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Republicans Showing Lack of Long-Term Vision With Budget Cuts

As a parent of children in the public-school system, I thank Jim Nintzel for his article "The Bucks Stop Here" (Currents, Feb. 5).

Arizona is a sinking ship, and the recent cuts to education and services for children are forcing the ship to go down faster. Our children are the first to be tossed overboard.

To address the budget shortfall, lawmakers are cutting education, funding for child-protection agencies, assistance for child care and funding for children's health care. They have also taken money from First Things First, a citizens' initiative to invest in early childhood.

Not only are parents and teachers outraged; business leaders are alarmed. Arizona's Republican lawmakers must realize that education is economic stimulus.

We must make decisions with long-term financial effects in mind. Imagine a generation of children who will be uneducated, unsafe and unhealthy.

We need our Republican lawmakers to help keep our ship afloat, not cause it to sink faster.

Monica Brinkerhoff


Claim: Healthcare Group Is Not Something to Model

After reaching a total deficit of more than $23 million by 2007 (according to the Arizona Office of the Auditor General), Healthcare Group of Arizona had to take radical steps, like stopping acceptance of new subscribers and reducing promised benefits to existing clients. When these types of actions are taken by private insurers, it is seen as a colossal failure and a cautionary tale, yet somehow, the Tucson Weekly's reporter still finds the organization laudable.

The organization's mission is indeed very honorable, but no entity can survive when they ignore for so long the basic premise that your revenues must meet or exceed your expenses. The tragedy is that the failure of this program--due to the assumption of management and others in state government that they could simply continue to come to the Legislature year after year with their hands out to cover any shortfall in income--left thousands without a care option or in a plan with far fewer benefits than they were promised.

We need health-care reforms built on solid financial foundations, not just good intentions. The history of Healthcare Group should be taken as a warning, not as a model.

Taylor Davidson, broker, Insurance Division, The Ruboyianes Company


Claim: Use of the Word "Tranny" Was Offensive and Derogatory...

I'm writing to express my concern. I am upset about language used in the review of 3 Guys in Drag Selling Their Stuff ("Men on Stage," Performing Arts, Feb. 19).

As a transgender woman, out-and-proud member of Tucson's LGBT Community, staff member at Wingspan and coordinator of the Southern Arizona Gender Alliance, I was appalled at James Reel's offensive attempt at humor at the expense of transgender people. His use of the term "tranny" to describe the characters in this play was inaccurate. Guys in drag generally do not identify as transgender. The play was not about transgender people. The actors are not transgender.

While some of us in the transgender community have reclaimed the term "tranny" from its history as a derogatory term, it is not language to be tossed around with impunity. Its use in this review was more than insensitive; it was offensive. To add the tag that the Urban Dictionary lists it as synonymous with "lame and stupid" is repugnant. Would you have used that sort of language with African Americans or gay men?

I hope you will print an apology to Tucson's transgender community, and I hope you will be more careful in your use of language in the future. I'm sure I could arrange some education for your staff. I've taken the liberty to attach the GLAAD Media Guide to this note. Please note the section on transgender terminology to avoid.

Alison Davison


... And It Detracted From Your Credibility, Too

I am writing to register my dismay at the casual and detrimental use of the word "tranny." Such use of this word is defamatory and serves to dehumanize transgender people. I want to assume this was not your intention, but your "alternate" definition of the word ("lame and stupid") makes that difficult. In my opinion, it also detracts from your credibility. I hope that in the future, you will take care to avoid language that serves not to illustrate your point, but only to offend and insult.

Kirsten Larsen


Who Cares What Nogales Residents, Businesspeople Say? My Observations Are More Important!

About Borderline Madness (Feb. 12): For a moment, I was taken to the newsstand of my childhood, back in the '70s, where certain newspapers used to report on violent crime. They were considered pervert-reading material and were sold in plastic bags. Is this the Tucson Weekly? Really? And with a bloody skull on the cover and red ink all over the article?

I am from the Mexican side of Nogales, and my family and my in-laws are still there. I go to Nogales every other weekend. My family and my in-laws owned houses very close to the border on the U.S. side; you can see "the line" from my mother's kitchen, and it is a most tranquil, peaceful place.

I am not saying that there is not violence down in Mexico. I do feel that you wanted to prove your point so badly that you led your investigation in a certain direction, with little or no objectivity at all.

Investigation should find the truth, and in your case, your article is so forced that it is almost hilarious. You said that Bracker's is not doing well because of the violence, when the owner is telling you that the problem is the failing border E-CO-NO-MY. In my opinion, they are losing much of their business because they cannot compete with Wal-Mart. And did you consider the Mexican peso devaluation? If you know Nogales, you should know that every time the peso devalues, it hits the Nogales, Ariz., economy like a tsunami.

I am not pretending to minimize the issue of violence, but I did not find in any of the pages you wrote an analysis of the cause of the problem. Instead, you give us a very brief history of Nogales. Informative, but a fill-up for the blank pages. Your article is suggesting we run like chickens, because the bad guys are coming, and they are all Mexicans. It is all about warning us not to go to Mexico, because it is full of armed-to-the-teeth "narcos." It is all about paranoia.

I thought that the Arizona Daily Star and KVOA Channel 4 had the drama queens of the hysterical-wannabe investigative reporters, but this article is a jewel in her crown. Next time, ask a Mexican! Go and do your job; interview the polleros (human smugglers), drug dealers and the cops, and perhaps find how the cartels are buying their weapons, and tell us how the drugs have been transported and dealt in the United States, and deliver a piece of journalism where the readers can feel that you were shitting in your pants.

Clara Milton


Correction

In "Attractive Words" (Feb. 26), we reported that Barbara Stahura got a divorce in 1970; that actually happened in 1977. We apologize for the mistake.

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