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Claim: Rosemont Mine Opposition is NIMBYism, Could Lead to More Harm

Tim Vanderpool wrote an impassioned story ("Rosemont Revision," Jan. 4) about the demise of the Santa Rita Mountains from the acquisition and proposed mining by Augusta Resource Corp. I realize that, living in Texas, I do not have your same passion over saving the much-beloved scenery and halting development so that I could enjoy things "the way they were" for years to come. I do get saddened locally when old farmland full of trees and life gets bulldozed to make way for a housing development and new roads. I also spent my younger years in Colorado, where the mountains were regularly mined. I've seen the potential effects.

What I am hearing from the article that concerns me is the attitude of NIMBYism (Not In My Back Yard) that seems so prevalent today. Copper is widely used in applications ranging from household plumbing and electric wires to components of hybrid-technology batteries for cars. If it is not obtained domestically, it will be obtained from foreign sources. If one is truly concerned about environmental damage caused by mining, then one should be more concerned by the Augusta mine not being developed. Because the demand for copper will not cease simply because Rosemont is not developed, it will be supplied largely from unstable Third World countries with environmental records that do not come close to the regulations that we apply here in the United States. If you wish to do the least harm to the environment, mine here, where companies are held accountable for their actions, not there, where regulations can be bypassed by buying off a local official or two.

Even as the Colorado mountains have been mined for years, they still are full of environmental diversity and ecological exuberance. They still awe me with their beauty. Naturally, if I had my preferences, I would prefer the beautiful, untouched, wide-open spaces and natural beauty that the pioneers enjoyed. But that is unrealistic. Your efforts would be better spent by working with the mining company to have some of your larger concerns addressed (a clean water table is indeed important), but not by opposing the mine outright. That's backward thinking.

J. Scott Brown


Did County Err When It Didn't Buy Rosemont?

I want to commend you for taking such a bold stance on this issue. It is nice to know that Wick has not completely "de-cajoned" you.

Let me play devil's advocate. Yoram Levy bought a piece of property for $4.8 million or something in that neighborhood. He offered it to the county for $11.5 million. The county did not buy it, so he sold it to Augusta for $20.8 million.

Who made the mistake here? Should the county have known the property could be bought for the original selling price? If they did, then why didn't they buy it? If not, then shouldn't they be thanking Yoram for giving them a chance to buy the property a second time at half its current value?

What about the folks who sold it to Yoram? Couldn't they have put deed restrictions on the future use of the land that would have kept it in its present pristine condition? If they did, don't you think that anybody interested in making a profit would not have bought it?

I hope the mining project or any other major development in that area never happen. Could this whole thing have been avoided?

Richard Shapiro


'Weekly' Hearkened Back to Old Newspapers, Performed a Service

What a wonderful service the Weekly has done for our community with its reporting on the Rosemont mine. You have done the research and investigation necessary to present the facts about this great injustice to your readers.

Your work has inspired and energized all of us who want to do the right thing for our community. Whether we are successful or not, everyone recognizes the importance of your contribution. There was a time when all newspapers did work like this. It was a different time.

John Kromko


Cox's E-mail Propaganda Is Not Appreciated

I, too, was surprised to see an e-mail from Cox Communications in my paid-for Cox e-mail account ("Spamalot," The Skinny, Jan. 4). Cox is giving the impression that the bad-old government is trying to take something good away from the people. Just what we need--more junk TV with 40-plus minutes of commercials per hour.

I promptly replied for them to stop spamming my Cox e-mail account with their personal-agenda e-mails. Shame on you, Cox; you should know better.

Michael Krueger


Claim: Banning Smoking in Bars Will Lead to... Prostitution?!?

It was quite interesting reading the response to your article ("Butt Battle," Currents, Oct. 26) on the smoking bans. What I read showed me how little people believe in personal freedoms. An establishment owner should have the right to cater to a clientele of his or her choosing, and to offer an atmosphere for the clients. The smoking bans essentially remove that right and empower a larger group to force their morals and beliefs on another, even if it destroys that person's livelihood.

Quite interesting, isn't it? I see this as truly self-centered activity. When will it be perfume?

Another fact is that when the Tempe area enforced a smoking ban, 150-200 bars went out of business. Everyone said the smokers were just jumping municipality lines to other establishments. Now they say that won't happen, as we have a level playing field statewide! Think again. The bans do not affect clubs and lodges. The Indian nations are also not affected.

There is the potential in California and New York City that more than 2,500 bars may close statewide due to the bans, and around 30,000 employees will be left out in the cold. Interestingly, about 90 percent of service providers are female. This will swamp the job market and force some women into--or back into--untenable situations. Save them from smoke by putting them on the street--good choice there!

The ramifications reach even further than what I have touched on here, as there is now a quiet movement afoot to follow up with a proposition that will place a 25- to 75-cent duty on all alcohol served in an establishment of any type. Where will it stop?

Glynn A. Burkhardt


Next Year, Kick Bad Radio Out of Town!

I heard recently about an incident wherein some guy risked his life to help another who had fallen on the subway tracks with a train oncoming in New York. The hero was interviewed and turned out to be less than articulate. My sources knew of this by listening to the Opie and Anthony show and thought it was hilarious that the two were making fun of the guy's intelligence.

I have listened to Opie and Anthony enough to know that it is stupid "shock radio" crap, but this latest thing really chaps my butt. It's amazing to think that obnoxious idiots can have a syndicated show and a national following simply by virtue of being obnoxious idiots.

I regret that Opie and Anthony were not recently asked to get out of town (Dec. 24).

Charles D. Ambrose

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