Cave People Speak

To the Editor,

After witnessing the 2-1 voter rejection of Proposition 100 and Proposition 400, the voters of Tucson are now rejecting the term of Mayor Walkup. After spending around $100 for each "yes" vote and spending "taxpayers' money" to tie himself to this campaign--it is time for a change.

People of Tucson were called "cave people"--behind the times--and other insults by Walkup, Carol West and Fred Ronstadt. Well, the "cave people" have spoken! The "cave people" are now mad as hell that the city is now bankrupt because extra money is now not available for city services--sorry, it was spent on Propositions 100 and 400.

After spending our city money recklessly, is time for Mayor Walkup to put out his torch and walk away from his office!

--P. Spooner

Who's responsible for this mess?

To the Editor,

It's not too soon to ask for accountability from those who orchestrated the May 21 disaster.

1. How much money did the Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT) pour into this election? Who is responsible for this waste of my money?

2. Why was the much-ballyhooed poll (16,000 responses, we were repeatedly told!) so very, very wrong in its predictions? Or, perhaps a better question, why were the results of the poll so terribly misinterpreted by TDOT? Who is responsible? (Partial answer to first question: The poll was poorly designed, poorly administered, statistically invalid and misinterpreted. Who is responsible?)

3. Why was wording of the Charter Amendment and the wording on the ballot so confusing? As just one example, why did all arms of city government insist, until about a month before the election, that Prop 400 had to pass in order for Prop 100 to take effect? Who is responsible? (Only the City Attorney's office? Or TDOT here too?)

4. At a less concrete level, how much role did the perception of city dishonesty play in this election? (e.g., the campaigning for the propositions under the transparent disguise of "educating" and "informing.")

--Ted Laetsch

Sick Puppy

To the Editor,

Artist Gweneth Scally is one sick animal and writer Pamela Portwood is also a member of the same twisted pack. Portwood's critique ("Muck and Mirrors," May 23) of Scally's oil entitled "Cur" states, "'Cur' shows her [Scally] jubilantly laughing at a dog [which, by the way, appears to be a nursing female whose teats are quite visible] that is wearing red latex gloves and is strung up, dangling in the air. If this seems bizarre, it's because Scally has a sense of humor about her art." This is proof of Portwood's similarly twisted sense of humor. Apparently another of Scally's paintings called "Suspense," which shows two dog-like animals wearing yellow cleaning gloves and suspended in air, is being shown at the HazMat Basement Gallery.

When I saw the print in Portwood's article, I was physically ill. I wouldn't be surprised if the sicko(s) who flayed alive that poor puppy in Green Valley last month and mutilated and killed the dog at a local middle school last year haven't cut out the print of "Cur" from your newspaper and pasted on the wall of their lairs. Thanks to Scally, the Temple Gallery, the HazMat Basement Gallery and people like Portwood who think this is humor and art, sickos in our community now have, in graphic detail, other ways to torture animals.

The only cur I see in the painting is the artist herself, and we have an appropriate word for female curs. It begs the question, why did you promote this type of art by publishing the print? Shame on all of you.

--Janice E. Mitich

Heaven Help Us

To the Editor,

I don't know what realm of "Born Again" that Hernon, who reviewed The Other Side of Heaven for your paper (May 16), lives in but I can't help but wonder if he/she even understood that this film is pure and simple Mormon propaganda. That being said, perhaps some of us can believe in the "Lazareth"-like Saving, or not awakening as rodents eat the bottoms of your feet--others among us find it incredulous that this film even made it outside the SLC Temple.

--Jane Guzauskas

Thrilla from Manila

To the Editor,

Tucson motorists, disgusted by the worst traffic mismanagement this side of Manila, voted with vengeance last week. Mayor Walkup should know the buck stops with him.

Virtually none of the secondary road traffic lights in Tucson are synchronized with nearby major routes. Road projects (so-called "improvements") are endless with completion dates a mere fantasy. Adjoining east/west and north/south roads are torn up simultaneously, demonstrating complete disregard for commuters. Bridges have been built in unnecessary places. School crosswalk signs and construction barriers remain in place when no longer needed. But the single most illogical offense may be when Walkup and council approve new subdivisions and shopping centers without demanding compensatory roadway improvements.

The ballot simply provided the opportunity for the public to vent.

Choo-choos down Broadway aren't going to solve Tucson's massive traffic problem, but better management, attention to detail, equitable impact fees and utilization of existing resources will restore public confidence. In other words, it's time for the politicians to actually work for the people.

--Barry DiSimone


To the Editor,

Regarding the Birth and Women's Health Center closure ("Breach Birth,' May 23): Please alert your readers that the midwifery practice associated with the birth center will continue to see clients at the same office at 2595 N. Wyatt. Births occurring after June 1 will be at Tucson Medical Center, but our clients can still have their midwife at their birth!

We hope to re-open the birth center as soon as possible, and we would like to thank the Tucson families that have lent us their support during this time.

--Sarah Egan, Certified Nurse-Midwife
Birth and Women's Health Center

America Will Be

To the Editor,

I am always saddened when progressive voices stoop to the level of simplistic, either/or thinking when it comes to matters patriotic ("Memorial Slay," May 23). Not only does this inhibit a nuanced critique of our nation, it also renders any discussion of our national "shadow" irrelevant given the intellectual dishonesty involved.

Let me suggest three alternatives: 1. Let the context of an event guide you to a conclusion--not your opinion; 2. Root your analysis in the facts instead of ideology; 3. Remember that human, political, emotional and spiritual suffering are realities that no one has been able to eliminate.

Too often progressive writers seem to believe that suffering can be overcome if just the right actions are taken. History shows this to be naive and destructive. In her brief recitation of U.S. labor history, for example, Connie Tuttle seems unaware of either the tortured development of class politics in America or the conflicting values that shape both labor and management. (For an antidote, try the writings of James Weinstien or Howard Zinn.) I find the combined critique and reverence that poet Langston Hughes has for America much more helpful. In "Let America be America Again," after sharing both the promise and pain of the American dream for immigrants, women, people of color, the poor and many outcasts, he writes:

"The free? Who said the free? Not me. ... O let America be America again--the land that never has been yet--and yet must be--the land where every man (sic) is free. The land that's mine--the poor, the Indian, the Black, ME--who made America, whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain, whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain, must bring back out mighty dream again. O yes, I say it plain, America never was America to me, and yet I swear this oath--America will be!"

Both deeply felt love of country and a brutally honest understanding of it make more sense to me. Let's see more nuance and depth from your paper in the future.

--James Lumsden

Wake-up Call

To the Editor,

So glad to see someone finally stand up and tell it like it really is ("Memorial Slay," May 23).

In this heyday of flag waving and blind patriotism it is good to see Connie Tuttle actually remembers and is willing to point out some of the atrocities that our government doles out with little regard for human life or human rights. For who? The people? I think maybe the corporate conglomerates that dictate policy. Interesting how Dubya and his cronies have shoved so many things down our throat since 9/11. Homeland security? Hmmm. I thought that the FBI was supposed to be in charge of that. But I guess with all the press that we have regarding this agency I suppose that we can't count on them to get much right these days. Still seems funny, though. If the FBI can't get it right, what makes them think that the new agency will do any better. I suspect that in the future this agency will turn against the people just as the FBI has so many times when the public wished to voice its opinion about how our government runs. Verbal terrorists. Lock 'em up. They are a threat to national security, i.e., corporate interests.

Interesting how not so many years ago with the direction of Newt that the Republicans were on their high horse screaming balanced budget. Now all of a sudden this is of no interest after the Clinton administration succeeded in accomplishing this. Ole Dubya wants to get into Social Security. What about our military budget? Balanced budget down the tubes. Guess it's not important any more. Besides, by having the War Machine in motion we can possibly fix the economy. Who else will we exploit so we can continue our gas guzzling 4x4's and SUVs and show how important we are. Invincible on the road. It's the American way, by God! Besides, the "Evil Axis" is looming over our heads.

What about our national health plan? Gee, that sure was destroyed in a heartbeat! This is a waste of money. More taxes! This money would be so terribly spent. God knows it would be a shame to take care of the people who support the government interests with their tax dollars. But we need more B-1's and Stealth bombers and so on and so on. Wonder how many people could be taken care of physically with the price of these machines of destruction. Besides it would be terrible for the doctors to take a possible cut in pay. I'm sure the insurance companies would not be so happy either. Hate for them to lose money!

The sad part is that I'm sure there are many people who will say America, love or leave it. I love it! But I sure would like for our government to stop making us look like a bunch of barbaric savages. I really doubt that our interests are at heart. It's so obvious. Yet, so many of us turn our heads and look away. Even when we know their actions are morally wrong, not to mention ethics. Interesting that Dubya rejected the thought of any Americans to be tried on war atrocities. Sure seems like it opens a whole new ball game. Meaning we will do whatever we want, whenever we want, and to hell with the rest of the world. No one is going to tell Dubya what to do! By God! We all know that he is good God-fearing man. Sure doesn't mind killing people, though.

America! When you gonna wake up? The dream is over.

--Gregg Trubee