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

Creating safe havens

Dear Editors,

I would like to share a bit about why I volunteer with one of Durango’s best organizations, SASO. Volunteering for Durango’s Sexual Assault Services Organization has been one of the most enriching decisions I have ever made. Knowing that I can positively impact the life of someone in need is a reward beyond words. SASO creates learning opportunities, and potentials that go beyond just being an advocate. I feel like I am part of a community that truly cares about people – not just in Durango and the surrounding area, but people everywhere.

SASO is dedicated to creating a safe environment for people to speak out against the horror that is sexual assault, and creates awareness about an issue that, in many ways, is still taboo in our culture. I am of the opinion that my fellow volunteers all have hearts of gold, and I appreciate every minute of time they give to making the world a better place. Personally, the reward in volunteering greatly outstrips the efforts I have ever been asked to make. I have met people that have enriched my life beyond my wildest dreams. I have the support and friendship of all the SASO staff and other volunteers. I have been given the chance to learn and grow and have some amazing experiences.

To anyone out there that has ever considered volunteering, SASO is an incredible opportunity to give back to the community, and speaking from experience, I can attest that the rewards are well worth the challenge. For more information about volunteer opportunities or to sign up for a spring training, call 259-3074 or e-mail fernando@durangosaso.org.

– Sincerely, Erin Olinger, SASO volunteer

A victory for the ‘Looney Tunes’

Dear Editors,

Until last week, I thought Texas was the forerunner for ignorance and narrow minded legislation. But Arizona just topped them. Last week, the Republican

(surprise!) controlled House passed the most controversial immigration law this country has ever seen. The state law SB1070 would require police with reasonable suspicion about someone’s immigration status to demand to see documents. “Reasonable suspicion?”4 Translation: racial profiling.

Clearly, the Tea Baggers, White Supremacists, Palin, Beck, Limbaugh and the rest of the Looney Tunes cast are ecstatic. To many of the more stable population this sounds like Nazi Germany. “Papers Please.”

John McCain suggested, “It’s justified because cars with illegal immigrants in it are intentionally causing accidents on the freeway.” What?!

Arizona Gov. Brewer was asked what does an illegal immigrant look like? “I do not know what an illegal immigrant looks like,” Brewer said. “I can tell you there are people in Arizona who assume they know what an illegal immigrant looks like. I don’t know if they know that for a fact or not.”

Well, GOP Rep Brian Bilbray knows. He said, “Look at the kind of dress you wear, there is a different type of attire … right down to the shoes, right down to the clothes.” Really?

Fortunately, clearer heads may prevail. The head of the nation’s largest Roman Catholic archdiocese, Cardinal Mahoney, said it encourages people to turn on each other in Nazi- and Soviet-style repression. President Obama said the Arizona bill threatens “to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and our communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.”

Obama continued, “If we continue to fail to act at a federal level, we will continue to see misguided efforts opening up around the country.” He’s being generous, calling this law a “misguided effort.” Obama’s reviewing the Arizona bill for civil rights and other implications. The fact that racial profiling is illegal would seem problematic.

Immigrant advocates and civil-rights lawyers are stunned, and so are police chiefs and sheriffs who say the bill is an assault on public safety, since it would force newly criminalized immigrants to fear and avoid calling the police.

The law diverts police from chasing violent offenders and is an all-out Blitzkreig on the mostly harmless, innocent people who will end up as collateral damage.

Obviously, we have a huge immigration problem in this country but is this the right solution? At the least, it should advance the immigration issue to the front burner whether Obama wants it there or not.  

– Thanks, Bill Vana, via e-mail

Innocent until proven guilty

Dear Editors,

In last week’s Thumbin’ It, theTelegraphstated that Fort Lewis student Chase Gardner was responsible for the recent bank robberies. In fact, he is still just a suspect and as such he is to be considered innocent until proven guilty. By printing this, theTelegraphhas compromised the jury selection process, and when he goes to court, his lawyers can now ask the judge to declare a mistrial. If he goes to trial anyway, but is found innocent, he can (and should) sue theTelegraphfor slander and defamation of character. Irresponsible journalism also gets people lynched. Come on,Telegraph. You could have done worse I suppose, but you sure could do a lot better.

– Sam Bridgham, Durango

Real men running for Congress

Attention concerned Americans,

According to recent polls, that includes most of you!Take heed, there’s still hope for our nation!!

In spite of the deficit, unemployment, the economy, immigration, etc., there’s justification for confidence and hope for the future!

In case you don’t know, there are real men running for Congress, not the usual “political hacks.” These are true American “heroes” – proven patriotic leaders prepared to represent “we the people” – men who fought to protect our freedom throughout their military careers.

Combat Veterans for Congress was founded in August 2009 to support two fiscally conservative candidates in two different states. Once the PAC was approved by the Federal Election Commission, endorsements increased to 23 congressional candidates representing 16 states. Currently, an additional 21 veterans in 20 new states are also being considered.

We in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District are fortunate to have one of them standing up to represent us in a manner that John Salazar has failed to do!

Bob McConnell, a retired Colonel, Airborne Ranger, has decided to continue to demonstrate his love of country and dedicate his leadership skills to, in Bob’s words, “Tearing Down the Walls of Arrogance” that the Obama administration and congress have erected to stifle our freedoms and even to deny us a voice in the legislative process. Has there ever been a more glaring example of ignoring the will of the people than the recent passage of the health-care bill?

Right now, Bob is looking forward to the April 23-28 meeting with his fellow veterans in Washington, D.C. They will meet with like-minded congressional leaders to discuss plans and strategy for the November election. There are 26 million veterans like Bob McConnell who have dedicated their lives to protecting our liberties. Isn’t it encouraging that there may be at least 44 candidates in 36 states who will meet the call to save our nation?

You are invited to see for your self. Visit Bob’s website mcconnellforcongress.com and combatveteransfor congress.org and you will experience a real boost in confidence!

– God Bless America, Richard Doran, via e-mail  



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