Soap Box

Gobble up a veggie Thanksgiving

To the editor,

While President Trump is pardoning two turkeys for Thanksgiving, every one of us can exercise that same presidential power by choosing a nonviolent Thanksgiving observance.

And here are some other good reasons:

• You can brag about pardoning a turkey – like Trump (or not).

• You will stay awake for your favorite football game.

• Your sensible vegetarian kid won’t have to boycott the family dinner.

• Plant-based holiday roasts don’t have to carry government warning labels.

• You won’t have to call Poultry Hotline to keep your family out of the hospital.

• Your body will appreciate a holiday from the fat, cholesterol and hormones.

• You won’t sweat the environment-and food resources-devastation guilt trip.

• You won’t spend a sleepless night wondering how the turkey lived and died.

Seriously, this Thanksgiving, let’s give thanks for our good fortune, health and happiness with a life-affirming, cruelty-free, plant-based feast.

Our own dinner will feature a store-bought plant-based holiday roast, mashed potatoes, stuffed squash, candied yams, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. An internet search on “vegetarian Thanksgiving” is getting us more recipes than we could possibly use.

– Dante Gomez, Durango

Raining on the Trump parade

To the editor,

It sure was nice that Trump and family went on a nice vacation to Paris on our dime. He was also going to pay respects to all the fallen in WWI.

It was raining so he could not walk with world leaders in the streets or visit the thousands of graves some 50 miles away... but it sure is funny, all the other nations went along with General Kelly to show their respects 100 years after the war ended.

I guess Trump was mad it was raining on his parade.

The president then flew home Sunday and went into his bunker at the White House. Monday he was recovering from a hard day’s work and didn’t even have time to go the Arlington Cemetery or the tomb of the unknow soldier. I’m sure the vets who voted for him liked that.

Trump says he cares about the military. Yeah – the VA is still all messed up, and he is in command. What a joke. He doesn’t talk about it and when asked he says he is working on it. When was the last time he ever went into a VA hospital? Ask a vet.

I guess you’ll find it somewhere in the more than 5,000 lies he has told the public and his GOP supporters. The president might even tell the Forest Service how to manage the forest after he solves the California fires.

– Bob Battani, veteran, Durango

Don't turn backs on homeless

To the editor,

If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals. I would substitute “city” for “man” in the above Harry Potter  quote. Look at us! Many of us are turning our heads from the homeless and “building a wall,” outside of which the homeless are allowed to live.

I have lived in Durango only two years, coming from Chicago, where it is relatively hopeless to help the homeless. However, Durango is very small and there are very few homeless people here. We should step out of our cars and ask them how we can help, rather than ignore them. Sure, some are taking advantage, but most are probably not.

I looked up online (msn) how I could find a place to stay in Durango if I were homeless. There were only three entries that showed up, whereas there were eight entries for homeless pets. Come on, gang!

One candidate for sheriff stated that the homeless might be taken care of by “nonprofits.” Are not governments “nonprofits?”

My point being, this is a moral battle, not one to be overseen by the ACLU. We should and could take care of the few homeless people here. Give them some credit for liking Durango! Morality is more important than legality!

– Bonnie Dudley, Durango

City servants don't deserve ire

To the editor,

Durango’s city leaders/servants get a lot of anger thrown their way every day, publicly and personally. Especially during voting seasons. Yet? By feeble ilg’s direct experience through my city employee yoga classes, my native h(om)etown leaders/servants (who choose to take my yoga class on their lunch hour!) are supremely focused, polite, obedient, humble, humorous, super aware, highly disciplined, intelligent, compassionate and gregarious.

And? They could probably kick your you-know-what, because ilg knows how strong, supple and focused they continue to bec(om)e. Fact is, our noble city leaders/servants (yup, ilg is training a few of our police in this precious class) are among the most valorous students ilg has had the privilege of serving over 35+ years of teaching.

So, if you are gonna hammer my city leaders/servants by an easily quilled “Letter to the Editor” to pass integrity judgment on them: 1) Know that it has been and remains a genuine highlight and deep honor of mine to give back to my c(om)munity by helping the health and well-beingness of our precious city servants; and 2) before you so easily tap out that letter of lambast, best ask yourself first, “What is it that I do each day (or week, or month, or ?) to help my c(om)munity?!

That is all. Head bowed, Spirit vowed ... Namah!

– steve ilg, native durangatang

Two more years to get things done

To the editor:

I am honored to be re-elected as your State Representative for House District 59. Thank you for putting your trust in my leadership for the next session; I promise to continue listening to your concerns and voting for Southwest Colorado interests.

We came together this election around our shared values, advocating for a future in which we can all believe. It is a future where our economy works for everyone, not just a privileged few, where our natural world is protected, where our schools are strengthened, and where our cherished freedoms are afforded to everyone, no matter their gender, race, income level or religion.

As I toured the district, several distinct concerns consistently came up, which I intend to address this next session: health care, water storage, affordable housing, sustainable energy, affordable college, and vocational education. The issues are large and important, and we will work together to find solutions.

As always, I welcome your input. Email me at; mail to 200 East Colfax, Room 307, Denver, CO 80203; or call 303-866-2914.

The election is over, and it’s back to working for all of you. Thank you for your support.

– Rep. Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango