Blue Plate

To the Editor,

While I was consumed with anguish over the terrible proportions of animal cruelty perpetrated by well-meaning but possibly senile animal lovers ("Cat Collector," November 9), I couldn't help but wonder what y'all ate for dinner last night. I guess if you're going to eat it, it's OK for the animal to spend its whole life in misery. By then the animal's probably more than happy to trot down the chute to the killing floor.

If you think I'm exaggerating, maybe you've never been to a hog confinement operation. Maybe it's been a while since you've driven by a cattle yard or wondered why eggs aren't the same color yellow as when you were a kid.

I've been mostly vegan for 10 years or more, and though I don't expect all of you to just suddenly give up hamburgers and hotdogs, I have to shake my head and wonder when y'all get soft about animal rights.

My recommendation is Diet for a New America, a book written by a guy named Robbins, as in Baskin and Robbins. Then, if that's not enough, visit a modern hog farm. The smell alone speaks the truth.

--Duane Johnson

Pol Vaulting

To the Editor,

In your November 29 issue, The Skinny came up with some political prognostications that, while interesting, may or may not be "on the money" in light of recent events.

While there's no doubt that Arizona Governor Jane Hull covered her bases by endorsing and supporting George W. Bush over Arizona's John McCain, some feel she has her sights set on the post of Ambassador to Mexico. Washington's social scene and D.C.'s political rat race might not be to the Iron Maiden's liking, some feel.

And watch out for McCain. He is keeping a low profile, but recent events could play in his favor. While he failed to go out and stump for George W. Bush, suppose, just suppose, that Dick Cheney were to suffer yet another heart attack or show up with a shaky electrocardiogram. Guess who might be quick to present himself as a viable replacement?

Sure, he once said he wouldn't consider it, but the times they are a-changing and he's quick to change, as the people of South Carolina found out.

If it happens that McCain moves on and Jon Kyl picks up an administration post, Arizona would be in the position of getting an all-new Senatorial representation. With 56 percent of the state's population being of the female gender, we might even get a woman representing us in Congress.

And while The Skinny didn't mention it, should the Republicans take over the White House, would this not probably write "finis" to Bruce Babbitt's appointment as Secretary of the Interior? Some of his decisions have not set too well with many politicians and some publics, and he is, after all, a Clinton (i.e., Democratic) appointee.

--George C. Potts

Bean Counter

To the Editor,

Thank you for your excellent article on the impact of coffee growing on the rainforest, and by extension our viability on this planet ("Seeing The Forest For The Trees," November 16).

The article did not mention that "environmentally responsible" Capulin Coffees can be bought at the Food Conspiracy Coop on Fourth Avenue; that would give the Tucson Weekly's readers the opportunity to influence the outcome of this crisis for the better.

It might also be mentioned that the Coop's more general policy is to market products in a way that has the minimum negative environmental impact, for instance by promoting locally grown produce in season, as opposed to the melons in winter mentioned in Kari Redfield's article. This cannot be said for many of the for-profit "health food" stores that have been cropping up in Tucson lately.

--Laura Tabili

Downtown Frown

To the Editor,

When will Tucson learn? I am constantly amazed at what passes as leadership in this town. In the early '90s Tucsonans had the opportunity to pass a bond issue to raise money for the beginning of a light rail system down Speedway. It failed because few if any city leaders wished to support it.

In 1992 it appeared our downtown was becoming a cultural center for Tucsonans to enjoy any number of activities, all in walking distance. Now fast-forward to the year 2000. We have managed to build a baseball park in the middle of nowhere. Has it turned a profit yet? Pardon my use of hindsight but wouldn't it have been wise to have built the park near downtown, to continue to invigorate downtown growth?

We can't even keep a semi-pro hockey team in town. Why? We already have more than enough choices for sports entertainment. The Wildcats can't even sell out when a bowl game is on the line.

Now we have failed to pass a growth control measure. It failed thanks to the likes of Sheriff Dupnik saying dense communities are harder to patrol. I don't understand the logic behind that one (I lived in NYC for nine years).

Now for the big boondoggle, Rio Nuevo. While ambitious, it is another mall in disguise as an archaeological dig. It is based on hopeful tax projections, which may never materialize. What does that mean? As soon as money falls short the cultural and educational elements will be the first to be cut and whoever is running this operation will hope Old Navy will open up a store to save their butts. All this while La Placita sits empty on Saturday nights.

And now to insure that downtown never grows, Mayor Walkup has given away the Lerners building to a fiber optics nerve center.

It's nice to have great resorts for tourists to come to, but downtown is suffering, and without an invigorated cultural center this town will never lure the companies Walkup hopes will move here. Just ask Alphagraphics.

--Jonathan Porcelli

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