Canada should be building a wall

To the editor,

The end times are near! Run, pray or party, they’re a comin! This whole Trump thing has gotten way outta hand. This isn’t funny anymore. I mean, this carnival barker could actually become president!? It’s true! If Hillary gets the nomination, which seems inevitable, Trump could pull it off. Just forget about his knowledge of little. No details of ANY of his easily mocked plans. His toxic personality doesn’t seem to matter. His people, the New GOP, couldn’t care less. He has the media-thing mastered. Facts just don’t matter anymore. He’s got ‘Merica’s attention by the short ones. 

Hillary is so hated and untrusted by not only the establishment GOP, but many independents and a disturbing amount of the progressive wing of the Democrats, that she could actually drive her detractors out to vote for “anyone but Hillary.” A friend of mine said “at least she’s better than Trump.” Well, a lesser of two evils is still evil and that’s a poor way to run a democracy. Is there no other option? 

On the other hand, officially, until the super delegates actually vote, the people still have a chance at a true representative instead of the corporations. Who doubts that Bernie Sanders would have zero tolerance for the banksters? Who has any questions about his loyalties to big money donors (he has none – no superpacs)? Here’s something else. Nobody that I’ve heard, hates or really even dislikes him (maybe the Clintons). There’s no scandals. No shady past. No email server investigation. No Iraq war YES Vote. Bernie’s positive polling numbers far outweigh his negatives. But Crooked Hillary (that’s what Trump calls her) has some serious baggage, and it’s getting worse.

I admit, this was fun to watch back in October. But now, this is starting to get real, pretty damned quickly. Who had any idea there were this many angry and bigoted people in this country? Sure, the Republican Party accounts for maybe 40 percent of the electorate. But could actual Bernie supporters vote for Trump? Is the Hillary hate that strong? 

I’m just saying. In a general election matchup, Bernie polls over Trump consistently from about 10-15 percent. Clinton and Trump are basically tied. Tied with Donald Trump! I’m not the only one losing it here. So are a lot of world leaders. This is not going well. Sure, we could live with Hillary as president. But that greedy, loudmouth, know-nothing Trump? I wouldn’t want that nut with his finger on the button. He’ll turn the world against us. Deporting 12 million people? Punishing women for abortions? Religious tests? The more you read, the worse it gets. Besides, if anyone should consider building a wall it probably should be Canada because clearly, we’re nuts.

Months ago, I had hoped for a contested convention. I just mixed up the parties.

– Bill Vana, Durango

Police endorse Ben Lammons

To the editor,

The Sixth Judicial District Attorney endorsement was put to a vote by the membership of Fraternal Order of Police Durango Lodge #8. Ben Lammons was selected as the candidate to receive our endorsement.

We are proud to endorse Lammons for district attorney for the Sixth Judicial District which encompasses Archuleta County, La Plata County and San Juan County.

Lammons is a veteran prosecutor with over 20 years of experience who has handled thousands of criminal cases. As a federal, state and tribal prosecutor, Lammons has a proven track record in taking violent offenders and dangerous sex offenders off the streets. Lammons holds a degree in political science from Colorado College and a law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law.

We feel Lammons is the best candidate for the position for Sixth Judicial district attorney.

We encourage voters of Sixth Judicial District to vote for Ben Lammons for district attorney.

– Geary Parsons, president, FOP Durango Lodge No. 8

Wrapping up successful session

To the editor,

When the gavel fell at around 11:30 p.m. May 11 and the second session of the 70th General Assembly of the Colorado Legislature was adjourned, I was very grateful for a successful session. But there were no parties for me. I am a sheep rancher, and we make our living in 17 days in May. That 17 days, from May 5 - 22, is when the majority of baby lambs are born. It is a grueling time when my family works around the clock to make sure that those babies live and get a good start. My family needed my help, so I was packed and ready. By noon on the 12th, I was working in the lambing pens at Ignacio. Colorado has a citizens’ legislature where folks with real jobs, not professional politicians, serve the people. I like that and am proud to be part of it.

I had a very successful session in the 120 days from Jan. 13 - May 11. The most important piece of legislation that I carried was the South Platte River Water Storage Bill, HB 1256. This bill initiates a study of how much water has wasted out of this state to Nebraska in the last 20 years. The study will also evaluate storage sites, both on the South Platte and tributaries, as well as look at the possibility of underground aquifer storage, and the dredging and expansion of existing reservoirs. In the House and the Senate, in committees and on second and third readings, the votes were unanimous. The governor will sign the bill on June 9 in Denver.

I was also successful, working with co-prime sponsor Democrat Lois Court, in passing off highway vehicle legislation, HB 1030. This legislation had been worked on for around eight years and had failed. I initiated an interim committee to come up with a bill. The committee met in Denver three times and came up with a bill that was doomed to fail because the State Patrol, Children’s Hospital and several counties opposed it. During the session, I came up with an amendment that satisfied everyone, and we finally passed the legislation. The bill allows counties to require liability insurance and allows towns to designate crossings of state highways. A huge contingency of counties and towns enthusiastically attended the bill signing by the governor. I still believe that we must work to improve the law by allowing for voluntary registration and licensing of these vehicles.

I also successfully carried HB 1083, which allowed Western State Colorado University to amend its admission standards from moderately selective to selective and to allow for a broader category of professional degree programs.

I worked hard on other issues, including funding for K-12 education and full funding for Colorado Highways. I will talk about other successes in future columns. It has been an honor to serve the 59th House District.

– Rep. J. Paul Brown, R-Ignacio