Clearly, that presidio founder had no such pretensions and knew that Tucson was already there when he arrived. So much for Tucson's terribly misnamed "birthday party" each August. This was also the firm belief of the late Charlie Polzer, another old family friend. Let the truth prevail, please.
Where has Betancourt been for the last 30 years? There is an enormous devastation in the desert now--and it is caused by humans. Betancourt mentions the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Thousands of illegal aliens and drug-smugglers enter each night through the Arizona/Mexico desert. These illegals cut down cacti and throw them on the roads to impede the Border Patrol's path.
Tons of garbage mixed with human waste litters the desert where illegals camp to wait for their smugglers. Illegals are destroying plant and animal life with the thousands of feet they trample each night through our U.S./Mexico border. And Betancourt worries about foreign grass? Give me a break!
They are offering $1 million to the first person who develops a method to manufacture frankenmeat in a chemical plant as a replacement for real meat. Most of the energy in real meat comes from the plants the animals eat, which in turn get their energy from the sun. The energy required to produce the frankenmeat would come from the usual nonrenewable energy sources. Evidently, PETA, like George W. Bush, doesn't see a need to reduce energy use and fight global warming.
So far, there have been no holy images staring up from a Big Mac.
Some writers, often subsidized by "Big Meat," point to the turn-of-the-century exclamation, "Sweet Jesus on a ham sandwich!" as proof of divine favor of a carnivorous diet. A doubtful proposition. Most scholars believe the sheer unlikelihood of the scenario gives the expression its great comic force. No endorsement of meat was intended.
The board of directors has steadfastly refused to communicate with anyone. Their meetings have been held in secret, and they decided to abandon the original mission of the Hermitage without informing donors, staff members or volunteers. The Hermitage is financed by public donations, and it is unethical for the board to make such a radical change without notifying its supporters.
As a volunteer, I became more and more alarmed by what was going on within the shelter, and in June 2008, I wrote several letters to the board requesting information. The only response I received was an accusatory group e-mail that the board sent to staff and volunteers saying, among other things, that "insubordinate ... behavior will not be tolerated" and threatening "appropriate legal action if warranted."
As a donor, I felt that money was being used fraudulently. Even as scores of unadoptable special-needs cats were being euthanized, the Hermitage continued to take in donations under the guise of a no-kill shelter. They also continued to take money every month from some of the sponsors whose cats had been killed.
The reputation of the Hermitage as one of the best no-kill animal shelters in the country has been destroyed. Supporters have been alienated, and donations have dwindled. The Hermitage is on a downward spiral, and it is time for the directors to make changes or resign.
We apologize for the mistake.