Birds Of A Feather
To the Editor,
Sitting here in the Federal Courtroom of the Honorable Judge Strand, passing the quiet moments reading Johngard's North American Owls, I feel a wonderful sense of connectedness. Symington and owls--a beautiful connection most certainly exists! Symington's words to the Arizona mining establishment: "Shed no tears for the spotted owl as its natural habitat is removed through commerce, industry and development. For the owl is the smartest bird in the world, as any fool knows. It is certainly intelligent enough to adapt from its luxuriously forested home to an urban one."
How prescient the Governor's words. What comfort he must be taking in them now as they apply so intimately to his present situation. A very intelligent bird, this governor. His natural habitat, if you will, is being threatened also by commerce, industry and, of course, development. His luxurious habitat, as that of his kindred spirit Strix occidentalis, is soon to change drastically. So much they share in common--top predator, fit, trim, elegant in flight, even the spots. And intelligence--most importantly, the intelligence.
As the owl will use this gift to adapt to an infinitely inferior, foreign, ugly, threatening environment, so, too will Fife havardis have to use his special gift to adapt to an equally unpleasant environment.
Let us shed no tears for this man of wisdom.
Train In Vain
To the Editor,
I am one of those The Arizona Daily Star labeled as mavericks because we dared initiate and worked very hard on three different petitions to raise the minimum wage in the state, county and city. Now we take note that both The Weekly and the Star suddenly discovered that indeed poverty and hunger do exist in our city, as well as statewide.
Molly McKasson and Dave Devine's "Hunger Pains" (Tucson Weekly, January 8) prompts me to add my commentary. McKasson and Devine make a pretty good liberal argument, did good research and offer good statistical data, but offer no real solutions. Instead, they pose the question, What shall we do?
In another Star editorial I read the Star's concern over the possibility that the Pima County Interfaith Council might get city and county funding to do job training. Instead, they think the funding should go to PEP and Chicanos Por La Causa. The problem is, both organizations have been around for more than a decade, all the while poverty continues to grow with no end in sight.
Second, these organizations can only train for minimum-wage or near minimum-wage part-time jobs. UPS and Teletec are notoriously infamous on this score.
Yet there is hope. California Congressman Matthew Martinez has a bill before the Congress patterned after the Roosevelt New Deal program of the 1930s called the Infrastructure Restoration and Jobs Creation Act.
It provides $250 billion federal investment for a period of five years. It would immediately put millions to work rebuilding and restoring our nation's schools, hospitals, community centers, transportation systems, highways, bridges, sewers and other infrastructure. Jobs would be prioritized to welfare recipients, long-term unemployed, victims of downsizing, youth, ethnic minorities, etc. All jobs would pay union wages.
Anything less than these kinds of solutions is like trying to eat soup with your fingers! Proponents of the bill even have some suggestions as to where the money would come from. Some possibilities: reductions in the military budget, a five-year moratorium on interest paid to banks on the national debt, or perhaps a steep reduction of the $26 billion that goes to the intelligence services (FY '97). No doubt the funds are there; all we need is the political will to go after them.
To the Editor,
I agree with Alan Sears' letter to the editor ("Daily Dead Line," Tucson Weekly, January 29 ). Selling newspapers at Tucson's busy intersections is extremely dangerous. It also interferes with my safe driving while talking on the phone. Why, there have been many times while driving on Tucson streets just recently that I had to actually pay attention to what I was doing. Just three days ago I had to slow down and come to a complete stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Don't they understand that I own the road when I am encased in steel? What is wrong with these people?
And I agree that our City Council is inept. TNI did not make them so, but we keep them there just the same.
As to TNI subjecting independent contractors to the dangers of being near my car when I know that tonnage has right-of-way: Bravo, Mr. Sears. Get those people out of jobs in the middle of the street and back to panhandling in front of grocery stores where they belong! Then I can get back to driving my car on my roads without having to do so by paying attention. TNI should be ashamed of itself: Forcing those vendors to stand on street corners. There should be a law passed that allows vendors to sell papers only where there is absolutely no traffic, and therefore no danger that a car will hit them. That is the only way that we can get TNI to stop putting people in danger.
As to Sears' son being able to ride a bike to deliver newspapers, this bit of news saddened me. Maybe Sears could find his son another job that he could drive him to and from that didn't require the poor child to show up on time. I agree that it is too much for an employer to expect someone it hires to do a job to actually do that job. It is really too bad that my father couldn't drive my brother around when he had his route. The poor dear had to ride many miles, sometimes during pouring rain, just to get his papers delivered. And my brother was never reimbursed for his "auto expenses." In fact, it took him several months of riding a second-hand bike before he was able to pay cash for a top-of-the-line 10-speed. Aren't we glad that era of humanity is gone. Whew!
Mr. Sears, three cheers! I hope your letter had the impact you wanted. Get those glorified panhandlers off the intersections and safely ensconced in from of clean, dry grocery stores where they belong! That'll teach TNI they can't suck money out of us freedom-loving Americans!
--Sunshine J. Watser
To the Editor,
Regarding Michael Schreiber's article "Working Stiff" (Tucson Weekly, December 24): I challenge him to expect more out of life. Rather than work for someone else, he should work for himself. He is a gifted writer. He is confident. Confident people build their own dreams. I am building my own interactive distribution business, and you should, too.
--Keith A. Gorley
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