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

Going back to the dogs

Dear Editors,

The respiratory outbreak affecting the dogs of Durango seems to have come to an end. We at Healthy Hounds & Fat Cats recently spoke to the local vets. All but one of the Durango vets reported that they have not seen any cases of the mysterious illness in over three weeks; most haven’t seen any cases in at least four weeks. The last case reported to Healthy Hounds was contracted before March 10. No cases were ever reported in Bayfield. We still do not know exactly what the illness was. Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Cornell University are both helping with testing. Hopefully we will know more soon.  

In a completely un-scientific study, we have determined that the Dog Park has been much busier in the past couple of weeks. People are feeling much better about taking their dogs out in public again!

So get out there and take your dogs for a walk, or to play with their friends – they will love you even more than they already do!

– LeeAnn Craig, Durango

A critical vote for conservation

To the Editors,

LPEA is conducting its annual election for our co-op’s board of directors. If you pay an electric bill, you are a member of LPEA and eligible to vote; you should have received your ballot in the mail.

Jeff Berman has been the strongest advocate on LPEA’s board for energy efficiency and conservation as well as renewable energy production. If you live in the City of Durango, your incumbent director is Jeff. He has played a significant role in the establishment of LPEA’s solar installation rebates and our nationally recognized Green Power

Program. Jeff is an ardent supporter of 4CORE, an independent, nonprofit agency that assists our co-op in identifying and financing energy efficiency projects, something which saves money for all of us in the co-op.

If you support the values of electricity efficiency, conservation, and clean, renewable generation, please re-elect Jeff Berman. Because only about 10 percent of the ballots are typically returned in an LPEA election, your vote is critical.

– Harry Riegle, Sustainability Alliance of Southwest Colorado4

Leave ranching to ranchers

Dear Editors,

I had a hard time reading “Cowboy Posturing,” a letter in last week’s Telegraph. The fist paragraph had interesting points, most of which I agree with. However, this letter really fell off toward the end. To say that a rancher’s loss is a “cost of doing business” is a poor attitude to take. Welfare ranchers? With all of these subsidies do you really think all of La Plata County’s ranchers are getting rich off of their livestock? There are some ranchers in this county who have money...most of them did not make it ranching. The loss of an animal to many ranchers is not a ho-hum event.     

This letter seems to be written by someone who has no concept of what it takes to grow food in the United States. The system is messed up, but not because of ranchers leasing public land or black bears eating sheep. Let’s leave the ranching to the ranchers.

– Chris Fuller, Durango


After dark in Durango

To the Editors,

On several occasions while out on the town in Durango, I’ve noticed young women who are too drunk or drugged to walk or communicate without slurring, being approached for a “pick-up” by young males. I have literally seen men circling these unconscious or barely conscious women who attempt to pass out in and around these bars. Citizens, if you see someone passed out or being “scoped out” by two-legged predators, for heaven’s sake, call the police. I have tried to notify bartenders and bouncers about these problems only to be ignored and then try to identify the freaks who give women date rape drugs or wish to take these unfortunates home to be victimized. Durango is full of young men who have no compunctions against exploiting a woman’s helplessness at a bar. A word to them: If you need to drug a woman or need her to be incoherent to get sex, you probably shouldn’t be in the gene pool.

– Signed, Philip D’Angelo, Durango

Root of the problem

To the Editors:

I am writing to ask the people of Durango for help in making Durango a truly green and healthy place. During the spring, many people, as well as the City of Durango, begin to apply “feed and weed” on home lawns and our public parks. “Feed and weed” is a mix of chemical fertilizers and herbicides.

These herbicides contain 2,4D, a modern relative of Agent Orange, one of the herbicides and defoliants used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. There are ample scientific studies showing that these herbicides are harmful neurotoxins. They are especially dangerous to babies, children, nursing mothers and pregnant women, where developing organ systems are affected. They are also being linked to the monumental and horrifying decline of our bee population – which directly compromises our future food security.

Along with the herbicides being sprayed are chemical fertilizers. Science is linking chemicals fertilizers to algae blooms in our waterways and oceans. An algal bloom is a rapid accumulation in the population of algae, which can cause negative impacts to other organisms. Indeed, these blooms are rapidly creating large dead zones in aquatic ecosystems.  

These are symptoms of imbalance. The Earth seems to be making a request for balance.  One simple step toward responding to Nature’s call is to stop spraying our lawns with these toxic chemicals. Please contact our City Council and The Department of Parks and Rec and let them know that you want your parks to be chemical free. There are alternative, organic and safe ways to care for lawns and public green spaces. Many progressive towns and cities across the country have made their land pesticide free. Locally, I wish to celebrate and acknowledge the apartment complex of Pinion Heights for listening to their tenants last year and changing over to an organic fertilizer. Such communities successfully demonstrate that alternatives exist.

I would like to acknowledge that Durango Parks and Rec. has made Pioneer Park chemical free. Along with Brookside Park, Durango now has two chemical free parks for children to safely play. Fanto Park (Parkside Elementary) was slated to be the third, but no one showed up at the poorly advertised neighborhood meeting concerning this change. Sadly, it remains on the list to be sprayed. If you desire Durango to be chemical free, it is very important for your voice to be heard. Again, please write or call your city officials and let them know your feelings on this issue.

And what about the potential weeds, such as dandelions, some may ask? Well, beyond being nature’s wise response to rehabilitating depleted and disturbed soils, they also offer us as humans a rich resource. They have long been recognized as a valuable source of food and medicine growing right in our back yard. Indeed, early European settlers planted dandelions as a harvestable crop, gathering the familiar root, leaf and flower for nourishment. I invite you to please come and learn more about fantastic “weeds” at the third annual Dandelion Festival on May 14 at Rotary Park.  

If you would like more information on lawn chemicals, how to care naturally for your lawn, or would like to join The Organic Land Stewardship Alliance, please email me at: triciagourley@hotmail.com.

“What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” – Emerson

    – Thank you, Tricia Gourley



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