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

Dirty business

Dear Editors,

La Plata Canyon currently has two mines that are under violation for illegal mining practices. The first is the Wildcat Mining Company for both the proposed Idaho Mill site and the Mayday mine. The second is the Incas Mine which is a cyanide mine. The Wildcat Mine has state violations pending and the Incas has federal violations pending.

Wildcat Mining Company has been trying to obtain a Class 2 permit through our county to operate a rock crushing mill. This mill would be complete with a chemically loaded tailings pond conveniently located directly above the La Plata River in Mayday. This company’s attempt at permits has constipated our county meetings for over two years now. Wildcat has been issued four cease and desist orders over this period of time for illegal activity. Now Wildcat is going to Denver in front of the Colorado Mined Land Reclamation organization for mining without a permit. They did this by creating a new road that has disturbed acres of land, a beautiful wetland, and built a substandard bridge across the river without permits or engineering.

The other mine that is currently under federal violations is the Incas, boasting a cyanide mine. This mine is also conveniently located above the La Plata River and residential water wells. The management of the Incas has not contacted the Colorado Mine Safety and Health organization for yearly inspections since 1987. This is pretty scary.

For those of us that take pride in our county for it’s beautiful virgin lands, let’s cross our fingers that the Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Board, the Colorado Mine Safety and Health, our county commissioners along with the Planning Department take heed and do not allow these mines to continue to rape our canyon. I say pull the plug.

– Respectfully submitted, Lisa Giovanniello, Mayday

A better-than-average wage

(Editors’ note: The following is in response to the ongoing letter debate regarding Obama’s new tax proposal for people making in excess of $200,000/year.) 

Dear Editors,

In response to “You be rich,”  the guy doesn’t even speak proper English.

You make it sound like dining in fine restaurants (what is a fine restaurant by the way, and how many times a week constitutes rich), buying an HDTV ($500 at Wal-Mart’s), buying a bike or going to the chiropractor is something only “rich people” do. The man said he and his wife both work (hard for their money). Most people I know save up to take vacations and other things like remolding or landscaping. Some are probably better at it than others.

Making $200,000 a year does not mean you’re rich by a long shot. If you don’t make $200,000 a year it’s probably because:

-You started a family when you were 18-20 years of age.

-You did not further your education by working your way through school, or you chose not to continue school if you had the opportunity.

-You probably dream about winning the Lottery or some other get rich quick scheme.

-You like sitting around feeling sorry for yourself rather than trying to better yourself.

-You must be happy with your lifestyle or you would be trying to do something about it.

Quit crying and complaining, get up off of your lazy butt and do something about it. You never get something for nothing.

Like the old song says, “Things get complicated when you get past 18.”

Don’t blame (tax) the people that make a better than average wage for your problems. Most of us worked our butts off (and most of us probably still do). Why don’t we become a socialistic society, then the “rich people” can help make your life much better. America is supposed to be the land of opportunity, I thought. I still see people that are willing to better themselves all the time. People that leave their home country to come here and make a better life for themselves and their families.

The current administration had nothing to do with the economic crisis. Bad business management got us where we are. Why don’t we give everyone a million dollars. That would be a cheaper fix to the economy than giving $700 billion to poorly managed businesses that give their CEOs huge end of year bonuses. The Democrats love to give money away and we’ll all pay (and our children too) for that one way or another. I can see taxes being applied to gasoline (we’ll be paying as much for fuel as they do in Europe & the UK due to the way they tax fuel), we’ll quit drilling for oil and gas and continue to buy it from other countries. That’s the way to do it, huh? We (most Americans) are spoiled rotten and it’s time we pay the fiddler for the dancing we’ve been doing.

– Terry Hoover,  via e-mail

Universal appeal

Dear Editors,

I was pleased to see David Halterman’s beautiful photos of the Dances of Universal Peace at Saint Mark’s in theTelegraph. Thank you.

I’d like to add a bit of explanation of the “Dances.” The intention of the Dances of Universal Peace is to offer an opportunity for people of all beliefs to come together in recognition of the unity of spiritual ideals through themes of peace, healing and connection on all levels. We celebrate on common ground, in unity and respect for each other.

I invite everyone to join in this celebration. We usually meet on the second and fourth Saturday of the month at 7 p.m. at Saint Mark’s on E. Third and once a quarter in Mancos. Join us this Saturday (Jan. 24) or sometime soon.

– Blessings, Andrew/Ma’abud Zeiler, via e-mail 

Anti-Semitic realities

(Editors’ note: The following is in response to a letter Durango Telegraph cartoonist Shan Wells submitted to the Herald. It is being reprinted here at Mr. Lubin’s request.)

Dear Editors,

It is certainly true, as Mr. Wells suggests, that not all criticism of Israel’s self-defense policies is based on anti-Semitism. It is also unfortunately true that much of it is. The worldwide Zionist Conspiracy Theory has resurfaced with a vengeance. Synagogues are burned in Paris, a banner at an Australian rally proclaims, “clean the earth from dirty Zionists,” and in Florida, protestors demand, “Jews go back to the ovens.” 

It is probably not based upon a true love and concern for the Muslims being killed. If so, the protestors missed some other opportunities for their outrage. For instance, more than 10,000 Muslims were massacred in Srebrenica while the United Nations looked on; the Russians killed nearly 200,000 in Chechynya. There were, however, no mass rallies against Serbia or Russia, Serbians were not beaten on the streets of Europe, and Russian Orthodox churches were not burned. The 11th Street peace crowd probably did not even have an anti-Russian banner.  

It is doubtful the French would have tolerated three years of shelling from Germany before making a “measured response.” It is hard to imagine the most politically correct and impotent American leader tolerating daily missile attacks from Cuidad Juarez on El Paso, Texas. But much of the world believes that the status quo in Israel should be daily terror for its citizens, and that 20 to 30 missiles a day is reasonable.

One hopes the United States can help broker a settlement in Gaza with real security for all. However, to believe Islamic terrorism will cease with settlement of Israeli-Palestinian issues is absurd. Osama bin Laden’s primary grievance was with the American support of “infidel” authoritarian regimes in Islamic lands not with the problems of the Palestinians. Israel and the Palestinians were in peace negotiations in 1993, the year of the first attack on the World Trade Center. During the Camp David negotiations in 2000, Osama’s pilots were training in Florida. One might think from Mr. Wells that if the Israelis and Palestinians come to terms, bin Laden would return to the family construction business.

– Michael Lubin, Durango



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January 25, 2024
Bagging it

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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