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Practicing Lent? Then You're Just a Sheep Following the Herd

I'm sure Tom Danehy (Jan. 31) is a good Catholic, and like most Catholics, he completely misses the point of giving something up for Lent.

The whole Lenten season springs from the time when the Catholic Church controlled every minute of every day, much in the same way Hassidic Jews order their lives today. Some observant Jews are even told when to put on their hats during the day and when to take them off.

It's all based on the lunar cycle, as is Lent. The ancient Catholic tradition of purifying oneself before baptism is the cause of Danehy's Pavlovian need to give something up for Lent. Trained from birth, Danehy now goes through the motions automatically. He writes as if giving up something for Lent is a normal task everyone understands and accepts. If Danehy would take a few minutes to talk to those around him, he would quickly find out that most people consider the practice of following the Lenten calendar--complete with ashes on forehead, penance and almsgiving at certain times of the year--just plain weird. Hassidic Jewish weird.

Weird customs and observances need to be called out for what they are: an effort to control and order the lives of members of a group, sect, cult, what have you. It doesn't make you a better person. It just shows you to be another sheep following the herd.

Kenneth Bertschy


Danehy Compared Voting to Playing Hoops? What a Dolt!

Danehy really outdid himself with his Feb. 14 column. First, he compares playing basketball to voting. What an idiot! Then he denigrates everyone who has ever used an absentee ballot.

I'm happy all your limbs are still attached and functional, Tom. Absentee and mail voting serve a definite purpose, so don't stand high on your personal mountaintop and say you'll never use those methods.

Finally, he goes on to tell us how if we don't register with a particular party, we have no right to vote in the primaries. Well, primaries, the two-party system and the Electoral College all combine to play one big shell game on the voting public, and it's long past time for a change.

I know why you guys keep a dolt like Danehy around. As ridiculous as he is, he has to be a pretty decent circulation builder.

A. Roy Olson


Skate-Park Proponents Are Just Selfish

I am writing in direct response to the letter by James Carroll ("A Skate Park Would Greatly Benefit Santa Rita Neighborhood, Tucson in General," Mailbag, Feb. 7).

I agree 100 percent that the Santa Rita skate park, if built correctly, would be of benefit to the Santa Rita Park and Tucson in general ("Park Pique," Currents, Jan. 17). Where the current design loses me is the fact that it is not designed correctly. If it were, it would fit in to the master plan--which it does not. Shouldn't we wait to see what the Drachman Institute proposes for the Santa Rita Park? With the inevitable widening of 22nd Street, the master plan must be considered. The location that the skating community picked for these huge bowls is right in front of residences. A compromise should be pursued. Can't we move it to the southeast corner of the park, where it can compete for noise with the railroad tracks and 22nd Street, instead of placing it right smack in the middle of the residential area?

It seems to me that the skating community would want the neighborhood to buy in. This is not possible when the plan for the park is 10 years old and did not take the current neighbors into consideration. You are the selfish ones--wanting to force your hunk of concrete on us. We don't even have concrete for our sidewalks. I use the park daily, and my five-block walk to the park has not even 1 foot of concrete sidewalk, and only one street light. What are the priorities here?

I believe the people who are only "thinking about themselves" are the skate community. We are not elitists--we are the people who live here. If your skate plaza is so desirable, then why isn't it being planned at El Con or in Rio Nuevo? Probably because they have a City Council member who actually listens to them.

Debra Z. Rodriguez


Social Programs Are Not Pushing the Federal Deficit; War and Defense Are

In The Skinny, you seemed to chastise anyone who did not agree with blaming the deficit on Social Security and Medicare ("Money Talks, Feb. 7). I am getting tired of that party line.

The comptroller general, politicians, newspapers, TV news and the Goldwater Institute--all of you want to blame Social Security. Have you looked at the cost of war? Have you figured out how much money has disappeared because of lack of oversight in the war?

Perhaps you should look at the budgets for the years right before the Soviet Union collapsed. The biggest part of the budget was for defense. We seem to be charging down that road again. Look at the latest budget that Bush has presented to Congress. Remember that there will be more for the war.

I can only conclude that money spent helping citizens is bad, and money lost or spent on a war is good.

Nancy Reynolds


It's Good to See That Maturity and Tact Are Alive and Well at TUSD

Maybe Randy Dinin ("Claim: TUSD Is a Teacher-Hating Cesspool of Corruption," Mailbag, Feb. 14) received multiple complaints for not being able to put three words together to make a clear sentence. Thank goodness he won't be called back to sub for an English class.

Cheryl Palen,
Tucson Unified School District employee


Clarification: Recycling Rates Are Better Than Stated, but There's Room to Improve

Thank you for the great article on electronics recycling ("Clean Reception," Currents, Feb. 14)!

Just to clarify one of our conversations: The city of Tucson residential-recycling diversion rates, as a total of residential waste discards, used to be 9 percent under the previous curbside-recycling program, and are now around 22 percent with the blue-barrel program.

This is not to be confused with the participation rate, which was around 50 percent of city households with the previous program and around 85 percent with the current program. In essence, we are doing better than the article makes it sound, in terms of residents' use of the program, but we do still have a way to go in reaching our higher recycling diversion goals.

We appreciate your attention to the concern of electronics recycling, and general curbside recycling as well!

B.J. Cordova, director of programs,
Tucson Clean and Beautiful


Clarification

In "See You in Court" (The Skinny, Feb. 21), we reported that Pima County Democratic Party attorney Bill Risner was requesting $300,000 in legal fees following the successful voting-records lawsuit against Pima County, and that $40,000 of that would go to election-integrity activist Jim Marsh. This amount was reported based on a previous conversation with Marsh; however, after the article's publication, Marsh said the amount being requested for him is actually about $9,000. Asked to clarify the situation, Bill Risner replied: "My attorney's fees request included a request for $8,950.50 for Jim March. That number was derived from 137.7 hours at $65 per hour. The amount of time that Jim has spent on the case is vastly greater, however."

We apologize for the confusion.

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