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

Dreaming of the arts

Dear Editors,

Please share with your readers my gratitude for their support during this challenging transition at the Durango Arts Center. Though I have left what I feel is my “dream job,” I do not leave the dream as an artist and arts advocate in this community. It pains me to see a pillar in our community not receive the support it needs to bring all of the creative possibilities to our everyday lives. I am well aware that a good majority of this town prefers bikes and beer over art but I won’t stop believing that it has value and is a powerful form of expression. My hope is that we all learn from this and come together to support one another in our creative processes. We have a lot of listening and healing to do, foundations to build and ideas to explore. And let’s not forget our core values as we move forward to rebuild our creative community.

– Best Regards, Heather Leavitt, via email

A lift over Horse Gulch

Dear Editors,

For decades, Durangoans have held their breath amid various proposals for Horse Gulch: a golf course, a paved highway, a reservoir, housing developments, a gravel pit mine. Each of these endeavors would impact, to some degree, one of Durango’s most precious and well-utilized recreational gems.  

Here’s an idea about how to preserve Horse Gulch for bikers and hikers, alleviate traffic and parking pressure around town, support downtown businesses, and create a new entertainment venue for tourists and locals, all at the same time. Let’s build a gondola! 

On one end, passengers could board at the new transit hub being built Downtown.  From there they could get off at a stop at the Fort Lewis College campus or continue over Raider Ridge and through Horse Gulch to the future metropolis of Grandview (Three Springs). Anyone who has parked at Mountain Village and taken the gondola into Telluride knows the joy of commuting by gondola. Wouldn’t it be cool to live in a city with a cutting-edge, world class mass transit system? 

A gondola would not disrupt, or at least not obliterate, the recreation or wildlife that abounds in the beautiful Horse Gulch drainage. Instead, it would provide a way for more residents to enjoy the scenery of this area. In addition, it would be one more attraction for tourists deciding where to vacation and it would leave a lasting impression on those who do visit.

A gondola connecting downtown, the college, and Grandview would reduce traffic congestion and parking problems in all three areas, while giving a boost to businesses located near the boarding stops. In addition to enhancing quality of life, and attracting more tourism, I think a gondola would probably present environmental benefits as well.

For the sake of economic vitality and quality of life, let’s seek a better alternative than paving, drowning, developing or mining one of the most unique and precious resources in Durango.

– Charlie Love, via email

Give it a brake

To all drivers in La Plata County,

Due to your lack of driving ability and general ignorance of the rules of the road, Durango and the surrounding areas have become as bad if not worse to drive in than any big city. Yes, we have construction and yes, traffic volume has increased significantly over the past five years, but have some respect for yourself and others around you. Is it really worth cutting people off and weaving thru the lanes just to get where you are going 30 seconds faster?? Is it really worth being an asshole in the construction zone and not letting people over when there is a lane closure?? Slow down, relax and enjoy the scenery. We are driving in Durango where it only takes 10 minutes to get from one side of town to the other, not Denver where it could take over an hour.

– Sincerely, Brian Armstrong

 P.S.  This goes to all the bike riders, too. The saying “Share the Road” also applies to you. You are not exempt to the rules of the road just because you are not in a car.

Deconstructing Critical Mass

Dear Editors,

Critical mass is a protest. A protest against our country’s harmful and ubiquitous car culture (whose detriments need not be listed here). I am not the elected spokesperson of Critical Mass Durango, in fact I am new to town, but I still felt a need to articulate something on the movement’s meaning. It is a protest against any

rationale that would design and create cities and towns that encourage people to drive everywhere for everything – which often requires people to drive everywhere for everything. It is therefore, a protest in favor of alternative forms of transportation, be it bikes, skateboards, feet, kites, or, for that matter, buses and trains. It is a protest in favor of cities and towns that don’t leave bike commuting only to the fool-hardy, weathered warriors, but make possible – no, encourage, alternatives to the current car culture via policies and infrastructure that are not car-centric.

Critical mass, like most protests, is idealistic – it represents one view very well and rigidly excludes contrary ones. The single-minded nature of protests often make them seem unfair or unreasonable, but they draw overdue attention to endemic problems. They reveal long lists of harmful consequences for things society supports and has already accepted as right. For this reason, protest – Critical Mass – is indispensable. It lets people see the potentially insidious nature of ordinary, accepted actions and helps to restore and maintain a country’s integrity.

– Joe Ceradini, Durango

One whine at a time

Dear Editors,

I am always enlightened by the quality and content of letters to the editor in theTelegraph. I have one question though: Does Dennis Pierce get paid per whine?  Has anyone ever seen or heard of the man being happy? Enlighten me, please.

– Thank you, Sue Kuhn, Durango

Farewell to Purgatory

Dear Editors,

I guess I am writing this letter to tell everyone what a wonderful resort DMR is to work for. I spent my second season in snow removal as an equipment operator. My day typically started at 2 a.m. during snowstorms, a short drive through  the deer and elk gauntlet known

as the valley then battling deep snow (usually the county plows start at around 4 o’clock, I think) to show up  to a few feet of snow and my co workers. Bob and Lee, you guys are awesome.

I know DMR cares a lot about me ’cause when the window was broken on my Bobcat it took over a month to fix. That makes for a chilly morning! And I’m pretty sure it violates some OSHA regulation. Then when it was fixed, I was told that it was too expensive to fix the windshield wiper. I was directly told by management that I didn’t really need one anyway. PHEW! ’Cause a couple times there working around steep drops and expensive cars, I thought I needed to see, guess not. To make this job worthwhile, I was PROMISED a nice bonus at the end of the year on the grounds that I caused no damage and showed up on time. When that time came, guess what? Nope, somehow DMR didn’t have enough in the bank for what was promised to little old me. Since I’m not a trusty that makes for a sad, hungry and broke little panda.

But what really gave me the drive to write this letter is the fact that Purg no longer has a budget for recycling. WHAT????? They “let go” a good friend of mine who is a wonderful steward of the environment. She would actually pick through the trash and pull out recyclables and sort it when no one else wanted to (by the way, cans are recyclable and they go in the bin that says “CANS.” You would be surprised how many yuppie skiers and snowboarders can’t read). When she asked who was going to manage the recycling, she was told by another manager, and I quote, “I guess it will fall on my department, but to tell you the truth it probably just won’t happen.” Wow, in such an eco aware place as Colorado I was pretty surprised to hear of this and thought that everyone should know about it. As far as next year … Telluride, Wolf Creek and Hespy. Dumber Mountain Realty will not get a cent from me nor a minute of my time.

– Sincerely and with the deepest regards, Jason Pinard

P.S. If you do decide to hit up Purg next winter and happen to see the ground crew shoveling snow out of your way,  I encourage you to give them a pat on the back and tell them that you appreciate their work. No one else does.

A sustainable option

To Whom It May Concern:

It is with great pleasure that we, the Board of Directors of the Sustainability Alliance of Southwest Colorado (SASCO), provide this letter of support to Harry L. Riegle in his candidacy to be a District 3 representative for the La Plata Electric Association Board of Directors.

The decision to support Mr. Riegle was made after a review of candidate responses to a survey the San Juan Citizens’ Alliance and SASCO distributed to District 3 & 4 candidates. All three candidates from District 3 returned surveys (Imig, Lieb and Riegle). Only one of the two candidates from District 4 returned the questionnaire. However no endorsement is being made for District 4 from SASCO as neither candidate met the criteria for an endorsement. Survey answers were reviewed by the Smart Energy Committee (SEC) of SASCO, who made a recommendation to the SASCO Board of Directors to endorse Mr. Riegle. SASCO adopted the recommendation made by the SEC. Responses were reviewed based on the following criteria:

-Demonstrated commitment to and knowledge of sustainability issues in general and specifically those pertaining to

-Energy efficiency

-Renewable energy

-Environmental impacts of electricity generation

-Economic and societal impacts of electricity generation

-Demonstrated familiarity with LPEA’s operations and the way in which LPEA functions with Tri-State

Mr. Riegle’s responses were the most consistent with SASCO’s energy-related sustainability goals for the region and demonstrated the most thorough knowledge of the workings of LPEA and the way in which it currently functions with Tri-State. He also showed that he is the most aware candidate of the efficiency programs LPEA currently has in place and that he has the best sense of what LPEA can realistically be expected to achieve in terms of sustainability measures.

All the candidates that provided responses indicated some measure of support for LPEA to move toward the types of energy efficiency and renewable energy programs that SASCO is advocating for our community. However, Harry L. Riegle demonstrated the most consistent and thorough understanding of the questions and issues. We thank all the candidates for their replies and consideration of the questions posed by SASCO.

In closing, the Sustainability Alliance of Southwest Colorado endorses Harry L. Riegle for the contested LPEA Board Representative seat in District 3.  

– Sincerely, Kimberly Herb, Smart Energy Committee chair

Representing the change

Dear Editors,

I am proud to see a woman running for the District 3 seat (Durango) in this year’s LPEA Board of Directors election. I have faith that Connie Imig is exactly the change our electric association needs. In an industry that is dominated with a male presence, it is time for diversity and change. The good old boys that are currently in control need to be shaken with a new perspective, a new voice that is committed to progressive steps toward sustainable resources. I believe that Imig is qualified and experienced in her ability to make tough discussion that will positively impact us all and a great candidate to represent Durango.

Running on a platform that supports renewable (solar, wind, geothermal) and environmentally sensitive energy sources, Imig is dedicated to seeking new and sustainable energy sources for LPEA members. She also believes strongly in taking personal responsibility for our energy choices, something she hopes Durango will join her in.

With the ballots already out to LPEA members, I would like to draw attention to how critical it is that residents of Durango participate in this year’s election. With all of the socio-economic, political change our country is currently experiencing, we must not neglect choosing responsible representatives for our own community.  

– Jessica Pierce, Durango



In this week's issue...

July 21, 2022
Wildlife success or deal with the devil?

Land swap approved in Southwest Colorado, but not without detractors

July 21, 2022
Tapping out

The latest strategy to save the San Luis Valley's shrinking aquifer: paying farmers not to farm

July 14, 2022
Hey, good environmental news

Despite SCOTUS ruling, San Juan Generating Station plans to shut down