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

A different cup of tea

Dear Editors,

Kudos to the Tea Party protesters for their involvement in the political process. An active electorate is important to our democracy. I must admit, however, to being stumped as to what they were protesting. Ostensibly, it seemed taxation was the issue, as the protest took place on tax day. Perhaps they opposed the Bush tax rates they were paying, as the lower rates going into effect for 95 percent of us in the current tax year would seem not worthy. Maybe they represent the 5 percent making upwards of $250,000 a year who will see their taxes revert back to Clinton era rates (a 3 percent increase!). That would be something to protest, except we did enjoy a balanced budget under Clinton, and while there was talk of deficit spending at the protests, these did not appear to be Clinton folk. It could be that they were protesting TARP, bailouts and stimulus spending. Of course TARP was a Bush program (and all the protest signs featured Obama), everyone hates bailouts until they personally need bailing, and economists, politicians and scholars – left, right and center – seem to agree that stimulus spending is necessary. Could the Tea Party people know something the rest of us don’t?

No, something else seems to be at work here. Something that has happened in the last 100 days or so. Had we not just witnessed eight years of unnecessary deficit spending, disastrous financial oversight, and reckless tax pandering (i.e. bailouts?), these protestors would have some credibility. I believe in a loyal, intelligent opposition. Sadly, one of these characteristics was missing from the Tea Parties, leaving only angry crowds without class or grace. 

From experience, I can tell these Tea Party participants that being in the political minority is supposed to taste like a sawdust crumpet.

– Andy Corra, Durango

Tardy for tea time

To The Editors:

I attended the local “tea party” at Rotary Park on April 15. While there were a few partisan signs waved and comments made over the microphone, the purpose of the rally was NOT to “gather to protest Obama administration decisions.”

The purpose of the rally was to protest over-taxation, out of control spending, and how politicians have been squandering our money for decades. It was to encourage people to come together as Americans regardless of which party they claim. The message is that we must stop this abuse of power before our children’s freedom is stolen in addition to our money. The Declaration of Independence was read and a petition circulated advocating the re-ratification of the Constitution from which we have so shamefully strayed. We learned how income tax became fraudulently perpetrated upon wage-earning people, as the original intent was for business and corporate profits. Education and a call to action was the purpose of this rally.

It is uplifting when people of all types exercise their power of free speech and demonstrate what we DO have in common as Americans. It was counterproductive for this nationwide rally to be portrayed by media as partisan, or as an opportunity for Republicans to blame Obama and the Democratic Party. That attitude excludes a large segment of the population needed in our struggle to regain our country. The whole point is that we are all in this together.

This mess didn’t start when Obama was elected, as the sign saying “RIP 1776 - 2009, 223 years to build, 3 months to destroy” implied. The first bailout of $380 billion (with no oversight or accountability) was doled out last fall before Obama took office. Between six years of wasteful fraud in Iraq and the real estate fiasco, this administration inherited a disaster. They have an opportunity to bring us back on track or to take us further down a road we don’t want to travel.

Both parties have fallen prey to being pawns of big business and the war machine. Whether it’s gone too far and where we’ll end up is anyone’s guess. But if we want to reclaim our country, we have to stop polarizing ourselves with party identities. We must come together to stop the takeover of our country by big business/government collusion. That is the true enemy of our sovereignty, health and freedom.  

– Karen McCarroll,  Durango  

Goin’ Phishin’    

Dear Editors,

This letter is in response to Chris Aaland and David Smith’s unsuccessful attempt of acquiring Phish tickets for the upcoming Red Rocks shows. Aaland’s “Phish isn’t a band of the people anymore,” struck me. It was printed in the “Top Shelf” section on April 2. I could only imagine he was trying to instigate some dialogue, so I must share some words on this.

It was no secret nor surprise that Phish tickets would be extremely difficult to get after a full summer tour spanning from East to West Coast was announced this spring. After all, one of the greatest bands of our generation has returned after an almost six-year hiatus. I have friends all over the country who worked together to purchase some tickets for this amazing event. It was challenging and frustrating, but not discouraging. We were prepared, organized and methodical, and it paid off. With dozens of people on phones, Internet and at Ticketmaster locations all over the country, we successfully got tickets for shows on the East and West coasts and scored the gold prize: several tickets to Red Rocks. I’ll admit, Red Rocks was not an easy venture to achieve. After returning to the venue from a 13-year oust, in addition to being one of the smallest venues of the tour, and TicketMaster’s current monopoly on tickets, we were prepared for the difficulty that lay ahead. In little over one minute, 37,800 tickets were sold out, many to scalpers, leaving thousands of true fans sad, frustrated and disappointed. The dream of seeing Phish at Red Rocks was shattered for many.

Chris and David, I feel your pain and frustration. My goal was also to get tickets and surprise my girlfriend and close friends with a chance of listening to the greatest band at the most beautiful venue. I don’t fit into the “slackers, dropouts and Daddy’s girls” category, and I scored all the tickets I wanted. Since I do not believe in scalping, I took my extras and surprised my friends with free tickets.

I have seen Phish shows for almost half my life, and I am not one of the “spoiled children of corporate executives,” a “tripped out noles,” nor a “trustafarian.” I work three jobs and save money for the things I want. I believe in sharing good times with friends, not capitalizing on them. The ticket scalping that is going on is proof of the times we live in. Generations have grown up in this heavy capitalistic society where some believe money is the goal of life. Is this the band’s fault? Absolutely not! On Phish’s website, it denounces scalping and capitalizing on their fan base. The website explicitly says that scalping is illegal and not to do it.

In my opinion, extra tickets should be given to friends. The excessive scalping is proof, to me, that some people don’t have friends. After all, good times should be shared not sold.

In closure, I want to denounce the “Phish tools” that ruin the fun for all. If you have extra tickets, not just to Phish shows but to any musical event, give them to your friends. To Chris Aaland and David Smith, I will give you a ticket if I come across one, to remind you both that there are still good people out there. Many of us are not dominated by money and love to share good times with friends, especially to see one of the most amazing bands of our life. Now that is rock and roll.

– “Farmer Dave” Travieso, Durango

Unfortunate and reprehensible


I take considerable offense on behalf of the citizens of Arizona over the cartoon by Shan Wells in the 4/16/09 issue.

Indeed there has been considerable controversy over ASU’s decision regarding an honorary degree for President Obama. That is perfectly understandable.

But for Mr. Wells to insinuate that this is a race issue is unfortunate, inaccurate and frankly quite reprehensible.

The staff and faculty of ASU are not racist, nor are the residents of Arizona.

I believe that a retraction and apology are in order.

– Very truly yours, Brian C Baker, via e-mail


Shedding light on sunshine laws

To the Editors:

It is the policy of the State of Colorado “that the formation of public policy is public business and may not be conducted in secret,” and “that all public records shall be open for inspection by any person at reasonable times except as otherwise provided by law.”

This overriding policy and presumption of openness in Colorado law nonetheless has several exceptions designed to provide governmental confidentiality in limited circumstances. To provide a better public understanding of these laws, the Southwest Chapter of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association together with theDurangoHerald is sponsoring a seminar free to the public.

A $30 charge applies to attorneys seeking three hours of Continuing Education Credit. The event takes place from 1-4 p.m. Fri., April 24, in the Durango Recreation Center conference rooms.

Denver attorney Chris Beall, a graduate of Yale and Duke Law School, as counsel for the Colorado Press Association, will provide a media perspective of Colorado Sunshine Laws. Jennifer Hunt, a Denver attorney representing special districts, will follow with a governmental view on the meaning of sunshine.

A panel discussion follows with an emphasis on Four Corners issues. Chaired by Marilyn Brown of the League of Women Voters, panelists are Michael Goldman of Goldman, Robbins and Nicholson, P.C.; Bill Roberts of the Durango Herald, and Ryan Demmy Bidwell of Colorado Wild.

All are encouraged to attend. For more information, contact Julie Westendorff at 769-5854 or myself at 247-0822.

– Sincerely, Chris Paulson, Southwest Chapter, Colorado Women’s Bar Association

Blown away by generosity

Dear Durango,As an aspiring nonprofit, 4c-Conscious Creative Cultural Connection would like to extend a huge thank you to this town. We recently hosted our first event, the Imagination Masquerade & Trade, and were blown away by the generosity of the community. From beautiful donations for our silent auction, to technological and performance expertise, the Masquerade was a convincing success. We look forward to taking the next step together as we work to unite community by embracing nature, sharing inspiration and celebrating creativity.

– Cy Rauworth, 4c-Conscious Creative Cultural Connection

Kick the chemical habit

Dear Editors,

With spring almost in full swing and lawns starting to turn green, I would like to offer a warning to dog owners and a request to home owners. First a warning to dog owners: around this time last year, my dog got really sick for a few days. He was shaking, throwing up and had really bad diarrhea. I called a vet friend of mine and she immediately said it was lawn chemicals. What happens is that if a dog walks on a lawn within 24 hours of being sprayed, it gets the chemicals on its paws. A little later, the chemicals start to burn and tingle; of course a dog’s natural reaction is to lick its paws and thus ingest the chemicals.

I can hear the lawn owners saying that it is our duty as dog owners to keep our pets off of their lawn. Legally speaking, this is true. I would like to point out a few problems with this logic. Sidewalks are public property and sidewalks boarder right up against private lawns. Even the most responsible dog owners, with their dog on a leash, cannot prevent their dog from taking a step on the lawns that go right up to sidewalks. If you see a lawn that looks unusually green and has no dandelions in it, or you see little yellow flags, avoid that lawn at all costs.

This brings me to my request to home owners: please, please, please, for the sake of your neighbors, their dogs and their kids, do not spray your lawn with chemicals! If there is any wind at all when the yard is being sprayed, the chemicals blow into neighbors’ yards and into the air that we all breathe. This is unfair and, in my opinion, poor neighborly conduct. In addition to dogs and people, lawn chemicals cause countless problems such as water pollution (those chemicals get washed right into the Animas River). Let’s be realistic about water shortage and the nature of English lawn gardens in our climate. Please be satisfied with imperfect lawns, no one is going to judge you for having a few dandelions in your yard and a few brown patches.    

– Evan Meyer, Durango

Dennis gets his motor running

Dear Editors,

I just want everybody that reads this liberal rag to know how pleased I am that the full force of the United States government and the office of the president will be backing up the warranty on my wife’s 2008 Chrysler van. I’m going to run it by Michael Bennet’s office and see if he’ll do a tune up and tire rotation. Even though the firing of a CEO comes under the powers of the Board of Directors of GM, what’s the problem with Barack firing Rick Wagoner even though he (Barack) doesn’t sit on the GM board?

For those of you who can tear yourselves away from the Daily Kos or the Huffington blog, you might be interested in the number of executives that are offering up mea culpas for voting for the Chosen One.

The way things are going, you might want to consider using spiced rum to make the kool-aid go down a bit smoother.

– Dennis Pierce,Durango

A real leader

Dear Editors,

I’ve known Connie Imig for a number of years, even before she made Durango her home and I know and respect her as a real leader. She is intelligent, organized and passionate about her goals. Before becoming a candidate for the LPEA Board, she did her homework by attending their monthly meetings for almost a year. Imig is an articulate, outspoken woman, full of positive energy, who knows how to get things done and will assure that renewable energy is at the forefront of LPEA’s agenda. Please join me and vote IMIG for the district 3 LPEA Board seat.

– Gretchen Schmeisser, 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