Article on Hermitage Unfairly Maligned Animal Professionals

I was greatly disturbed by "No More No Kill" (Currents, Dec. 18), which was more about innuendo than information.

"Lawsuits are flying" was vague; no one is suing the Hermitage. The Hermitage is suing former staff, and not just for a blog, but for theft and slander. Another misleading example: "Dr. Ireland, who spent many years providing cut-rate services for the shelter ... ." In fact, he charged approximately $10,000 per month, according to Mary Jo Spring. The Humane Society began caring for the animals at a monthly cost of about $4,000, which you mentioned. The article implied that the Humane Society's charges are high; in fact, the Humane Society offers one of the least-expensive vet services in Tucson.

The article attacks the Hermitage, Mary Jo Spring, the Hermitage's board and the Humane Society, implying some conspiracy. In fact, health care and conditions have greatly improved for the cats. There is no mention of the improvements made and the great programs at the Hermitage. Adoptions have vastly improved, making room for cats to be rescued from the Pima Animal Care Center. The Hermitage's Food for People's Pets Program has collected and distributed 27,000 pounds of dog and cat food to people who need help feeding their pets.

Clearly, the article is very one-sided, mentioning nothing positive. Unfortunately, conflict among animal-rescue organizations is common, based as much on personalities as opinions of proper animal care. Much time and energy is wasted criticizing and infighting. The definition of "no-kill" and "adoptable" have various interpretations. Animal hoarding is another divisive issue.

The press should present a balanced article unless it is clearly stated that it is an "opinion." This article lacked facts and appears to be more of the reporter's opinion. I am distressed and saddened at seeing dedicated animal professionals maligned.

Bonnie Kay

Article on Hermitage Fairly Maligned Animal Professionals

I cannot adequately describe my reaction to Mary Jo Spring blaming the poor health of the Hermitage cats on staff members who had loved and taken care of these cats for years. Nor have I ever been able to fathom her getting rid of those who knew the most about the needs of the cats.

As a longtime donor and volunteer at the Hermitage Cat Shelter, my observation was that the health of the cats, and the conditions they lived in, rapidly deteriorated in the weeks immediately following the firing of the experienced staff. In addition to the firing of more than a dozen staff members earlier this year, at least 30 volunteers were abruptly informed that their help was no longer needed. Doesn't that seem like an unusually large number of dedicated people to be so in the wrong? Now, imagine the impact of such a mass exodus on a facility that housed more than 300 cats. The logic and truth are unavoidable.

Susan Miller

Mexicans Are Bringing the United States More Racism

At what point did racism become so acceptable? Since the surge of illegal immigration from Mexico started, the level of accepted racism in the United States has gone through the roof. I realize that Mexico is not as racially diverse as the United States, and therefore, it is to be expected that Mexicans will be behind in their racial awareness, but this is getting ridiculous.

People are now receiving awards for being racist? Eva Zorrilla Tessler (TQ&A, Dec. 11) says, "Why do we have to start from the white person's point of view?" Can someone please explain what the "white person's point of view" is? I've known lots of white people in my life, and I've yet to meet two white people with all the same views. Implying that all people of one race share common views is about as racist as you can possibly get. So much for teaching people not to prejudge others based on their race. Sorry, Dr. King. Despite a black man being elected president, it looks like your dream of judging people based on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin is still a long way off.

Bryan Smith

Mari Herreras Is Helping Mexicans Destroy the United States

Regarding "Big Win for Garcia" (The Skinny, Dec. 11), you have not published some facts. Letters have been written by people who have seen Isabel Garcia all over town doing things not work-related during work hours. Her boss says it doesn't matter, as she does not need to punch in or out. She has been heard telling "illegals" that "working is not a crime"; it sure is if you are here illegally. She wants Aztlan here. It's sad, but quite comical, as if Mexico ever did overtake this area, it would become the same impoverished, corrupt wasteland that Mexico is today.

The development of "a policy to define appropriate and inappropriate off-duty behaviors for all county employees" is like closing the stall after the horse has bolted. There is already a rule for what she did: It's called the Rules of Professional Conduct, and it says one cannot show disrespect to another official. Carrying the head of a beaten effigy of Sheriff Joe Arpaio showed tremendous disrespect--and Arpaio respects and carries out the law; he does not support illegal lawbreakers as does Garcia. That's why he has the people behind him! If Garcia wished to avoid violence, she would have spoken to those teens at the beginning, and would not have "joined" their show of constructive murder after they did their show of violence.

This matter is not about "speaking one's mind," but it is about acting obnoxiously, and your paper should not be promoting articles that promote such behavior. Apparently, Mari Herreras follows Mexican President Felipe Calderón's determination that "wherever there is a Mexican, there is Mexico," and is "for" her own ethnic group over everyone else. This is one of the definitions of "racism." Mexico has had an agenda for a while now to destroy this country, and you are helping them.

Laura Leighton

Predictions of Doom Say More About Predictors Than the Future

Danny August's Dec. 18 Guest Commentary ("Is Mother Earth About to Get Rid of Us--or Can We Save Ourselves by Living Sustainably?") spoke of the prophecies of several peoples which forecast momentous, possibly catastrophic events in 2012.

The seer Nostradamus had a prediction for the year 1999, about a terrifying king coming from the sky. As we know, no kings came from the sky that year. I work at Bookmans, and I noticed that after that particular prediction proved a bust, books about Nostradamus weren't selling so well anymore.

So what will happen if 2012 comes and goes without any earth-shattering changes? My guess is that folks like August will go in search of other wise indigenous peoples with appealing prophecies, perhaps the Maori of New Zealand or native Hawaiians.

Meanwhile, his counterparts on the fundamentalist Christian side of the aisle will be seeing the apocalypse as imminent and troublesome political leaders as potential Antichrists, all the while hoping that they will be helping Jesus enforce the new order after the great tribulation.

The last word, I give to Milan Kundera, from his novel Ignorance: "All predictions are wrong, that's one of the few certainties granted to mankind. But though predictions may be wrong, they are right about the people who voice them, not about the future, but about their experience of the present moment."

Robert Fisher


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