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Claim: Winterhaven Water Guest Commentary Needed Some Fact-Checking

My husband and I have been Winterhaven neighborhood residents for the past five years. I am also the "new-comer chair" on the Winterhaven board, and my specific job is to welcome new neighbors when they move in and answer any and all questions.

I was disappointed by the lack of journalistic integrity in regards to the Weekly's basic fact-checking, disclosure and conflict-of-interest issues in the guest opinion piece by Ken Mowbray (Dec. 17).

1. Ken Mowbray is not a Winterhaven (homeowner). A quick search of the Pima County Assessor's Office could have clarified this.

2. Winterhaven's bylaws and rules require that turf be "maintained" by being "mowed and kept free of weeds." The city of Tucson also requires residents to keep their easements and sidewalk areas "maintained and free of weeds." There is no mention in Winterhaven literature that turf must be "green." Bermuda lawns naturally go dormant in the winter and thus are "brown." There are frequent reminders in the neighborhood newsletters to stop watering lawns in the fall/winter as the water is wasted on dormant lawns.

I really appreciate freedom of expression and the value and necessity of independent media. However, I also believe in truthfulness, accuracy and personal responsibility in reporting and publishing news and op-ed pieces. I would encourage you to review your internal procedure for fact-checking in hopes of strengthening the Weekly.

Melissa Evers


Note to Mary: The Check's in the Mail

I am still blushing and gasping for air, from the surprise of your special recognition. Never, never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would finally get picked for your Get Out of Town! award (Dec. 17). To reach such a pinnacle of appreciation, at the age of 75, is the ultimate! I will try to wear the crown with dignity and humility.

I don't know what little ol' me did to deserve such a distinguished honor, but obviously, I must be doing something right and will strive to keep up the good work. And the free publicity for the (Pima Association of Taxpayers) group's good deeds is beyond computation. Thank you for that, too!

Usually, when one achieves an award of this magnitude, there is some type of remuneration. I've been feeling too shy to ask, however: Is the check in the mail, or will that be cash?

Actually, I read Mr. Boegle's comments and the Weekly on a regular basis. It is an important part of our community. He is an excellent editor and seems to manage his paper in a responsible fiscal way. The bonus is good articles and op-eds that are always informative and entertaining.

Hooray! Print journalism is thriving and still bringing surprises, with urbane, witty and provocative viewpoints. If my name had to appear, even dubiously, I am glad this weekly newspaper is here to print it.

Mary Schuh


Comments From Readers at TucsonWeekly.com

Regarding Serraglio, Dec. 24:

Keep in mind that many of our legislators have little more than a very basic education themselves. There's a prevailing attitude up there that the proponents of higher education—those "elitists" who are probably promoting a practically communist agenda anyway—need to be taken down a peg or two.

—nic-nic


Regarding "Totally Full-Circle," Currents, Dec. 24:

Just think: If Austin (Texas) had this kind of attitude toward redevelopment, they would be ... Tucson! Seen their economy lately? It puts ours to shame. Have any of you been there? ... These types and sizes of places (like the proposed An Congress restaurant), such as Buffalo Billiards on historic Sixth Street ... add to the diversity of choices in the area. The more choices, the more people.

The smart downtown displaced would just find the closest shop near the redevelopment and benefit from the traffic/customers it will bring into the area. Make friendships and partnerships, and you could gain from this. But noooo, I am starting to think that some are just a bunch of whiners who couldn't make it in business anyway under normal circumstances. These kinds of things happen all the time.

Mr. An, don't give up! I know that lots of the new Madden Media employees will be more than happy to frequent your business!

—observer


Regarding Guest Commentary, Dec. 24:

Outstanding article. I've worked to maintain communications for private and public fire departments for more than 20 years, and I can tell you from experience: The level of professionalism of publicly funded safety personnel cannot be compared to privately funded fire departments. Their training goes way above and beyond those for-profit fire departments. Privately funded fire departments don't require the high standards that (the Tucson Fire Department) requires, pay their firefighters less, and have less-qualified personnel with substandard equipment making life-saving calls. Is that what we want?

—get_real


Correction

In "Making Bank" (Currents, Dec. 24), we incorrectly reported that the U.S. District Court Judge John Roll is presiding over a class-action lawsuit against the Coronado National Forest; actually, the judge is U.S. District Court Judge Raner Collins. We apologize for the mistake.

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