Family Values

To the Editor,

Mailbag Gregory McNamee hits the nail on the head with "Family Lies" (Tucson Weekly, August 8). My parents were raised in southeast Missouri in the 1950s. They each came from a family of sharecroppers. In 1951, my dad's oldest sister became pregnant out of wedlock. Ten years later, one of my mom's sisters did the same. Each woman was 16 years old at the time.

I suggest that anyone buying into the nostalgia myth read the book The Way We Never Were.

--John Middleton


To the Editor,

Gregory McNamee apparently failed to understand Gene Levy's recent letter to the editor (Tucson Weekly, July 26). In his article on lightning, (Tucson Weekly, June 27), McNamee clearly implies that lightning, not a thunderstorm, has a force that can equal 10 Hiroshima-size bombs. As Levy correctly states in his letter, the actual power of a lightning bolt is only a tiny fraction of this force.

--Wayne Van Voorhies

Nichols For Your Thoughts

To the Editor,

Regarding "Lurching Toward The Statehouse" (Tucson Weekly, August 1): The article on District 13 House Democrats failed to mention any information about Dr. Andy Nichols, except that he is the incumbent, while promoting with a full paragraph not only the other two candidates but the Republican nominees as well (?). Needless to say, each candidate deserves equal copy, so here is a list of just a few of Dr. Nichols' accomplishments. Andy has served responsibly and conscientiously for two terms as state Representative (1996 recipient of the prestigious Toll Fellowship, awarded to only 35 public officials in the country), supported property tax reductions, helped to increase educational spending, saved the Solar Sales Tax Exemption, sponsored the "Clean Air Bill" of 1996, helped save the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center, and worked to defeat the "Polluter Protection" bill, among many other projects. The list could fill this page. Andy is the father of three children (and still married!), professor of community medicine at the University of Arizona, and a prominent physician in the community (Director of the Rural Health Office at the U of A). He even fought to ban cockfighting!

As for your subhead on the cover, "As If Anyone Really Cares," what better way to encourage our egregiously apathetic voting population to actually participate in this election, which is, as you say, "so close that both Republicans and Democrats have fairly even chances of winning a seat." Pray tell, do we really want one of Symington's cronies weaseling his way into the House? Get out and vote in District 13, and vote responsibly.

-- Tamarack Little

Editor's note: Fear not! Our crack reporting staff is hard at work on preparing a more in-depth article on the District 13 race. Look for it before the September 10 primary.

Ten O'Clock Snooze

To the Editor,

As a recent transplant from Denver, I never cease to be amazed at the shallow bush league television news broadcasts in Tucson.

On a Friday evening when bulletins were being transmitted worldwide about the bombing at the Olympics in Atlanta, what were Bud, Mindy and the gang chattering about at the KOLD-TV "Newsplex" during their regular 10 p.m. newscast? As TV and radio stations throughout the country were breaking for live coverage of the event in Atlanta, KOLD spent the final minutes of their broadcast yukking it up about a garlic festival. With coverage of this type do they really expect anyone to respect or take them seriously?

--Larry Cox

Fear And Loathing In Sonoita

To the Editor,

Jeff Smith's "Save The Wackos" (Tucson Weekly, July 11) is once again hysterical and wonderful. I immediately cut it out and sent it to a friend who moved to Idaho (to remind her why she moved).

I love Jeff's writing. This article made me laugh as loud and hard as when I read Hunter S. Thompson's description of putting 100 pounds of pressure in his tires so his car would corner better.

Thank you for continuing to bring Jeff Smith and his wonderful humor to me on a weekly basis.

--Marjan MacPhee

P.S. I love Red Meat, too.

Speed Trap

To the Editor,

Regarding "Pistol Whipped" (Tucson Weekly, August 1): Of course, Jeff Smith can drive perfectly at 85 miles per hour. We have his word for it. But what about all those other drivers who'll be going 85 m.p.h. too (or maybe even 95) and can't drive as well?

Some folks never notice that if they can do anything they like, so can everyone else. Somehow they envision themselves driving on an empty highway--or building whatever they like on their own property, only to find that their neighbors have done the same, and spoiled their view.

And then, of course, there are the laws of physics, which aren't going to be repealed in Arizona or anywhere else, but that's another story.

--Joanna Russ

Food For Thought

To the Editor,

First things first: Congratulations to Ventana Grill on a well-deserved positive review ("Window Of Opportunity, Tucson Weekly, August 1). Among the staff there are some of the most talented people I have ever had the pleasure of working with.

I am a bit concerned, however, that one might mistakenly infer from Rebecca Cook's article that my departure from Ventana Grill was part of a "housecleaning." Ron Kain was certainly hired to replace me, but I left of my own volition, as did sous chef Linda Wood. The split was an amicable one, but even after helping to create it, I felt that the new menu did not accurately reflect my strengths or interests, so I tendered my resignation.

I continue to support Ventana Grill. I consider it a privilege to have worked with the consulting chef in creating the new menu there and with chef Ron Kain in implementing it. Nonetheless, I wanted to set the record straight: the decision to leave was my own.

--Doug Levy

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