Class Conscious

To the Editor,

Kudos to Judy Burns for taking to task the Weekly on its coverage of educational issues and its criticism of the TUSD budget (Mailbag, July 19).

The Weekly recently focused on how the TUSD budget and the board's support will cause an increase in taxes for small businesses. Yes, it's unfortunate that taxes will go up for some businesses, but until the state will adequately fund public education what choice does the school board have? The Weekly offers us readers no alternatives to the actions of the TUSD board. Should the school board lay off teachers and cut back programs? If the Weekly doesn't like the deseg budget, it should propose an alternative.

The real educational issue we citizens need to understand is the lack of funding from the state for public education. How does Arizona compare to other states in spending on education? How do TUSD's costs compare to other districts? What sources of funding are available to school boards that want quality education for all students? Do we need changes in income tax rates to adequately fund education rather than pass the cost on to small businesses?

The Weekly has provided excellent coverage on environmental and transportation issues of late. Yet on equally important educational issues we only read attacks on various board members. Keep your eyes on the prize! As long as the state refuses to adequately fund public education, the task is forced onto the backs of local school boards. Instead of looking for stories based on individuals, give us in-depth analysis of the state of education in Arizona and Tucson.

--David Rubin

Sex and the LP Girl

To the Editor,

I'm not speaking as a "would-be feminist" here, but from a gal's perspective, your review of Vixens of Vinyl: The Alluring Ladies of Vintage Album Covers ("Cover Girls," August 2) missed the magic and possibilities these records inspire.

While the intent of the '60s suburban swing set may have been objectification, I can't imagine any man thinking he could obtain one of these robust album amazons shaking strategically placed maracas on the cover of a record promising Mambo Mania or diverting the attention of a slinky gamine daydreaming of something in the gauzy-filtered distance while she stroked a kitten on the cover of Purrrrrrrrfect. On the other hand, most women could, and can, become one of these "alluring ladies" with falls, falsies, fake nails and a bucket of makeup. Before computer imaging and excessive airbrushing, you could sometimes get a glimpse of blemishes or a dimpled thigh or an arched, over-plucked brow with a bit of stubble shadow.

Unlike today's boring androgyny or tediously overpraised "natural look," there was a glorification of presentation. I don't believe our modern desire to "keep it real" has cleared up some mythical hypocritical fog, but it has made things less lovely.

Jeff Hinkle is correct in balking at the unforgivable void of Julie London (my God, those clingy sweaters and that voice, which made every standard sound like a sultry tease!), but he's wrong about the modern woman's take on records like Music to Make Housework Easier. Instead of wincing, I think, "Wow! This music really gets me going; I could vacuum for hours! I think I'll put on a pretty apron."

The vixens of vinyl seem to suggest that if you shove yourself into a spangled gown, stuff your bra, and mambo around the room with a kitten in your arms, there isn't a red-blooded American man who can touch you.

I must have a hundred records with no redeeming value other than the snarling high-resolution broad on the cover who looks like she's just finished feasting on a fellow's heart and chased it with a forkful of devil's food cake. There must be a great allure here for women, too, because every time I see one of these records at the thrift store I have to buy it. Either that, or subconsciously I'm a really huge fan of Bert Kampfert and his Orchestra.

--Daphne Young

Cohousing Conundrum

To the Editor,

The Milagro cohousing compound is being built on what was once a "pristine desert," but it was never a vacant lot ("Home Cooking," August 2). It has been occupied by birds, mammals, reptiles, insects and plants since way before the first humans ever laid eyes on it.

Animals, unlike humans, cannot simply pack themselves closer together when circumstances require it. Deprived of the feeding grounds they inherited and defended, they will die.

I think that the ground squirrels and tortoises that were squashed under the construction equipment, and the birds whose tree homes were uprooted, would not call this a "community in balance with nature." Besides destroying wildlife, vegetation and the scenery, development outside the city wastes gasoline and adds to air pollution. Real environmentalists live in cities, and they visit what's left of the wilderness as gently and respectfully as possible.

--Donna Moulton

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