Bag fee would help community
To the editor,
Two years ago, the US News reported about Chinese/US imports and exports. Believe it or not, “scrap and trash” was our capable nation’s No. 1 and fastest growing export to China. “Chinese imports of U.S. cast-offs (scrap metal, waste paper and the like) surged by an eye-popping 916 percent over the 2000-08 period, with most of that expansion occurring after 2004,” according to the report.

To have a disposable culture where 90 percent of our purchases end up in a landfill within six months is a waste of resources and money. Although this practice is highly inefficient and destructive to our environment, short-term profit and convenience trumps efficiency.

Although we cannot change the national scene, we can act locally. Right now, we are all paying for disposable bags, whether we use them or not.
That is why I am in favor of the City of Durango imposing a disposable bag ordinance for plastic and paper bags. Every merchant would charge a fixed amount for each bag, which would be collected by the city and go into a dedicated fund. First, this gives everyone the freedom to use disposable plastic bags, including myself should I forget my reusable one. Second, I am in favor of the collected funds to be divided between the City, the merchants incurring additional costs and nonprofits working for sustainable issues and resource efficiency.

Although we cannot change national shopping habits, locally we can decide to charge for disposable bags, while benefitting our community and reducing our trash.

– Werner Heiber, Durango

Denny’s a safe haven for drunks
To the editor,
I am writing to complain about a lack of responsibility for customer safety at the Denny’s on Camino Del Rio. I had breakfast there the other morning and was threatened loudly and violently over an extended period of time by another customer. The staff’s response ranged from indifference to openly encouraging the other customer to incite violence against me. When I attempted to contact a manager about the situation, he denied all responsibility and told me that I was responsible for my own safety inside of the restaurant.

I encourage anybody who cares about their own safety and well being to refrain from giving this establishment their business at any point in time. I know that I will never be going back while it is run by the current management who runs it as a safe haven for rowdy drunks. It is very disappointing to me that the only place available to eat in Durango after 2 a.m. is not safe to attend.

– Bradley Abeyta, Durango

Nature holds key to future survival
To the editor,
We humans have become disconnected and tangled up in a barrage of false ideas and untruths. While we bicker about whether people of the same sex can love and commit to one another, while we fight the boogeyman (terrorist) across the globe, while we argue about my god being better than your god, our world collapses.

Yet, just outside my door, nature demonstrates the solutions we seek. Look at any healthy ecosystem and you will witness a system unconcerned about god, heterosexual fears or the gross domestic product. Nature is concerned about one thing and one thing only: change and exchange, “life.”
In other words, there is a whole lot of sharing going on. In a healthy ecosystem there are millions or even billions of exchanges taking place at any moment. Nature’s organizing principle is to maintain balance while allowing for change to peacefully take place. Surplus and profit are distributed where there is need. Nature’s organizing principle is to share. The magic of this principle is that it creates abundance and ecological diversity.

The tree does not establish borders that the rain cannot cross. The grass does not fear the distant stars. Leaves do not abhor the wind. In nature, everything serves many purposes and they exist for one another. Eliminate one organism, one species, raise the temperature one degree and YOU have changed the entire system.

We humans have struggled to create separation. We call this progress. Our efforts have caused conflict and imbalance. Half of all people live in poverty and need.

We are currently facing the greatest challenge mankind has ever created: climate change. It is the greatest opportunity we have ever faced. Not to solve it or correct it, that would be a fools game. We have the opportunity to adapt, to learn from it, to listen to what it is saying and heed its advice. To change how we live. To change how we interact with all life on this planet. Be it water, soil, air, black, red, wiggly, smelly, small or big.

In the years to come, we will be forced to face our greed as natural resources become less and less available. As our loved ones perish from the calamity of climate change, we will be forced to look in the mirror and bear witness to our capacity for selfishness and learned ignorance. We will be forced to change.

What must we change? Our diet, agriculture, economics, entertainment, methods of transportation, recreation, relationships, ideas of love, even our concept of joy must change. We must change our idea of satisfied and enough. It will no longer be popular to be a consumer. Each of us will have to produce as well. Not products such as televisions, computers, cell phones and gadgets. Production of healthy life giving, supportive and regenerative ecosystems must be our organizing principle.

In the problem lies the solution. We complain that there is no work. The problem of climate change will require all of the creativity 7 or 8 billion humans can muster. The changes alone will create a job for each us and our children for generations to come.

Our vocabulary must change. We must eliminate words that take from life without giving. Words such as excess, greed, power, growth, hate and fear. In their place words such as enough, moderation, care, stewardship, love, acceptance and regenerative should occupy our hearts.

As certain as the sun will rise tomorrow, we will change. Whether history records that change as fluid as the creation of the Grand Canyon, or as destructive as the Gulf oil disaster, it is up to each of us. In the millennia to come, nature will adapt and change and provide what is needed for life to continue. If the human species wants to be apart of that greater wisdom, we will have to pay attention, cooperate and share.

– Timothy Prow,  Hesperus

Young cancer victim’s family thanks community
To the editor,
On July 5, 5-yea- old Reese Martin, of Chattanooga, Tenn., lost his long battle with cancer. You’ll recall he was the young man who came to Durango a year ago last April via the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

His wish was to ride the train and play in the snow. He got to do that and more – thanks to the kindness of the people in this amazing town. I spoke with his mom over the weekend and she asked me to thank everyone again for the incredible vacation Reese had in Durango. She said he wanted to come back again and again – and had said to her many times “why can’t Durango be closer so that we can go there all the time?” He had the time of his life here, and we made some great memories for his family. Thank you so much for your role in making Reese’s wish come true.

Should you want to send the family a card – please either drop it off or send it to me at the address below – and I’ll put all the cards together and mail them to Reese’s family in one envelope.  Cards can be sent to: The Martin Family c/o Durango Mountain Resort, 327 S. Camino del Rio, Durango, CO 81303.

– Jola Schraub, executive assistant to CEO Gary Derck, Durango Mountain Resort