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A Call for Solar-Powered Arcologies, Whatever Those Are

I was surprised to read at the end of "Community Under the Stars" (Oct. 25) that the community was not a "modern-day Arcosanti, some wide-eyed vision of an artist for a self-build fortress of communal living." Putting aside the nonsensical caricature of Arcosanti, where I lived for a year and a half, one of our favorite past times was to climb up on the "vaults" and look at the stars. But we could also see the glow of the urban sprawl of Phoenix growing toward us like a planetary disease run amok.

Everyone should have access to the night sky, because it puts one directly in touch with cosmic order. But in big cities such as Tucson and Phoenix, only a handful of stars can be seen through the light pollution and smog. Arcosanti, a model arcology (the fusion of ecology and architecture) is a way for all of us to experience the wondrous night sky, not just a few rich folks who can afford a home with a private observatory at places like Arizona Sky Village.

Urban sprawl and its car dependency are the reasons for light pollution. The solution is to build solar-powered arcologies. It's time now to plan one for a million people on Arizona state-trust land.

Libby Hubbard


Expanded Bus Service Has Liberated Me!

Imagine having to tell your child that they can't go to a friend's birthday party, because it starts at 5:30 p.m., and the last bus is at 5:15 ("Buses Before Bedtime," Currents, Oct. 18).

Imagine passing up a good job with great benefits because you could get there, but there was no bus late enough to take you home. Imagine being older than 30, and you have to be home by 7 p.m. on a Saturday night because you depend on the bus. I don't need to imagine these or other transportation woes, because I've experienced them.

While the routes still need some adjustments, the changes that have already been made have felt like a liberation to me.

Kelli Reynolds


There's More to Bus Success Than Fare-Box Receipts

As a retired Sun Tran bus driver who frequently uses the bus for transportation, I get annoyed when someone like Dave Devine snipes at Sun Tran and effectively undercuts the efforts currently underway to expand and improve the transit system.

He thinks he can itemize hourly expenditures for nighttime runs and use a "traditional rule of thumb" for fare-box receipts to determine, in his eyes, if the whole RTA-funded evening service is justified? And--even as he admits that about one-third of these routes have had late-evening service for less than three months--he thinks it's time to pass judgment on the viability of the expansion?

Let me tell you what I think a "traditional rule of thumb" is for NON-mass transit: highways, freeways, road-widening divided by more highways, road-widening divided by traffic congestion, air pollution and millions in tax dollars to pay for more highways, freeways and road-widening. Isn't Devine suggesting that a head count is the only determination of success?

It's narrow-minded simplicity to ignore the benefits of a bus service that runs later in this town. To name a few pluses: Employers can be attracted to Tucson if they know there's adequate transit service; tourism is facilitated when people read about Tucson's great bus service; locals can come home from a night on the town without worrying about driving with alcohol in their system; if your car breaks down at night, there is an alternative way to get home!

Give it time. And just what did you mean to imply by saying, as to who was riding the late-night bus, "most appeared to be simply poor"--they don't count; their jobs aren't important; their ridership rating is different from the non-poor?

Christina Moodie


Prop 200 Would Repeal the Garbage Fee, and That's Good Enough for Me!

There seems to be a lot of debate about the part of Proposition 200 that lets people vote on whether or not to cut off new water hookups when we start using our entire Central Arizona Project allotment ("Flush This Crackpot Scheme!" Oct. 11).

Any hookup issue that isn't going to happen for 10 years doesn't really concern me, because the big boys will have plenty of time to work it out.

It appears that everybody agrees that the proposition definitely repeals the $14 garbage tax. Repealing that deceptive and unfair tax will save me $168 per year by getting rid of that nasty refuse fee on my water bill.

Irene Kondor


Vanderpool, Wallace Deserve Kudos for Forest-Service Fee Article, Fight

This is just a quick note of appreciation for your excellent article and coverage of the recreation-fee debacle on Mount Lemmon ("Fee Finale?" Currents, Oct. 18). What have things come to when Forest Service bureaucrats act like a bunch of backroom, manipulative, corporate heavies with only an eye on their bottom line? I would also like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to Christine Wallace and her determined effort.

Jim Fuge


The U.S. Does Have Authority to Prohibit Drug Usage, and the People Can't Change That

I read Jonathan Hoffman's article, "Shouldn't Property Rights Trump the War on Drugs?" (Guest Commentary, Oct. 18). He states that "the federal government employs insane enforcement policies for laws that it has no authority to enact." He then goes on to state that "the federal government lacks ... the legal authority to engage in drug prohibition."

Unfortunately, Hoffman is dead wrong in his uneducated assumption. The United States of America, at least the last time I checked, is a member of the United Nations, and a signatory to the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances.

As the United States is a signatory to this international treaty, it falls under the auspices of Article 6 of the United States Constitution, which reads, in part, "This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land."

It would appear as if the government not only has the right to enforce these laws, but is also required to enforce them under international law.

As much as many millions of otherwise law-abiding, contributing members of society, including me, might want to just relax and smoke some harmless marijuana, we are prohibited from doing so. We are also angered because we can't change the law, and we refuse to respect those who have led us to believe we could.

Mike Carey


Corrections

Due to a production error, the credit for the photo that ran with "Trends and Trespass" (Currents, Oct. 25) was incorrect. That photo was taken by Matt Clark of Defenders of Wildlife.

Due to an incorrect date on a news release from the event promoter, the date of Mark Crispin Miller's talk was incorrect last week in both City Week and our lectures listings. The talk was slated for Friday, Oct. 26, not Thursday, Oct. 25.

In "More Bulldozing?" (Currents, Oct. 25), according to the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection's Carolyn Campbell, the off-site acreage needed for conservation at the Mission Peaks development to adhere to the Sonoran Desert Protection Plan should be at least 8,000 acres, at an estimated cost of $50 million, for American Nevada--not the 3,500 acres quoted in the story.

We apologize for the mistakes.

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