"Welcome to Goodmanville" (Sept. 3) clearly illustrates the conundrum that providing housing for University of Arizona students has become. The university has never acknowledged the burden it puts on the community; in fact, it just proudly admitted the largest freshman class ever. The city of Tucson's land-use code has no specific criteria for these projects. The most prolific developers have one house plan which they construct over and over again, giving no consideration to the contextual uniqueness of a particular site.
So who pays the price? The answer is obvious: The surrounding neighborhood not only has to adjust to insensitive architecture; it has to struggle to maintain a decent quality of life in the face of a large influx of transient renters.
The city has the Neighborhood Preservation Ordinance, which lists as unlawful acts the behaviors which neighbors find most offensive: excessive noise; unruly gatherings; placing rubbish, trash, filth or debris upon the property of another or public property; and public nuisance. These are unlawful for people in all residences, owner-occupied or rental, 24/7.
However, enforcement has been lax, left up to exasperated neighbors calling 911. It is time for the city to set a zero tolerance policy and to enforce it with hefty financial penalties for those most responsible—the owners/landlords of the property who do not respect the law or require their tenants to be law-abiding.
We may not be able to stop construction of mini-dorms in the near future, but we can hold the Michael Goodmans of the community responsible for maintaining civility in our neighborhoods.
I was glad to see the "Goodmanville" article in the Tucson Weekly. Thanks for that. I thought it was too polite, though.
I especially delighted in the part where he declined to be interviewed, because he felt he wouldn't get a fair shake from you guys. Poor little guy! He's already had his say as far as I'm concerned. Every time I have to look at one of his ugly boxes, I'm seeing his side of the story. Every time Kathleen Williamson is kept awake by a roaring, marauding college party, she's hearing his side of the story. Each time Canara Price looks out and sees, instead of the Santa Catalina Mountains, one of those dropped-in monstrosities, she gets Goodman's side of the story.
What this guy is doing is criminal. He's blighting our neighborhood and our city, for excessive personal financial gain. He's destroying people's lives.
He needs to be prosecuted and driven out of town, not respected! A little venom next time, please.
Randy Serraglio's piece (Sept. 3) presents a case for not deploying our most potentially potent weapon in the war on buffelgrass. He correctly notes that the invasive grass is spreading rapidly, could totally destroy our Sonoran Desert and cannot be eradicated by manual removal. So far, so good.
He strays from the facts by stating: "It isn't really possible to know whether Roundup is safe, because it isn't possible to know what's in it since its composition is patent-protected." The active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, is clearly printed on container labels. I believe this was the case even before Monsanto's patent expired and generic formulations became available. Detailed information on health and environmental hazards is accessible on container labels and the Internet.
Since he fails to state an alternative, I assume Serraglio's preferred option is to do nothing while deserts go up in smoke. As one who has spent many an hour swinging a pick on the frontlines of this war, I'm not willing to capitulate so easily.
Yes, chemical control presents risks. When balanced against the virtually assured destruction of our unique desert legacy, the risk is worth taking.
William C. Thornton
I want to thank John Gray Wallace ("Claim: Olbermann, Maddow Are Modern-Day Fascists," Mailbag, Aug. 27) for enlightening me as to my being a "mental midget" for watching "propagandists" and "fascists" Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow.
Thankfully, Wallace's letter cast aside my blindness and political naiveté. I never suspected the tremendous persuasive power in referring to those with whom you disagree as Nazis and fascists. Thank you, Mr. Wallace, for leading me to an understanding how the level of political discourse is thus elevated.
I suppose Wallace gained his wisdom from those on the airways whom I expect he reveres most—Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Hannity and Beck—so I shall change my viewing habits and rush to them, because they are well-known for dispensing pure truth.
But, Mr. Wallace, a humble, small bit of advice: You convinced this mental midget; however, those more easily persuaded by the left's dark propaganda may need specific evidence of Olbermann's or Maddow's perfidy. There must be so many instances that you were just unable to choose a few to share in your letter. Oh, please excuse my rashness and boldness.