I’m glad the city now has a $100 fine for first-time offenders who let bears get into their trash. However, the garbage cans behind the Durango Community Recreation Center have been knocked over many times, and still they have not been bear-proofed. Can the city ticket itself for this offense? Shouldn’t the city be more progressive on bears? – Not Impressed
Cynical residents would see this as the city’s DAWS-NAWD policy at work.
It stands for: Do As We Say – Not As We Do.
You see this just about everywhere.
For instance, the city wants drivers to be more attentive. Therefore, it puts up all these traffic signs, which only manage to distract and confuse.
Then, in order to create a walkable community, there must be sufficient parking spaces.
Except along Junction Creek Road. No one can park there in order to accommodate bike lanes for cyclists who mostly don’t live in that neighborhood.
Meanwhile, government transparency is ensured by holding endless public meetings on issues that have already been decided upon privately.
Could the city fine itself for not obeying its own laws? It’s an intriguing question.
As luck would have it, Action Line ran into our good friend City Manager Ron LeBlanc.
By “ran into,” we mean a pleasant pedestrian encounter, not a depraved act of vehicular assault.
“I suppose the city could fine itself,” Ron said. “But it’s taking from one department to pay another.”
In other words, it’s borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.
But in the case of bear fines, it’s borrowing from Boo-Boo to pay Yogi.
That’s not smarter than the average bear.
In any case, Ron said the city has allocated about $30,000 to get more bear-proof public trash bins to replace the ones frequently raided, such as those behind the rec center.
As for being more progressive, Durango could raise the bar – as well as some eyebrows.
It could teach bears how to ride bicycles.
As we all know, Durango government has a fetish for multimodal transportation, and it’ll throw gobs of money to support biking.
Thus, the city should hire an expensive consultant, preferably from an eastern European circus where they’ve been teaching bears to ride bikes for many generations.
As local bears adjust to cycling culture, they’ll be less inclined to eat garbage. Instead, their diet will consist of PowerBars, GU gel packs and bananas.
The downside, of course, is bears will start riding in packs, particularly along Junction Creek Road, with its fancy-schmancy bike lanes running through a wildland-urban interface.
Sadly, we can’t tell bears to ride single file.
That would be harassing wildlife.
What happened to the two bear statues at Tacoma Vista across from Purgatory? They’ve had a rough romance, and now I’m worried that they’ve been ingloriously hauled off to the dump. Sign me, Concerned for Wildlife (or anything, but not my real name)
Action Line confirmed that the bear statues are indeed gone.
Where they went is anyone’s guess.
The folks at Purgatory are tight-lipped on the issue, preferring instead to talk about recent snows instead of bears on the lam.
The obvious speculation, of course, is that bears have headed to Durango, where the livin’ is easy because the dang city doesn’t secure public trash!
Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you knew that nearby Dolores has a $499 fine for not having a bear-proof trash container, so stop whining.