballot issues, the original 18 having been reduced by four whose backers withdrew their initiatives. Most of these issues, if passed, would result in a change to the Colorado Constitution and should be afforded careful analysis. Note that the four initiatives that have been withdrawn will appear on the ballot but will not be counted. In addition, La Plata County will have five additional ballot questions, voted on only by residents of the affected areas.

To find out more about the pros and cons of these issues, and help you make an educated choice, the League of Women Voters of La Plata County will be holding Ballot Issue Forums. These forums will be held in Durango City Hall on Oct. 16, the Ignacio Library on Oct. 21, and the Bayfield Town Hall on Oct. 22, all from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Our Speakers Bureau is also available to present this information to your group – contact Stephanie Huss, 259-7263, or stephanie@frontier.net 

The LWV State Ballot Issues pamphlets, in English and Spanish, have been distributed to several places around the county, including city and town halls, libraries, the County Courthouse, the Durango Chamber of Commerce, the Durango Herald offices and many others. The pamphlet is also available for individual use on the LWV State web site www.lwvcolorado.org . You can find the list of the state and local ballot issues on our web site at http://www.lwvlaplata.org/elections.html

To vote in this election, you must have been registered by Oct. 6. To find your precinct, click on www.lwvlaplata.org , go to the Voter Services page, scroll down and click on precinct.  For the location of your polling place, click on polling place. You can also call the County Clerk at 382-6296.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that neither endorses nor opposes candidates or political parties.

Please exercise your right to cast an informed vote.

– Ellen Park,

League of Women Voters

of La Plata County

Living up to promises

To the Editors,

When Wally White first ran for county commissioner in 2004, he promised to address runaway growth, to make the oil and gas industry more accountable, to protect our environment, to tackle affordable housing and to represent all the people of La Plata County. White has lived up to these promises. He has led the charge in getting a comprehensive and fair Land-Use Code adopted. He has been a main architect of the County’s highly respected rules that protect property owners from the impacts of oil and gas development. He is pushing for even more accountability from the gas industry, demanding disclosure of all chemicals used in drilling. Also, he has testified numerous times before the Oil and Gas Commission in support of more stringent rules regulating the industry. White has been a leader in lobbying against the building of the Desert Rock power plant, which would add yet another polluting, coal-fired plant that would further foul the air in our region. He has supported clean air and water initiatives and he has worked to keep our roadless areas protected. In addition, he has supported the formation of a regional housing association to tackle the difficult issue of affordable housing.

Wally White has a record of collaboration with city, state, tribal and federal agencies to get things done. He has supporters in the business community, in industry, in agriculture, and in environmental coalitions to mention a few. Ours is an extremely diverse county, and White represents everyone from the rancher with a poisoned well to the brick and mortar main street business, to the folks who ride bikes on our roads. During his first term, White has honored the pledges he made to us in 2004. As he says, he has made progress in all the above-mentioned areas, but there’s still much work to be done. Let’s keep Wally White with his proven track record to continue to work on these challenges that affect all of us. Re-elect County Commissioner Wally White.

– Ed Lehner,


Gouging at the local gas pump

Dear Editors,

Today I read that the price of crude oil dipped to $90 a barrel and has been consistently dipping since it peaked at $145 in July. While the rest of the nation has seen a consistent drop in gas prices, Durango has shown a marginal decrease from the peak of $4.04 /gal to most recently $3.67 /gal. for regular grade. The national avg. is $3.45, and $3 is the low. I can appreciate that Durango is considered small and remote, but when it is evident that fuel prices stick, especially on the high side for over a month, when the crude market has been improving by more than 30 percent over the last six weeks, consumers in Durango have barely felt the lift of the pinch by a mere 9 percent. This behavior of not moving on prices until Peerless begins to “low-ball,” if that is what you can call it, is a clear display of price gouging. As a community, is there any legal position we can take against these stations? I would like to think that a ban would make a difference, but I know better. I would encourage all who are reading this to take a few minutes and log onto (www.gaswatch.energy.gov) and complete the form on your favorite gas station, and hopefully at the very least, increased community pressure would keep these stations “honest.”  

A thought to local merchants: It’s one thing to support local business, but the door has to swing both directions. Locally gouging only inspires a community like ours to seriously consider alternative ways to obtain goods and services, e.g. online, Wal-Mart as well as supporting the influx of other box stores, not something I would look forward to. I hope this message inspires more awareness and a stronger sense of community, and of course fair gas prices.

– Sincerely,

Scott Welsh, Durango

Return to religious liberty

To the Editors, How is it that so many Americans have allowed our country to become so dependent on oil, corporate power, arrogance masquerading as justice and faith? Our nation is having difficulty recognizing the mortal gravity of these corporate executives selling the U.S. out to China and others in order to finance their fantasy roles as the “hand of God.” We have a choice of consequences before us. Our Constitution’s First Amendment was wisely written to respect and honor equality and liberty for all religions. We currently face desecration of this liberty if we continue to allow religious radicals to control our country and disrespect the First Amendment. I respect the longing of the Evangelicals to meet their savior again. Yet their attempt to spark Armageddon will be the most disastrous mistake ever committed by mankind. God does not condemn us to the mass suicide of Armageddon, yet we have been thoroughly warned of what is prophesied when we let the arrogant become drunk on domination and subjugation. It is not the presence of feminists and gays that spark the end, but the allowance of power lust amongst religious zealots. We can follow and model the teachings of Jesus while honoring our Constitution. What would Jesus do? Why would Jesus take time to teach people if they were condemned? On the other hand, we can allow leaders, who claim to be religious enthusiasts, to ignore God’s warning and succumb to the lusts of domination and subjugation, calling it, “yearning for Zion,” “fulfilling prophecy,” and “nothing we can do about it.” Fantasies about Armageddon and “being left behind” have proven to be very profitable business. In the end, this claim to attempt to fulfill prophecy adds up to the ultimate hubris, the lust for domination and subjugation over God, attempting to control Jesus, forcing him to return at our will, as a thief in the night. We have the choice now to return to religious liberty, or to follow the perfidy of the current president and government, to continue to trespass on our civil rights, and to plunge our future into the ultimate misery and horror. How judicious and commonsensical that our founding legal documents guarantee that the government cannot and will not impose religious beliefs and behavior upon any of the people. Will we surrender to mankind’s lust for domination and subjugation? We do have a choice.

– Kassandra Johnson,




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