The City Council Was Right to Can Mike Hein

It amazes me how the Tucson Weekly has joined other newspapers in conferring sainthood on Mike Hein while vilifying some members of the City Council ("Bloodbath at City Hall," April 16). Our experience indicates those council members got it right.

Several neighbors and I once met with Mr. Hein and one of his assistant city managers. We had grown increasingly concerned over the level of anger and disaffection many of our neighbors were expressing toward our city government, and we proposed a way for the city to partner with neighbors to help foster better relations.

From the moment we sat down with Mr. Hein, he was angry and confrontational. He tried to pit us against each other, and when he was unsuccessful, he sat sullenly, doodling on a piece of paper as we explained our proposal. At one point, I explained that we were concerned that this level of anger would blow up. Mr. Hein's response? Maybe the city should blow up; that way, we could rebuild it. I told Mr. Hein that we did not believe in destroying the village in order to save it. Needless to say, our meeting did not end well, and we were abruptly shown the door. The following day, Mr. Hein called one of the neighbors and launched into a yelling tirade.

I find it difficult to believe that this display of unprofessional behavior was an isolated incident, and I thank the council members who had the courage to make the difficult decision to terminate Mr. Hein's contract.

Colette Altaffer

Banks Needs to Ignore Critics and Should Be Appreciated for His Tenacity

A million thanks from those of us fighting the good fight against illegals' trash on the Arizona border ("Trashing Arizona," April 2).

No one ever seems to want to hear that the "myth of the saintly immigrant" is just that: a myth. Whatever one's personal views on immigration may be, there is no escaping the fact that drug-smuggling and people-smuggling are destroying our unique and irreplaceable habitat. On our ranch, we routinely clean up not only discarded food and clothing, but diapers, bloody sanitary napkins and human feces. Trails cut through the grasslands turn into washes and tear through formerly pristine country. Cattle, horses and wild creatures die in agony after ingesting plastic bags and spoiled food.

It is encouraging to know that there are funds to help with cleanup projects, but the illegal traffic must be stopped; only then can our country make progress toward a more sensible immigration policy.

Every U.S. citizen should be forced to look at Leo W. Banks' photographs and face the reality of what is happening to one of the most unique and fragile environments in the world. My gratitude goes out to you for your tenacity in pursuing this subject.

Melissa Owen

A Response to O'Sullivan's Views on Pot, With Lots of Exclamation Marks

Wow. After Catherine O'Sullivan's diatribe against legalizing pot (April 2), she "got lots of letters" (April 16), and being the close-minded tunnel-visionary who lives in Fairyland that she is, she learned absolutely nothing.

Maybe she really is a "chemical bigot," which is not like a "political coffee table." Being, by her own admission, "a parent advocate for a local drug-treatment facility" and having "loads of friends who smoke the stuff" makes her a BIG FAT HYPOCRITE!

Taking the responsibility of parenting off the shoulders of the people who signed up for the job and putting it on the shoulders of the state/federal criminal-justice system is idiotic. Creating a "nanny" state is her idea of "something better." Really?

The criminal-justice system is like clown college for criminals. Has she never looked at the statistics on recidivism for drug-related crimes? And why do the crimes committed by someone who went into the system on a minor charge, like possession, escalate into more violent acts over time? Because while incarcerated, there is nothing constructive to do other than listen and learn from more hardened and violent criminals.

Parents need to raise their own kids, not put them in jail. Catherine O'Sullivan needs to decide if she's a "parent advocate for a drug-treatment facility" or if she wants to continue to hang out with her pothead friends and stop being a friggin' HYPOCRITE!!!!!!!!!!

Milli Harding

When It Comes to Downtown, It's the Same Ol', Same Ol'

"East Side Story" (April 9) is the same old story, a rerun of the cycles of greed, growth and decay that started in the 1940s when the Mexican poor were driven out of downtown, and in the '90s when the old Y was turned into an international arts center that foundered on one promise and betrayal after another by big money, and in the '00s when the UA Rainbow Bridge proposal was rejected as being too expensive.

For 30 years, we were told our jobs depended on development. Now the housing bubble has burst, and construction jobs have sunk, along with the water table, to new lows. For the same length of time, artists have put their own money into their lofts and been screwed out of them by landlords, some of whom were also artists or arts groups.

The moral of story: Give big money everything it asks for, and it kills itself with its own greed. As for artists, there is no substitute for equity, and your last, best chance of getting that or rent that won't kill you is in poor neighborhoods. And let the city of Tucson have downtown and become an honest whore by commissioning a statue of John Dillinger to stand alongside Pancho Villa in the Plaza of Unprincipled Promotion on Congress Street.

Business and its real heroes united at last! And we all love a happy ending.

Dennis Williams


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