Save Useful Buildings; Discourage Road Expansion

As a city planning commissioner, downtown-area neighborhood leader and ecologist, I support downtown artists. People are disturbed by the continued "pavement-head" mentality of too many in city government ("A Big 'If,'" Currents, June 8). Tearing down useful buildings to expand roads like Aviation Parkway will harm downtown arts and the quality of life. The Regional Transportation Authority plan says, "do it right," not "tear it down."

Stone Avenue and Sixth Street are already wide enough at five lanes each. How much more pavement and urban-heat-island effect can we stand? Tucson cannot pave, widen or build its way to smoother traffic--but we can all suffer trying.

Daniel R. Patterson

Warehouses in the Way of 'Progress' Are Doomed, Unless ...

If Tucson's Warehouse Arts Management Organization can't even effectively advocate for leases and anti-eviction ordinances, then how could anyone expect them to fight the city when it decides to demolish one of their buildings for "for public safety reasons"? What a joke.

Anybody who knows the warehouses knows that many of them have structural issues that upon closer inspection could warrant their destruction. The government has had an eye on destroying the auto supply building at Stone Avenue and Sixth Street after it wrongly evicted the (tax-paying) tire company that had been in there for years back in 2004, while deciding to keep the Mat Bevel Institute intact after Mayor Bob Walkup gave the institute a $45,000 Back to Basics award. The rules are that any warehouse in the way of the RTA is doomed, and only those warehouses that can serve as props in the cultural screening being perpetrated by the Rio Nuevo developers shall be spared--no "ands," "ifs" or "buts."

Robert Steigert

Give Self-Image-Boosting Pet Owners a Break

I enjoyed Catherine O'Sullivan's commentary on Tucson dog park etiquette, but she might lighten up on the "rescue dog" tirade (June 8). Yes, it's true that some people use the term to boost their own self image, but it is essentially correct. Pound dogs have a short, rough life in shelters, and huge numbers are "euthanized." When someone chooses a lucky dog and takes it home, they rescue it from certain death.

My stepdaughter works at the Humane Society, and the stories she tells of the many great animals that are put to death are truly heartbreaking. Maybe a little volunteer time or reporting assignment in-shelter might provide a needed reality check.

Douglas W. Moore

And Now for Something Completely Different

I thought the left in this country was mostly made up of nuts and whack jobs with way-out-there views. Having read the Tucson Weekly over the last few weeks, I have completely changed my view (Guest Commentary, May 11).

So George W. Bush blew up the World Trade Center? Damn! Why couldn't I have seen that! I should have known! The 20 Islamic hijackers were just a bunch of Oswald-type patsies who covered for Bush's crime. Now it all makes sense. We definitely owe Osama bin Laden a big-time apology. I'm beginning now to think that it's also true that Bush broke the levees in New Orleans so black people would be flooded out, and white people would be left untouched. I dismissed this as a crackpot theory when I first heard it, but now after the revelation about Bush bringing down the Twin Towers, I am going to reconsider. This is just some great detective work by you guys on the left, and I just hope you keep it up. Who knows what else you may find? Maybe it was really Bush on the sixth floor during John F. Kennedy's trip to Dallas. I intend to keep picking up your fine newspaper and reading more of these shocking findings.

Chris Moses

WTC Conspiracy Theorists Detract From the Real Culprits

What bugs me about World Trade Center conspiracy theorists ("Conspiracy Theories") is that they let the real culprits, aside from the religious fanatics who commandeered the planes, off the hook. Read 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers, by Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn, both of The New York Times. Critics worried that the WTC could be hit by aircraft even before the towers were built.

Safety was sacrificed to floor space in the buildings' design to maximize the towers' profitability. No appreciable changes were made to disaster response after the WTC bombing in 1993, despite obvious problems--the fire department still couldn't talk to the police department. Fire department radios were too weak to transmit in high-rise buildings, a problem that had also occurred in 1993.

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani built his flashy, expensive disaster headquarters in the WTC complex, a proven target, where it was promptly knocked out by the attack. The fireproofing on the WTC's steel struts was inadequate, incomplete and flaking off. People had sounded warnings about it for years, but improvements were started too late.

Good old-fashioned human pride, greed and mismanagement doomed the Twin Towers and the people who died in and around them. It happened again with Katrina, and it will continue to happen.

Christina Jarvis

Pesticide Proponent: Bug/Weed Control's Necessary to Schools

I wonder if Tim Vanderpool can envision a school where children are stung by scorpions, bees and fire ants while trying to play on weed-choked playgrounds; where they become sick because cafeteria surfaces, lunch trays, rest rooms and locker rooms are not disinfected properly; where the presence of rodents, cockroaches and head lice reach epidemic proportions; and where children and teachers are forced to take matters into their own hands to protect their health. It would seem not, given the gross inaccuracies in his June 8 article ("Drenched in Poison," Currents).

The first goal of integrated pest management is to protect children from dangerous pests in the safest manner possible; however, this goal is not achieved through arbitrarily reducing pesticide use. Our government recognizes the necessary role pesticides play in protecting public health in its definition of IPM, which includes the use of pesticides.

Advances in the technology of pest control keep pesticides away from children, while still putting these products where they need to be to safely manage pests. Also, new products used at very low concentrations--certainly not "drenching"--minimize contact by everyone except the pest.

Our children's well-being at school depends on the proper use of pesticides to manage the very real threats in the school environment. It's time to stop using our school children as pawns to promote anti-pesticide agendas.

Allen James
President, Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment


"Promises, Promises" (June 22) overlooked two candidates running for the Arizona Legislature this year. Republican Mary Ann Black is challenging Democratic incumbent Sen. Marsha Arzberger in District 25, and Democrat Charlene Pesquiera will face the winner of the GOP primary in District 26. Jay Quick is also seeking the Congressional District 8 seat as an independent. We apologize for the omissions.
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