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

Of beer and bailouts

To the Editors:

One of my favorite bumper stickers is “Think Globally, Act Locally.” I decided to practice this mentality and use the Bank of America example as my model.

Let’s say a couple of our local breweries, Merrill Belch and Barleywide, were going under and on the sale block. I’m sure I could swing a big fat loan with my powerful connections.... er..., I mean spotless reputation and just buy them both right up. Then of course, since my actual worth is much less than professed and I didn’t really have the means to begin with, I’d be belly up myself within a short time. Now for some creative problem solving and justification of my actions.

Since we all know a huge percentage of Durango’s economy depends on mass consumption of beer and the breweries are an integral part of maintaining peace, joy, hops and love, wouldn’t it be the obligation and honor of the City of Durango government to bail my manipulative, dishonest, opportunistic butt out? After all, our very way of life in Durango and avoidance of total civil upheaval depends on the uninterrupted flow of brew for all. Since I’ve done such a huge service to the town and economy, how could they refuse? I’m sure the good citizens of Durango would feel proud to do their part in averting this disaster and donate their hard-earned tax dollars to my personal bailout fund.  It worked for B of A, it should work for me. Right?

There’s another bumper sticker I like that says, “If You’re Not Outraged, You’re Not Paying Attention!” I’ll drink to that.  

– Karen McCarroll, Durango

Six figures of satire

(Editors’ note: The following letters are in response to Terry Hoover’s Jan. 22 Soapbox submission, “A better-than-average wage.”)

Dear Editors:

(In response to Terry Hoover’s letter) Terry Hoover’s social Darwinism is frankly way off the mark – to state that marrying young, dreaming about the lottery, or “not working your way through school” prevents one from earning $200,000 per annum is like me saying that one who doesn’t get the literary sensibility and irony behind the statement, “You be rich, boss,” should not write responses to the DurangoTelegraph’s Letters to the Editor page. However, if you missed the satire of the phrase, it is probably because: 1) You were too busy reading stock portfolios to make any meaning of anything else; 2) you were not continuing with your English classes in high school, or chose not to do the required homework if you had the opportunity, or 3) you sit around reading emails on the internet instead of engaging in meaningful prose. Lastly, anyone who works in civil service – teachers, for example – stands as an upstanding, tantalizing counterexample to the narrow views he’s expressed.

– Yours, Paul Gibbons, Durango

The $200,000 question

Dear Editors,

In response to Jan. 22nd’s “A better than average wage,” Mr. Hoover so omnisciently claimed: “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…

-You probably dream about winning the Lottery or…

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

Then he so wisely continued, “Quit crying and complaining, get up off your lazy butt and do something about it. You never get something for nothing.”


I must disagree with his simplistic view of the world. I for one know many very fine, tax-paying citizens who waited to start families, are very well educated, are very hard working and have very good careers that don’t make even close to $200,000/year.

Next, Mr. Hoover suggested, “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 the year bonuses.”

While I agree that the $700 billion buyout is a frightening plan and other ideas should be explored, I am frustrated by Mr. Hoover’s haughty tone. Also, by the way, his math is light years off target. In July of 2008, the U.S. population was estimated at 304 million people. That’s almost 304 million people. So even if we think that Mr. Hoover might have been exaggerating slightly, and he didn’t really mean to suggest giving a million bucks to everyone like he said, lets just take half of the population, to cover tax payers maybe152 million people. To give all of them a cool mil would cost: $152 trillion. Huge difference!

Anyway, the rest of his e-mail was just a soiled mess of blaming everyone but himself and petty attempts to cleave the gap between political parties. I believe that it’s time we all move beyond the “us vs. them” mentality, this is no time to stand around massaging our own political egos and pissing on the other guy. Both the Dems and the Repubs are guilty, but I truly believe that they both want what’s best for the country. Let’s create intelligent discussions on how we can get through this recession and make the country stronger. The current system is not working, let’s try to figure out how to make things more efficient and less corrupt. Let’s use this crisis to open our eyes and clean out the closets and to mold this into a better nation.

– Liam Kaltenback, via e-mail

Victory chickens

Dear Editors,

I wanted to take a moment to comment on the initiative proposed by Durango City Council member Michael Rendon that would allow residents living within Durango city limits to own chickens.

During both World Wars, an estimated 20 million “Victory Gardens” were planted in yards, on rooftops, and vacant lots in England, the U.S., and Australia, to provide food for a heavily rationed war time populace. Although we are not living in a food rationed environment at the moment, we are living in a world of rising food and transportation costs. Growing even a small portion of your own food, as well as raising your own meat and eggs makes sense economically and environmentally. The wartime administration knew something back then that all home gardeners still know to be true today, a small garden that provides a bit of fresh food is also a significant “civil morale booster!” (For information on the 21st century version of the Victory Garden, take a look at the website revivevictorygarden.com).

Having a couple of chickens in the back yard is a natural compliment to a small garden behind (or in front of) your home. Chickens can provide a good source of nitrogen rich fertilizer, help control pests, and as anyone who has spent time with chickens knows, they are just fun to have around!

I lived in a large city, Portland, Ore., that allowed residents to have a maximum number of three hens per household, no roosters. I had two neighbors within a one block radius of the house that I was renting that had chickens, and never heard, or most importantly in my mind, smelled, the  winged critters. (Just a little note for those of you who flunked 4H; hens are female chickens that are responsible for egg-laying and are nearly silent. Roosters are the male birds of the species and the ones responsible for the noisy cock-a-doodle-do.)

I firmly believe that the issues of local food and food security cannot be discussed without looking at the relevance of back yard gardens. In an age of increased awareness of where our food is coming from, we would all do well to follow our grandparents lead and invest some time and energy into our own Victory Gardens, and chickens should be an integral part of that process. You might just get lucky and end up with a generous neighbor that wants to share some fresh eggs with you!

– Sincerely, Corey Crowley, via e-mail

What about the children?

Dear Editors,

 After divorce, you become a single parent whether or not you have primary custody. You will establish a new and different way of relating to your former spouse and will always be a parent of the same child or children. You will meet at graduations, holidays, weddings, sports events and someday will participate in the lives of your grandchildren.

As children love both parents, they experience mourning of the married relationship. They need your love and support regardless of the legal arrangements. Hopefully, your children need not be permanently damaged by the divorce. There is help available from authorities in the field of conflict resolution, anger management, guilt, child psychology, wound healing and other transitional challenges.

There are opportunities in Durango for you to join others on the same path seeking wisdom and practical perspectives to survive the trauma of divorce. If you or someone you know could use a tool for improving relationships through self knowledge and communication skills, these activities address the needs: “Listening and Speaking With Presence” is a communication workshop planned for Sat., March 14; “Divorce Care” begins Tues., Feb. 3, and “Divorce and Beyond” starts on Tues., Feb. 10 (these two programs provide child care.) “The Choice of Transcendence” is scheduled to begin after April 14. A DVD entitled “The Gathering” presents the effects of divorce on our community. It is offered to any local group for viewing and was regularly shown on DCAT in 2008. A member of the Colorado Lifework Foundation leads a voluntary discussion with the film.

A facilitator’s kit for “The Choice of Transcendence” is available for purchase, complete with four DVDs, facilitator’s guidebook, and text/workbook.

Supplemental research materials are available in addition to the kit. There exists a small lending library addressing issues of separation, divorce and communication as well. Books in the library include ones like these: Parenting After Divorce, by Philip M. Stahl, Ph.D.; What About the Kids?, by Judith Wallerstein and Sandra Blakeslee; Helping Kids Cope With Divorce the Sandcastles Way by M. Gary Neuman; and The Courage to be a Single Mother, by Sheila Milton.

– Linda Lovendahl, Bayfield

In criminal company

Dear Editors, 

Last June, a much-awaited Senate committee report formally concluded that President Bush and members of his administration lied about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein in order to build a public case for war. Bill Clinton lied about having sex with another consenting adult and was impeached for it. But, Pelosi and Reid are politicians – not leaders – ignoring the majority of our population’s wishes and doing nothing. Obama has enough problems dealing with the many disasters Bush has left him, so maybe he should look to the future and move on. Unfortunately, Bush cannot be charged as a war criminal because the International Criminal Court has no jurisdiction here, so it would have to be in an American courtroom.

In the 1970s, Charles Manson was convicted for murder and he never physically harmed anyone himself. If a prosecutor can show that President Bush did not take the country to war in self-defense but instead under false pretenses, then wouldn’t all the killings that have taken place would be unlawful killings, and therefore murder?

On Oct. 7, 2002, in Cincinnati, Bush told us that Saddam Hussein was a great danger to  our nation, either by attacking us with WMDs, or by giving WMD to a terrorist group to do so. Bush said this attack could happen on “any given day,” meaning that the threat was imminent. Inconveniently, six days earlier, the CIA sent Bush its 2002 National Intelligence Estimate, a classified, top-secret  report, the consensus opinion of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies. The report clearly states “that Hussein was not an imminent threat to the security of this country; that he would only be a threat to us if he feared that America was about to attack him.” Oops.

So, was Richard Nixon right when he said, “When the President does it, it’s not against the law?” That scumbag Bush took hundreds of billions of dollars from the U.S. Treasury and just handed it over to his corporate friends and supporters with no questions asked. No oversight, no accountability. Here ya go – free money!

Will we let these thugs get away with murder, too?

– Thanks, Bill Vana, Durango


Rap with your representatives

To the Editors:

With a looming state budget deficit of over $600 million and a balanced budget requirement, our two state legislators will be working very hard in the Colorado Legislature this session. Gov. Ritter has proposed his ideas for areas of the budget to be cut. What are our legislators’ priorities? Join us Sat., Feb. 7, from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. in program Room 2 of the new Durango Public Library when Sen. Jim Isgar and Rep. Ellen Roberts will give us the “Legislative Lowdown” on many subjects and entertain your questions.  

The free public session is sponsored by the League of Women Voters of La Plata County and the Durango Public Library. Light refreshments will be available.

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Our website is www.lwvlaplata.org.

– Marilyn Brown, League of Women Voters of La Plata County



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