Soap Box


Truth has always elevated humanity.
Truth gave Christ the strength
to carry his suffering burden.
It strengthened the moral compass
and allowed compassion, fairness
and kindness to prevail.
Truth was the beacon
that guided ships of state
through the gales of abusive power.
It was the banner that men carried
through the terrors of combat.
It is, and will always be,
the foundation of civility.

Truth can never be compromised,
deflected, ignored or buried.
Truth can only strengthen one’s faith and
codify what one values.
It is the ceaseless engine of hope and change.
Without truth,
darkness prevails!

– Burt Baldwin, Ignacio

Three cheers for library support

To the editor,

We would like to sincerely thank the communities of Southwest La Plata County for passing Ballot Issue 6D, to form and fund the Southwest La Plata Library
District. This has been a great example of civic involvement. The campaign to pass this Library District was driven by a group of citizens with widespread support from the families living in the District.

When people agree that a service benefits the whole community, we can unite to shape our world to make it better for everyone. The overwhelming feedback we have had from the community is that libraries are an invaluable asset that raise us up in a positive way. Three cheers for the Sunnyside and Fort Lewis Mesa communities for showing up to the polls and actively participating in this important expression of citizenship!

–Southwest La Plata Library District Issue Committee: Rebecca Benally, Nona Dale, Barbara Harris, Roy Horvath, Janet Kuss, Cynthia Loebig, Peter Miesler, Nycole Eoff, Alana Ostrander and Marilyn Zion

Time for Trump to pay the piper

To the editor,

Had enough yet? The stench surrounding us is emanating from the rotten remains of what once was the Republican Party. While Republican congressional members have picked our pockets to the tune of $250,000 annual salary, plus all the well-funded benes of office, they have done little to repay working taxpayers. Instead of being responsible representatives of the people, they have enabled the criminal in our “dump” (his words) of the White House. Every outrageous, disgusting, law-breaking act by Trump has been ignored by these cowards in office! They have done nothing to stop his lawlessness and next to nothing to earn their pay.

Over 100 bills have been passed in the last eight months by the Democratic House of Representatives – all of them stopped from a vote in the Republican Senate by “Moscow” Mitch!

Our democracy is being corrupted from within – all for money and power for a handful of morally bankrupt people. To stop what is happening will not come from those elected with a (R) after their names. It must come from us – the people – the majority of us who care about America.

Someone famous once said, “A man’s character will be his fate.” It is time for Trump to meet his fate. The Republicans running for re-election in Washington will meet their fates in the next election.

– Susan Troen, Durango

The plastics 'bucket list'

To the editor,

Although I have not personally seen it, there’s an art installation that recently opened, called “Arcadia,” which is said to evoke our love of our natural environment while simultaneously educating the public about humans’ impact on the planet.

In the end it asks participants, “What is your vow?”

It made me think of my “vow,” so that I will increase the chances of leaving this Earth habitable for the next generation and the other living things we share it with. I know I am only a small drop in the bucket, but it’s many drops that make one bucket, including my own.

My vow is to decrease my wastefulness – especially my single use trash – which is not an easy task as you may know. Plastic, for example, is everywhere. Avoiding it completely is virtually impossible, so just decreasing it has become a big part of my monthly challenge.

Here are the things I have been chipping away at, as I progressively work to reduce my waste:

1. Plastic bags – bringing my own reusable grocery and produce bags when I shop;

2. Take out waste – bringing my own supplies for “to go” food when I am on the run, such as a travel mug, utensils and take-away containers.

3. Bringing my own reusable jugs and jars to local stores where I can make bulk purchases.

I know there are many readers who have similar “vows.” Thanks to our community efforts, we can see the way to a bucket of solutions for future generations.

– Michelle Herringer, Durango

Reverse the divisiveness

To the editor,

A recent solicitation letter from Sen. Cory Gardner closed with these words: “Help me fight back against the radical liberal hoards (sic) that is descending on Colorado ... to defend the radical liberal policies, socialist programs and restrictions to our constitutional rights ... .”

Does he truly believe that Coloradans are under attack? Probably not. More likely he believes what his campaign and party leaders are advising based on research of what fires up potential Republican voters. Just like the Democrat candidates who rely on polls, surveys and focus groups to craft messaging that pushes the buttons of potential “blue” voters.

Campaign marketing is all about eliciting emotional responses – the stronger the response, the greater the impact on our decision-making. Fear, blame, resentment, anger and even hope are the most potent triggers.

We’re being played. And the sad result is that we’re getting pulled further and further apart, divided into partisan tribes ruled by emotions over reason. We’ve evolved into a society that has normalized lying, shaming, bullying, yelling, humiliating and attacking others.

I wonder how, as a society, we reverse the divisiveness. Is it possible to get back to treating others like we want to be treated, recognizing and respecting differences, striving to find common ground, and agreeing to disagree respectfully when we don’t? Can we influence elected officials, the media, celebrities, athletes and other public figures to be positive role models for our children? How do we encourage and reward acceptance, tolerance, kindness and respect?

Do you think it’s doable?

– Greg Phillips, Durango