‘Twas the day before Christmas and all through our towns,
Events of the past year brought smiles and frowns.
Traditions aplenty for this time of year;
So here is your poem with holiday jeer.
The rhymes will be tortured in meter and verse;
The Year in Review goes from bad into worse.
We fully admit it’s nothing but falderol;
So sit back and relish your yuletide doggerel.
The winter was snowless, the forecast was dire;
No wonder we suffered the 416 Fire.
It ravaged the forest and thousands of acres;
So what’s the plan now, all you policymakers?
The creek in Hermosa, a watershed ruin;
Some people affected, the train they are suin’.
Who do we blame for this tragic inferno
that burned like a trillion containers of Sterno?
The question is going to be up to the courts
with class-action lawyers and claims of their torts.
It’s “justice” they’re seeking, attorneys say smugly;
Regardless of outcome, it’s going to get ugly.
How quickly forgotten that no structures burned;
And after the fire, some lessons were learned.
The train’s going diesel and ditching its coal;
For Silverton journeys, that’s how they will roll.
In snowpack and moisture, we hope skies deliver
the runoff to flush all the crap from the river.
But year-to-date water is still much in doubt
For rafters and tubers and anglers of trout.
The year has provided a point of inflection
In terms of results in the mid-term election;
Embracing The Donald, the Party of No
Concluded the season with little to show.
So here in the county, and bucking tradition,
The Dems made a sweep – and the road to perdition?
The partisans howled, the rhetoric cruel;
Could this be end of the good ol’ boy rule?
While most of the voting was largely polite
Except that one contest devolved to a fight.
Could anyone augur the utter disgrace
of something banal as the treasurer’s race?
And here in the city, results were “No Way!”
As residents pilloried Measure 2A
A tax hike proposed on all land and on sales
The Council was stunned by the margin it fails.
A grandiose scheme to raise millions of dollars?
“You gotta be kidding,” electorate hollers.
You can’t fix the roads, but revamping 6th Street
For multi-modality’s “road diet” treat?
The Park and Rec taxes and all of those frills;
Reallocate funding to pay the dang bills?
We have primo trails yet stuff falls apart;
Could be a case of the horse ‘fore the cart
For dealing with beggars astraddle the walks,
The city acts swiftly, the ACLU knocks.
We can’t ban the cardboard but surely demand
The in-the-way sitters will just have to stand.
Meanwhile the homeless have repitched their tents;
The problem’s complex and it doesn’t make sense.
Durango remoteness, the camping restricted;
A genuine crisis or woes self-inflicted?
We could have a roll call that’s brimming with boozers
Along with the moochers and system abusers.
True needy or scammer? Can’t tell them apart;
Maybe stop judging is how we can start.
As prices of dwellings are hitting new highs
The shortage of housing is not a surprise.
Combine with low wages, we must make a mention
Durango’s so poor that it can’t pay attention!
Our problems are “wicked” – it seems all for naught;
But, hey man, at least we have stores selling pot.
Perhaps that is why we have long-standing peace
‘tween hippies and cowboys and yuppies in fleece.
The reservoir’s open, a new prez at college;
Successes that all of us need to acknowledge.
Terry D. Fiedler, his passing we grieve;
In Snowdown, however, we find our reprieve.
So here’s to a new year all merry and bright.
The woes you encounter be few and so slight.
For readers, we offer the most warmest of wishes,
From yours truly here and from Action Line Mrs.
E-mail questions to email@example.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 80301. You can request anonymity if you decked the halls, walked in a winter wonderland, and saw three ships come sailing in.