Friday, August 29, 2008

VALLECITO: Residents of Vallecito recently celebrated the opening of a new park that features a picnic pavilion overlooking Vallecito Reservoir.

The ceremony featured several nods to Southern Ute Indian Tribe members. Seven dancers performed to song, and other tribal members spoke about the land.

"This used to be Ute country here," said James Jefferson, a Durango area resident.

"This used to be Ute country".....that started me thinking.

Through the years the Utes have seen lots of changes. The area has grown. The population has exploded and we're still growing and changing. Yet we seem to have a core of individuals who are 100% anti-growth, anti-change. Every development, every expansion sees the same opposition.

Increased traffic, too many people coming to area, loss of wildlife habitat - the list goes on. We need to realize that change is going to happen. We are going to have more people coming to this beautiful area. We need to smartly prepare for the future.

I can just visualize the Ute elders sitting in their lodges discussing: too many people, too much congestion, loss of wildlife habitat. The Utes were smart, we should be also.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Visitors to Durango often find a world quite different from the place they call "home." Its not just the beauty of the mountain or the blueness of the sky, the real difference is the people and the laid back lifestyle of Durango. One comment we hear most is how fun it is to read the excerpts from the Durango Police Blotter published daily in the Durango Herald. As special ones appear, we'll share them with you. For instance:

Friday - 11 a.m.

A man wearing army fatigues on the bike path near the 300 block of West College Drive was carrying what appeared to be a gun in his pants, but it turned out to be a black electronic device.

Thursday - 5:24 p.m.
A parole officer located a man at a motel in the 3100 block of Main Avenue who had run away while taking a polygraph test.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

RAILFEST: The 10th annual Durango Railfest that started last Thursday attacted large crowd of railroad buffs including visitiors from Germany, Italy and England.

Two historic engines were here for the celebration. The restored Durango & Rio Grande Western engine No. 315 and the Galloping Goose No. 5, a GMC gasoline powered engine put in service during the Great Depression by the Rio Grande Southern Railroad when operating steam engines became too expensive. Engine No. 315 could be seen hauling passengers to Cascade. The restored engine appeared brand new.

In addition to Railfest, Saturday brought the Brewfest to Buckley Park in downtown Durango. Eleven breweries from all over Colorado were on hand dispersing their hand crafted products. What a weekend!

What's next? Can you feel the distant rumble? As Labor Day approaches the rumble will grow. The earth will vibrate as thousands, yes thousands, of Harley bikers converge on the Durango area for the rally. There's never a dull moment in this quiet mountain town.

Friday, August 15, 2008

WATER: The rural water system that would serve the southern portion of La Plata County and the southwestern area of Archuleta County that has been discussed for 20 years took a step closer to realization this week when voters, by a slim margin, approved the creation of the La Plata Archuleta Water District. The district aims to establish a rural water system where residents currently depend on water wells or have water trucked in.

In addition to creating the district voters selected five members to serve as the district's board of directors. District officials will have to go back to voters to fund the system. The date for that election has not been set.

While this is a long term project it is badly needed and will open up a huge part of the county for residential use.