Another lose-lose county scenario
To the editor,
The mess with the shelved/dumped Comp Plan continues with the Board of County Commissioners’ recent selection of three Planning Commission members. For the purpose of review, the Comp Plan was created over a time span of 2½ years, its true costs have been estimated at $700,000 with hundreds of residents donating thousands of hours of volunteer time. The purpose of this visionary document was to guide planning for the next 20 to 30 years. This document does not contain any laws, as claimed by misinformed opponents of the plan.

Although Commissioner Hotter supported the county strategic plan and the Comp Plan for five years, she abandoned the Comp Plan during the last few months of 2011. Only Commissioner White protested when the blatantly partial Planning Commission redlined the concepts and visions of collaboration, sustainability, self-reliance, support for local farming, transportation planning, clustered housing, trail access and more for ideological reasons, resulting in the shelving of the Comp Plan. All these concepts are central to our quality of life, which matter deeply to La Plata County residents. I am certain that if voted on, the comp plan would have been approved by the majority of our county’s voters.

A few weeks ago, our county commissioners had another opportunity to make the Planning Commission more diverse and balanced when they selected three new members. Because Commissioner White’s input does not seem to matter anymore, Commissioners Hotter and Lieb did not appoint anyone with a vision supporting many of the values represented in the shelved Comp Plan. They even reappointed Wayne Buck, who as recently as

last fall did not even know of the county strategic plan and then openly opposed it. Instead of encouraging a dialogue leading to potential collaboration, their actions told county residents that diversity of opinion does not belong on the Planning Commission. Instead of encouraging balance and a dialogue leading to 4 potential win-win solutions, the actions of Commissioners Hotter and Lieb created more polarity and demonstrated a lack of willingness to work toward our common interest.

– Werner Heiber, Durango

Protecting the rights of women
To the editor,
Conservative Christians have a goal to eliminate family-planning programs, all forms of birth control and abortions (even after rape or the mother’s life is at risk). Current GOP candidates are talking about the elimination of these rights of women.

The history of these rights affecting and taking place in the U.S. are intertwined: Oral contraception was developed (U.S.) in the 1950s. It has given women the freedom to control when and how often they conceive. The “morning after” pill (contragestives), are given to women who have been raped, to prevent pregnancy.

In 1484, Pope Innocent VIII issued a papal bull, starting the Inquisition to punish “witches,” mainly midwives who had knowledge of natural sources for abortifacients and contraceptives.

Birth control in the U.S. was promoted 100 years ago by Margaret Sanger and others who saw the suffering of women who had one pregnancy after another, usually losing at least one baby. Many babies and mothers have died throughout the centuries due to lack of birth control. Women have fought hard for their right to have babies if and when they want them, and in the number that they want. Taking this right away puts women back into the Dark Ages!

In WWII, vasectomies became a method of birth control. Few men are willing to have this procedure done, (though it can alleviate the stress of worrying about unwanted pregnancies in a marriage); leaving the form and usage of birth control up to the woman.

Men should not have the power to dominate women. This barbaric act continues. Women have the intelligence and God-given right to make decisions that affect their bodies, their lives. No one should be allowed to mutilate females’ genitals, to prevent them from family planning, from obtaining contraceptives or contragestives (which should be available over-the-counter), or from females 16 years and older from having an abortion.

Think wisely when you vote, so no one comes into office who can take away the rights of women. Every woman and every man needs to vote for those who promise to protect the rights of women, not take them away!

– Cherry Miloe, Forest Lakes

Brewing up more blame for Obama
To the Editor,
Everybody knows that Obama is to blame for gas prices. How come nobody’s talking about how he’s responsible for the price increases in chocolate and lift and movie tickets, too. But his biggest fault is the ginormous increase in the price of coffee. Since he took office, it’s gone up over 50 percent. I like my coffee more better when it’s more cheaper. Wake up America!

– Paul Wilbert, Durango

League to host candidate forums
To the editor,
On Tues., April 3, Bayfield and Ignacio will elect mayors and Town Board members.

In Bayfield, the mayoral candidate will be running unopposed. There are four candidates running for three positions on the Town Board.

In Ignacio, there will be two mayoral candidates. There are six candidates running for four positions on the Town Board. The three candidates receiving the most votes for Town Board will serve four-year terms, the candidate receiving the next most votes will serve a two-year term.

The League of Women Voters of La Plata County (LWVLPC) will be sponsoring public forums prior to Election Day.

Thurs., March 29, a candidate forum for the Bayfield Town Board will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. at Bayfield Town Hall, 1199 Bayfield Parkway.
Wed., March 28, a candidate forum for the Ignacio Town Board will be held from 6-8 p.m. at the Ignacio Community Library, 470 Goddard.
The elections will be conducted at the polls on Election Day, April 3.  The polls are open from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.

In Bayfield, polls will be open at Bayfield Town Hall, 1199 Bayfield Parkway.

In Ignacio, polls will be open at the Abel F. Atencio Community Center, 570 Goddard Ave.

You may check your registration status at the Colorado Secretary of State’s website, or by contacting your City Clerk: in Bayfield, Marianne Jones, 970-884-9544 x104; in Ignacio, Georgann Valdez, 970-563-9494 x 27.

The League of Women Voters is nonpartisan and neither endorses nor opposes candidates or political parties.
Your vote counts! In November 2011, one vote determined a member of the Bayfield School Board and one vote determined the Ignacio School Bond Issue.

– Marilyn Sandstrom, League of Women Voters La Plata County, Voter Service Committee