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

Tuning in democracy

Dear Editors,

Would you want a library that only offered books written by the government? Of course not. Yet this is soon to be the case with our local community PEG Access channels. These channels were set up by the Telecommunications Act so communities could have access to cable television in order to provide local, noncommercial news and information. The medium is different, but just like a library, the mission of providing information is the same. Studies show, for better or worse, that Americans now get most of their news from television.

Do we want only the government deciding what is news and what issues get talked about on local television? By only supporting a government channel, the City is promoting an unbalanced view of Durango and one in which the average citizen can’t participate. While the public channel is open to anyone and everyone to express their views, the government channel is strictly controlled by the government.

The term “public interest” appears 112 times in the Telecommunications Act. Public interest has always been defined as encouraging localism and a diversity of viewpoints. PEG (Public, Educational and Government) Access is always mentioned together as part of this act.

A City budget that provides $155,000 to televise government views and $5,000 to televise public views does not best serve the people of Durango and does not serve the public interest.

In these difficult economic times, everyone must tighten their belts and do our part with less, but I would like to see a more fair and equitable distribution of funding among local public, educational and government television for the people of Durango.

– Christopher Hall,


Hardscrabble facts

Dear Editor,

In your Nov. 12 article about the Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaign, you had your facts wrong. The Hardscrabble area that Larry Grossman is working on to install bike trail signs, etc., is NOT included in the Hidden Gems proposal – specifically because it is a very important mountain biking area. The Hidden Gems proponents have been working diligently with mountain bikers across the proposal areas and have omitted and/or withdrawn 100,000 acres for mountain biking and motorized users. 50,000 acres of that was in Eagle County, where Grossman and Hardscrabble are. ECO Trails, the Eagle County Citizen’s group for creating bike trails, foot paths and horseback trails has endorsed 85 percent of the proposal areas in the county, and we are still working on the remaining 15 percent. We have been working together with ECO Trails for two years to come up with a proposal that considers everyone’s interests. This has been a great example of collaboration and compromise and your article does the process a disservice.  

– Susie Kincade, Eagle County Coordinator,

Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaign

Mining for wildcats

Dear Editors,

What happened to government by the people and for the people? The residents of Mayday in La Plata Canyon have been fighting for several years to save their neighborhood from Wildcat Mining Company, which has violated numerous cease and desist orders from several government agencies. A small group of Mayday residents jumped through many hoops to retain the right to express opposition to Wildcat Mining Company, led by James Clements. And then we were denied the right to express our opposition via telephone with the Colorado Mined Land Reclamation

Board in Denver at the meeting on Nov. 12. We were told we lost our right to speak if we did not travel to Denver and appear in person or by proxy, but we could listen to the webcast of the meeting. We tried to listen, heard bits and pieces, and then were cut off. Mr. Clements, who is from California and does not even bother to register his truck in Colorado (but of course claims to be a resident of Durango for well over six months), said he “was confused” and did not realize he could not use an unpermitted road to work in an unpermitted mine. Duh? 

Go back to California – you fit in better there!

– Poppy Harshman,


A search for mental wellness

Dear Editors:

An intelligent person has a well-working human brain. The child mind is a physical-senses orientated, powerless, naive mentality, automatically reacting to the environment. A positive environment empowers mental wellness, the process of acquiring the mental tools of the adult mind – self-esteem, self examination, self-knowledge, self-dependency, self-healing.  

A negative environment dysfunctions the mind with the separation of fear or anger. I was an intelligent, gentle child in a negative environment. Not knowing any better, I learned what I was taught – the mental illness and dysfunction of fear/flight/blaming myself/delusion of inferiority. Others with an aggressive nature react to a negative environment automatically controlled with the dysfunction of anger/fight/blaming others/delusion of superiority. 

I was committed to psychiatry when 20 years old and labeled schizophrenic. After subjected to electric shock, just as after any horror too horrifying to be real, I had hysterical amnesia – which psychiatry touts as relieved mental illness. I vaguely remembered I had been locked up by psychiatry. Until the flashbacks. Then exploding into suicidal

and homicidal terror, I was committed back to psychiatry. 

Knowing I could not trust psychiatry, I was labeled paranoid schizophrenic. I was subjected to the suicidal and homicidal enraging drugs.  

Just as alcohol and illegal drugs, psychiatric drugs altering conscious awareness to the subconscious at first seems to help. Just like alcoholics and drug addicts, I became a psychiatry-drug addict. Like a pressure cooker, nothing showing on the outside, underneath the chemical lid, in the subconscious the suppressed emotions and drug-caused physical sickness build and rebound into periodic exploding terror and despair, suicidal and homicidal drug rages. Ever more frequent, becoming a constant reacting terror and despair. Real doctors in real hospitals saved my life, over and over. The drugs were killing me! I quit them. Psychiatry switches to a different drug and the agonized hopeless despairing continues to premature death. 

After 31 years, of being a suicidal and homicidal paranoid schizophrenic, incredibly still alive, a nurse said, “Go to Alcoholics Anonymous. They teach people how to get well.” I went. “You can get well; we will help you.” So I lied and said I was a suicidal and homicidal alcoholic instead of a suicidal and homicidal paranoid schizophrenic. The first word of step 1 is “We.” I was no longer a non-person-worthless thing. I was an equally worthy person. I was no longer suicidal or homicidal for I now was off drugs and had hope and help. It only took me six months to learn cognitive perception, the mental tools needed to live in this world and enjoy it, changing into the equally worthy nonviolent adult.

Write your lawmakers, newspapers, friends and organizations. Tell them, save untold lives and dollars. Eliminate psychiatry. Cure mental illness. Teach cognitive perception in schools, psychiatric-drug rehabilitation centers and prisons. 

Eliminate the cause of mental illness in the individual and society. A world cured of mental illness is a world of equally worthy people, a world freed of torture, drugging, crime and war.

– Clover Frances Greene,


Another Time

Oh Cuba! Oh Cuba!

How I remember your azure skies!

How I remember Carlita and

Her blue, flowered dress!

This was another time,

Before the forced migration.

We were both in our early teens

Dancing at the street festival.

I missed that dance step

And awkwardly fell into you,

Kissing the cheek!

You pushed back with a surprised smile

And grabbing my hand we ran

And ran

Through the maze of alleys laughing.

Oh Carlita! Oh Carlita!

How I remember your raven hair

And pale green eyes!

After fifty years,

Are you

Still sitting on the stoop,

Below the old broken apartments

Of East Havana?

– Burt Baldwin,




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