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Size matters

To the Editor,

I just read another diatribe against SUV owners and I must admit to some confusion. Those who complain about SUVs cite their fuel efficiency as their main objection yet they never seem to complain about pick-ups, Winnebagos, luxury cars or older cars. As far as I know, none of them consistently beat an SUV's mileage by a wide margin.

So, I ask myself, if fuel efficiency is the reason they demonize SUVs, does that mean that all those who complain are riding motorcycles, the most fuel efficient vehicle of all? Surely, they would want to set a good example for everyone else. What? A motorcycle doesn't fit their lifestyle? They have families and they want to drive a safer vehicle to protect them even if that means driving a less fuel-efficient vehicle? Gee, aren't those the same argument SUV owners use and which are rejected by the complainers?

Obviously then, fuel efficiency can't be the real reason for their complaints. What, I ask myself, could it possibly be? Wild conjecture then takes over and I imagine all sorts of conspiracy theories ... the environmentalists and animal rights activists must be behind it. An SUV is designed to take its owner out into the woods where people do not belong. Only Bambi and, of course, environmentalists belong there. Or maybe the problem is that SUVs take hunters and fishermen abroad to pursue their interests ... not politically correct according to animal-rights activists. But wait! Pick-ups can take people into the woods, too, and they don't complain about them so my theory just doesn't hold water and I am forced to ponder again.

If it's not fuel efficiency, environmentalism or the desire to protect animals, what could it possibly be? Dare I think it? Dare I say it? Could Ocham's Razor actually provide a clue? Could the simplest answer possibly be the correct answer? Could it be ... could it possibly be ... SUV envy? Could it be as base a reason as that? No, I tell myself. Not a chance. These people, these complainers, they are saints by definition, aren't they? I shall sleep on it and ponder again.

--John L. Hill


And Nary a Drop to Drink

To the Editor,

It is hard to believe that someone can live in this environment (a desert) and still criticize the thought of water conservation (Mailbag, July 4). In case Dana Powers has missed out on some facts, we get a large portion of our water from the Colorado River--which hardly even makes it to the ocean anymore. Have you noticed any lush green lawns outside of town? Even by washes and springs? There is a reason that you won't find football-field quality turf out there ... IT'S A DESERT! There is high UV exposure, hot temperatures, little to no humidity for the majority of the year and incompatible soils for lawn grasses.

It is true that this area used to be a high plains grassland, before over-ranching took its toll, but these were tall, golden grasses, not green lawn turf. And yes, it is true that birds and insects relish the water of our city's fountains. But since when do all indigenous wildlife rely solely on humans? You paint a picture of a barren land of "desert landscape and 'parched' backyards." I'll repeat myself: WE LIVE IN A DESERT! What type of landscape do you expect?

So if you feel like watering a tree and having a fountain, fine! But using common sense by not watering at 2:30 in the afternoon (an all-too-familiar practice in Tucson) will not only conserve water, it will keep those plants from burning away.

Thinking is what is asked of the citizens of Tucson. And that will not lead to the death of every last creature from dehydration.

--Eric Galayda


Cool Ride

To the Editor,

Thanks for giving the Tucson bus system your front cover ("On the Bus," July 11). Maybe someday our city government will start taking mass transit seriously. (Let's be optimistic.) As your reporter stated, it has a very low priority in Tucson, unlike bigger and more crowded streets.

He could have interviewed more passengers on the Speedway bus. I've been riding the Number 4 for over a year now, to and from the UA where I work. During rush hour you may not get a seat, because the number of buses and the express routes have been cut. The bus riders are very loyal, however, and want improvements to make it more convenient and popular with all those people riding by themselves in all those cars every morning and evening. I know my bus buddies helped defeat the last proposition for Tucson transportation because of the city's lack of interest in improving mass transit.

It would be nice if the City Council members would take a few trips on the Sun Tran buses, as Andrew Kornylak did, preferably during rush hours. It can be a very cool ride--the air conditioning almost always works.

--Judy Goosherst

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