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

Rebirthing the Arts Center

Dear Editors,

Winter winds are making way for summer breezes, and Durango is reminded of the transformation and rebirth that defines the season of spring. And as our community transitions into summer, the Durango Arts Center experiences a similar season of change.

Our newly renovated theatre has become an emergent venue for local and national talent while the Barbara Conrad Gallery features an ever-evolving series of visual art exhibits and shows. The DAC family continues to grow with an increasing number of resident art groups including the Discovery Kids Museum, DurangoDOTComedy, and the Durango Performing Arts Company. Additionally, our gifted staff and artists offer a widening variety of educational programs and workshops for all ages and skill levels. Indeed, there is much to be excited about at the Durango Arts Center.

However, just as the warming weather can bring stormy conditions, DAC has been confronted with a series of challenges – a national economic crisis and recent staff attrition being significant examples. Yet these obstacles and changes, while noteworthy, are absolutely conquerable and in no way alter DAC’s core purpose or values. Fresh faces and ideas may fill the offices and boardrooms of the Durango Arts Center, but our mission of advancing the visual, performing and cultural arts remains unaltered.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I welcome and encourage a new level of community dialogue – with this letter serving as the first of an on-going series. Through such correspondence complimented by public forums presently in the making, the Durango Arts Center wishes to reintroduce itself as the valuable and enriching community resource it has always been.

Since its conception, this community has enthusiastically supported the Durango Arts Center and helped make it a place of creativity and inspiration. I would4like to thank those who have previously donated to DAC and encourage other community members to do the same. Please contact Jeannie Berger (jeannie@durangoarts.org) for volunteer and membership information or call 259-2606.

– Thank you, William Furse,

 DAC Board member

The real costs of energy

Dear Editors,

Members of La Plata Electric Association received a letter last week concerning probable increases in electric rates over time with the passage of the American Clean Energy & Security Act of 2009, draft federal legislation promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency and establishing a “cap and trade” process to regulate and reduce carbon emissions.

There is no doubt that electricity, no matter how it is produced, is going to cost more. And for good reason: among other things, our electric grid must be upgraded to 21st Century scope and technology. This will benefit all of us and eventually, enable technology to help us minimize our own individual consumption of electricity.

So, given that costs will go up, what can you do? Conservation and efficiency are good starts. Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs when a bulb needs replacing. Buy the most efficient appliance you can afford when the time comes to replace your present unit. Turn out the lights when you leave a room for more than a few minutes. There are hundreds more. LPEA itself has employees who can help you reduce your consumption of electricity, and the League of Women Voters website, www.lwv.org, has white papers on this topic.

Let’s face it. We haven’t been paying the full costs to society for the use of any raw material in the production of electricity. Reducing energy consumption will also help us keep our air clean. “How’s the Air Out There? Outdoor Air Quality in the Eastern Four Corners Region,” a new brochure produced by the Mountain Studies Institute explains in lay terms our outdoor air

quality, its impacts on human health, some ways you can reduce your energy usage and offers a number of sources for additional information. You can get a copy now by calling them at 247-7071 or downloading it from their website www.mountainstudies.org.

Get on the bandwagon. Start reducing your electricity use now before the rates go up.

– Marilyn Brown,

League of  Women Voters of La Plata County

The art of bikes and beer

Dear Editors,

This letter is in response to Heather Leavitt’s letter to the editor in the April 30 issue.

Placing the arts and “bikes and beer” against each other, and blaming the lack of support for the arts in Durango on bikes and beer is unfair. Many people have a love of bikes and beer as well as support the arts. More importantly, the two aren’t mutually exclusive from each other. It isn’t hard to make beer, but it isn’t easy to make good beer. Many people consider the beers Carvers, Durango Brewing, Ska and Steamworks breweries are making to be artisanal. Just compare any of their beers to a major national brand, and you can tell that more thought, care and quality ingredients are put into the local stuff.

As for bikes, I’m not aware of any local frame builders, but there is definitely an art to handmade bicycles. Custom frame builders often put extensive amounts of work into the bikes they build to make them unique and a work of art they can be proud of.

Bikes and beer aren’t art in the traditional sense but many people have taken these hobbies that they love and transformed them into works of art. I don’t know much about the problems the Durango Arts Center is having, but maybe if the DAC listened to the community about their ideas of art and what they want out of an arts center, rather than the DAC telling the community what is art, they might get more community support.

- Jeff Hammett,

via e-mail

P.S. Check out http://beernbikes.com , a blog about cycling and craft beer in Durango and the Four Corners.

A take on the Tea Partiers


I found the Tea Party rally to be full of gun-toting, Christian right wingers who don’t give a damn that their money funds the war effort. People were down right rude to me, as I handed out fliers pointing out that more than 52 percent of your tax money goes to fund war. The War Tax Resistor League withholds some or all of their federal income tax in an effort to bring a message home to the feds that we will not support the war effort. How can people be in support of on-going wars? How can people willingly pay out their hard-earned money to an institution that isn’t even legal? The Federal Reserve is a bank, and it is not connected to the government per se.

Why doesn’t this Tea Party group want to look at the truth of where their money goes? I’m not saying we have to have NO military, but certainly, we have to rein it in. If the government, and that means Obama, has its way, it plans to keep us in perpetual war. Most of the history of the U.S. is encumbered in one war after the next. I saw signs like “I believe in God.” What does this have to do with taxes and war? How can we be proud of such a country of killing machines? How can we support gun ownership, in the face of all the killings that go on in this country and Mexico (which buys its guns from the U.S.)?

I think the Tea Partiers should examine their history and learn what the original Tea Party was all about. I agree with them to the degree that we have to rein in government spending and pay back all the people’s lost 401ks. I think we should be mad at what’s happening, but please, leave God at home and bring your common sense to the table. It doesn’t make sense to fund illegal wars and corrupt institutions like the feds.

– Heather Snow,




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