Now that we know the recreation center is Durango's Big Foot of carbon, has anyone considered other ways to
"Slenderella-size" the facility's environmental impact? Why not reconfigure the cardio machines and stationary bicycles
to generate electricity? Surely, the rec center could become a lean "green machine." - Missy Verde
When it comes to energy, the rec center needs sadistic personal trainers, a crash diet and an XXXL T-shirt.
Sort of like that TV program "The Biggest Loser," except instead of using the morbidly obese as contestant, the show
could feature energy-hogging municipal facilities.
The beloved 72,000-square-foot rec center spews out 47 percent of the city's natural-gas emissions and 20 percent of
its greenhouse gases. So there's a lot of room for improvement.
And electricity-generating bikes are not such a far-fetched notion, said Cathy Metz, director of the city parks and
"I've heard of a few places actually doing this," she said. The power generated is "minuscule, but it gives people a
sense they are helping."
"But who knows," she added. "With all of Durango's wonderful cyclists, we might be able to set some sort of new record
for bike-electric generation."
The best aspect of pedaling at the rec center? Uppity bicyclists can ride several abreast without incurring the wrath
of equally uppity motorists.
In the meantime, we can conserve energy at the rec center in other innovative ways.
First, we should tether cinderblocks to members of the Durango Swim Club as they train early in the morning. The act of
dragging cement chunks on the bottom of the pool would not only create a more challenging workout but also generate
significant friction and heat, thereby warming the pool.
Second, we need to turn off the lights in the gym but have all joggers and walkers on the suspended indoor track wear
those little-kid shoes that flash with each step. The strobe effect could start a new craze: disco basketball.
And if someone could just figure out how to harness the frenetic energy off all the spazzy teens that storm the joint
after school, our power pollution woes would be over.
Give me a frickin' break! "Durango Boulevard?!?" C'mon. What an uncreative, idiotic idea to change the name of the
road. It's a federal highway: Highway 160. It's west of town. So what's wrong with Highway 160 west? When will this
name game end? - Paula
After it was reported that the mail addressed to "Durango Boulevard" would be returned to sender, it's likely that some
rethinking is in order.
But because the city is itching to change road names, let's do it right and change street monikers everywhere to
reflect their geographic reality.
For example, Durango Boulevard should really be Cortez Boulevard. Isn't that where most of the traffic is going to or
Think of Farmington Hill. We call it Farmington Hill even though Farmington is another 45 miles south. "Cortez
Boulevard" is the same deal.
Why not change the name of that traffic-snarling, pedestrian-threatening section of asphalt in Town Plaza to Rite-Aid
Boulevard and treat it as a thoroughfare instead of a parking lot?
Let's be honest. No one calls it the "Rivera Bridge." It's the Home Depot Bridge.
If you're going to change the name of Highway 160 west, doesn't it make sense to change the name of U.S. Highway
550/160 to Wal-Mart Way?
North Main will always be north Main. So let's have reality reflected on maps and signs.
And that horrible and confusing intersection of East Third Avenue and Florida Road? It should be renamed Malfunction
E-mail questions to actionline@
durangoherald.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request
anonymity if you tell lost tourists looking for Vallecito to "turn right where the old Assay Office used to be, head up
the road to where Gharr's used to be, then cut over to Florida Road and head up to Helen's Store."