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Heuisler: My Ideas are Very Legal

Mr. Boegle, your use of the term "illegal" when referring to my plans for administering the assessor's office puzzles me ("Gear Up to Vote," Editor's Note, Oct 14). Do you mean to damage my reputation or merely hurt my candidacy?

First, my background includes law enforcement. I have 30 years' experience in writing and lobbying for various Arizona Tax Law measures. My plans include enforcing ARS 42-11054 in assessing market value. My plans might also include using ARS 42-13052. I obey the law. My plans do not include doing anything improper or illegal.

If you would look up 42-11054, you will see how the current assessor is using improper means to establish market value by speculating on the price paid for future anticipated value--raising people's home values each year for tax purposes according to neighbors' selling prices.

Please look up the law before accusing me of planning to break the law .

Bill Heuisler


A Call to Boost Legislature Salaries

You oppose raises for the state legislators because you don't like most of the dogs in Alto, Ariz. ("Tucson Weekly Endorsements 2004," Oct. 21). Neither do I. But giving these jerks a bit more money won't make that much difference to them,because most of them get well treated by special interests.

On the other hand, it could make a big difference to the good people here in Baja, Ariz. who have to leave families and business and make the stressful drives to Phoenix to serve. One of our best representatives, Sister Claire Dunn, got killed commuting to work. So let's thank and encourage them to continue serving us.

Vote yes on Proposition 300.

Ruth Stokes


A Non-Puny Vegan Speaks Out Against Danehy

Wow. The latest of Danehy's semi-regular rants against vegetarians (Oct. 14) was as stupid and predictable as ever. Danehy seems to write about sports very little. I mean, I realize it's probably against your policy to hire staffers who can just write what they know (witness James DiGiovanna's endless leftist harping in his movie reviews), but whole columns of socially conservative whining are not what I expect from a sports writer. Then again, his sports writing has really taken a dive as well. I used to enjoy it until he became a cheap-shot artist, some sort of poor man's Rick Reilly. But I digress.

The most hilariously stupid thing Danehy said was that (paraphrased) treating workers badly was OK, since they didn't get a good enough education to deserve fair treatment. An argument worthy of the Bush campaign! Yeah, why should giant corporations be expected to pay a living wage or anything? Letting them do as they please worked out so well following the industrial revolution. And I'm glad the arduous work of writing a column doesn't tire you out too much to cash your paycheck.

Danehy, I'm glad you find the tired joke of asking animals if they want to be eaten so funny. By your same logic, I could eat the mute and severely retarded. And I would argue that your (obviously sexist) stance against women wearing white to their weddings if they haven't "earned" it contradicts your libertarianism in this regard.

As for vegans being unhealthy/puny/whatever, I'm strong, fast and fairly athletic, and I've eaten meat once since I was 15 (I'm 23 now). I'm not puny or weak by any means, and I'm not obese like the pictures I've seen of you.

Maybe you should actually take a clear look at your own morality once in a while. Not letting your ethics end where your desire begins is actually an important tenet of your beloved Catholic church; why not actually try putting it into practice?

And maybe your fat ass should try sticking to sports writing while you're at it. There's a reason Jim Rome makes more money than you, by the way.

Dave Ashal


Danehy's Hamburger Logic Is Naturally Lacking

The most striking thing about Tom Danehy's opinion piece, "It's time to eat a hamburger to protest 'Anti-McDonald's Day,'" is his wholehearted and enthusiastic committing of the very act he so bitterly complains against, that of forcing one's food choices upon another. The second most striking thing would be the wealth of poor reasoning it contains.

For an example of both, consider Danehy's argument that we should eat other animals because animals eat animals. The idea here is that if something is natural, then it is good. In that case, there are several other features of the animal kingdom we need to be emulating. Infanticide, for example, is ubiquitous among mammals. The first thing a male lion does when taking over a new pride is to kill all the existing cubs, so as to send the lioness into heat. Is it all right then for us to kill the children of our new wife from a previous marriage? How about coercive sex? Happens all the time in nature.

Earlier in the piece, Danehy heaps shame on those who do not eat meat because "we do not want to be smarter." While it is true a popular scientific theory credits our brain expansion to the eating of extra protein, there is yet to be any study so much as suggesting a correlation between intelligence and getting one's protein from meat. (I guess we do have one example in Danehy, who hasn't had a burger in two years.) On the other hand, there are numerous studies showing vegetarians to have a massively decreased chance of heart disease, obesity and cholesterol problems.

Given that Danehy has no arguments about why eating meat is not wrong, and that I will get nothing out of meat consumption besides future health problems, I'm left to wonder what his motivation is for insisting I must eat meat. The only explanation: Danehy lacks tolerance for anyone who does not share his narrow, unexamined world view.

Benjamin Kozuch


It's About Sustainability, Stupid

I never thought that Tom Danehy, of all people, would fall victim to the naturalistic fallacy. While the Worldwide Anti-McDonald's Day protest was simplistic (what isn't?) and akin to shooting fish in a barrel, the greater message is an important one to both vegetarians and the occasional non-veggie like me.

Yes, it's likely that a high-protein diet enabled our hominid ancestors to send precious resources toward the construction of a bigger, better brain, but it's that same brain that enabled the construction of human language and co-operative society. This society has slowly, painfully evolved the awareness that the color of your skin isn't a sign of privilege, that women are the equal of men and that our short-term pleasures of consumption have long-lasting consequences.

We post-industrial 21st-century humans have tried hard to insulate ourselves from the knowledge that lives are sacrificed to maintain our comfort. McDonald's is too easy a target, certainly, but we obviously need reminding that our choices as consumers have an impact on the lives and well-being of millions of other creatures, human and non-human alike. We eat to live, but we can eat sustainably, so that others might live as well.

Christopher Deegan


And Now, A Dissenting Reader Opinion

I just moved to Tucson last week and picked up a copy of the Weekly. Tom Danehy, you are a freakin' riot! I loved your article about Anti-McDonalds day! You are so right on the money! I'll be looking forward to more funny stuff!

Diane Peacock


A Slobbering Defense of SAHBA

I presume Rand Carlson is an intern of doubtful education. I can only assume this given his sophomoric effort at cartoon humor at SAHBA's expense in the October 14-20 issue's "Random Shots."

In his haste to ridicule, he could not even spell the word "hurriedly" correctly. Worse, however, is the reality that, if one chooses to disparage others, it's useful to have all the right information available.

For full disclosure, I serve proudly on the SAHBA Board of Directors but do not make one penny for work done in Tucson. I'm there because of several decades of experience in the housing industry and because I do believe in the industry that contributes so much to the community and the economy.

I am sure Carlson, whose architectural, construction and land-planning knowledge is ripe for review, is quite unaware of the more than $1 million that SAHBA has put to arthritis research and treatment in Tucson, or the pro bono remodeling done annually for families in need, or the contributions to Habitat for Humanity and the numerous other areas in which the organization and its individual members play important roles.

I am sure Carlson is unaware that two prominent members quietly financed the establishment of the Sunstone Cancer Survivor ranch.

No, Carlson--who assuredly must live in a dwelling constructed by people who belong to SAHBA--sets himself up to some sort of a standard of judgment but obviously falls far short and that is probably why he is at the bottom of Page 6 instead of being a headliner.

Joseph J. Honick, president
GMA/International Ltd.


O'Sullivan Needs to Learn About Feminism, Stripping

Catherine O'Sullivan seems to think that "real" liberated women oppose porn and only deluded, self-loathing women could ever tolerate its presence (Guest Commentary, Oct. 14). She claims her "indoctrination" as a feminist is at the root of her enlightened viewpoint, but her real indoctrination is in the idea that women's bodies are shameful and their sexuality embarrassing. Her use of degrading language, her condescending attitude and her brittle humor all allow her sense of shame to shine through.

Along with porn actresses, she also takes a swipe at strippers, stating (based on her passing acquaintance with one neighbor) that they are "drunks and junkies whose self-esteem live(s) permanently ... in the toilet." It's true that the sex industry accommodates burnouts. It's also true that stripping in particular accommodates students, single mothers, women caring for elderly parents and women raising capital to start their own businesses. I'm proud to say that stripping is paying for my master's degree, and I personally know many strong and confident women of the types I just mentioned.

Go squat over a mirror and leave the real feminists alone.

And finally, a suggestion to the editors: This column begs for an opposing guest commentary to clear the bad air stirred up by O'Sullivan. I strongly encourage you to run a column by an actual feminist, rather than a conservative in liberal's clothing. Thank you.

Charity Depres


Stop Focusing on Winterhaven and Look at Golf Courses Instead

I guess I was born with an environmentalist gene, and by the time I graduated from Tucson High, it seemed most Tucsonans had become environmentalists. Rightfully, when someone suggested we start preserving our aquifer, we embraced the idea, decimated water consumption, birthed the "Beat the Peak" conservation program and boycotted restaurants until they stopped automatically serving water. After all, we understood the fragility of our Sonoran Desert.

Thirty years after Beat the Peak, we have garnered the following for conserving Tucson's water: The La Paloma Golf Course, which was built over a saguaro forest richer and thicker than any in either monument. I say leave the Winterhaven residents and Chris Chandler alone ("Winter Ravens," Currents, Oct. 14). Winterhaven is a red herring, and you've missed the real story.

Alice A. Milton


A Red-Tag Horror Story

I recently read your story "Red Tag Blues" (Currents, Oct. 14) about the practice of red-tagging that has become such a "powerful tool in a community's arsenal," and wanted to share my own personal story of receiving a red tag here in Tucson soon after the police began giving out the "improved" 180-day variety. In my case, I believe, we were one of the first to have our red tag NOT stick, but the lengths to which we had to go to have it removed is ludicrous.

On a Saturday night, we had some people over late after the bars closed, but when a group of underage kids showed up that we did not know, we turned them away. They proceeded to go to the curb and call in a false noise complaint using my next door neighbor's address. Three hours later, the police showed up and gave us a red tag, even though our gathering was not loud. (It was windy that night, and most everyone was inside.) The police officer told us he had no choice.

It took us three weeks, a trip to court with a signed petition by all of our neighbors verifying that they did not call and that none of them had heard us, and STILL the judge would not dismiss it in court. She said she had to consider it, and sent us a notice in the mail a week later. If anyone called again while this tag was up, anyone present in our house would also be subject to a fine.

So, what consequences were there to the punk who made the false report? None. Did they follow up on the making of this false report? Nope.

It occurred to me that maybe someone should drive by the house of one of the brilliant lawmakers that passed this ordinance at say, Thanksgiving time, when they have their family over, and call the police with a noise complaint. I'll bet the ordinance would be changed in a heartbeat. Otherwise, fellow Tucsonans, get used to the fact that you can be held hostage in your home by any passing stranger any time you have more than five people in your house.

Scott Schoen


Defenders of Wildlife: Position Isn't How The Range Portrays It

We appreciate the mention of our "Refuges at Risk" report in the Oct. 14 Weekly (The Range). Cabeza Prieta is one of the most endangered wildlife refuges in the country due to our nation's current border policy, which has funneled undocumented migrants and subsequent Border Patrol activities into this incredibly fragile wilderness area. Any attention brought to this problem is a good thing.

We take exception, however, to your characterization of our stated solution. We do not say the solution is "a big honkin' 'barrier' of some kind to keep those loco Mexicans out."

We advocate for a vehicle barrier similar to the one already being built along Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument's border with Mexico because that barrier currently stops at Cabeza's eastern border, and vehicles are already driving around it onto the refuge. Stopping the barrier in between two protected areas, both of which are adjacent to Highway 2 in Mexico, is indicative of U.S. border policy in general--it makes no sense, and it will only make a very bad situation worse.

In the short-term, the barrier must be extended in order to protect refuge lands, but we do not claim this is the solution. Our report very clearly states, "Over the long-term ... the only real solution is to reform the Border Patrol's policy of funneling migrants into the desert, which has failed to reduce border crossings and has caused environmental degradation."

The entire report can be found at www.defenders.org.

Jenny Neeley, Southwest associate
Defenders of Wildlife


Leave Grijalva Alone; So What If He Takes Growth Lobby Cash?

Considering that the Tucson Weekly has continuously jabbed at Congressman Raul Grijalva throughout the years, I was shocked to discover he was named best public servant by (the readers of) your rag. Never mind that Grijalva has developed strong voter approval at local, county and now federal levels, or has been named the most progressive and consistent congressman on Capitol Hill. Our community has always known Grijalva to be a local treasure. It took the Kerry-Edwards campaign only two weeks to figure that out in Boston this summer. But it took the Tucson Weekly 30 years of public service to recognize this.

But then The Skinny was at it again, this time alluding that Grijalva loves money and was in his "natural element ... comfortable as he ever was taking contributions"("More Topsy Turvy," Sept. 30). Of course, The Skinny fails to mention that Grijalva's campaign funds and fund-raising are among the lowest in the country, and that the hosts are the very same Growth Lobby that was happy to see him leave the Board of Supervisors.

Just when I thought you were back on a sane track, along came the silly prejudices again. We're not stupid! We know what we have in Grijalva.

Jesus Gomez


'Fahrenheit' Not Slanted; Bush Is

In your review of Fahrenheit 9/11 on DVD, you state " ... it seems a bit strange to take potshots at Bush for remaining calm and seated when first informed of the second plane hitting the Twin Towers" (Now Showing at Home, Oct. 14). The man wasn't performing brain surgery or setting up a giant domino rally at the time. It isn't laudable that Bush remained comatose and confused during a crisis.

You also go on to write that "Moore often distorts truths" and that, "(his) slanted filmmaking style might be hard to trust at times." If the content of Fahrenheit 9/11 seems exaggerated, it is only because the cartoonish villainy of the present administration is exaggeratedly vile.

Zev Rubin

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