Yet Another Letter Criticizing Petland Rep's Letter

After reading the Jan. 6 Mailbag, I feel compelled to write an "uninformed" retort to Steve Landau's letter regarding Petland's recent bad press ("Petland Rep: Weekly Was Wrong to Just Run Letters," Mailbag, Jan. 6). Selling commercially bred dogs does not constitute saving homeless pets! It comes as no shock to me that the Weekly received letters from individuals who were offended by the quarter-page ad heralding pets as great surprise gifts. Most "informed" pet-owners know this not true. The animals stocked at Petland are merchandise. Petland is in business to make money. They and others like them exploit our vulnerability to make impulse purchases and to own brand-name merchandise.

Landau's letter claims that Petland has "saved a lot of pets in Tucson, from dogs and cats to rabbits, ferrets and turtles--maybe more pets than FAIR or the Humane Society." I would really like to know how a chain-type pet store could claim to save homeless pets. The puppies sold in this establishment are not homeless animals looking for a forever home. They are mass-bred for sale in a store just like Petland. What is probably closer to the truth is that they and other establishments like them have been selling animals faster than humane organizations can get them re-homed. According to the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, American pet stores crank out an average of 300,000 to 400,000 puppies every year. The Humane Society of the United States claims the numbers are closer to 500,000 annually. What's more, the HSUS believes that 25 percent of the nearly 8 million animals surrendered at shelters nationwide every year are purebred.

Tiffany Longstaff

Another Letter Criticizing the Charlie's Review

I feel the article you wrote about Charlie's restaurant ("Western Wannabe," Chow, Dec. 30) was ill-written and malicious. I personally frequent Charlie's and appreciate the friendly service and laid-back atmosphere. What you failed to capture in your review was the fact that this is a great place to relax and enjoy a sports game or to have a meal. The concept was a neighborhood restaurant/bar. In your zest to slam this restaurant, you did not comment that the structure has gone through a radical face lift which took a building that was outdated and dirty and made it into a clean, inviting atmosphere that is a credit to the area. I suggest in the future that you that you widen your narrow mind.

Jim P. Gillespie

Another Letter on the Battle Between Bikes and Cars

To add some input to the debate of bikes vs. cars ("Some Ideas About How to Give Cyclists a Better Ride," Mailbag, Jan. 13 and Guest Commentary, Dec. 23): First, I don't know a bicyclist who does not accept the fact that people will drive cars. There are those who, myself included, hope that people's dependence on vehicles will decrease, and that alternative ways to commute will improve.

As for the comments that some people must use pickup trucks, I can assure you that the percentage that "must" drive them is incredibly small. There is no justification for the 10-ton monsters that clog Tucson's roads. Yes, it is scary to see defensive bicyclists compete with cars, but it is more terrifying to see a Chevy Yukon (complete with the necessary urban headlight bars; in case a cyclist is hit, there will be no damage to the $50,000 gas chugger) passing someone in the bike lane at 65 mph.

The argument about who is right and wrong will continue for a while. In the meantime, I hope drivers will slow down or give bikes generous space, and that bicyclists will obey their traffic laws as well.

Steve Gil

Now, a Letter on a New Topic: Classless Churchgoers

Regarding Tom Danehy's article on bad behavior in church (Jan. 13), I would have to say that we must blame this on the commies!

In their writings on politics and economics, Marx and Engels (no, not Laura Ingalls) promoted the goal of a classless society. While various revolutionaries, from Lenin to Mao to Ho Chi Minh, were unable to achieve this goal, here in America--the bastion of capitalism--we have finally accomplished its perfect realization.

David Kohn

Next, We Move to a Letter Regarding an Issue From September

I cannot believe that the former Mountain Avenue "Flow" pieces actually could be called art, much less included in the voting (Best of Tucson, Sept. 23). I would have removed them with high explosives--no consideration of creativity or appropriateness. The Rattlesnake (Bridge) is really neat but a waste of tax dollars. If funded by private funds, it would have been great.

Lloyd Hudson

Finally, a Powerful Letter From a Veteran

As a veteran with many of the same problems and personal experiences that are mentioned in your article ("Soldier's Heart," Jan. 6), I would like to thank you for putting this point forward.

I was in Superior Court yesterday. I received a letter from scheduling, telling me I needed to come in with documentation and get a court date for a divorce finalization. No problem for most people, right? I had everything I needed in my brief case. I just sometimes get a little confused and asked several so-called public servants if they could show me which papers I needed to finish my business there, so I could go back home. Oh, I may have neglected to mention I have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and a bipolar condition. All I needed was someone to look at a few pages and tell me "this one" or "that one."

Not in Tucson.

If I was blind, they would have helped me, or if I had no legs or arms, then they may have helped me. Instead, I sit here in my apartment with the only person in the world I trust--my cat, Hobbes. Maybe one day I will go back to that court and take care of the issues most people just see as nonsense. We don't ask for much, just a little help when we get confused.

I am sorry I am not able to organize my thinking like most people can; it doesn't mean I am stupid. I am just confused by a system where they thank me for my service and my minor sacrifices, then tell me I am a throwaway person, and they can't even give me the courtesy of telling me it's the pinkish paper, not the white one. All I could think about as I walked away was, if they can't tell me the pink or white one, how the hell are they going to deal with the coming wave of troops returning? Compared to them, I am lucky.

I am used to being taken advantage of by the system and people in general. There is your next American revolution: a bunch of pissed-off vets who come home to welcome parades and bankruptcy, divorce and a system that can't help all the ones already out there with problems. Don't get me wrong here; I don't want anybody's sympathy. I have lost everything three times, and I always make it back. All I want is somebody to tell me is it the pink paper or the white one!

Think about how efficient our courts and other government offices could become if they'd just answer the simple questions. That's all most of us need, is for others to make that small sacrifice for us. If you can answer my question, I can leave you alone, and I will thank you. Please don't stoke the fires we already have burning in our heads; sacrifice a little for us. Is it the pink or white form?

"Just Another Vet"

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