We're Running This Letter Because of the P.S.

I would like to thank you and the staff at the Tucson Weekly for the great write-up you gave Bookman's in your Best of TucsonTM issue ("Best Used Books," Sept 29). We're always excited when readers vote us Best Used Books in Tucson, and to top it off, your writer wrote such a great description of our stores, we were all talking about it. Thank you again!

P.S. At Bookman's, we call our armoire full of porn a pornoire. Not sure if it adds any class, but it's fun to say!

Dana Robbins-Murray
Bookmans Entertainment Exchange

Meth Is Indeed Really, Really Bad

Thank you to the Tucson Weekly for bringing methamphetamine to the forefront once again ("Speed Limits," Currents, Oct. 13). It is an issue that knows no socio-economic bounds, does not discriminate and is completely pervasive in many negative forms throughout the city.

Enough cannot be written or broadcast about this frightening narcotic, especially the fact that methamphetamine is not "just another drug." It is a form of crystal dynamite, waiting for an opportunity to obliterate the lives of many and rippling across entire communities. Such a strong narcotic needs an equally powerful response to the problem.

Mr. Nintzel's article did, however, contain one inaccuracy. The name of our group is the Meth Free Alliance. We remind Weekly readers that there are powerful ways to prevent, intervene on and treat methamphetamine. Meth stops with us, all of us.

Beth Walkup
And the rest of the Meth Free Alliance

Public Information in Just Six or So Days!

I am writing in response to the article titled "Hi-Tech Chain Gang" by Tim Vanderpool (Currents, Oct. 20). The article focused on the electronics-recycling factory located at the Federal Correctional Institution Tucson that is operated by Federal Prison Industries (FPI).

The article states "nearly a week after being contacted by this newspaper, Federal Bureau of Prison officials have not provided information about the Tucson computer recycling program." This is completely false. In fact, extensive information about FPI and its recycling operations was provided to Mr. Vanderpool on the same day he contacted our office. Additional responses to his follow-up questions were also provided to Mr. Vanderpool.

Unfortunately, the article failed to include any of the information that was provided by our office. This is particularly disappointing, because the information we provided refutes the inaccurate claims about the FPI recycling operation made elsewhere in the article.

Todd Baldau
Public information officer, Federal Prison Industries

Tim Vanderpool responds:

When I spoke with Mr. Baldau by telephone on Oct. 11, he insisted that questions be submitted in writing. The same demand was made by Anita Sheehey, spokeswoman at the Federal Correctional Institute Tucson. This seems little more than a laborious tactic meant to discourage reporters. Regardless, one day after we spoke, Mr. Baldau sent me a packet of generic, feel-good information about the prison-recycling program, and I immediately replied to his e-mail with questions specific to safety concerns at the Tucson penitentiary. It then took Mr. Baldau a full six days to respond--after our deadline.

Want to Widen Grant Road? Make Sure Businesses Get Help

On Oct. 26, the Regional Transportation Authority's board voted on a plan that included expanding Grant Road to six lanes between Swan and Oracle roads. The funding for this project will come from the proposed half-cent sales tax increase to be voted on in May 2006. My businesses, Globetrotter Imports and The Antique Presidio, will likely be impacted by this vote ("Wheel Deal," Sept. 22).

I commend the RTA's efforts in proposing ideas for solving our traffic problems. However, as our population grows by an estimated 54 percent over the next 20 years, the idea of spending $164 million to widen Grant Road appears already obsolete.

Tucson's Department of Transportation acknowledges that nearly 70 percent of the anticipated benefits can be realized by investing $100 million in intersection improvements alone. However, the RTA believes that another $64 million is warranted in order to attain lane continuity and to gain another two mph in average speed. Thus, Grant Road is now the regional plan's most-expensive project. How did Grant Road surpass Houghton Road and Barraza-Aviation Parkway as the key to our regional transportation needs? Could there be other mysterious motives? I ask this in jest, but this question makes for fun conspiracy banter nonetheless.

As the saying goes, "Life's events are neither good nor bad; it's how one reacts to them that makes them stressful or opportunities." I see this issue as an opportunity to work toward a win-win paradigm for all concerned throughout the region. The automobile-driving public wins regardless (at least in theory). However, businesses win only if they are fairly compensated for the real costs incurred.

What are these real costs? They include potential reductions in property value, customer allegiance, sales revenue and rental income. And increased costs related to relocation, new leases, property acquisition, capital investment, legal and marketing considerations, startup activities and financial stress imposed on business owners and their families.

Steve Taylor

Danehy Thinks It Sucks in HIS Neighborhood?

I live on Thunder Road. This was a quiet, residential neighborhood in the Starr Pass community, a tranquil mountain environment where once the roadrunner ruled and song birds cavorted. Three years ago, there was no such thing as traffic, though on the occasional Sunday some dude in a camouflage jeep would cruise by with Old Blue Eyes crooning at full blast (Danehy, Oct. 6).

Since then, the "JW," as the Arizona Shuttle likes to refer to the monster behemoth that looms over us, has been reminiscent of some science-fiction movie.

Sure, since before 2000 (when I purchased my lot), we were told of a future hotel. In fact, it was part of the real estate sales pitch for lots in Starr Pass Development. But even the dramatic scale model could not possibly have conveyed the enormity of what was to come.

Today, six or so new copper colored diesel buses shuttle workers and guests from the new parking lot and garage at the clubhouse to the JW Marriott at all hours of the day and night, often with only one passenger ... sometimes none. Loudly obnoxious and environmentally noxious, these spew fumes into my yard, onto the terrace and waft through my windows at night as the vans gurgle at the stop sign before laboriously grinding their way up the hill.

Then there are the special events when fireworks go off to celebrate the massive amount of greenbacks the latest convention has brought in. Dozens of 18-wheelers park in front of our houses until they receive the go-ahead to unload. Earnhardt junkies have joined the 18-wheelers and shuttles.

Residents have been patient, but when inquiring about whom to talk to regarding the problems, everyone is given the run around. It's a city problem. No, go to the management at the Marriott. No, Starr Pass Development. No one gives us the time of day.

I invite Tom Danehy and Mayor Walkup to join me for cocktails on the terrace.

Gwen Stevens

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