Listener Comments On Fracking, Pluto Mission, And San Luis Valley Transplants

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In our regular feedback segment, Loud & Clear, we share listener responses to some of our recent segments. Last week, CPR's Andrea Dukakis and Nathaniel Minor reported on poverty in the San Luis Valley. They looked at why some people permanently leave the area, while others decide to return. Listeners chimed in after hearing these stories. Tara Alexander spent some of her childhood in Alamosa. After she lost her job in Denver more than a year ago, she traveled back to the San Luis Valley to explore a job opportunity. Part of what drew her back was the area's affordability, relative to Denver.

"I went down to Alamosa in April just to check out the community and how it changed and to see if it might be a place that I could put down some roots and stay awhile, and that I could really come home in that metaphorical and literal sense," she says.

She says she didn't get the job, but is still interested in relocating to a small town: "I feel like people are really in touch with themselves and in touch with their roots in places like those. "

Ted Atencio shared his experience growing up in the Valley on our Facebook page. He said that he was born in La Jara, Colo., and that his family is still in Antonito. He noted, "The alcoholism and abuse is rampant because there isn't anything productive to do."

Atencio goes on to say that "it remains, for me, the most beautiful place on earth. Driving into Ortiz during the summer, from desert into lush farm land is amazing to me."

Recently, we spoke to Dr. Larry Wolk -- chief medical officer for Colorado -- about the small number of doctors who issue most of the recommendations for medical marijuana. Going forward, they may face increased scrutiny. Wolk mentioned that patients can always turn to retail marijuana. But Marianne Goodland disagreed, saying that "there's one problem with this: not all communities have recreational marijuana stores. I have chronic pain issues and take medical marijuana for it. Lakewood, where I live, only allows medical sales."

We also spoke to Karen Dike, a spokeswoman for Coloradans Against Fracking. Listener Sabrina Goldrick of Lakewood was disappointed that Dike said she was open to hydraulic fracturing under some circumstances -- like if the industry had to comply more fully with the Clean Air and Water Acts.

"Karen Dike saying that Coloradans Against Fracking supports fracking if done responsibly sends out the message that fracking is okay if done right," Goldrick wrote. "Such a statement will confuse citizens. If Dike truly supports these exceptions for fracking to occur then her group should be called Coloradans for Responsible Fracking."

Finally, there were some pithy reactions to our story about the NASA New Horizons mission to Pluto. The spacecraft has been on this three-billion mile journey for nine years. David Lakes of Aurora says: "Think of the math involved in matching trajectory and velocity over that much time and space, to intersect just so. I literally can't imagine!"

To share feedback on any story, click "contact" at the top of the page, look for CPR News on Facebook, and @coloradomatters on Twitter.