Terror In A Tiny Town

To the Editor:

Regarding your Skinny item about people persecuting the wrong Tommy Tucker (Tucson Weekly, April 23): People are very much uninformed about goings on around here. You can't count on the daily newspapers for very much. When I do read them, it's for local sports news, but that's it.

Mailbag I could care less about a trailer-park fire that put someone out for a few weeks, which was all of the TV stations' main story one recent night. I was surprised that Channel 13 didn't do a fly-by in their new chopper to get an aerial view of the aftermath. Maybe they rented it out to Hard Copy for the Linda McCartney story.

You can tell that this is a snowbird town because nobody will listen to what' really going on. All they care about is themselves and how much money they can get.

If you need writers and photographers, let me know. I'm willing to give it a shot before I have to sink to their level of greed.

--Chris Jaynes

Editor's note: Sorry, Chris, but we have no openings here. That's because we've encountered severe cash-flow problems as a result of buying The Weekly Whirlybird, our own $350,000 helicopter that will finally enable us to do the important journalistic work of informing people that we actually have a helicopter and they don't. That and performing the occasional flyby of local nudist colonies in search of possible horrendous traffic accidents., or whatever.

Shine A Light

To the Editor,

Let's not revise history even if it is politically expedient. Many of the people now critical of the Civano Project in Dave Devine's "Cloudy Horizon" (Tucson Weekly, May 7) had active roles in what earlier was called the Tucson Solar Village Project. New City Councilman Jerry Anderson worked in the city's Office of Energy and Environment and helped facilitate the citizen participation process. Paul Huddy was a member of the group which recommended the current site location. City Council opposition to investment in the project has been largely based on bad location and the view that subsidizing land development on the edge of town would support more upper-middle-class sprawl and not benefit the urban core.

It is important to remember that the vision of Civano emerged from a grassroots community process. The seven-year planning process was supported by $900,000 from court-mandated funds returned to the states by oil companies for overcharging consumers in the 1970s. While it is unfortunate that "solar" became de-emphasized when Tucson Solar Village was renamed Civano in 1991, the notion of the project as a model sustainable development was a key concept from the beginning.

The results of the Phase One process, published in 1992, called for significant percentage reductions in energy consumption, water consumption, traditional transportation patterns, and solid waste flows and required the development to provide affordable homes and long-term jobs on the site. During 1993 and 1994, opposition by local developers to the Phase One vision influenced city staff and outside consultants to propose weakening the performance targets to meaninglessness.

In 1994, the Metropolitan Energy Commission saved the project by applying political pressure to the State Energy Office, which tried to de-fund the planning process. The Commission then appealed to the Mayor and Council to aggressively implement the original vision based on three values--economic development potential, environmental sustainability, and the opportunity to diffuse appropriate technology throughout the urban community.

With Civano now being praised by President Clinton, as well as sustainable development leaders around the world, let's give the project a chance to succeed and let the benefits of its success flow to the entire community. The energy performance standards for Civano, developed by members of the Metropolitan Energy Commission, are now available to anyone who wants to reduce conventional energy consumption by 50 percent or more in our solar-drenched climate. As a result of increased awareness, many more potential Civano homebuyers now prefer to use natural building materials such as adobe, rammed-earth and strawbales which have much less environmental impact.

Civano is just one step in the development of the local solar industry and "green buildings." The bigger issue of sustainability is a long-term requirement for all inhabitants of Planet Earth.

--Robert Cook

Current member and former Chair of the Tucson-Pima County Metropolitan Energy Commission

Teacher's Fret

To the Editor,

Regarding "Hot and Horny High" (Tucson Weekly, April 30): Why is Mia Phillips allowed to teach?

I find it hard to believe that high school students were offended by these benign little tales, and my guess is that most of the students in Phillips' class hear and use much cruder terms than "penis" in their lunch-time conversations. Further, American Indian Myths and Legends, the text in question, has dozens of stories without sexual content, and if the hyper-sensitive Ms. Phillips was uncomfortable with the stories that discussed the kinds of things most high school students spend all day contemplating, she could have assigned the less racy sections of the book.

But aside from her bizarre prudishness, which is perhaps merely a response to the false ideas about "community sensibilities" that have created this faux-innocent age, it seems that Phillips isn't very familiar with the English language.

Do we really want someone who would say "I was just uh-oh when I saw some of these stories," teaching our children? I wonder how the unedited version of the interview with Phillips sounded, if sentences like "I asked my students...if this was material they'd really be comfortable with," were the best that writer Limberis could glean from his notes.

While these kinds of grammatical errors might be excusable in other occupations, one would think that a teacher would at least make some minimal effort to speak English.

--Johan Rhetor

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