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Will the Padres Succeed? It's looking Doubtful

As a baseball fan, I am pleased to have Triple-A baseball back, and I appreciated your article on the Tucson Padres ("Back in the Game," April 28). We have a chance to keep these Padres here if they are successful, but the likelihood of success appears minimal.

The local daily refuses to provide stories about the content and nature of home games, preferring instead to regale sports fans daily with fluffy features about players and various aspects of the team—including one about locker-room decor. It is hard to find a home-game score; there is little or nothing about how the game was played, or who were the stars and goats.

Padres games are not broadcast on radio, so one cannot follow the team in cars, on porches or in a computer-less room. Going to a game requires driving, parking and trudging across gravel and asphalt—no bus service.

No surprise: Game attendance is dismal. The departed Sidewinders every year were near the bottom in Pacific Coast League attendance. So far, so are these Padres.

Keith Bagwell


County Has Responsibility to Uphold Promises Made Regarding Insurance Benefits

I've reviewed C.H. Huckelberry's attempt to abrogate Pima County's responsibilities by reneging on early retirees' health insurance (Mailbag, May 5).

In these hard economic times, it's morally reprehensible that retirees who have fulfilled their responsibilities are faced with being tossed into a lousy job market hampered by age discrimination and without the health-insurance coverage they were promised by the county.

In his argument, Huckelberry seems to be relying on a destructive myth that was once the sole province of Republicans, but recently spread to the other wing of the duopoly, that "benefits" are somehow different from wages. He pretends that such benefits are "gifts" bestowed upon the employees by their altruistic employer and conveniently ignores the fact that the $31.4 million that the "taxpayers" are covering for health insurance is part of the "wages and benefits" promised to the taxpayer's employees.

Instead of crowing about the county's codependent relationship with UnitedHealthcare, one of the egregious players in the overpriced, under-performing, for-profit U.S. Sick Care Industry, Huckelberry could perform a positive public service by joining the majority of Americans in vigorously supporting some form of universal health care, like the rest of the industrialized world already has.

Chet Gardiner


People Don't Want to Fund Education These Days Because Education These Days Sucks

Once again, Tom Danehy showed his true colors in your April 28 issue by making one of his idiot pronouncements.

This one is regarding the state Legislature's aim to make cuts in the education budget. What he fails to consider is that what is today called education has nothing much in common with the education received by earlier generations of Americans, which is the education that truly made America great. What passes for education today is a very watered-down curriculum short on real learning and long on social engineering, revisionist history and outcome-based "learning." And it is because of this that so many are disgusted with it and no longer feel the compulsion which almost every American formerly felt to liberally fund education.

Danehy repeats a line, referring to the state Legislature, that many of its members "won't be happy until all Arizonans are armed, stupid and Christian." By any standard, this qualifies as hate speech. He uses the three terms—"armed," "stupid" and "Christian"—as "equivalencies" in this construction. Truth is not his aim here; his aim is only the demonizing of those with whom he disagrees. None are acceptable in a publication whose own editor has called for more civility in public discourse and which, itself, espouses a certain degree of tolerance for all points of view.

John Gray Wallace


A Comment From a Reader at TucsonWeekly.com

Regarding Danehy, May 5:

"Born of vindictiveness, fueled by classism and marked by blatant hypocrisy." Typical Danehyism. He doesn't get what he wants, so he invents "facts." The simple fact is that the money is not there, and the Legislature has no choice. Charter schools, remember, take far less money to support than do public schools (no building funds), so they help "balance" the budget. Teachers are paid satisfactory salaries on an annual basis for 180 days of work, and they refuse to extend their work days without demanding additional pay, when extending the school year to 200 days would provide the most likely improvement in achievement and could be done with only the building-maintenance costs if teachers would be sensible and just allow the added time. This is the biggest impediment to improving public education and the biggest incentive to look for other alternatives.

—chuckj


Correction

In "The Need for Weed" (May 5), we improperly cited a source as saying that the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C., offers seeds for medical-marijuana growers. An MPP spokesman says that statement is inaccurate, and that they do not offer seeds.

We apologize for the error.

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