I have enjoyed reading the Weekly for many years. It has generally been the most reasonable voice for the general topics of conservation, land use, urban planning and local current events that is locally available.
Consequently, I was shocked and saddened to see that the Weekly has fallen off the edge of the civilized world and into nut-case radical animal-rights activism, as indicated by the November 21 cover story ["Animal Welfare, Animal Warfare"].
Get a grip! In this time when this country has been called upon to reassess its root values and possibly re-establish some of the traditions that supposedly founded the country (value of self, family, work, self-reliance, mutual support of family and friends and moral/ethical values, etc.), it would seem that the tradition of Thanksgiving would merit some support.
Perhaps if we, as a country, spent a little more time thinking about what we have to give thanks for, we might: 1) use it more wisely, 2) appreciate and conserve it more and 3) possibly even share it more. The central theme of Thanksgiving (the meal with family and friends) is a benign and positive concept for a country that generally takes most of its meals in their cars.
The cheap-shot tactic of showing the gruesome stuff is best left to the anti-abortionists and other extreme groups; it really looked stupid and out of place in your paper.
I presume you won't be reviewing any restaurants in the future that serve meat, or interviewing anyone that eats meat, nor will the newspaper staff be eating any, either. I probably won't ever know, because I won't be reading it anymore. Your publication has quite simply lost the most important thing a paper can have: its credibility.
--Thomas Elliott, M.D.
Reading your notice of the Ballet Arizona Nutcracker ["Nuts to You," November 29] was disappointing. No mention of the music being prerecorded. This lack of the live music from the Tucson Symphony fatally flaws their production and you should have revealed same.
Let's not kid ourselves. The comparison of homeless shelters in "Shelter Skelter" [December 6] was based more on their supposed political affiliation than anything else. You might as well have titled the article "Primavera Good, Salvation Army and Gospel Rescue Mission Bad." D.A. Barber's culture-war bias is no different from the bias of whoever made the decision for Gospel Rescue Mission's rejection of Jim Kolbe's offer to volunteer.
Although Primavera, Salvation Army and Gospel Rescue Mission do have some slight cultural and political leanings, the members of the staff of the Salvation Army come from a wide range of political and economic backgrounds, and I assume the staff at Primavera and Gospel Rescue Mission are also diverse. The programs and policies of the Hospitality House are based on pragmatism and experience rather than hidden political or cultural agendas. When you consider that all three shelters deal with the same complex problems while accommodating a growing homeless population and suffering from chronic understaffing, there is no time for hidden agendas.
The homeless population is extremely diverse. People of all economic, educational and religious backgrounds have stayed at the Hospitality House. Their opinions of the programs are just as diverse. Just like the teacher evaluations given to students in college, many of the criticisms are valid and many are unfairly biased.
Before writing another article on homeless shelters, Barber should spend a year working at one. Only a true outsider to the problems faced by homeless people and the homeless shelters would reduce the issues surrounding homelessness to a culture war.
Former assistant supervisor
Salvation Army Hospitality House
A White Issue [December 13] with no mention of snowboarders at Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley, roller disco at Skate Country North for Tuesday adult night shufflers, or the skateboarders at the new Rita Ranch skate park?
I'd mention that certain rock-climbing gym, but then you definitely won't print this confessional and I'll never be able to atone for my whiteness!