A number of people have commented to me about The Weekly's criticism in The Skinny ("Caged Heat," Dec. 18) about some of the choices that were made this year for the Women on the Move Awards.
I just wanted to pass along some information about the selection process. Every year, the YWCA asks a group of people from the community to serve on the Women on the Move Awards Selection Committee. This year's committee included Cathy Carlisle, Laurie Wetterschneider, Kent Burbank, Shirley Jenkins, Marty Cortez and Ivy Schwartz. Members of the YWCA Board of Directors and staff are not eligible to serve on this committee.
The committee members read and score all of the nominations and come together to make the final selection. The nominations are scored based on how well the nominee has worked to further the mission of the YWCA: "to create opportunities for women's growth, leadership, and power" and "the elimination of racism wherever it exists."
Also wanted to let you know how much we have appreciated your inclusion of YWCA events in The Weekly, and we particularly loved your selection of Your Sister's Closet as the best place to "shop" for women's clothing in the annual Best of Tucson.
I understand that opinion columnists often choose a topic and treat it as they do for its combustibility, then sit back and count the inflamed responses. OK, I'll bite.
Tom Danehy's columns have such a signature predjudice, I don't think he even has to sign them anymore. We'll just know it's Tom once again. In the Tucson Weekly, only Tom would equate the relationship between Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman's characters in The Shawshank Redemption ("Random Queries," Dec. 18) as latent homosexual (or whatever similar terms he used), just as he would label any registered independent voter as someone who lacks conviction ("Voter Guide," Jan. 29). It's those kinds of ignorant attitudes that makes our society such an easy target for ignorant opinion columnists.
Renée Downing's "What Are They Good For?" (Jan. 22) had to be the best article I've ever read in the Tucson Weekly--and the only one I've ever agreed with.
Yes, SUVs--Society's Ultimate Vanity--are a nuisance in Tucson as well as the rest of the country. They epitomize the plastic empty culture that exists today. I truly pity the moron mentality of anyone who would actually want to drive one of those things. They are nothing more than a fad, and of course, everyone wants to be like the Jones.'
Unlike the good old days when people could actually think for themselves, the "nothing" generation desires to be a carbon copy of everyone else, including the vehicle they drive. These are the same people who listen to music CDs, even though analog records and tapes sound much better. These are the people who dress, act, talk and look just exactly like everyone else. In fact, the word "individual" is not even in their vocabulary. These mindless robots are all driving SUVs, and that should come as no surprise to anyone who can really think for themselves.
I, for one, applaud Councilmember Kathleen Dunbar's stance on the Air Force jets, and I wholeheartedly support Davis-Monthan's training programs as well ("Disturbing the Peace," Jan. 29).
I live even closer to D-M than Kathleen Williamson does. I hear the same jet noise as she does, only louder. Do I complain to my city leaders? Absolutely not.
This reader appreciates the overall importance of the military training missions: FREEDOM. I find a great sense of comfort and an overwhelming feeling of security knowing our Air Force is protecting us right over our heads. Just ask my mom, whose country was liberated from Nazi occupation when she was a child, if she minds the noise.
If the noise from the jets is indeed having a very "debilitating effect" on Williamson's physical, mental and emotional health, perhaps she ought to move. What's next? Banning police helicopters from flying overhead because it irritates her? Are our city leaders supposed to urge D-M to shut down the training practices of the United States Air Force, especially in a time of war so Williamson can take a nap? I think not.
The increasing noise and volume of the Davis-Monthan jets over Tucson is a serious issue, disrupting our quality of life, health, property and peace of mind. I am afraid for the safety and health of our community. How long will it be before another D-M jet crashes into the heart of our city? How long will we wait for cancer clusters to appear as they have so tragically in other populations living under jet fumes? What economic benefit will there be for our town when we can no longer attract families, retirees and businesses to this expanded military zone with a flight path that runs so late? Our schools rely on high test scores to keep their funding. How can our young people concentrate with D-M jets screaming across our skies at all hours?
The "flight blight" Kathleen Williamson referred to in Chris Limberis' article is a certainty. I am not asking for closure of the base, only enough respect for the people of Tucson to alter the flight path over less populated areas. We can all win. I hope our mayor, City Council and D-M will care enough about our community to do what is best for all of us.
Even by its own dubious standards, The Skinny launches into journalistic idiocy in The Weekly's Jan. 22 issue ("Angel With Money"). In order to exercise an obvious, personal grudge against Karl Eller, the safely anonymous writer ostensibly attempts to compare Mr. Eller with Arturo "Arte" Moreno, who not long ago purchased the Anaheim Angels Major League Baseball team.
The hatchet job begins by stating how much positive media attention Mr. Moreno has received as a result of having bought the Angels. The inference being that Mr. Moreno is a man in a white hat. Then enters the man with the black hat, "billboard baron" Eller, who "dumped some $26 million to get the UA's entrepreneurial program named for him." (A little later, The Skinny gives Moreno a free pass for being the same kind of baron, apparently because, in its view, Moreno is a kinder, gentler baron.)
Although Arte Moreno's acquisition of the Angels is indeed noteworthy, it was a BUSINESS DEAL in which Mr. Moreno paid money for a marketable commodity; the end result of that deal, if Mr. Moreno plays his cards right, will be a substantial profit in his pocket when he sells the Angels. Karl Eller didn't "dump" any money anywhere: He DONATED the funds that made the nationally recognized UA entrepreneurial program possible. Aside from having his name deservedly attached to that program, he gets nothing back except the satisfaction of knowing that he has created a unique program that will permanently advance the cause of higher education in business at the university.
The Skinny then plunges whole-hog into Swiss-cheese logic: "Believe it, Moreno has probably done more for education (than Eller) with his scholarship support for his many members of his extended family." WHAT? As laudable as Mr. Moreno's apparently well-publicized educational assistance to his extended family is, he is nonetheless helping HIS OWN FAMILY.
Through his generous support of the entrepreneurial program bearing his name, as well as the university's sensational new dance theatre bearing his wife's name, Karl Eller is benefiting, for many decades to come, countless UA students whose names will appear nowhere on the Eller family tree.
This apples-vs.-oranges comparison, done solely for the purpose of besmirching one of the university's most loyal and generous alumni, should be far beneath any publication that even pretends to be journalistically respectable.
Executive Director, Campaign Arizona