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Defining downtown Durango

To the Editors:

As the new presiding officer of the Durango Business Improvement District (BID) volunteer Board of Directors, I would like to commend the efforts of our small but mighty part-time staff: Pam Glasco, community relations coordinator, and Bob Kunkel, executive director. Bob Kunkel also serves as the City’s downtown business development manager, so the jobs complement each other quite well.

(Physically, the Business Improvement District includes the Central Business District of Downtown Durango, plus properties along north Main up to the Hampton Inn.)

The BID is funded almost exclusively from a 2 mill levy (approximately $275,000 annually) on business and property owners within the district. Thus, we must obviously and necessarily operate on a tight budget and be creative in our efforts to meet our mission to help enhance downtown and sustain the economy of the district as a whole. Working with the BID board plus a few outside consultants, Bob Kunkel and Pam Glasco have been extremely innovative in their efforts, stretching those dollars and securing a very good return on our constituents’ investment. The efforts have helped Durango weather this economic recession much better than our sister cities.

Though we are devoted to the economic viability of the district and maintain a close watch on all activities, those of us on the BID board have our own businesses to run. It is gratifying to know that the district has such a solid backbone with Bob Kunkel and Pam Glasco running day-to-day operations at the BID as we go forward in 2011.

    – Bob Allen, Durango

Hypocrisy and health care

To the Editors;

While I think it is admirable J Paul Brown introduced a bill to limit government intrusion and lower the Colorado deficit by eliminating mandatory ethics training for CPAs, it seems questionable how much government this would limit or how much money it would save.

I do believe I have a better idea. Since people like J Paul Brown and Scott Tipton and their T-bagger followers want to repeal the recently passed health-care bill (slanderously called “Obamacare”), why don’t THEY cancel the socialized health care they receive from this huge government they so despise. That would be their own personal sacrifice and contribution – and a way to show they are not total hypocrites – and, hey, since we have the best health-care system in the world, they can wait in line at one of our fine emergency rooms like the rest of us.

– Sincerely, Julie Meadows, Durango

An unwelcome diversion

Dear Editors:  

House Bill 1150 has just been introduced to move $5 million per year for 10 years from the Colorado Division of Wildlife Cash Fund to the Colorado Water Conservation Board, Construction Fund. First of all, CDOW is funded primarily by hunting and fishing license sales and by some lottery funding. There are no state tax dollars going to CDOW.  Further, the CDOW is, I believe, a state enterprise.

As such, I would question the legality of such a transfer. Anyone out there know the answer? Finally, I am personally outraged at this raid on funding for the dedicated group of men and women charged with protecting and maintaining our hunting, fishing and wildlife resources here in the State of Colorado. Let there be no mistake, CWCB will argue that the money will go to enhance wildlife habitat. Bunk! Water storage projects should be funded on the merits, not by diverting already scarce resources from CDOW.  

– Respectfully submitted, Buck Skillen, Durango

Words for winter

Dear Editors,With the hibernation season upon us, I find myself with extra time for reading. Here are some books I have read this winter that I would like to share with you and readers of theTelegraph.

My top pick,Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal, by Joel Salatin, is a great book about the challenges of producing quality local food in the face of today’s big government. It has lots of good anecdotes, humor and critical thinking. Tied for second isWeapons of Mass Instruction, by John Taylor Gatto, an in-depth look at the history of compulsory education and its negative results. Again, some good anecdotes but a bit of a rant.Death of The Liberal Class, by Chris Hedges, is an analysis of why things are so politically messed up in this country, a bit brief, but could be considered an introduction to the host of issues presented, good anecdotes (I love anecdotes), but too many big words to make it a smooth enough read.

– Enjoy, Carsten Almskaar, Durango

A call for aircraft carriers

To the Editors:

This letter references numerous points in Steve Cohen’s article inForbes of Oct. 25, 2010 entitled “Where Are the Carriers?” which concerns the availability, value and number of U.S. aircraft carriers.

As a former Navy enlisted man and Naval officer, I am concerned with our ability to deter, thwart and counter aggression in the world. Our carrier battle groups are formidable forces that can be forwardly deployed to remote and far-flung locations around the globe. Each carrier provides on the order of 70 aircraft ready for battle. They are highly maneuverable moving platforms, and contrary to the Defense Secretary’s thinking, the long-range anti-ship missile systems of any foreign country probably do not have pinpoint accuracy at long distances to inflict damage on the carriers. Fixed long-range missile sites could be knocked out, if necessary, by a number of U.S. systems and by the conduct of special operations. At short ranges, enemy shipboard-based missiles would be subject to attack from our aircraft, surface warfare vessels and submarines.

It is worthy to note the apparent value of aircraft carriers to China. It currently has four aircraft carriers under refurbishment, which it purchased from other countries.

If Secretary Gates isn’t going to rely on the carrier battle groups for close air support for our troops, then he will have to use land-based planes, which are typically located potentially far from the various hotspots in the world. The planes have to fly long distances to get to their targets and our fixed bases could be vulnerable to enemy air attacks and sabotage operations.

As of the end of October, we had only three out of 11 carriers operational. Having two carriers in dry dock and six in various stages of refurbishment, maintenance and recertification means we are not prepared to address potential conflicts around the globe. Three carrier battle groups would not be enough to counter a North Korean attack against South Korea. Furthermore, we need at least one or two carrier battle groups to support operations in Afghanistan. It is estimated the six carriers in various stages of repair and maintenance could be made available for operations within 30 to 90 days, but this is unacceptable in terms of needed response times.

We need to do a better job of having more of our carriers operational at any one time. Our security and the security of our allies are in jeopardy when eight of 11 carriers are laid up for repairs, maintenance and refurbishment. We probably need 15 carrier battle groups to cover our worldwide security commitments and provide for downtime associated with in-port maintenance activities.

– Donald A. Moskowitz, 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