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

Forestry and fear

Dear Editors,

Logging under guise of fire hazard reduction is profiteering.

As someone with experience in the fire hazard reduction and the forest management field, as well as someone with lifelong roots in the Durango community, I am abhorred by the destruction, nearly amounting to clear cutting, that is taking place around our community under the guise of “fire hazard reduction.” In reality, it is nothing more than opportunistic capitalization preying on the well-founded fears of our community of fire danger. Perhaps the memory of the Missionary Ridge fire is enough to cause most to avert their eyes, or at the very least remain uncritical of what’s happening in our forests.

Recently, friends and I have taken hikes in numerous locations, including most notably Durango favorites such as Perins Peak, Animas Mountain and Log Chutes, only to find certain portions of once beautiful forest completely obliterated. Undoubtedly others have come across the destruction as well. Heavy machinery has been used to eradicate entire sections of forest, rather than thinning “ladder fuel” (small trees under the “drip line,” or farthest out point where water would drip off the bigger branches of the larger trees) as healthy fire hazard reduction forest management would prescribe. These operations are being undertaken by private corporations who are reaping huge profits by capitalizing on our community’s fears and destroying our beloved forests.

We must demand a complete and total halt to this destructive, irresponsible activity and the establishment of healthy fire reduction forest management divorced from the capitalist profit motive. Forestry is indeed an “industry,” but it shouldn’t be.

– For the Wild, Nathan Coe, EF! Durango

In defense of sound

HelloTelegraph friends;

I’m writing in regard to John Winne’s letter,printed in this paper Feb. 17 regarding the sound at AC/DC night. As the organizer of the fund-raiser, I thank you for attending the event. I will clarify that this is no “contest,” just a collection of musicians doing something nice for our community station. Lush was indeed great, as were all the bands, who play this event for nothing more than a little stage time. I hope you stuck it out through the end as the bagpipers were a real nice addition to the Lawn Chair Kings set.

I can’t comment on any verbal exchanges between the seven people you mentioned and the sound guy, as I wasn’t aware of anybody being “stuck up.” However, in the sound person’s defense, I will say this. Doing sound for 12 different bands, and the quick change required to hustle musicians on and off stage is no easy task. I thought Ryan and Peter did a great job from my end. Could the sound have been better? Probably, but under the circumstances, I think things were fine. I’m sorry you didn’t feel otherwise, but again, doing sound for 12 different bands who are switched out every 10 minutes is nothing short of a chore. Please come out to the next cover night in the fall. Since you’re a musician, I’d love it if you played. Thanks to all the musicians, venues, fans and everyone else that does their best to promote live music.  

– Bryant Liggett, KDUR station manager

Education on the chopping block

Dear Editors,

Last week, Gov. Hickenlooper proposed a budget for the coming year, calling for $36 million in cuts to higher education and $375 million in cuts to K-12.

That comes to an average of $497 per student. For my son’s middle school, that would amount to a cut of more than $400,000. There are already 35 kids in each of my son’s core classes. Every day, I’m grateful for the hard work of his dedicated teachers. But now I am afraid to find out what next year is going to bring. Even larger classes? Fewer electives? Less individual attention? Less support for students and teachers?

This is NOT OK.

What will $500 per student and deep cuts to higher ed mean to the students in your life?

If these cuts aren’t OK with you, please join me in signing the Great Ed letter (www.greateducation.org) to state leaders, asking them: “Do you understand the real impact that multiple years of cuts are having on Colorado students, and are you OK with that?”

The Denver Postreferred to the K-12 cuts in this budget proposal as “the biggest hit in state history” – and that’s on top of a cut of $260 million last year. We need our state leaders to feel the heat and start creating innovative and realistic alternatives to these devastating cuts.

Please take just a few seconds to sign our letter and, if you like, tell your story. Then be sure to use our simple tools to spread the word to other public education supporters.

Thank you for making a difference.

– Sincerely, Lisa Weil, policy director, Great Education Colorado

Vote out the vultures

To the Editors,

The House Republicans presented their appropriation bill last Friday at 4 a.m. There were some good points to the bill (funding for protection in the nuclear field, the Secret Service, TSA, fast rail, etc.). But, how does this bill provide more jobs when it is actually destroying the foundation of the EPA, PBS & NPR, Planned Parenthood, the federal family planning program? It would cut funding that affects: the poorest in our nation (at least two-thirds of whom are women and children, nearly a billion dollars of food and other aid to low-income pregnant women, mothers, babies and kids would be cut); employment services, meals and housing for senior citizens; and Head Start (proven to be a catalyst for children to graduate from high school and go on to specialized training to be contributing citizens). It also mandates hospitals to allow a woman to die rather than perform an abortion to save her life. The Republicans, who claim they care about the well-being of the American people, are now trying to redefine rape. In Georgia, a state legislator wants to change the legal term for victims of rape, stalking and domestic violence to that of “accuser,” not “victim.” What cruel and unusual punishment this would be to a woman who has had to already endure any of these inhumane acts. One has no idea how horrifying life is until you have been raped, stalked or lived with an abuser. You are always looking for that man who abused you, to find you and do it again, or worse, to kill you. For all of you who vote Republican, how is this taking care of American females?

The appropriations bill also provides subsidies and looser regulations to oil and other conglomerates that are destroying the quality of our land, air and water. OSHA safety standards that protect workers are being abandoned. More workers could lose fingers, hands, arms and end up deathly ill. How is this providing more jobs and providing for the welfare of the American workers? Do you become informed for what the people for whom you vote stand for? When they are supporting big corporations that destroy our planet, our quality way of life, why are you voting for them? If their programs are hurting most Americans, then why are you voting for these vultures? Please come out of your seclusion and become informed!

– Cherry Miloe, via email




In this week's issue...

March 17, 2022
Critical condition

Lake Powell drops below threshold for the first time despite attempts to avoid it

March 17, 2022
Uphill climb

Purgatory Resort set for expansion but still faces hurdles

March 10, 2022
Mind, body & soul (... and not so much El Rancho)

New health care studio takes integrated approach to healing