Road hogs

To the Editor,

I just received a brochure from the folks at "Let's Go Tucson!" It's very nice: full color, glossy, rather expensive. As I've had no previous dealings with this organization, I have to assume that everybody in Tucson got one of these flyers.

The brochure urges a "yes" vote on Propositions 100 and 400, the city's "transportation" propositions, ostensibly because Tucson's firefighters and police are behind the propositions. In the small print on the back of this piece of propaganda, we can see who the real promoters are: Jim Click Automotive, KB Home, Diamond Ventures, US Home. What a surprise! Did I mention that these brochures were expensive?

Your cover story ("Uneasy Street," April 18) did a very good job of exposing the absurd inadequacy of the city's "transportation" plan. The Tucson Citizen and the Arizona Daily Wildcat have both recently published editorials decrying this expensive, short-sighted and hopelessly ineffective boondoggle. Their plan heavily favors roads and cars (have another look at the list of promoters) over public transit, bicycle paths and sidewalks, and will not solve Tucson's traffic woes. (Been to Phoenix lately? They've got lots of roads there). Of the newspapers in town, only the Arizona Daily Star supports these automobile dealer and developer-backed propositions. And yet the Star, in an April 19 "Wildlife Victory" editorial, rejoices in the defeat of the Bush administration's attempt to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Is their editorial stance really as schizophrenic as it seems?

If you promote transportation plans that tend heavily toward road building and automobiles, you automatically put places like ANWR at risk for oil exploration. You see, cars use gasoline, which is made from oil, and when you force people to drive cars to get around, it becomes necessary to drill for oil all over the place. What part of this equation is unclear? Rather than take Bush to task: "We hope the president now will get the message that he must expand his thinking and come up with more creative ways to meet the nation's energy needs," perhaps the Star should examine its own support for measures like Propositions 100 and 400. If ever Tucson needed some creative thinking, that time is now. Building more roads is not the answer; it's the problem.

--Ron Richards

Give 'em hell, Tom

To the Editor,

I just want to take the time to commend Tom Danehy on his work. Week in and week out, he is the foremost (and, often, the only) reason I pick up The Weekly. His piece on Hank Lominac (March 7) shows that he does nostalgia better than Bonnie Henry. The one on the Olympics (February 28) is further proof that he's the most entertaining sportswriter in town. And the one about cashing a check (February 21) was hilarious. I think he's the funniest columnist working in the country today, and that includes Dave Barry.

I hope you have enough sense to keep Danehy because he's far and away the best thing you've got. Keep giving 'em hell, Tom.

--Jesus Gutierrez


To the Editor,

"Mosquito Whine" (April 11) by Renée Downing is an uninformed and rambling piece. How could it pass your editorial board? Mosquitoes are returning because DDT was banned. It is as simple as that.

--Lia Lunning Prak

Thanks, Mexico!

To the Editor,

Everyone always talks about illegal immigration. Problems with our border, Border Patrol, drugs, in general negativity about being on the border with our neighbor Mexico ("NAFTA: Promises, Promises," February 21).

Does anyone here ever stop and think, where would Arizona be if it were not for the positive economic impact we receive from our close association with Mexico?

Tucson would be just a dusty little pueblo, some truck stops and motels along Interstate 10 and who knows how it would have affected the prosperity of Phoenix.

Many U.S. citizens don't realize that without the laborers that cross the border to work in agriculture, restaurants, construction and the entire service industry the impact it would have on our lives. Go to any hotel or restaurant in any city in Arizona and see for yourself. Who cleans the homes, does the landscaping and works in the fields to provide food to your tables?

Even our universities and state colleges receive many fine students and research input and assistance and cooperation from Mexico.

The NAFTA agreement we have should only be looked upon as a great economic opportunity for all U.S. citizens. The more prosperous and educated Mexico becomes, the more we will see a huge reduction in border-related problems.

Sure, some jobs have been lost to Mexico. We live in a global marketplace. We have to realize and thank God that some of our jobs did go to Mexico, instead of Asia or some other distant marketplaces. That would not even come close to the great trade partner we have with Mexico!

The future is bright and promises huge prosperity for Arizonans. We just need to look at Mexico for what it is: Our North American neighbor to the south. One of our biggest and best trading partners. A land and country of opportunity of prosperity for us all.

--Richard J. Simpson
Member, Arizona/Mexico Commission

Flush it

To the Editor,

Proposition 400 ("Uneasy Street," April 18) is flushing our money down the toilet. There is no way we can do the roads fast enough to allay the increase of population.

Every time Tucson gets a new resident, we must expect at least one more car--probably two. The only sane approach to this problem is to plan and pay for an extensive light-rail system (less fumes per person).

It's upsetting to think that you did not include Citizens For A Sensible Transportation System's plan in your discussion--as it promises to be much more effective. If the voters KNOW there is a viable alternative already in the hopper, maybe they would NOT be as likely to piss away their dollars on Proposition 400. If we are going to keep our city and particularly revitalize our downtown, we have got to find other ways of moving people locally and get some of the cars OFF the road instead of building wider roads (increasing pedestrian problems).

Frankly, I don't think the City Council and the transportation department gives a damn and then they spend big bucks trying to cram their plan down our throats as if they were the only ones with an idea.

--Patricia McKenna

Laugh 'til you cry

To the Editor,

So let me get this straight, the city of Tucson is asking voters to approve a half-cent sales tax for transportation ("Uneasy Street," April 18).

The same city that has built an expensive snake-shaped bridge that goes nowhere and was originally designed to be a piñata for semi trucks. A city that is building a Rio Nuevo project that seems like the cost for it doubles every six months, which is based around an aquarium, while other cities are shutting down theirs because of lack of attendance. The only city I know of that can't decide curbs or no curbs. Please excuse me, I have to end this letter because I'm laughing too much.

--Paul Cragle

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