Growing Greenbacks

To the Editor:

Thanks for coverage of the upcoming growth battle, which you characterized as "the biggest the state has ever seen" (The Skinny, June 29). The chorus of gloom and doom resounded from the developer community even before petitions for the Citizens Growth Management Initiative were filed.

We are told the initiative will "burn down" Arizona's economy by imposing growth boundaries and by requiring developers to pay the full cost of services for new developments. Now for the facts.

Oregon enacted strict growth controls nearly 30 years ago. A comparison of per capita incomes for Oregon vs. Arizona provides an indication of overall economic health. In 1998 (the most recent figures available from the Tucson library), Portland had per capita income of $29,960. That is 12.3 percent higher than Phoenix, and 32 percent higher than Tucson. Statewide, Oregon's per capita income was 7 percent higher than Arizona's. If unlimited growth brings prosperity, shouldn't these figures be reversed? Think about it!

Not only has managed growth failed to "burn down" the Oregon economy, but the average Oregonian is significantly better off than the average Arizonan and substantially better off than the average Tucsonan.

In November, Arizona voters will have an unprecedented opportunity to end developer subsidies and change the rules for managing growth. Don't fall for Jane Hull's developer-backed "Growing Smarter" scam. The Citizens Growth Management Initiative is the best choice for meaningful local direction of the growth of our communities.

--William C. Thornton

The Good, The Bad And The Smugly

To the Editor:

Hear! hear! to Chris Dashiell for his July 6 letter, "Film Flam." We, also, have been forced to buy the Arizona Daily Star on Fridays because The Weekly's film reviews have been useless. What a shame; there is so much wasted potential--not in the reviewers who seem to be obsessed with self-aggrandizement through their cynical reviews of Walt Disney films, but for those of us who would actually like to see a movie that qualifies as art and/or entertainment.

The Weekly's reviews continuously try to convince us that those films just don't exist or are not available in Tucson. Guess what--we already know how bad Hollywood cinematic endeavors are and we avoid them like the plague. We also know that film festivals, foreign films and good movies do make it here.

Get a clue. Hire some good reviewers and review some good films.

--Lyn Patrick & Joanie Trussel

Honor Thy Forefathers

To the Editor:

I am writing you today with a stern reprimand for the printing of James DiGiovanna's most unpatriotic review of the new movie The Patriot (July 6). While that film certainly contained a considerable amount of Hollywood schlock, it was most undeserving of the horrible treatment given it by DiGiovanna, whose infatuation with the concept of racism ran rampant throughout the review.

His comments on the natives of South Carolina being "not exactly enlightened on race issues" clearly demonstrates this. I will submit to you that our forefathers had considerably more important concerns at the time than the social woes that might conceivably be attributable to racism.

Admittedly, the revenge theme is woefully overdone in Hollywood, but this movie doesn't suffer from it any more than other films do.

If DiGiovanna's intent was to provoke true American patriots and show his clear and utter ingratitude for the sacrifices of the founding fathers of this great nation, he has certainly accomplished his goal. You should know that his inflammatory review is currently making the rounds on several Internet newsgroups and mailing lists, where it is receiving far more hateful commentary than I am expressing to you here. I expect that in the near future you will perceive the effects of the huge black eye that he's given you.

--Curt Bolding

To the Editor,

The following is just a partial list of the kinds of arrogance James DiGiovanna exhibits in his movie reviews. In this case it's his review of The Patriot.

First, the arrogance of slamming a movie for being something it is not. He says the movie "doesn't deserve a review" because it "says nothing" and "takes no position on anything." No position. As if a summer entertainment should be an essay. DiGiovanna frequently spends several paragraphs in a movie review talking about sociological, philosophical or historical implications rather than the success or failure of the writing, directing, acting or design in the film. How much does DiGiovanna know about these elements? The Patriot has some extraordinary cinematography, for example.

Second, the arrogance of defining the movie for the sake of taking cheap shots later. He defines The Patriot as a "violent action flick" so that he can focus on what he believes is a weak revenge theme in the story. The movie should also be defined as historical epic, love story, family drama and true story, but those definitions are less convenient for DiGiovanna's witticisms. He defines the British soldiers as "Pure Evil" and the rebels as "Pure Good." Interesting, in a movie where rebel leader Mel Gibson admits to maiming corpses in the French and Indian War a few years before. Even the British General Cornwallis has second thoughts about some pure evil behavior of his subordinates. But those points might muddy DiGiovanna's points.

Third, the arrogance of omitting any evidence in the movie that might undermine a DiGiovanna thesis. In this case, he wants to brand the film as racist, pointing out that southern Colonists had slaves (big surprise, and not all of them) and that the British were "attempting to grant rights" to slaves and Native Americans (with DiGiovanna as the expert source on this questionable part of his thesis). He conveniently omits a well-written and powerfully acted subplot in The Patriot involving a slave fighting with the rebel guerrillas in hopes of winning his freedom from the Continental Congress.

--Howard Allen

Ink Well

To the Editor,

Regarding Tom Danehy's "Flesh Wounds" (June 13): Why would you print something so ignorant and close minded this day and age?

Everyone is entitled to his opinion, but there is no reason to publicize your negativity. Maybe Danehy should open his eyes and look at the art work and personal expression that is being done with tattooing. Keep the negativity to yourself, Tom, no one needs it. It's too bad that there are people with say in the media that can't respect someone's individuality.

--K. Smith