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Water Issue Needed More Tough Questioning

Water resources are always a topic of concern in Tucson, so thanks for devoting an entire issue to the subject (The Water Issue, June 1). Too often, it appears that residents forget that we live in a desert, and that water is scarce, even in nondrought years.

I hoped, however, that you would have asked some more difficult questions of our local officials regarding water policies. For instance, why isn't mandatory water harvesting part of local building codes? Why is Tucson Water more concerned with acquiring new supplies than reducing demand? Why do planners design storm sewers that move water out of the valley rather than keeping it here?

Perhaps you should have interviewed Tucsonan Brad Lancaster, author of the recently published Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands. Check out www.harvestingrainwater.com.

Jon Green


Graf, Aiken Need Schooling in 'Christian Values'

So, Randy Graf claims to be the "Christian values" candidate, yet his rather casual approach to his former campaign manager's conviction only points out his hypocrisy ("Teen Beat," The Skinny, June 22).

Graf fired campaign spokesman Steve Aiken after reports that Aiken was convicted in 1996 of "corrupting the morals of a minor" only after the story broke to the public.

Graf says he wasn't aware of the serious nature of Aiken's conviction, claiming that Aiken only told him that he was found guilty of what was the "equivalent of buying beer for a minor," yet Graf's self-proclaimed spokesman, Jade Stokes, claimed he "investigated the whole story" months ago.

Aiken posted this response on his own Web site: "(Graf opponent Rep. Steve) Huffman did the exact same thing to another radio talk show host in Tucson, Jon (sic) C. Scott. In that case, just prior to their election, 'the weasel' reached down into the gutter and (again) dug out the fact that when Scott was very young, he too had a conviction for a relatively minor offence."

Aiken just doesn't get it. Assaulting minors is not a "relatively minor offence." Unless, of course, you work for Graf.

Andy Morales


Students Are Going to Eat What They Want

Way back in the 1970s, I was teaching at a Chicago high school when it was decided that all of our problems with student nutrition would be solved by serving these kids a proper breakfast (Guest Commentary, June 15). To ensure success, the breakfast would be free!

The first day (out of curiosity), the tables were crowded, and the leaders of the movement were beaming with pride. By the end of the week, the lunchroom was about 20 percent full. Teachers were asked to come in and eat so that the program could be continued. I dutifully came; it was not too bad of a meal, but not what teenagers wanted.

In about three weeks, the program died, and none of the fast food places had suffered any losses. Somewhere in this story is a lesson about the difference in behavioral control between a democracy and a dictatorship.

Mary Schlentz


Remember: Bush Was Around When We Were Attacked

You published a letter by Don Woolley, "You Libs Are a Bunch of Losers!" (Mailbag, June 15). He concluded his letter with "I thank God everyday that the president is protecting us from any attacks; so far he has succeeded."

Wasn't Bush in office on Sept. 11? I think he was--and warnings from the CIA were ignored. "W" is at best negligent, and at worst, compliant. In any case, he's a failure.

By the way, the United States is not at war. We won the war in Iraq easily--we are just not winning the occupation. The "War on Terror" is a metaphor, just like the war on poverty, the war on crime and the war on drugs--all of which are, under present circumstances, lost causes.

Yeah, liberals are losers. Democrats have lost the last few fixed elections, but really Democrats are just watered down neocons.

Damon Miller


'Nacho Libre' Review Was Way Off

I found James DiGiovanna's recent review of the film

Nacho Libre in poor taste ("Writing That Reeks," Cinema, June 22). Physical comedy has lost some of its comedic power in contemporary America, because most folks expect comedy to be situational, actually have a punch line and often involve dirty humor.

Calling this film racist is quite an overstatement. To accomplish that task, one must actually classify all Mexicans as a race, which in itself is racist. Mexico is a diverse country with its ethnicities stemming from populations of indigenous Americans, meztizos and creoles, as well as small populations of other nonindigenous peoples.

Second, this movie is a comedy, and the characters are supposed to be funny. Based on what he says is the determining factor, then every comedy ever made with funny-looking actors is discriminatory against the ethnic background of the persons depicted. Not even all of the Mexican characters in this film are depicted as stupid and funny-looking.

In the future, try to avoid gross overgeneralizations. "Racist" is a harsh descriptor.

Nacho Libre hardly has anything in common with The Triumph of the Will or Birth of a Nation .

Nick Walker


'Nacho Libre' Review Was Right On!

I just read James DiGiovanna's review of Nacho Libre and felt the need to send fan mail. The joke about the "find the loofah" was so funny that I dropped my cigarette. The review was right on.

I love Jack Black (Tenacious D!!!), so I expected more from the movie. I paid for me, my wife and my three kids to watch Nacho, and we left without ever saying a word about the movie (not a good sign). Fortunately, the review provided me with enough laughs to make up for the movie. In the future, I will try to read DiGiovanna's review first, and maybe just send him the money for the movies and save the two hours for something else in my life.

Joshua Butcher


Noted: Some Teachers Support Weiss, Too

"Promises, Promises" (June 22) mentions that Gabrielle Giffords has the endorsement of the teachers. You neglected to mention that the Tucson Federation of Teachers endorsed Patty Weiss.

Dan Beamer
Vice President, Tucson Federation of Teachers AFL-CIO


The CD8 Race Goes Beyond Those Two Women

I am totally frustrated after reading your analysis of the Democratic race in District 8. This is not just a race between the two women you gave air time to. Jeff Latas is a very real contender, and perhaps the most qualified to actually play ball in Washington. While in the Air Force, he was sent to the Pentagon as a propulsion expert in the area of weapons of mass destruction. The only thing he lacks is name recognition, and you certainly have not helped.

Jeff has the backing of Democracy for America (Tucson branch), Progressive Democrats of America, and known Tucson politicos including Molly McKasson and Bruce Wheeler. Max Cleland is working to nominate Jeff and many other former veterans running for Congress on the Democratic ticket to band together for real change in Washington.

There is power in numbers. So, when you're talking about this race, it is far more than a war of the skirts. See you in September!

Ginia Desmond

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