Letters to the Editor
Jul 23, 2009 | 1870 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Telluride Fire District Goes Above and Beyond


(Attn: Gary Whitfield, Jim Boeckel, Jamey Schuler and John Cheroske)

Telluride thanks the members of the Fire District who responded so quickly and effectively on July 9 to put out the fire on the Valley Floor. Your professionalism and training paid off big time. You and your crew’s ability to stop a potentially disastrous fire was amazing. You were able to navigate the Valley Floor with no road access and get to the source of the blaze before it was affected by the winds that could have caused it to head up the Wedge and over the ridge into Mountain Village.

The time and effort you and your fellow volunteers put in is truly appreciated. You are always there and ready. Many years ago in southern California, I was a county firefighter in the Angeles Crest Forest in the foothills of Pasadena. I know the long hours of work and training that are necessary to be prepared for any incident. You make us all proud.

Thank you again for what you do to protect our region.


– Stuart Fraser, Mayor, Town of Telluride

Mountain Munchkin Fundraiser a Success


On June 27 Mountain Munchkins held its second annual Touch a Truck fundraiser. We were thrilled with the success of the event and the community involvement. Both children and adults had truckloads of fun touching, sitting in and being photographed with their favorite trucks! The fundraiser was such a huge success thanks to the hands on participation of so many of our wonderful truck drivers and community service workers. On behalf of the Mountain Munchkins children and parents, we would like to publicly and personally thank Mona De Alva and Kurt Shugars of the Telluride School District; Kevin Smith and Jason White of the Town of Telluride; Jerry Pike, Ted Holland and Comanche of the Mountain Village Police Department; Jim Loebe, James Lynch, Daniel Gleason and Caley Davis of the Town of Mountain Village; Greg Homan, Cliff Hanner and Bill McCarty of Telluride Gravel; Teddy Errico; R.J. Haggerty, Gary Freedman, Heidi Attenberger, Nancy Landon and Jerry Taylor of the Telluride Fire Department; Brian Beckham, Mark Neyens and Josh Rapaport of San Miguel County Search and Rescue; John McKillop, Dan Molloy and Mike Metcalf of Telski; Herb Manning and Melissa Vandiest of Telluride Off Road; Shane, Susy and Mojito Bachman of Tellluride Road Runner; Randa Kidder and Jay Wilson of the Telluride Marshall’s Department; and Chris White of the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Department. We look forward to working with all of our wonderful volunteers again next year and for many years to come. Please continue to support high quality, safe and affordable early learning, preschool and daycare programs in our community.

Thank you again,

– Jill O’Dell for Mountain Munchkins Parents and Children

Fourth of July Thanks

The 4th of July Parade Committee would like to thank everyone for making this year's event a rousing success.  Recognition goes to Alpine Bank (who made it possible for the Montrose Community Band to join us), our ever-supportive newspapers The Watch and the Telluride Daily Planet for contributing ad space,the Telluride Volunteer Fire Department for trucks new and old, Erik Fallenius and Nevasca, Alpine Lumber, Viking Lumber, our volunteers and, of course, the participants who always amaze and amuse.

Susan McKinney, President

Uranium Processing


A dark specter is forming to the west of San Miguel County. Energy Fuels Inc. is seeking a special use permit from the Montrose County Commissioners to open a uranium processing mill in the Paradox Valley. Besides opening the area up to large scale uranium mining, the mill presents many significant hazards. But even more insidious is the apparent intention of this Canadian based corporation.

At a Montrose County Planning Commission meeting in early June, Energy Fuels pulled a devious “bait and switch.” Late in the evening, after public comment was closed and most of the public and the press had gone home, they requested to store higher level radio-active substances produced off site. In essence this would allow the site to become a regional or even national nuclear waste repository. The planning commission limited waste storage in their recommendation, but the Commissioners can grant whatever they want. Energy Fuels has strongly indicated that, if this is not granted, they will seek an amendment down the road.

The ramifications of a nuclear dump site are staggering. There are numerous mechanisms to contaminate the nearby Dolores River and consequently the Colorado River. San Miguel County sits downwind from the proposed site. The dust on the nearby glaciers, blown in from the Paradox Valley and much farther away, clearly indicates the need for alarm. A single radio-active particle inhaled into the lung could be a prescription for death and disease. Trucks laden with highly toxic materials could routinely pass near your home on the roads of San Miguel and Montrose counties. Nearby agricultural products and local game may become un-edible. Even without the spills, leaks and accidents common to this industry, the negative perceptions of a nuclear dump could spell disaster for local economies dependent on agriculture and tourism.

I urge all concerned citizens to take a stand for our future, to get more informed and to send a letter or e-mail to the Montrose County Commissioners. The public hearing will occur in the next couple of weeks, so timing is critical. Please go to the web site

“paradoxsustainability.org,” email to HYPERLINK "mailto:pvsa777@yahoo.com" pvsa777@yahoo.com or call 970/859-7248

A tragic history of nuclear mismanagement has made it clear; better active today than radio-active tomorrow.

– Dan Chancellor, Placerville

Telluride Trading and Construction Clarification


In regards to your article on the Miners’ Union building in the July 9 paper, I found it to contain some misleading information.

It is very important to Telluride Trading and Construction, LLC, that it be known we do not use any Telluride Fire Protection District or Telluride Volunteer Fire Dept. equipment in any of our business activities. In your article it can be construed that we did. We used our firefighter training for safety and fall protection in our decision-making and we used our own equipment. There are four firefighters and one retired firefighter on our crew.  The misunderstanding in the article probably came from this relationship to the fire dept. 
Finally, it is important to me as a trained and certified FEMA safety officer that our jobsite is viewed as safe for all workers and nearby pedestrians.  Even though we were not in full compliance with OHSA authorized equipment, our jobsites are always safe.   We were securely connected to our aerial lifts, we were wearing safety glasses and all but one person had on work boots. These items were our minor OSHA infractions; because they were not to the letter of the OHSA regulations, we were cited.  The OSHA inspector made it clear to us that these were minor and we had made the efforts necessary to be safe, but not to OHSA's strict requirements. We corrected them immediately and sent photographic proof to the OSHA inspector the same day.
If you would please make these corrections to your article public, I would greatly appreciate it.

– Scott Andrews, President, Telluride Trading and Construction, LLC
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