Does This Mean We Have to Fire the Consultant?

I hope this new thing about the "cute new Skinny" ("Da Shizzney," July 22) is some sort of April Fools' joke in July. Otherwise, you have your head up your ass. I speak English and want to read plain English, not some crap some media consultant sold to you, if that is what happened.

Neil Smith

Time for the County to Use Sewer as Leverage

Maybe in light of the mayor's continued wish to use water as leverage in the annexation process, Pima County Wastewater Management ought to require that all new developments hooking up to the sewer agree to remain in the county and NOT be annexed into the city.

It might be a service to those within the city to not have the costs of incorporating the nether ends of the "valley" on our tax rolls. Sure, the city gets additional revenue from the state, but it doesn't equal the costs of providing police and basic services to the ever-sprawling megalopolis.

As the man says, "It's about the right to vote." Let people choose where they want to live and which jurisdiction they want to live under. If the city could model better governance, maybe it wouldn't have to coerce, I mean, leverage water to get more land or citizenry.

Maybe the mayor and council ought to redirect their energies from "leveraging" and toward Tucson Water not charging all of us already here, its users, to build pipes out to the far ends of the county. This would lower our water costs and serve the citizens now, the ones already here, rather than sucker-punching the citizens on the way.

John Richards

When Goodwill Goes Bad

I just sent Goodwill a letter telling them I will no longer make any donations to their organization ("'Til Work Do Us Part," July 22).

I salute the couple involved for wanting to begin a life together and for choosing marriage to express this desire. I also commend them for their honesty in dealing with their employers. Sadly, the employers set a policy and an example that encourages their employees to lie.

The national Web site for Goodwill states in its values statement that it "values respect for those we serve." Surely, a position at another location could have been found. I will drive across town now with my goods to donate to another charity. Shame on you, not-so-Goodwill. Your policy needs an update. Thank you, Mr. Devine, for writing this article.

Susan Quinn

It's the Throwaway Reference That Always Offends

I noticed a religious pejorative in your movie review, "Three Simple Rules" (July 22). As a longtime Scientologist, it made me laugh. Back in staid ol' 1952, L. Ron Hubbard said in a lecture:

"There is only one way, really, to get into a state of living, and that's live! There is no substitute for an all-out, over-the-ramparts, howling charge against life. That's living. Living does not consist of sitting in a temple in the shadows and getting rheumatism from the cold stones. Living is hot; it's fast; it's often brutal! It has a terrific gamut of emotional reactions.

"If you are really willing to live, you first have to be willing to do anything that consists of living. Weird. But it's one of those awfully true things that you wonder why one has to say it. And yet it has to be said."

Of course, a Scientologist's codes of ethics guides us to put in a hard day's work for employers, be faithful to a sexual partner and to responsibly raise kids. We also volunteer in literacy, drug rescue and prevention, even criminal reform programs.

Here are a few more quotes I gathered from Hubbard's works that will probably strike a chord with you:

On the day when we can fully trust each other, there will be peace on Earth.

He who can truly communicate to others is a higher being who builds new worlds.

Perhaps the most fundamental right of any being is the right to communicate. Without this freedom, other rights deteriorate.

Understanding is the universal solvent.

People have value and are important. Big or small, they are important.

There is nothing wrong with being the most important person under the sun if everybody else is just as important as you are.

So I thought I'd try some of that fabled communication stuff and see how much trouble I could get into!

Jon von Gunten

It's Worth Looking Into Border Trash

A few words about your cover story ("Traces of Identity," July 29). This must be the beginning of something new: Who is it that comes across the border and leaves all the trash behind? I live 10 miles south of Three Points, and there's open space from Diamond Bell south to the border. I have lived here 20 years. Until recently, most of the trash was in the form of one-gallon plastic bottles that mysteriously washed out onto the road, as well as blocked up behind a fence like perverse hail stones. Last winter, I started to notice a whole new scene that is quite disturbing: abandoned backpacks by the hundreds, dirty clothes strewn everywhere, food, family Bibles and other keepsakes from home. Not all those coming across the border are from the same socioeconomic group. When you happen upon a site, it means that they got a ride; they no longer need the dirty clothes. They change into clean clothes and are on their way. These sites are more common then rabbits. My son and I clean up a site one week just to find it totally trashed a week later.

There is something quite sad about the whole situation. Please continue to present this issue.

Greg Benson

The County Likes the Money Growth Brings

Here are two dirty secrets behind the sprawling growth characteristic of the Tucson area ("Facing the Future," July 22).

The first is that there is an economic incentive for people to build new homes outside of incorporated Tucson instead of renewing and redeveloping the city: Taxes are lower, and land is cheaper. Improvement of roads to accommodate growth, connection to and expansion of wastewater treatment facilities, and provision of services ordinarily provided by municipalities--without charging a strict break-even user fee to people living in unincorporated yet suburban areas (hence not paying their fair share of taxes)--amount to a de facto subsidization of growth.

The second is that the current Pima County Board of Supervisors has a vested interest in growth. Growth combined with an increase in property values has led to an increase in revenue in Pima County without increasing tax rates, allowing the supervisors to spend like drunken sailors.

Meanwhile, they pay lip service to conservation, at taxpayer expense, by buying up parcels of land for conservation. Their refusal to deviate from the old paradigm of government ownership and management of preserves--while enlisting the aid of public groups such as The Nature Conservancy in the conservation effort--ensures that conservation and environmental quality will remain a divisive political issue year after year. However, they refuse to address the economic externalities which worsen the pattern of growth in the county.

It is for this reason that I have made institution of an impact fee for new development a central issues of my campaign for supervisor. Growth must no longer be subsidized by the taxpayers of Pima County, and the cost of development must take into account impact on the community and on the natural environment.

Bennett Kalafut
Libertarian Candidate for County Supervisor, District 3

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