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Finally, Someone Is Willing to Claim Daniel Patterson

We are all free to change our party registrations as we please, and self-identified "lifelong Democrat" Nicholas Fontana was certainly a registered independent as long as Daniel Patterson was (TQ&A, May 3).

But Fontana fudges in claiming that, like himself, Patterson switched his registration "from lifelong Democrat" to independent.

Lifelong? Patterson was neither a Democrat, nor Republican, when he ran for the Legislature back in 2000. If "lifelong" registrations determined such matters—and they don't—then a Green Party member would be sitting in the Legislature today.

Claudia Ellquist


If We Don't Support Fourth Avenue, Businesses Will Die

Today, I visited one of the shops along Fourth Avenue. When I asked the owner how the construction was affecting her business, she broke down and started crying, saying that things were so bad, she wasn't able to talk about it ("Go Downtown, Dammit," Editor's Note, April 19). This has been a family business for more than 20 years, and she says there is no way she will be able to survive.

I am afraid that we are going to lose a lot of the unique, locally owned businesses along Fourth Avenue and Congress Street before the end of the streetcar construction. The triple whammy of the extended economic downturn, the normal summer downturn and the devastating impact of the streetcar construction is much more than these shops are going to be able to ride out. National chains have the option of offsetting losses at one store against profits at others, but for the owners of most of the businesses along the route of the streetcar, this isn't an option.

It may not be too late to help some of these stores if people will make an effort to come down and patronize them, but without a real show of support, when the first streetcar rolls down the tracks, there are going to be a lot of empty storefronts along the way.

Frank Bohac


The Fox's Extra Fees Are Pure Deception

Jimmy Boegle rightfully questioned the ethics of a hotel that adds a "resort fee" (in the fine print) to its posted room cost ("Local Means Responsibility," Editor's Note, May 3).

I had a similar experience with the Fox Tucson Theatre. I was buying two $25 tickets online to an upcoming show. After choosing my seats, I went to checkout. Turns out there is also a $4-per-ticket "convenience fee," plus a $5.50 total "processing fee."

Hey, if the Fox needs to charge $63.50 for two tickets instead of $50, it should say so upfront. It's pure deception to say the ticket prices are $25 each.

Peter Bourque


CBD: Border Patrol Agents, Not Smugglers, Cause Illegal Roads in Cabeza Prieta

A recent article by Leo W. Banks ("Losing the Drug War," May 3) included an undated photo of illegal roads in the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. The photo caption indicates these roads are created by drug-smugglers and implies that drug-smugglers are destroying the refuge.

Those tracks were not created by drug-smugglers, but rather by our very own U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. This fact is documented in a 2011 report by refuge staff in a report titled "Vehicle Trails Associated With Illegal Border Activities on Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge—July 2011." On Page 4 of that report, we learn: "(S)muggling activities have continued to occur as groups of UDAs and drug-smugglers have resorted to walking through the refuge" since the installation of the vehicle barrier and forward operating base in 2003.

Disturbingly, Mr. Banks didn't take that photo, but he takes credit for it.

I hope Mr. Banks is as concerned about the destruction of public lands by border activities as I am. But I'm deeply disappointed in Mr. Banks, and the Tucson Weekly, for printing an article that has an improperly captioned and credited photo that misleads the public and fails to address the largest threat to our public lands near the border—the Border Patrol.

The report I mention is available at online.

Cyndi Tuell

Southwest conservation advocate, Center for Biological Diversity


Corrections

As mentioned in the letter above, the photo of vehicle tracks in the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge that accompanied "Losing the Drug War" (May 3) was mistakenly credited to Banks due to a production-department error. The caption accompanying it should have said that although drug-smugglers cause vehicle erosion in the Cabeza, the majority is caused by the Border Patrol, according to the aforementioned report.

Additionally, due to an error by the writer, the caption for a photo of drug-smugglers said the picture was taken by a hidden camera in the San Bernardino Wildlife Refuge near Douglas. Actually, the picture was taken by an employee of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about 4 1/2 miles north of the border, and 8 miles from the refuge. The smugglers had been apprehended and were being led away.

Finally, in Soundbites (May 10), the photo captioned "Faster Than Light" actually shows Young Mothers.

We apologize for the mistakes.

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