To the Editor:
Regarding The Skinny's prediction of my vote on the "proposed" Rocking K Annexation: It appears that The Weekly has redefined journalism to include mind reading (Tucson Weekly, February 23). However, its crystal ball is a bit cloudy. The next time you want to know how I'm going to vote, call me.
City Council Member, Ward 2
To the Editor:
Congratulations to the Tucson Weekly for once again giving the Tucson Police Department a negative image ("Cop Flops," Tucson Weekly, January 12). It is unfortunate that The Weekly has failed in helping achieve the mission of the criminal justice system. To achieve this mission we must all depend on each other and that means helping each other. This is 1995 and the press and the police need to work together to form better community awareness.
The press needs to inform the public about crucial issues, such as why it may have taken so long for the police to respond to an accident investigation. Did The Weekly really take the time to find out why this unfortunate incident occurred? No. Explanations need to be straightforward, don't you think?
I am very sorry that the couple in the story experienced difficulties in reporting their car accident. The police department is not perfect, nor will it ever be. I can guarantee that 99.9 percent of the officers are true professionals and they will continue to be even though the Police department gets bad press.
If the information gathered is negative, at least have the common sense to explain why it is negative. This gives the public a better understanding of the police department. A strongly held value in our community is that the well informed and educated citizen is the best participant in democratic government. If you apply this to police performance, the people will understand why an agency performs as it does and they will be supportive.
P.S. Most of the officers do not eat donuts. We would much rather have a bagel.
--Officer Richard A Law
Tucson Police Department
Santa Cruz Sub-Station
Mari Wadsworth replies: If the Tucson Police Department has a negative image, I certainly can not take the credit. While a strong community does depend on public support and input, it does not stand to reason that we should overlook cases where our public institutions fail us. The facts of the case are not in question. In fact, The Weekly received a number of calls and letters citing similar incidents.
As to my reporting, after repeated phone calls to TPD in which no one was available to speak with me, I went to the station in person and spoke with Sgt. Vasquez. Although cordial, he was not able to answer any of my questions specific to the Horners' experience, repeating that all queries need be addressed to the Public Information Officer, Sgt. Tatman.
I called TPD three more times before I was able to speak with Sgt. Tatman, who granted me a lengthy phone interview (about 30 minutes), and his responses to my questions are quoted verbatim in the article. All officers I attempted to speak with, on the phone and in person, directed me to Sgt. Tatman. Apparently, TPD policy is that officers do not speak for themselves when departmental policy is in question.
Agreed, this is 1995--the year in which the proper forms may be sent to you in lieu of an officer. This is not an attempt to "cop bash," but a concern over increasing bureaucratization of the police force.
With regard to donuts vs. bagels, I stand corrected.
To the Editor,
It must have been a very slow week for The Skinny to waste any ink picking on me in regard to the ever so delicate defamation contained in "Saguaros Beware" (Tucson Weekly, February 16).
For the record, one of my first requests of staff at the January Planning and Zoning Commission meeting was to reevaluate the current County policy of replacing five live saguaros to each saguaro destroyed through development. The net effect of the policy is to encourage baby saguaro nabbing from the outlying areas (robbing Peter to pay Paul) and to make matters worse, the policy in fact acknowledges that four out of five saguaros will die upon transplant. The policy equates as follows: one live Saguaro minus five dead Saguaros equals Bad Policy. The Commission will deal with this issue later this year through the Comprehensive Plan Amendment process.
I'm proud to state that, at a local level, I have been involved in the creation of many of the strictest land use control ordinances in the state, including: the Septic Ordinance (which helps protect our ground water), the Grading Ordinance (which limits the degree to which a property owner may blade his land) and the recently adopted Riparian Ordinance (which helps to protect our Riparian Corridors from developmental encroachment). Additionally, at the National level, I am working on the Congressional reauthorization of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.
In closing I would note that my appointment to the Planning and Zoning Commission came after a unanimous vote on the part of the Board of Supervisors and, for future reference, as far as chickens and eggs go: I like my chickens barbecued and my eggs over easy.
Pima County Planning and Zoning
A Diamond Is A Town's Best Friend
To the Editor:
As a regular reader of The Tucson Weekly it has struck me lately there is a smear campaign going on within The Skinny concerning Donald Diamond.
Now I have been in the same room with Mr. Diamond on perhaps two occasions in the last nine years and do not know him from Adam, nor does he know me. But I am getting fed up when your Skinny columnist, who is not even mentioned on your masthead, has the temerity to go after one of Tucson's movers and shakers like Diamond.
Diamond has done more to move matters locally than perhaps the total staff of all the newspapers in this city through his various and numerous efforts to see that this city makes progress and improves existing conditions. He has new ideas to shake the people in this town a little bit.
Who would have been able to take on the challenge to make something out of a Foothills Mall, for example, or would have the guts to work for a number of years on the ranch east of the city, which could develop into a vibrant new area? Or would be able to get the so-called Stouffer property near Pima Canyon going with development in an area which can only expand the tax base in the city and county?
Diamond and his associates could have had far better recognition in any other area of Arizona or in another state, rather than be vilified by your two-bit columnist week after week.
--Gerd M. Strauss
To the Editor:
Thank you for publishing "Death Before Dishonor" (Tucson Weekly, February 23) about the breadth of Tom Petropoulos' life. The author journeyed on a search for explanations rather than merely diminishing Mr. Petropoulos to being solely that of an alleged criminal accused of embezzling.
As I read the eulogy to this man, I was reminded that even "high-profile criminals," like the ones Mr. Petropoulos arrested, also have families and have lived lives that are much more than just their bad deeds.
It would serve us all if the media would routinely hold each life described in print within the context of its whole. Perhaps then the resulting public mania of fear and panic ignited by sensational, event-focused reporting would be less and we would each be encouraged to see others in the entirety of their humanness rather than reducing them to short-sighted labels.
To the Editor,
I moved to Tucson a year and a half ago from Albuquerque. Thought I'd never find a place half as gorgeous as New Mexico for outdoor stuff, but thanks to Out There, I've proven myself wrong.
Just wanted to let you know I love Kevin Franklin's column--not only the great destinations, but his writing and sense of humor. It's unfortunately rare to find specialists outside literature and/or journalism (and sometimes inside) who can actually write with style and passion about a given subject.
--Sara L. Spurgeon
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