Not Even

To the Editor,

Regarding Chris Limberis' "The Three R's" (August 13): Here are a few reasons why I will not be supporting Brenda Even as a candidate for Pima County District 4 Supervisor.

Mailbag Even claims she is for "fair and reasonable taxes."

Thank God I am not retired and on a fixed income. As a taxpayer in Tucson Unified School District from 1989 to 1997, the tax rates on my residence have increased 71 percent for TUSD primary taxes and 87 percent for TUSD secondary bonds. These increases in tax rates along with increased assessed evaluations have me paying 265 percent more in taxes to TUSD today than in 1989. With the recent increases in the TUSD budget, TUSD taxpayers will have to pay even more. So much for Even's acclaimed "consensus building," mediator, and "leadership" skills.

Even claims she is "fiscally responsible."

During the past eight years, TUSD has introduced experimental curriculum with no objective scientific research or empirical data to show it works. You wouldn't give a child an untested drug, would you? Why should education be any different? Curriculum, text books, and teaching methods using Whole Language, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards, and Integrated Thematic Instruction were brought to TUSD. All have well-documented results of failure in California and elsewhere in the United States. Education is a major investment in our children's and grandchildren's futures. Unfortunately, the educational investment made for them, by TUSD, was in the junk bonds of educational experimentation.

Even has extensively promoted her "Family Health and Wellness Centers" in TUSD and in other school districts. When Arizona Parents for Traditional Education recently requested public records from TUSD regarding the Family Health and Wellness Centers, no detailed records were provided. As of August 15, despite a second request, no additional information has been forthcoming from TUSD. We do know that funding is being provided by TUSD to the Family Health and Wellness Centers, but how much is unknown. TUSD facilities are being used, but the terms and conditions for usage are unknown. Specific services being provided are unknown.

What is known is that accountability in TUSD is non-existent. Where was Even when all of this happened?

Even claims she is for an "enhanced quality of life."

It is bad enough that TUSD taxpayers will be paying for the failed legacies being left behind by Even, her fellow TUSD board members, and Superintendent George Garcia for some time to come. Unfortunately, our children and grandchildren are the real victims of their disingenuous reform. They will be the ones who will have to bear the long-term consequences for TUSD's blunders and bungles. A lifetime of lost opportunities for higher education and better careers are what they have to anticipate because of poor reading, writing, and math skills resulting from unproven junk science education reforms. Is this the "enhanced quality of life you want for your children and grandchildren?

Can Pima County afford a supervisor with a track record like Brenda Even's?

If you enjoy paying higher taxes, no fiscal responsibility, no accountability, or think that Pima County should be operated like TUSD, then Even is the Pima County District 4 candidate for you.

You have until September 8 to make your own decision. I have already made mine.

--Larry C. Hunter
Arizona Parents for Traditional Education

Don't Fight City Hall

To the Editor,

Regarding Jim Nintzel's "House Of Mystery" (August 6): I have been a faithful reader of your paper since my arrival in the Tucson area. As a "liberal" it is difficult to get another point of view. I found your paper a breath of fresh air. However, in the past few months there has been a definite change from free thought to just negativity. What finally has my shackles up is the negativity toward the new city hall. I am against "big government" and will fight to death for freedom of speech. However, just attacking something for the pure joy of finding something wrong with everything is neither.

The new city hall is one of necessity. City employees are working in a highly stressful situation with overcrowding, the wait for elevators and the general dilapidated features of the building. The building is seriously dangerous due to the asbestos throughout. It will take much more to update and detox that building than to build a new one.

Technically the building is a nightmare. Computers did not exist when the building was built. There are wires and cables all over making it unsightly and in many cases dangerous.

City employees are not three-headed beasts. They are sons/daughters, mothers/fathers, brothers/sisters and wives/husbands. They are your neighbors and friends. If it were not for these people you would not have the beautiful parks and recreation system, including golf. The fire and police departments would be less than they are and there would be no City Council. I realize that some people at your paper would applaud that. However, I would invite those people to walk in another person's shoes for only one day. They will find that there are no easy answers for society's problems. Instead, we should be offering to help, not to stamp them out, call them names or make their jobs more difficult. Have you seen what these people are compensated for their time?

The new city hall building is not the dream of an individual but the solution to many problems. Making working conditions better will make better workers. It will add to the downtown skyline in an attractive way. Downtown is becoming a ghost town and giant improvements are going to have to be made or close the gates at dark. Tucson is not ever going to be a Phoenix; a new city hall will not change the feelings of the population, it will just make things a little better.

Please consider these thoughts and try to make your paper a little more positive in its viewpoints. You will get more results with honey than with vinegar.

--Jane Armstrong

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