Headwater Headache

To the Editor,

Margaret Regan's story on the Santa Cruz River ("A River Ran Through It," May 10) mistakes both the beginning and the current ending of the river. Its headwaters are in the San Rafael Valley, one mountain range east of the Santa Ritas. The river doesn't end at "A" Mountain. In fact, it springs to life at Sweetwater Road where the county already brings it back to year-round life with treated wastewater. It's already alive from there well past Marana into Pinal County.

Why spend millions on infrastructure when it already flows? Why dump in more water while golf courses still slurp up our groundwater?

Take a trip out to the Ina, Cortaro and Avra Valley Road bridges to behold the living river. (And read the story in an old Weekly about it.)

--Dan West

Note: Dan West is correct that the Santa Cruz River's headwaters are in the San Rafael Valley. Regan's original story reported the river's origins accurately; an editor introduced the incorrect information about the Santa Ritas. But though the story concentrated on proposals to re-introduce water in the Rio Nuevo segment of the Santa Cruz, and not on the interesting projects to the north that West describes, the story in no way suggests that the river ends at "A" Mountain. In fact, it notes that the river system--whether dried up or flowing underground--continues all the way to the Gila River.

Breathe Easily

To the Editor,

This letter is to clarify a statement in the "No Escape" article on particulate air pollution published in the May 10 issue of the Weekly.

The Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ) appreciates the efforts by the Tucson Weekly to inform the public about the health impacts of particulate matter air pollution on our community. But contrary to what was written in the article, the PDEQ does apply for and receive grants to supplement our budget.

Among many other grants, we are currently working on one from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and partnering with most of the health experts mentioned in the Tucson Weekly article. When the project is complete it will provide Internet, as well as telephone, access to air quality data from at least 16 monitoring sites located throughout Pima County. In addition, there will be information for health care providers, teachers, students, the media and the general public to increase awareness of air quality issues and actions that can be taken to protect public health. These services will be ready for public use this summer.

Current air quality information is available on the PDEQ Web site at

PDEQ runs a national award-winning public education and outreach program on the topic of air and is consistently on the forefront of providing public information on air quality issues.

--Beth Gorman
PDEQ Program Manager

Lamb to the Slaughter

To the Editor,

I was rather surprised to find myself and Arizona Gourmet magazine at the top of The Skinny ("Call the SPCA," May 31), especially for an article published nearly three months ago. A slow week, I suppose.

You misspelled the name of the restaurant and the owner, I should note (it's Evangelos, not Evangelo). But what really got me was the juvenile juxtaposition of quotations from chef Peter Vassious of Evangelos, such as to imply bestiality.

I included Vassious' "racy" comparison of cooking to making love precisely because it's not the kind of thing you're likely to hear from most stateside chefs. That's apparently because in this country, one can't compare one true passion to another without some anonymous independent newspaper columnist getting all giggly and grossed out. To take the extra step and actually seek out a second passage from my story to corroborate your gutter-minded vision is what's really gross.

All Vassious was trying to say is that he doesn't take a calculated, no-risks approach to cooking; he does what feels right at the time. Maybe his grasp of the English language isn't the greatest, but you should hardly hang him by a double entendre he really didn't even make. Heh-heh, Beavis, he said "do the lamb." Please.

And though you took the time to slight Arizona Gourmet's credibility in your opening paragraph, you neglected to mention that immediately prior to becoming theTucson Weekly's editor, James Reel was a contributing editor at Arizona Gourmet.

--Keith Turausky
Associate Editor,
Arizona Gourmet

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