Alignment comes with hefty price
To the Editor:
Are you aware that the Colo. Dept of Transportation is planning to spend more than $76 million to realign Hwy 550 to avoid Farmington Hill?
In meetings last week, CDOT presented plans to route Hwy 550 from the top of Farmington Hill to connect with the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere.”
It will cut across the historic Craig and Webb ranches and will include yet another large bridge across Hwy 160 E, an 880 ft wide cut (equal to three football fields) will be 40- to 120-feet deep through 1,400 feet of piñon, ponderosa and juniper forests and across two significant ravines. According to CDOT, there will be “irreparable damage to historic ranchlands, archeological sites and wildlife habitat.”
The estimated cost of the project is more than $76 million, which doesn’t include the second bridge across Hwy 160, relocation of the excavated dirt and gravel or additional bridges across the ravines. (The “bridge” and that interchange cost taxpayers $47 million.) Hwy 550 drivers will travel farther, consume more fuel, spend more time and money driving. It will be financed by our over-burdened state and federal dollars.
Is a project this extensive necessary in order to solve problems on half a mile of highway? Hopefully not. The Webb Ranch owners and engineers have submitted a new proposal to modify Farmington Hill and rectify its safety issues with less destruction and at a lower cost.
Please contact CDOT, as well as state and federal legislators. Ask them to work with the Webb proposal and give it, and any viable alternative in the current alignment, serious consideration. If it’s safe and doable, it’s a win for all of us. Public involvement is critical and time is of the essence.
Submit your comments by Nov 28 online at; write to Sandra Taylor, CDOT, 3803 North Main Ave., Suite 300, Durango, CO 81301; or email hyperlink “
–Antonia Clark, Durango

Durango more good than bad
To the editor,
Despite all the bad news that is going on all day, every day – even in our lovely Durango area – I am feeling really great. Over the last few days, I have needed the services of several businesses in town, both Mom and Pop and chain type businesses. I got great, fast, friendly service everywhere I went. I felt very well taken care of, time and again. For some reason, the great service really stood out for me and got my attention. Maybe it was that dealing with a minor health issue and a minor car issue (they never feel minor when you are dealing with them, do they?), perhaps I had low expectations … not hard to exceed. But it was not that. Smiling, friendly people really helped me out, fixed me up, got me on the road.
Then it occurred to me that this is nothing new. This really is the norm for businesses in our area. Sure, every once in a while, someone is curt, or even rude. That is what usually gets our attention. But think about it, isn’t that the rare exception? We really are fortunate to have more good service than bad, more friendly than surly, more smiles than blank expressions. I know I feel lucky!
– Thanks everyone, Pamela Marshall

Banning bags is smart move
Dear Telegraph,
Aside from all the known damage plastic bags do to our soil and water, the argument in favor of “Use the Renewable” Bag is it’s smart. It’s smart business to not spend money on plastic bags. It’s smart shopping to carry bags of our own, in the size and quality that holds (doesn’t break) the goods we purchase. I find it interesting that Natural Grocers/ Vitamin Cottage came into town and simply put up a front door sign, offering the simple option that if we “forgot” our bag, we could re-use their boxes … and no one has complained, and their store stays busy. Please consider the smart move for our community, whether it’s banning, taxing or any of many methods countries from Germany to India use to control this wasteful product, Let’s Be Smart.
– Thanks, Pat Senecal

Venal journalism fools the people
To the editor,
The big con infests America. Condemn venal journalism for severely fooling the people by hardly ever showing asset price histories that look like cocaine intoxications. Here they are:
Bubbles are well-shown – these histories are kept out of sight because the “establishment” makes more money from bubbles. The “establishment” is conpersons first.

Consequence? “The financial crisis that afflicts the country is largely a result of speculative bubbles built on false hopes, in the housing and stock markets.” R.J. Shiller, here:

Venal journalism talk: “The public’s right to know.” Venal journalism walk: “The public be suckered.”

Adolf Hitler originated the term “The Big Lie” in his Mein Kampf, 1925: Lie  and Nazi practice included much of “deception by omission.”

America’s brainwashed reality derived from the superior cash flow of journalistic nonfeasance.
– Ed Hamilton, Durango

Ban single-use plastic bags
Hi friends,
We go through 380 billion plastic bags a year, costing us $1.6 billion gallons of oil a year, oil that would be better served for other more vital things. We then throw them in a landfill – the ones that stay there, that is. Billions of bags end up blowing around as litter and end up in our oceans, killing millions of sea creatures every year.
In the Unites States, there is a budding but rapidly growing movement to “ban the bag.” Like the ban on smoking, which started in local communities and went national, the banning of plastic bags will follow a similar path, though much more quickly. A few examples of cities that have already “banned the bag” are San Francisco, Telluride and Brownsville, Texas. Let’s be a community that helps lead this important local and global issue.
So I signed a petition to Durango City Council and Christina Rinderle, Durango’s mayor, that says: “We want to ban single-use plastic bags within the City of Durango in order to: promote the use of reusable bags; prevent plastic debris buildup; protect wildlife from plastic pollution in our region; reduce the consumption of fossil fuels; and save money for both businesses and consumers.

Will you sign this petition? Click here: =s.em.cp&r_by=1551032
– Thanks,  James Patrick Bowers