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Props for the Clergy Abuse TQ&A

To the Editor,

I found a link to your article about clergy abuse on the snapnetwork.org home page. Thank you for your article ("Fighting Abuse," TQ&A, Sept. 11). I am also a survivor of abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy here in the Lansing, Mich., diocese. Jim Parker is the first person I know who has come forward from the Lansing Diocese. I thought I was all by myself here in the Lansing, Mich. area. I actually met Jim Parker at the SNAP National Conference in June in St. Louis. I still live in the diocese in Jackson, Mich. Jim's courage to come forward and speak his truth is a goal I aspire to.

--Aline A. Frybarger


Mexican People Have Problems With Whitey?

To the Editor,

Oh, boo hoo!

After reading "On the Other Side" (Sept. 11) two times, I realized two things:

1. There are just as many people living in similar situations here in the grand ol' United States, especially Arizona.

2. Who really cares?

I live in South Tucson, and I can tell you for a fact that more than 80 percent of the Mexican people I have to live with or do business with (some legal, some not) have a major attitude problem towards "whitey" and the United States. Yet, ironically, I can't think of one country I can go to and get instant relief at various levels (financial aid, food, etc.) like here. It truly is sad that they have Third World conditions, but at the same time, we are creating our own Third World society by supporting NAFTA, Rep. Jim Kolbe's proposal for "worker permits" and on and on.

It's high time we quit the bleeding-heart crapola, drew lines and worried about our own. There are far too many people living in Arizona who are living at or below poverty levels, all because we live next to a Third World country.

I have to work 70-80 hours a week outdoors to earn a wage, which isn't what it should be. (It is better than in Mexico.) However, the point is: Because our borders are so "loose" and our politicians are corrupt, the standard of living for many Arizonans is much less than what it should be.

--Thomas Baile


Corporations Lead to Dead-Ends

To the Editor,

I appreciated Kari Redfield's "On the Other Side" (Sept. 11).

I do think it is imperative to mention some additional information in regards to the topic.

At least 474 maquiladoras have closed in the past three years, resulting in 219,497 lost jobs, according to a recent report by the National Institute for Statistics, Geography and Information. Most of the plants moved to Central America or China, where labor is cheaper. Free trade initiatives like the World Trade Organization encourage the movement of plants to countries that offer cheap labor, lax environmental protection and low corporate taxes.

To a bottom-line, multi-national, profit-driven, publicly-held corporation, nothing is sacred but dividends. Dividends for the rich equals dead-ends for the poor.

--Donna "Dove" Staggs


Downing Needs to Visit Oracle

To the Editor,

Regarding Renée Downing's Sept. 4 column, "News in Review": She has obviously never been to that "pretty little town" of Oracle, because NO "wall of water rolled through Oracle," and it never will.

Oracle's a mountain town and is NOT in a "new flood zone," as she states, and therefore does NOT face "frightening implications" and monsoon "peril." A wall of water did roll through flood-prone Bonito Canyon, eight miles southeast of Oracle, destroying the only house in its path and killing the owner.

--Dean Prichard


Danehy's Knee Jerks Too Much

To the Editor,

Tom Danehy sounds more and more like Emil Franzi every day. Emil hasn't had a new thought since the Korean War, and now Tom's knee is jerking along in sync.

Danehy obviously wants some sort of vigilante justice for the children involved in the fight at Pueblo High School ("Zero Tolerance," Sept. 18), but he falls strangely silent on exactly what should be done.

America is one of only two countries that has refused to sign the United Nations convention on children's rights. The other country is Somalia. The reason we haven't signed is that it contains a prohibition against executing children under the age of 16. I don't know why Somalia refuses to sign.

It's Danehy's jerking knee that's making sure we have a children's wing on death row, and Emil, uh, I mean Tom, will make sure that no child goes unpunished.

--Ken Bertschy


People DO Care About Charter Schools

To the Editor,

I read Tom Danehy's "Zero Tolerance" (Sept. 18), regarding the incident at Pueblo High where a student was killed. I share the author's surprise and disgust that the accused killer has been transferred to another school and his identity kept secret pending criminal charges. However, I take great exception to Danehy's comment, "If he has to go to a school at all, let him go to a charter school where nobody really cares."

I have three children (grades 4, 6 and 9) I send to Sonoran Science Academy, a charter school. My husband and I moved to Oro Valley almost four years ago because we were told the schools were "the best around." My husband drives 1 1/2 hours each way to and from work, crossing the border to Nogales, Sonora, because he decided the commute was worth his time, because we wanted the best schools for our children. We pulled our children from the so-called best schools around to enroll them in a charter school, because WE CARE. I, as well as ALL of the other parents who bring their children to this and other charter schools, do so because we found the "regular" public schools to be severely lacking. I drive my children to school, because there is no bus service. All the extra-curricular activities are run by teachers at the school and parents who donate their time and CARE.

I think the flippant comment by Danehy was uncalled for and he should realize that charter schools are filled with parents and students who CARE.

--Christine Feldman


The Weekly Is HUGE in New Zealand

To the Editor,

Thanks for publishing this story ("Censored Stories," Sept. 18). These stories have been rising into the mainstream media gradually for a couple of years now.

My first encounter was in the Scottish Sunday Herald in October 2001. By then, it was fairly clear that President Bush was closely following the Project for a New American Century script--ditching treaties, disrupting multi-lateral organizations and generally making the United States into a unilateral and unpopular superpower.

Had every American known about this and taken it seriously, the illegal invasion of Iraq might not have happened, and the thousands who have died since might still be with us.

At the very least, President Bush's many lies (weapons of mass destruction, education, the environment, the WTO) would have been transparently seen as lies. That this president has not been impeached already is a sign that American democracy is on its deathbed.

Thanks again. Hopefully, a few more people will pull their heads out of the ground and see the world as it is--and not as Bush's propaganda distorts it.

--Steve Withers
Wellington, New Zealand


Thanks for the Wakeup Call

To the Editor,

Your departure from "local" issues to expose the neocon national agenda and other perfidies usually downplayed by the mainstream media may be a wakeup call for those who still think all's well under the Bush team's oilgarchical reign.

The article about the Navy vet, "No Justice, No Peace?" (Sept. 18) is an apt juxtaposition. While broadcasting deafening explosions and "yelling" at people probably doesn't help Ken Erickson's anti-war cause, it does show how desperately betrayed one can feel while seeing what's really happening on many top levels of our country.

--Ann Davidon


Of Airport Screeners and Restaurant Servers

To the Editor,

Boy, I couldn't pass this one up. On No. 5 of the "Censored Stories," you mentioned that the federalization of airport screeners caused thousands of non-citizens to lose their jobs. Good! Airport screening and baggage handling, among other airport jobs, are some of those stoop-labor jobs that Americans won't take--the equivalent of picking potatoes or cotton by hand.

Since real Americans couldn't be bothered to take those air-conditioned, indoor-slave jobs at the airports, the airports naturally had to hire non-citizens, probably mostly illegal aliens.

Also, since tons of food servers these days are from south of the border, down Mexico way, they may have heard of soap, but may have not seen any. It makes one not want to eat out much.

--Peter Meis


Tram to Mount Lemmon: A Bad Idea

To the Editor,

About once every 10 years, the idea of an aerial tramway up Mount Lemmon is resurrected. The Weekly article, "Need a Lift?" (Sept. 18) brought to mind some additional problems with the concept beyond its formidable historic shortcomings (expense, scenic degradation).

The article states, "Switching from a shuttle bus to an aerial tramway would not be a difficult maneuver for the Board of Supervisors." An aerial tram is hardly comparable to a shuttle bus. And the shuttle was only one relatively small expense item on a transportation package that voters approved. To suggest there is this mandate to get more people up on Mount Lemmon, even if it means a much more expensive system, is highly questionable.

Should Pima County be in the aerial tramway business? The county already has a full plate with Kino Hospital, Old Tucson, the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, roads, parks, etc. Why spread itself and taxpayers any thinner than they already are?

A tram would only drop off people at the top, which is still a couple miles from Summerhaven, so we would still end up funding a bus shuttle to go to Summerhaven, and that still would not even get people to the many other popular places along the Mount Lemmon Highway, such as Bear Canyon, Rose Canyon Lake, Bear Wallow, etc., which voters were led to believe would be accessible by a shuttle system.

Let's not slip up the western slopes of the Santa Catalina Mountains with an ill-conceived, ineffective and expensive tramway. It was a bad concept 20 years ago, and it is an even worse one today.

--Doug Koppinger


Libertarians: Can't We All Just Get Along?

To the Editor,

Current Pima County Libertarian Party Chairman David Euchner does NOT speak for all Libertarians ("But How Would YOU Look in a Bikini, David?" Mailbag, Sept. 11).

He doesn't speak for me, a Libertarian who has run for City Council Ward 6 (1997) and chaired two more Libertarian campaigns: Ed Kahn for Mayor in 1999 and Jonathan Hoffman for Ward 3 City Council in 2001.

I support Kimberly Swanson's campaign for mayor. I find her to be fully in support of the Libertarian Party platform and principles and full of good ideas for GRADUALLY implementing these ideas. She is honestly in favor of less government and more personal responsibility, which, in my mind, is the very definition of a Libertarian.

I suspect that it's that word "gradually" where Mr. Euchner finds his source of disagreement. He appears to completely discount the necessity of bringing change a step at a time. Frankly, I've run into many such Libertarians. They seem to be of an "all or nothing" mind set--either produce a completely Libertarian society right now or forget the whole thing.

Other Libertarians know such changes have to be presented properly and implemented in stages--just like any set of ideas and activities. Kimberly Swanson knows this, and practices it in her campaign for mayor. She has many good, sensible, and workable ideas that will improve the quality of life in our city.

Mr. Euchner, a recent transplant from Massachusetts, just doesn't get it. And I seriously reject the idea that he speaks for me or all Libertarians. He certainly failed to speak for the Libertarians who wrote in Kimberly Swanson on their ballots recently.

--Dan Starr Dougherty


Coming next week: The confusion and furor over Connie Tuttle's "The Best of Gender."

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