Another Version of Summerhaven's Start

To the Editor,

In the otherwise fine article, "Up in Smoke" (June 26), there are a number of statements regarding Frank Weber and the establishment of Summerhaven which are refuted by official documents located in the National Archives:

· Frank Weber spelled his name with one "b" rather than two.

· Mr. Weber settled in Summerhaven in 1892, not 1882.

· Mr. Weber received a patent to 152.32 acres in November 1910, not 160 acres.

· Mr. Weber did not "finagle" his way to receiving approval of his homestead application, nor did he use "diversion and sleight-of-hand" toward that end. To the contrary, far from having "capitalized on the Timber Homestead Act," he built three log houses and cultivated several acres of land where Carter Creek enters Sabino Creek. He never made any effort to harvest the trees on his homestead for commercial purposes and certainly did not "haul some logs around" other than to cut trees to clear his cultivated acreage and to build his houses.

· The fact that Mr. Weber's homestead was established in good faith and without deception or fraudulent intent was confirmed by Department of the Interior Special Agent Samuel J. Holsinger in his March 1901 report to the commissioner of the General Land Office recommending that the Santa Catalinas be set aside as a forest reserve (now called a national forest). Mr. Holsinger's report led directly to the proclamation of the Santa Catalina Forest Reserve by President Theodore Roosevelt on July 2, 1902.

When looking backwards over the past 100 years, it seems clear that the two most important historical figures in the Santa Catalina Mountains are Frank Weber (without his homestead there would be no Summerhaven) and Samuel J. Holsinger (without his persistence and industry there would be no national forest encompassing these mountains).

--James Klein

Someone Needs to Get Over His Fear of Hyphens

To the Editor,

I, too, am thoroughly appalled at the dreck that passes for writing these days and enjoy Renée Downing's lessons ("Return of the Grammar Goddess," June 26). I would appreciate it if you could mention one of my own pet peeves, which is writers who--for no apparent reason--like to sprinkle their prose with useless and misplaced hyphens. You know, things like: "hunkered-down," "gold-into-mud," "commander-in-chief," "self-conscious," "old-fashioned" and so forth.

And "a couple months back?" Geez Louise. I have no problem with a writer who wants to wax colloquial (see "Geez Louise" above), but perhaps not when setting oneself up as a writing expert.

Thanks for your consideration.

--Steve Meiller

A Kind Letter About The Skinny?!?

To the Editor,

Thank you for the kind words in The Skinny of June 19 ("Spit Up Your Starbucks") regarding my work and Arizona Illustrated in general. I would like to point out the outstanding work of KUAT-TV's videographers, Martin Rubio and Bob Lindberg. It is, after all, television. Pictures are mandatory. Quality television, moreover, is the good marriage of words, pictures and sound.

--Ted Robbins, KUAT-TV

Whew! A Normalcy-Restoring Anti-Skinny Letter

To the Editor,

In this era of journalistic decline, when reportorial fraud shames even the elite news dailies of America, it is downright inspiring to see The Weekly following the ethical path in standing firmly behind its unsigned gossip column (Mailbag, July 3).

--Tom Gelsinon

It's Time to Protect Our Freedoms

To the Editor,

I was really glad to see Connie Tuttle's reminder ("Freedom Lost," July 3) about the dangers of the Patriot Act shadowing Independence Day. These last few years, and the few to come, are crucial in John Ashcroft's assessment of how much the American people will let him get away with.

While we would all like to be safe against terrorism, we must also guard against domestic corruption that threatens the Bill of Rights and the freedom which we take so much for granted. As citizens, we have the right to reject the Patriot Act. We also have the right to insist on democratic rule instead of corporate/political oligarchy ... this IS our country.

Tuttle points out that anybody, in their private residences and houses of worship, are fair play for investigation without probable cause! If everyone who is concerned about this would write or call their representative, we could try and address this issue peacefully before it gets permanently out of control.

--Sami Borenstine

Look! Even More Fan Mail!

To the Editor,

Jimmy Boegle somehow managed to flub something as straightforward as a restaurant review ("No-Frills Middle Eastern," June 19). He did not invite several people to the restaurant with him, trying many dishes, commenting on the variety of the menu, perhaps considering more than one beverage. Instead, he flattered himself, and even more so James Reel, by throwing in gratuitous filler about the conversation the two had about "the journalism business" and how "esteemed" Reel is. When it came time to actually consider his task, Boegle could only manage to commit sentences like the following: "The cabbage was ... well, cabbage. If you like cabbage, you'll like it."

Instead of admitting he didn't know what to write, Boegle lapsed into drawing funny moustaches on his subjects, which is always the hallmark of a juvenile effort. Boegle decided the waiter was "a big, burly guy dressed more like a line cook than a server." Is The Weekly serious when it prints this stuff? The guy was not dressed like a server? What does that mean? He was "gruff"? How can Boegle presume to make any kind of portrait of a man he's never met before and only spent a few minutes with?

If there's no flair to the decor, which Boegle returns to again and again, and the waiter is a gruff, unfriendly boob, and the location is lousy, then of course it doesn't matter how good the food is to your reviewer--no matter that all of this is in the eye of the beholder. Although he couldn't bring himself to condemn the food (which this reader was sure he would love to have done), he managed to write a terribly negative review of a restaurant that by his own admission served him a meal that made him "happy."

This is not even to mention the third-rate Hemingway quality of Boegle's prose. If one wants to describe what it's like to eat some place, there's no need for poetry, but Boegle could only come up with, "The salad was delivered promptly. It was competently prepared." And, "Our server delivered our lunches in an appropriate amount of time." And "Tork's is easy to find since it occupies a space next to the street."

Do a better job next time and send someone who cares about whether an unfamiliar restaurant might deserve a fair shake.

--Adam Wallin

Gosh, How We Love Fan Mail!

To the Editor,

What's with The Weekly? The heat must be getting to you. You should have run the July 3 Savage Love column right after the restaurant review and before the nun story ("Good Books"). The Uncensored Personals and sex ads should be scattered over all the pages. That way, I couldn't ignore 50 percent of the paper, or is that 60 percent now?

How about putting some quality back into The Weekly? It's getting so it smells worse than the fish heads I wrap it up in every other week. At least I don't have a problem finding a copy on Saturday anymore. It used to be that if I didn't grab one on Thursday, I didn't get one. Maybe that's because there's nobody left in Tucson. I certainly hope so, anyway.

--Elaine Geryan

We Like Simplicity, Not Bells and Whistles

To the Editor,

In spite of Jimmy Boegle's stingy review of Tork's, we hope this wonderful Tucson icon will be here another 10 years! Rather than condemn Tork's for insufficient "bells and whistles" (should they have scale models of Mecca hand-crafted from lacquered pita bread hanging above every table, fake olive trees in each corner and neon belly dancers flickering to the thump of modern Syrian dance videos?), we praise them for their perfect blend of delicious simplicity and authenticity. Their style does not include a "hello-my-name-is-whatever-and-I'll-be-your-server-today" greeting but it does ensure a low-priced, high-quality eating experience in central Tucson in the company of a friendly family.

Good luck finding your bells and whistles, Jimmy. We're off to eat at Tork's Café!

--Marci Tarre and Keith Marroquin


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