Protection Racket

To the Editor,

I have just finished reading Vicki Hart's story about 7-year-old David Ray ("A Father's Fight," Tucson Weekly, November 7). Once again, CPS proves to be a worthless and inept state agency that is funded by an inept state legislature. Further, it is led by an inept administrator and is, for the most part, staffed by poorly trained, severly misguided, inept employees that appear unable to think on their own. Not all of them belong in this category, but in my not-so-humble opinion most of them fit the aforementioned description of the typical CPS employee.

Mailbag Thus, David Ray and his two half-brothers were long subjected to the atrocities described in Hart's article. Fortunately, they were spared the indignity of tortuous death, but I doubt that they will ever forget their early childhood. One can only hope that they will be able to overcome the obvious and not-so-obvious handicaps that have been forced upon them.

Perhaps The Weekly would do well to assign an extremely good investigative reporter to CPS and hopefully inform the citizens of Arizona just exactly what this agency has managed to accomplish that is beneficial to the children it is supposed protect. My money says that there would be little, if any, positive findings. On the other hand, the negatives would most likely be overwhelming.

Yes, I do have a more than passing interest in what happens at CPS. And, yes, I am a very bitter man. I am the grandfather of Donovan Hendrix, and I have first-hand knowledge of the ineptness and downright ridiculous policies of Arizona's Child Protective Services.

--Richard L. Transue, Sr.

If You Build It, They Will Come

To the Editor,

The comments of Jane Weinzaphel in Mari Wadsworth's "Land Mind" (Tucson Weekly, November 14) regarding the necessity of architecture to be a "good neighbor" and "respectful of the surrounding setting" should be engraved into Tucson's and Pima County's building codes. In additon, one might also add "respectful of the resident culture" to that list.

Over the years, Tucson has consciously and deliberately destroyed most of its historic buildings in an attempt to seem "modern." This has resulted in a city with a confused identity. Is Tucson the "Old Pueblo" or the "Sunshine Factory?"

Just as an individual can't deny its past, neither can a city. If we want Tucson to be the jewel of the Southwest, we must:

1) set design constraints on buildings so that new buildings must be designed in an historic style that has withstood the test of time--i.e. territorial, Santa Fe, California Mission, neo-classical, etc.;

2) create and enforce an ordinance which requires a greater percentage of land than currently required be set aside for desert-style landscaping;

3) create and tap into existing capital so current structures and streets can be retrofitted to the new standards.

Yes, a few people might scream that their "creativity" is being limited. To which the reply is, "So what?" On the whole, 99 percent of the buildings built here since WWII are really ugly and have little relation to the culture of the city. The downtown library, which looks like a hospital, is a recent example. El Con mall, which has not aged gracefully, is another, earlier, example.

If Tucson and Pima county will think and plan for our future, the end result will be a more aesthetic city, which will attract a higher class of business person and investor. (FANTUS, the nation's top industrial locator, reports that design and quality of life issues tip the balance to attract firms to a location more than 50 percent of the time.) Couple that with a increase in education and training for the 20 percent of our population below the poverty level and Tucson would be on its way to becoming a low-crime, charming, richly culturally textured city.

--Kurt Cooper

Pest Control

To the Editor,

I got a kick out of Kevin Franklin's "Fresh Meat" (Tucson Weekly, October 10). I try not to laugh when I visit my friends in town and find them wearing thick wool socks or mosquito repellent in their homes to protect them from what I was told are "Egyptian mosquitoes escaped from a University of Arizona laboratory." I have to agree that people producing more habitat is the problem.

Interestingly my friends who have air conditioning have no problem, but folks with swamp coolers are inundated. What really gets me is that I live 50 yards from a year-round creek and can observe hundreds of mosquito larvae in my horse trough, but have yet to be bitten. I suppose the bat feeding frenzy that occurs every evening in my corrals is my saving grace. Maybe folks in Tucson should start hanging up bat houses and use less bug poison, (which probably harms bats through the food chain) and hopefully the mosquitoes might drop off some.

Incidentally, I'm not an arrogant Arizona native lambasting the newcomers, but a transplant originally from Detroit who came to enjoy what's left of the real Arizona before it all becomes a paved purgatory like Phoenix and Tucson. I just made it through my fourth summer without any cooling system living at about three thousand feet in the desert.

--Zay Hartigan

Trapped In Our Web

To the Editor,

After living in Tucson for 30 years I recently moved to San Diego about 2 years ago. I didn't miss the heat, but I did miss my Tucson Weekly fix each week.

Well, now I have the best of both worlds. The Pacific Ocean, the beach just outside my backyard and the Tucson Weekly on my computer!

You guys are still world class!

--Richard Schiff
La Costa, CA.

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