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The Legislature Made a Mistake Watering Down Dangerous Dog Laws

I was appalled to learn in "Felony Fallout" (Currents, May 25) that the Arizona Legislature reclassified ownership of a dangerous dog from a felony to a misdemeanor.

I am acquainted with a woman whose mother was attacked and killed by a pack of dogs while she was working in her yard. This incident happened in Texas last November. To make matters worse, the victim's family learned that the laws in Texas are not adequate to prosecute the dogs' owners for his criminally negligent behavior. I believe that our Legislature and Gov. Janet Napolitano have just created the same problem here in Arizona.

We Arizonans need to do what the family of Lillian Stiles did: Demand that the law treat dangerous dog ownership with the seriousness that it deserves. Toward this end, her family has started an organization called Texas Families Against Dangerous Dogs. You can learn more at www.txfadd.org.

Martha Retallick


Come to Think of It, Bob Is Kinda Sweaty Sometimes

Bob Grimm spent most of his "review" of The Da Vinci Code film ("All Worked Up," Cinema, May 25) crudely mocking Catholic concerns about the film's undermining of Christian scripture.

I don't know if Bob Grimm is Catholic. If he isn't, he is no more qualified to judge what Catholics believe is risky to our faith than an agnostic is; if he is, he is foolish to underestimate the fragility of the gift of faith. Only a Catholic with a huge ego and arrogance could believe him/herself so spiritually fortified that even the slyest of heresies can and should be considered and weighed as ... what? An exercise in spiritual Russian roulette?

Recovering alcoholics, grateful for life, do not hang out in bars. These are "occasions of risk," just as The Da Vinci Code is to faith.

Grimm has the bully courage to dump on the gentle, eternal, cheek-turning Catholic faith and its clergy, but would he have such courage if a similarly slanted film were made about Islam? No, he would be bowing to Mecca so quickly that it might be easy to miss the sweaty fear creeping from his pores.

Thomas R. Mitchell


Other Factors Must Be Considered in Private vs. Public School Debate

After spending two decades in public education's "front lines," I feel qualified to share a few thoughts (Guest Commentary, May 25). First off, I am not a member of the National Education Association for ethical reasons that I won't go into here. That said, I must tell you that in my experiences with public educators, I have found very few "ineffective" teachers. There are a few, no doubt, and they should be dismissed with much greater ease than NEA and state law currently allow. Most teachers I've encountered work incredibly hard, care deeply about their students and are dedicated to helping all children be successful, both academically and socially.

We cannot force parents to send their students to school; it is difficult to educate a student who misses 30-60 days each year. If a child is an extreme discipline problem and/or exhibits behavior that disrupts the learning environment (not to mention compromises the safety) for others, we have to deal--we can't just send them home or expel them.

As things currently stand, private schools can admit or expel students at will, as can charter schools. In my experience, charter schools usually prefer to hold on to a student until they receive their state monies on the 100th attendance day of school, then the student arrives back on our doorstep. I will support the voucher/charter movement only when regular neighborhood schools are afforded the identical right to send disruptive/truant/unsupported students packing, and when private and charter schools are required by law to accept and keep any student who wishes to attend the school for at least one entire year before they are able to expel them. This will bring about equity and allow the debate about public vs. private/charter to occur on a level playing field. Only then will we be able to truly discern what difference "more money" makes.

Naomi Varga


You Libs Are a Bunch of Losers!

I am writing you to give you my point of view regarding the liberal slant of your Comix page, particularly, "Bulletin Board" (Ted Rall) and "Tom and the Dancing Bug" and his "A Public Service Announcement" (May 25).

I voted for President Bush two times and would do it again. I believe the war on terror is a clear and present danger. The libs can continue to deny that Sept. 11 happened and put their heads in the sand, as the Democrats and Clinton did so many times before that fateful day. But it did happen, and they want to kill all of us, even Ted Rall and Tom and his Dancing Bug!

Calling the president a traitor is ridiculous and over the top. Here is a news flash: The Constitution calls for defending ourselves and having a military. Our forefathers understood the big picture, even if these libs do not.

As Teddy Roosevelt said, the world will never love us, but they do respect us, because we are strong and vibrant and defend the country and the people in it as no one else does. The Japanese learned; the Germans learned; the Red Chinese learned; the Russians learned; and now the terrorists are learning.

But in a democracy, everyone has their point of view, even if it is stupid and asinine; I am disappointed that you and the Tucson Weekly do not show any part of the other side of the argument. Hey, more than half the people are on this side!

I hate to tell these folks, but we had an election in 2004, on the war on terror and Iraq, and their side lost, so get over it. They are a bunch of losers, and they continue to show it with their stupidity every day.

I thank God every day that the president is protecting us from any attacks; so far, he has succeeded!

Don Woolley


Shades of Gray Must Really Piss Off Mr. Stagg

This is a response to James Reel's review of Borderlands Theater production of El Deseo/Desire ("Physicality and Indulgence," Performing Arts, June 1).

Is there something wrong with saying, "I liked this play?" Or, how about "I didn't like this play?" As I read Mr. Reel's opinions of this performance, I came to the conclusion that he thought the acting was very good; the script was well adapted; the style suited the concept; and the language problem was acceptable. All his comments were positive, yet the review will turn away many prospective customers by its tone. That is a compliment to the writing skills of the reviewer, but does not serve the purpose of the review. Can't you guys send someone who will give us a clear picture?

Russell Stagg


Worry Not About Schoolkids, but Migrants When It Comes to Pesticides

Hispanic farm labor is at far greater risk from pesticide abuse than mainstream school children in urban America ("Drenched in Poison," Currents, June 8). Women and adolescents are at special risk. Integrated Pest Management certainly has the potential to reduce pesticide use, but it is not a substitute for safe and judicious application, storage and transportation. The acute exposure risks of many pesticides are grave enough to warrant extreme and diligent precautions even in occasional or rare instances of use.

Dr. S. Banerji

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