A Loving Letter From a Big Fan

Wow. I have got to tell you: I have no idea why I picked up your paper. I guess my blood pressure was too low, and I needed something to lift it. Well, it was right there on the front page! ("Being Baldenegro," March 31.)

Why is it that people never refer to the immigration problem as an "illegal immigration" problem?

Baldenegro Sr. sounds like one of those real solid citizens. He had the opportunity to go to the UA; however, he put that on hold to join an anti-Vietnam War group. Yes, we Vietnam vets really like hearing that. What a couple of role models!

Then I have to ask, "What in the hell did I expect coming out of the Tucson Weekly?" This is just another example as to why your rag is free. All those malcontents can't afford to buy it, because they skipped school to go join some protest!

Tom E. Taylor

Our Water Future Is Rather Tenuous

Regarding the article on Tucson Water ("Quality vs. Quantity," March 24), it shouldn't be a matter of one versus the other, but rather, having more of both.

Wouldn't it make more sense to use as much water as practical for more vegetation, including shade trees to offset the urban heat-island effect, which is only going to get worse from global warming? (The Phoenix area has begun looking into this approach.) A cooler urban area means less energy use, and therefore less greenhouse-gas emissions and less energy cost to the consumer, not to mention a more hospitable environment.

Other statements in the article also raise questions. Attributing the unexpected cut in water use over the last 10 years to conservation gives too much credit to altruism rather than the disincentive to use water that a 37 percent water-rate increase creates. And the suggestion of using salt water on crops in the Yuma area seems ill-advised, given that large areas of agricultural land in Arizona have already been impaired by salt buildup in the soil.

In reference to the statement that rapid growth in the Tucson area is over for at least 10 to 20 years, while that might be applicable to Detroit, it is hard to reconcile that with historic trends in the Southwest. And the suggestion that there "probably won't be any issues until 2016" with the Central Arizona Project supply seems too confident given the volatility of our climate.

Doug Koppinger

The Ability to Protest on the UA Mall Must Be Supported

Tom Danehy takes issue with No More Deaths' placement of a mock border wall along the UA mall, and implies that the university should not have allowed the group to do so (Danehy, March 31).

Mr. Danehy is certainly within his rights to vigorously oppose the message sent by the demonstration. (Although it should be pointed out that if one of the goals of the mock wall was to promote discussion of border issues, it promoted an entire column's worth out of Mr. Danehy.) But, please, spare me the tired "our-tax-dollars-and-tuition-shouldn't-be-used-to-promote-leftist-propaganda" nonsense. On my daily trips across the mall, I have had to navigate my way past gigantic, blown-up photos of aborted fetuses, some kind of sorority Olympics, and, of course, an endless parade of sidewalk preachers and Christian musical groups. I would prefer to travel to class without being subjected to these performances, and I am not thrilled that my tuition helps pay for such displays, but public universities are one spot where free expression should be promoted to the fullest, and slight inconvenience to passers-by is a small price to pay.

If the university is to start denying mall access to certain groups or messages, on what criteria will the decision be based? In other words, who gets to decide if a political statement is a "crap argument," to borrow Mr. Danehy's expression, and therefore not worthy of mall space? Mr. Danehy may disagree with the message that No More Deaths intended to convey with their mock border wall, but suggesting that the university should prevent similar protests in the future is dangerous and irresponsible.

Ben Harville

Danehy Helped Make the Mock Wall a Success

The UA Center for Latin American Studies built a mock wall on the mall in order to raise awareness about immigration issues in Arizona. Tom Danehy interpreted it one way; others interpreted it differently, but the specifics really don't matter, as the main goal was to get people to talk about immigration.

Danehy indeed just wrote an entire article about immigration issues, so clearly, they were very successful in their endeavor. If they had just raised a couple of billboards on the mall, he would have never said a word.

Pierre Lucas

A Comment From a Reader at TucsonWeekly.com

Regarding Danehy, March 31:

I normally support No More Deaths, but I think this was a bad move on their part. When you boil things down to simplistic messages of symbolism, that is exactly the same amount of thought most people will put into it in return. ... However, (Danehy) really crossed the line by picking on their name and calling them self-righteous. ... You sound a little self-righteous yourself—so I ask, is that always a bad thing?

—on the money


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