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Pickens' Embrace of Wind Energy Is Good, Even if His Water-Rights Purchases Are Not

Tom Danehy's exposé of T. Boone Pickens' nefarious scheme to corner Texas' water supply (July 24) is hardly breaking news. Pickens has been buying water rights for years in anticipation of profiting from coming shortages. If Texans let him do it, I guess it's their problem.

Alternative energy on the scale needed to put a sizable dent in our oil consumption will happen only when hard-headed businessmen like Pickens are willing to invest with the expectation of earning a profit. His motives may not be altruistic, but when he bets on a horse we need to ride into the future, it's good news indeed.

As in Colorado and Utah, oil-shale development in Alberta, Canada, would consume enormous quantities of water in a semi-arid region with none to spare. It will also wreak environmental havoc on a scale that makes the proposed Rosemont Mine look like a kid's sandbox. I guess Tom thinks it's OK for Canadians to have something in their backyard we wouldn't want in ours.

William C. Thornton


When It Comes to Customer-Service Professionals, Be Nice (and Don't Swear)

Now I see Catherine O'Sullivan is now annoyed with all the customer-service minions of the world (July 24). A word of advice: Although your attempt at congeniality with the Beaver Creek gal was somewhat admirable, when you conduct business in person, try a smile and a bit of that same congeniality. You might be pleasantly surprised. I'm not saying that every customer-service transaction will go your way, but you can go fairly far at seeing that the transactions at least have a reasonable start.

One more tip: Your expletives are not funny anymore. Now you've got your kid using them. Way to parent.

A. Roy Olson


Leases Are Contracts That Both Sides Need to Fulfill

I've been both a tenant and landlord, and as such, know both sides of that coin. Recently, there have been articles and letters in the Tucson Weekly ("Rent Court Is All About Evictions and Nothing Else," Mailbag, July 17, and "Home No More," Currents, June 26) that seem to misunderstand the landlord's perspective.

A lease is a contract, and it is binding. If a tenant agrees to pay a certain amount per month to live in a place, then he/she must pay that, or the contract is broken. If the landlord agrees to let the tenant live in a place, then as long as the contract is in place, he must do that.

It isn't the landlord's place to give charity; his mortgage company and the utility companies will not let him try to make them into charities. Landlords have bills, and they must be paid. It is unfair to expect the landlord to not eat while paying bills that were supposed to be covered by a tenant's rent money.

Imagine for a moment if a landlord expected the tenant to move out of his rental but continue paying the rent. Most any renter would rightfully go through the roof. But to not pay the rent for a month or two is like taking an equivalent action against the landlord. It violates the contract and is illegal, not to mention cheating the landlord.

Deposits are also a mixed bag. So far, I have been lucky, and have never had to withhold a cleaning/damage deposit. I understand a renter's point of view that they could lose a deposit, perhaps amounting to $1,000. However, having been a landlord, I have put up a house worth more than $200,000. Who has the most to lose?

Certainly there are bad landlords, but there are also bad tenants. The letter writer I refer to wanted to pay all the back rent (which he owed!) and stay, but didn't necessarily have future rent--meaning the landlord would likely be in court again in two months.

Bottom line: If you sign a contract, you are obligated to do what is outlined in that contract. If you can't, or won't, then just don't sign it!

Andy Odell


Upset About Jennings' Departure for Europe? Blame Lute!

Lute Olson is not God. Olson is not even the pope, so, as hard as it may seem to believe for UA basketball fans, Olson is not infallible.

Many, including Tom Danehy (July 17), have ripped a young teenager because he decided that he would rather work than play during his first year out of high school. It was the right decision, and Danehy and all of those other self-righteous, morally indignant, Lute Olson Kool-Aid-drinkers would do exactly the same thing if they were in Brandon Jennings' position. Lay off the teenager!

People say Jennings "broke his commitment to Olson and the UA." Really? You reap what you sew. The Infallible One started this when he broke his commitment to his players and abandoned them by walking out because he was going through a divorce. Olson's behavior was far worse than Jennings' behavior, and you can even say that Olson's behavior probably resulted in Jennings' decision. That decision cost his players and the UA millions of dollars because of the team's resulting poor performance.

By the way, where were all of you morally indignant loyal UA fans when Dick Tomey, the UA's best football coach, was disgracefully run out of town in the middle of the night because of another broken promise?

College athletes are simply indentured slave laborers who are paid nothing while the greedy universities make millions. Even the degrees most of them get in exchange for their free room and board are financially worthless. I personally would like to see college athletes unionize and strike. Pro athletes have players' unions; why not college players?

Steve Brandon


Russert Deserved Accolades Because He Was Nice

Did someone drop Connie Tuttle on her heart when she was little? The accolades I heard about Tim Russert (July 17) centered mostly on what a nice person he was. Tuttle should be so lucky.

Erik Shapiro


Tuttle's Column on Russert Marks a New Low!

Congratulations: You have reached a new low. Connie Tuttle does not have the stature to wipe Tim Russert's ass, let alone smear him after his death. I do not know what possessed her to write this crap, and I do not know why you editors published it. Probably, like everyone else, you don't bother to read what is printed in the Weekly.

I don't know what kind of chip Tuttle has on her shoulder, but you guys who get paid to publish readable content obviously dropped the ball in a big way.

Noah Vail


Correction

In "Executive Homecoming" (July 24), we reported that Jason Cianciotto, Wingspan's executive director, graduated from the UA with an MBA; actually, he graduated with a master's degree in public administration. Also, the publication Cianciotto wrote about the experiences of LGBT youth in public schools was listed as required reading by the professor of one class at the Harvard School of Education, not the entire school.

We apologize for these errors.

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