Businesses Have Just as Many Rights as Residents

Does one type of property owner have more rights than another? Should one type of property owners' opinions be more valued than another, simply because of the use of their property?

According to Tim Vanderpool's "Hijacking the 'Hood" (Currents, Oct. 13), the answer to both questions is yes. An organization called the South Park Neighborhood Association, one would assume, should include all members of that neighborhood, not just commercial or residential. As a matter of fact, the sample bylaws from the city of Tucson state, "The membership of this association shall be residents, property owners or businesses within the neighborhood."

Neighborhood associations within the city also are supported by the city with an entire department and staff giving assistance with mailings and meeting space, among other things, to registered associations. So, in effect, these neighborhood associations are supported with our tax dollars. How can they exclude anyone within the boundaries of the association? A homeowners' association is not the same and does exclude some from joining, but they do not receive the same support from the city.

Another aspect of this argument is the legal status of a neighborhood association. Neighborhood associations are entitled to be notified of certain legal proceedings in specific kinds of cases. Hence, the association plays an important role for all who live or work in the area.

According to Vanderpool and the residents he quoted in his article, being a business owner in South Park means you have fewer rights and are less important. The business owners are taking the hit for the city councilman representing South Park. Steve Leal should help resolve this with equanimity. If zoning rules place these conflicting uses together, they must work together to find a solution, not pretend the other doesn't exist or say one opinion has more weight than the other.

I would also ask: Who was there first? Did these people move into houses knowing they were next to a factory or the like?

C.L. Alexander

Yeah, but Ronstadt Sure Does Wear a Mean Bowtie!

We learned a lot from Fred Ronstadt in the article "Numbers Racket: City Council Candidates Juggle the Books," (Oct. 13).

It seems Ronstadt borrowed Barbara Bush's line about those people being better off after the hurricane when he spoke of the KIDCO program and "those" who need it. Ronstadt said, "They're still showing up." Well, maybe "those" people will show up at the polls.

Ronstadt would be one of "those" people if he hadn't been born with a last name that his cousin made popular and one that the media likes to portray as belonging to a "pioneer" family. "Those" people have been in Tucson far, far longer than him, and they deserve his respect.

Politicians who are so disconnected from reality, such as Ronstadt and Kathleen Dunbar, fail to see the connection between impact fees and children. They like to say that development pays for itself, yet they conveniently forget about its impact on schools and children. They may say thatimpact fees are "one time" fees, but the collection of the fees opens up money to be used for protecting families and children. Isn't that their excuse for collecting garbage fees? The collection of impact fees can "open up" money to enforce shady landlord problems or crimes around schools. Ronstadt likes to say that the garbage fee "opened" up money for more policemen. It did no such thing. The garbage fee paid for the extra policemen. This sort of shell game with taxes is part of the Republican-Enron legacy of playing with the books.

The fact is, Ronstadt and Dunbar raised taxes in the name of garbage fees, and they raised them on the working class and the poor. Maybe Ronstadt believes "those" people need cops more.

Andy Morales

Why Do Pedestrians Need a Fourth Avenue Underpass?

I understand the need for a new Fourth Avenue underpass to accommodate the traffic from the Barraza-Aviation Parkway, but what I don't understand is the need for rehabilitating the old underpass ("The Price Ain't Right," Currents, Oct. 13). Providing a surface crossing for pedestrians would be a more pleasant experience than walking through a tunnel, and if done right, would offer a visual link between Fourth Avenue and downtown.

Manny Kropf

Those Who Shun English and Spanish Are 'Ethnocentrists'

In Heather M. Lorenz's letter ("A Call for Tribal Languages to Be Chosen Over Spanish," Mailbag, Oct. 13), she suggests official languages be tribal. I'm assuming she wrote this without irony. She goes on to applaud Catherine O'Sullivan for sticking it to the "ethnocentrists" (Guest Commentary, Sept. 22).

What could be more ethnocentric than shunning English and Spanish and embracing isolation? Hardly the road to the sunlit uplands. Plus, imagine being so linguistically cocooned that the only outsider you could communicate with would be Catherine O'Sullivan--who doubtless will race to learn these tribal tongues, because she finds her own language, like her native culture, boring. Can ethnocentricity get more crippling?

Garth Gould

A Letter Regarding Polkas, Mexican Folk Music and Alleged Xenophobia

In a recent Mailbag ("An, Um, Interesting Take on Culture," Mailbag, Sept. 29), a writer shared his opinion concerning Catherine O'Sullivan's excellent article about the influences of Mexican culture on Tucson (Guest Commentary, Aug. 25). Said individual argued that, while the influence of Mexican culture has been great, other cultures had contributed to create this wonderful city. Everything was fine and dandy with these comments until the opinionated fellow decided to show his (poor) sarcastic abilities and proceed to attack Mexican music: "Of the 10 songs I heard, nine were in the same key, and all were polkas," then he said that the songs were "all sung by people who could impersonate air-raid sirens on their days off."

First of all, there is no such a thing as "polka" in Mexican music. Mexican folk music styles are divided among six genres: mariachi, ranchero, corrido, cumbia, banda and grupero. The last five are all played with accordions, which usually serve more as the rhythm section unless a song has been specified to be driven by the accordion. Thus, the writer shows off his ignorance of Mexican folk music. And concerning the singers' abilities: Different bands have different vocal styles. But the biggest characteristic of Mexican folk is the fact that it is preferred that the lead vocalist has a regular voice (with a low range), and rather than focusing on the singer's abilities to sound smooth, the vocals focus more on the feelings given to him and the power to make the people dance to the music.

Of course, I shouldn't expect the writer to understand. After all, people are born with Mexican folk music; they don't adapt to it. But I won't expect people to understand Mexican culture and arts (after all we only live one hour away from Mexico), and I wouldn't expect this letter to be published in the Weekly, which is increasingly becoming more xenophobic.

Maquiavelo N. Salazar


In last week's issue, due to a production error, the Weekly ran the Boondocks comic strips sent by the syndicate for publication in this week's paper (while Aaron McGruder is on vacation). Therefore, we're running the strips sent for last week's paper in this week's issue. We apologize for the goof.
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