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Is the 'Weekly' Trying to Oppress Smokers?

I can't believe you advocate Proposition 203 ("Decisions, Decisions '06," Oct. 5) while admitting a "legitimate question" still exists: What do smokers and preschoolers have in common? It sounds like the beginning to a joke:

"Man, I HATE smokers!"

"Well, I hate paying for day care. I've got an idea!"

The truth is that every smoker I know would LIKE to quit smoking. Moreover, tobacco interests in/with government have sold the addiction. Blaming the addict is just plain wrong, but singling him out to pay for your kid's baby sitter is absolutely immoral.

Hey, why not tax the obese for their food addictions to pay for Head Start? Or better yet, tax the parents! Since the purpose of the tax is to pay for early education programs for pre-kindergarten children who are disadvantaged, let all parents pay the tax. Children who aren't disadvantaged won't actually receive benefits, just like how our great-grandchildren won't actually be benefiting from our current deficit when they're paying it off.

Gary Davidson


I'd Take Williams Over Horne Any Day!

I was sorry to hear that you had endorsed Tom Horne.

I heard the debate on Arizona Illustrated. I have been very impressed with Jason Williams the numerous times I have heard him speak. That he won with such a large lead over an excellent opponent, Slade Mead, in the primary must tell you something about what people think of him.

Tom Horne is more aggressive and attacking, and got more time in the debate due to his aggressiveness. But I think Jason has a feel for what kids need. He listens to teachers, parents and administrators, has a nonpunitive and supportive stance toward "failing schools" and has the experience necessary for the job.

It is about time we had a real educator in charge of public instruction. You should have spent some more time learning about Jason Williams in person, which is what I urge all voters to do.

June Wortman


I'd Take a Potted Plant Over Horne Any Day!

Wow, how can you endorse Tom Horne? I have been a public school teacher for 14 years, and I would vote for anyone rather than him. The testing situation is a waste of money, and it is ruining our education system rather than strengthening it.

The new state standards are just silly. Take a look at the first-grade social studies standards, for instance. Here's an example: "Recognize why England and Spain wanted to rule other areas of the world." Could you please explain how you would appropriately teach this concept to first-graders? Can most adults even explain this?

You state in your endorsement that he has done much to improve failing schools. You are obviously not actually aware of what is really going on. "Failing" schools get scared into teaching to the test. I know of schools where principals tell teachers that they are not allowed to teach science or social studies, because all of the instructional time must go to reading, math and writing. Is this really improving the schools? Can scores from one test really determine whether a school is successful or not? Or whether a superintendent is successful?

I would vote for anyone who would run against Tom Horne, because I don't think it can get much worse. However, I do respect that Jason Williams has actual teaching experience. It would be a refreshing change to get someone in this position who actually has a clue and can make decisions based on what is really good for kids, not what is good for business or politics.

Michelle Aron


This Guy Must Be Thrilled She's Now a Regular Columnist!

If Catherine O'Sullivan thinks that Tucson is such a "cornhole" town (Guest Commentary, Sept. 28), she is more than welcome to take her stupid son, her husband who was stupid enough to marry her, her stupid ass and her juvenile writing (not being able to write an article without using profanity), and get the hell to wherever their car runs out of gas.

Hopefully, it will be a long way from Arizona, and good riddance.

Pete Meis


'Censored Stories' a Symptom of 'Bush Derangement Syndrome'

Sarah Phelan doesn't even try to hide her bias, although she conveniently attempts to absolve her participation in sensationalism, because she doesn't like the fact that others are not part of her "Bush derangement syndrome" ("Censored Stories," Sept. 14).

The president "repeatedly lies to the American public"? Any examples here, or are these just hollow accusations?

The Halliburton claims have been disproved repeatedly, but that doesn't keep Phelan from repeating them. Maybe somebody will actually believe them, and it will most likely be the person interested in the pedophile story.

Bush was voted into office by the American people, in case she's forgotten, and nobody said he was perfect. Where was this article on Clinton when he was in office?

Has it ever occurred to her that the reason why people don't want to read the kinds of stories she's writing is because people know it's all conjecture and bold-face lies? Nobody cares what writers like her think, because it's all been written before, and it's all junk. Her know-it-all, "you're all blind and dumb" attitude is transparent and shallow. We're on to her and have been for years now. It's time for her to grow up and get a real job.

Steve Miller


Thanks for the Kind Words--and a Clarification

Please accept grateful thanks from the St. Andrew's Bach Society Summer Concert Series for selecting us as Best Summer Musical Treasure (staff pick) in your recent Best of TucsonTM issue (City Life, Sept. 28). Our success stems from the willingness of Tucson's best musicians to provide such wonderful concerts during their down time, and the support of the print media in Tucson, particularly the Weekly, which has featured our concerts frequently in City Week over the years. Given that our advertising budget is basically zero, your support of a little concert series and the musicians in this town is a great community service.

I need to clarify something--the series itself is not 10 years old. The St. Andrew's Bach Society was founded in the 1980s by Father Charles Ingram, but had gone dormant after his retirement. With the encouragement of Father Bob Williams, I revived it and made it a summer series 10 years ago, when Dan Buckley of the Citizen challenged the musical community to provide more classical music during the off-season. With the support of local audiences, we moved from strength to strength and will continue to do so in the future as I step down.

Thanks again for your kind recognition of the series!

Christina Jarvis


That Hargis Guy Sure Is a Talented Fellow!

Your Best of TucsonTM was absolutely great--especially because of the genius of Wes Hargis. I always read the Best of TucsonTM, but usually just skim it. This time, thanks to his utterly fantastic drawings, I was compelled to read every damned entry!

Felicia S. May

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