As kind and gentle as you usually are, you continue to include these "humorous" Police Dispatches that belittle and degrade individuals with mental illness. Please stop. It's not funny; it's extremely hurtful. Those I know and work with who live with mental illness suffer from enough self-doubt and self-stigma. Many are living fulfilling and productive lives, and memories of their past actions while in a psychotic state still haunt them.
The man in the Police Dispatch distastefully titled "Shitzophrenia" (Feb. 10) will likely come out of this episode of illness filled with shame. This is sad, because it's not his fault. Knowing that others not only witnessed his actions but mocked them (and wrote about them in a newspaper) only adds to this unnecessary shame.
Tucson Weekly, you know better. You have printed articles promoting the respect and dignity of individuals with mental illness. (About two years ago, I was named a Local Hero for working with people recovering from mental illness.)
Please stop making fun of people who are disabled, by mental illness or anything else. It's destructive, and I don't think it fits who you are.
Jonathan Hoffman's article on minimum-wage morality (Guest Commentary, Feb. 17) was spot-on. The article leads the reader, in very logical steps, to the understanding that the minimum wage is not the answer to poverty, but a way for representatives to assure the downtrodden masses that they are represented.
If a minimum wage were the answer, politicians could simply raise it to $100,000 a year. Hoffman made clear that hard work, dedication and the will of the individual does more for a person than any minimum-wage law ever could.
While not everybody will agree with his logic, his argument is iron-clad and stands up to critique. Government is not here to guarantee economical fairness or happiness; rather, it is here to allow an environment where the pursuit of such things is possible.
I let your "No Budging" article (Currents, Feb. 17) digest before taking pen in hand.
In the late '70s to early '80s, when El Con was a real mall, I was the general manager. I dealt with a half-dozen lawsuits from said neighbor to the west, El Encanto, who felt obliged to sue the mall to block elephant races, children's petting zoos, new employee parking plans and a couple of other send-ups I can't recall now. They lost. Some suits I didn't fight on advice of council.
I see El Encanto hasn't lost the will to fight (and lose). But that's just my take. Look for a court battle, and "watch the money." I doubt, knowing the history of Walmart, that they will lose.
For some of the best years of my life, I lived up in Evergreen, Colo. The people there are wealthy, influential and loaded. The turn-off into the Upper Bear Creek area, where I lived, was hidden, small and idyllic. Walmart fought like a tiger there, and the neighbors lost in zoning, lost in court, and succeeded in loading the area up with a SuperCenter.
So, Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall charged John Kromko with felonies, which could mean a life in prison, for bogus signatures on a nominating petition ("Punishing the Critic?" Currents, Feb. 17).
Just try to imagine what he would have been charged with had he took voting databases home with him overnight. I'm sure that nobody can even imagine what the charges would have been if $230 million in Rio Nuevo money had disappeared on his watch.
Your story on the Mexican-American studies teachers' lawsuit ("The Fight Continues," Feb. 10) observes that the Tucson Unified School District governing board did not reply to their Tuesday, Jan. 11, letter. That letter said, in part: "If you do not join our suit or initiate your own, our only recourse is to include TUSD as a party defendant. ... Please provide a response to our requests by Thursday of this week."
Statute requires TUSD to give 24 hours of public notice of any meeting of the agenda committee, and another 24 hours before any special board meeting scheduled by that committee. Given these requirements, it was practically impossible to comply with the teachers' deadline. The only way even to discuss the matter would have been to recess the public meeting and go into executive session—and our lawyer for ethnic-studies issues did not happen to be present.
Your story omitted any board member's perspective on these events, though your capable reporter spoke to me for about two hours on Jan. 14, about this and related matters.
The teachers had long before asked TUSD to join their lawsuit, and the board had previously discussed this possibility. Those executive-session discussions are confidential, but they inform TUSD's public actions.
On Jan. 14, working through the administrative-hearing process prescribed by law, TUSD formally appealed Tom Horne's Dec. 31 ruling against the district. All other options remain on the table as the process moves forward.
Mark Stegeman President,
TUSD governing board