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Three easy ‘no’ votes

Dear Editors:

What do the local Democrat and Republican parties and the Colorado Farm Bureau, Denver Broncos, Colorado AARP and the Durango Chamber of Commerce all have in common? Each are opposed, along with many more organizations, to three ballot questions voters will decide upon this fall – “60-61-101.” Combined, these three ballot questions are too extreme. They could lead to the elimination of up to 73,000 jobs, just as we are beginning to show signs of recovering from the Great Recession. People such as fire fighters, teachers, nonprofit personnel and those in the construction industry – would especially be at risk. These ballot questions may sound interesting at first glance.

However, I urge you to carefully read them. The intent of these three ballot questions is to create communities full of hidden user fees and to reduce local control. The result will be degraded community services and safety. This is not the Colorado or La Plata County I want to live in. Another outcome, if they pass, is to un-do the will of local voters. I would rather have La Plata County residents deciding fiscal questions that affect us (such as funding for schools, roads, libraries, health care, and the like) than giving voters in Denver or Colorado Springs the power to decide what our local quality of life should look like. Proposition 101 dramatically guts the State’s General Fund as well as local revenues, and monies funneled to transportation and rural telecommunications. Amendment 60 would cut financial support for schools in half over 10 years. Amendment 61 would ban the state being able to borrow money and would drastical

ly limit local governments’ ability to finance projects. We already have a fiscally conservative state so we don’t need these draconian measures. Our state’s overall level of taxation per $1,000 of income ranks 46th of the 50 states. The TABOR Amendment limits government spending and requires voter approval of all taxincreases. Our State Constitution requires a balanced budget. We should strive to create a more positive, hopeful state for future generations, not a state envisioned by the authors of “60-61-101.” I would urge anyone who wants to know more to visit: www.donthurtcolorado.com or www.lookingforwardcolorado.com.

– Marsha Porter-Norton, Durango


A ticket to ride

Dear Durango:

I recently found myself talking with several men who are contracted by another company to work on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge train. When one of the men asked “What is the ride on the train like?” I was taken by surprise. They have never been given the opportunity to be a passenger on the train to Silverton. After this conversation, I started to ask other employees and contract workers whether they had ridden on the train. The women at the gift shop, the employees in the ticket office, the maintenance men, and contract photographers have all been given the opportunity to ride the train. Out of all the people I asked, those men were the only men who had not been given the chance to ride the train. They are also the only whose first language is Spanish. I asked if they would like to ride the train and they said that yes they would all like to see what the hype is about. In a community that is so culturally welcoming it is disheartening to see men being treated unequally. I hope the train can remedy this situation so that everyone who works on the train can understand why our community is blessed to have such a beautiful historical attraction.

– Emma Stopher-Griffin, Durango


The business of motorcycles

Dear Editor,

TheDurango Heraldheadline to the letter written by Eric Kiesel of Half Price Tees (Mon., Sept. 13) said, “Rally weekend not that good for business.” I wonder if all businesses would agree with that.

It would seem that the type of business one has would be a big factor in the business transacted that weekend. Most everyone eats two or three meals a day and needs a place to sleep at night. I’m not sure how many souvenir Durango T-shirts one needs to buy on any given trip. I suspect many, if not most, bought commemorative T-shirts from the rally vendors to remember their trip to Durango Labor Day Weekend 2010.  

Restaurants and hotels probably did a booming business, while businesses selling non-essential items probably fared less well. Gasoline stations probably sold a lot of fuel and snacks; art galleries maybe had a so-so weekend.  

What will be interesting to see are the results of an economic survey commissioned and carried out by Fort Lewis College students under the direction of Deborah Walker. For the first time there will be some real numbers to put to the economic impact of the Labor Day Rally weekend. We will be able to see how they compare to “opinions of local tourism officials and vague statements from business owners who might be reluctant to provide real data,” to quote from Mr. Kiesel’s letter to the editor.

Perhaps the Telegraph could contact Ms. Walker and provide us with a story on those results.

– Larry E. Whiteside, Durango


Bubble and bust

To the Editors,In remarks of 4/19/2010, President Obama said, as before and since, “... we knew that we couldn’t keep repeating a pattern of bubble and bust that we’d been seeing; that it wasn’t a tenable model for our future ... .” Taking this goal at face value, the future may be much different than the past.  Here are two asset price histories exhibiting bubble and bust (I like “serial herd behavior”): “Real Homes, Real Dow” at http://homepage.mac.com/ttsmyf/RHandRD.html Might folks want to be attentive to the past’s “long-term averages” ...? For Real Homes, “Two gains in recent decades were followed by returns to levels consistent since the late 1950s,” 8/27/2006 N.Y. Times, quoted here (and see first chart): http://homepage.mac.com/ttsmyf/RD_RJShomes_PSav.html

For Real Dow, the 70.3 year best fit +1.64%/year growth curve is included here (as are the three Fed Chairwarnings): http://homepage.mac.com/ttsmyf/recDJIAtoRD.html . Notably, the financial sector hardly ever shows you these two real histories. Letting the financial sector do your informing/thinking for you is obviously plenty hazardous.

– Ed Hamilton, Durango


A condemnation of torture

To the Editors,

After deliberating for several months, Durango Friends Meeting (Quakers) approved the following minute (statement) on 8/1/10. We are indebted to Wilmington Friends Meeting of Wilmington, N.C., for much of the language of this minute.

“Recognizing that of God in every person, we condemn the use of torture for every purpose. War and terrorism inspire fear, but retaliation and torture do not prevent war or fear, accomplish a positive end or yield accurate information. Torture, by any means, whether direct or by proxy, is immoral. Torture demeans the humanity of the tortured, the torturer and those who have knowledge of it. It offends the sanctity of life.”

– Ross A. Worley, Durango Friends Meeting, Durango

 


 

 

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