Wolves are howling in gratitude

To the editor,
Please accept our heartfelt appreciation for supporting Wolfwood Refuge’s third annual Art Auction.  Your support and generosity helps to manage the veterinary costs and food for over 60 wolves that reside at the refuge.

We are impressed and truly honored by the response we received: Everyone we asked for help, said yes. People who weren’t asked, approached us at the event and offered their help next year. We encourage you to visit our website for updates, ask that you contact us for a tour or let us know if you’d like to be involved: www.wolfwoodrefuge.org, call 970-946-9606 or email: wolfwood1995@hotmail.com. 

Special thank you to the 70-plus artists and donors and 35 volunteers who made this night possible. Also, a sincere thank you to our sponsors. You are all our wolf angels!
– Thanks for all the love, Paula, Craig & the wolves

Morrissey will bring efficiency

To the editor,
In less than a month, we will be getting our ballots in the mail. Local elections are important, especially when we have so much at stake in the next four years. We have all heard about declining revenues, and the increasing pressures on rising expenses as more people move in to our county. So it is important to do research on both candidates for all races.

I am writing in support of Allison Morrissey for County Treasurer.  I worked with Allison for two years. I know how dedicated and conscientious she is. I have first-hand knowledge of her leadership development and project management skills. These are skills that we need to make the county more effective. 

She has knocked on over 6,000 doors in our county to talk to people about her qualifications for the job (BA in Accounting, MBA, graduate work in organizational psychology), and her experience in technology and process improvement. These are skills that will help make the4 county more efficient. Please join me in voting for Allison Morrissey, our next La Plata County Treasurer.
– Allison Andersen, Durango

Say no to billionaires, burlesque

To the editor,
I recently read the script of Corey Gardner’s speech at the Koch brothers’ June 17 billionaires meeting at the St. Regis Monarch Bay Resort. He let the attendees know that out of his admiration of California’s profitable big boxes, he couldn’t wait to move those businesses to Colorado. The 2007 recession came on the heels of our last “Californication.” Will you vote for a return?

Gardner told the billionaires that subsidies would benefit fossil fuels, the Koch’s coal and tar sands industry, and other fossil industries. Sustainable and clean energy entrepreneurs need not apply to serve our communities.

The “Gabby” groups are also unwelcome under Gardner and billionaires. 

Are Colorado hunters such lousy shots that they couldn’t plug Bambi in a barrel, so they need 15 rounds to shoot Bambi (and school children)? Will this issue determine your vote?

All of the attention we’ve been paying to the militarization of police shines the light on the end result of the billionaires’ system to malnourish many children, then slam them into prison to assemble America’s military tools for nearly zero wages. We have as many military weapons as billionaires have profits. The Republican deadbeats demand authority over women’s fertility, and then place a percentage of vulnerable children into their malnourished child mill to become future cheap labor.

George W. Bush started his terms with 12 million children facing food insecurity and malnourishment. Eight years later at the end of his terms and policies, America counted 16.7 million children facing malnourishment. The Bush family is owner or major shareholder in the Keefe prison commissary industry. Did we vote for the Bushes’ profit at the ruin of our children? The Bushes’ profit, like the Kochs’, the Cheneys’, the Perrys’, and the rest of the billionaires club depends on programming failure in America’s children. Gardner and his fellow Republicans are crafting the federal “personhood” law to overcome the promise of over-the-counter birth control, which will be too expensive for poor women, the Republicans’ concubines. What will you vote for, the billionaires club and the Koch burlesque, or for our communities’ futures?
– Ann T. Johnson, Durango

Mehall’s right on the money

Dear Editor,
Wonderful article Luke! “Home Sweet Home, Eh?” Frankly, the places he described I also went to this summer, and boy were they exciting – Squamish and the rest of the Northwest! And he makes a great point about the nomadic and adventurous life: we all need a place to return home to. I’ve been in Durango for 13 years, and these mountains, waters, rocks and trails have a powerful connection to my soul. The people, poets and politics (sometimes) do too. As an adventure traveler, home can be hard to recognize, and accept. Especially when home has some heartache associated with it. Our type is more apt to escape the pressure of it all, and get back to the road we love so much. However, we yearn for the homely comfort that eludes us even then. Durango has been a mixed bag for me at times, and at other moments a wonderful and magical gift. I guess that’s why it’s home. My family even recognized its powerful pull as they developed a trading post in the early 1900s in Newcomb, N.M. They would write about visiting Durango on a dusty road called 550. They loved it! Home is where the heart is, they say. However, when I riff on that, I believe home is where life is. A place where your heart fights to stay, where you passionately love and where you truly feel alive.

Thanks Luke (and thank you to the person who showed it to me)! Your article couldn’t have been more timely.
– Walker Thompson, Durango

J. Paul Brown unfit for office

To the editor,
Thinking of voting for J. Paul Brown? Reconsider. The man has demonstrated himself unsuitable for public office, ready and willing to misrepresent the positions and intentions of others he knows little to nothing of.

In the last decade, J. Paul has attended a grand total of one La Plata Electric Association Board meetings (the free lunch part). Yet during my re-election campaign this spring, he apparently felt that was sufficient qualification to fabricate and publicly misrepresent mine and others’ well-intentioned efforts. His claims in the pages of the Durango Herald (May 10, 2014) were so mean-spirited and outrageous that the editorial board broke its own policy, sharing his and Christi Zellers’ diatribes with me prior to publication and allowing a same page response. (Sadly the Telegraph published Zeller’s mis-information without any such consideration.)

So I did a little research. It seems Mr. Brown had contacted a few farmers growing for and an investor with San Juan Bioenergy – the company I built but which failed after the recession did a bulls-eye on us. He asked them leading questions to support his pre-existing and slanderous conclusions, and then even cited them as references without their permission.

In 2008, he was directly involved with a Right Wing media group from the Front Range that published a fake newspaper demeaning former County Commissioner Wally White. And as a “conservative,” he complains of government largesse, yet hypocritically pockets (and as county commissioner voted for) agricultural subsidies supporting his sheep ranching operation.

With a history of misdeeds and perversions like these, J. Paul has shown such a lack of integrity as to demonstrate himself incapable of representing anyone but himself, much less Southwest Colorado residents in a public capacity at the state capitol. 

In stark contrast, Mike McLachlan has shown the highest levels of integrity in addressing the challenging questions before him at the State Legislature, and a genuine concern for his constituents. Vote for Mike McLachlan.
– Jeff Berman, Durango

Editor’s note: Sorry, Jeff, but it is not our policy to leak letters – or anything for that matter – prior to publication. Not even to our own mothers. But we did break from our policy of “we’ll print damned near anything” to remove the parts of Zeller’s letter that we felt were irrelevant to the LPEA race and mounted to no more than a personal attack. In fact, if you compare the letter than ran in the Herald with the one that ran in the Telegraph, you will notice we did afford you quite a few courtesies. All that, and we even corrected your misspelling of Mike McLachlan’s name.

McLachlan does bidding of Biden

Dear Ed,
Several weeks ago, I attended a hearing at the Durango library regarding a state water plan. State representative Michael McLachlan spoke on behalf of one of the breakout groups and the first words out of his mouth made the point that “only 5 percent of the state’s residents had vested water rights” in a very dismissive tone. Perhaps Mr. McLachlan didn’t get the memo that those people with vested water rights are the same ones that grow produce and feed for livestock in Colorado. One has to wonder if Mike Bloomberg or V.P. Joe Biden blew in his ear and told him that those with vested water rights weren’t worth bothering with. As a side note, all of the people that spoke on behalf of their breakout groups (except Mr. McLachlan) were very critical of the proposed EPA plans to control water distribution in Colorado. Quite frankly, I resent the fact that Mr. McLachlan would rather listen to national political figures than locals.
– Dennis Pierce, Durango

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