Take Note: 'Revitalization' Is Just Another Word for 'Gentrification'

Isn't it always the case that something bad has to happen to someone or something of importance before people finally take notice that changing conditions--supposedly positive in effect--are actually very negative?

This is the case Margaret Regan points out in her article, "In Need of Space" (Performing Arts, July 6), concerning the displacement of O-T-O dance out of Tucson's downtown. Maybe now people will begin to realize that the coming "revitalization" is, in reality, blatant gentrification, and developers supporting the arts are merely just a screen.

Robert Steigert

Considering Kolbe's Votes on Saudis, Net Neutrality: Good Riddance!

Compliments to Seth J. Frantzman for his Guest Commentary (July 6). Mr. Frantzman's hard-hitting editorial is something we need more of, clear evidence that Saudi Arabia--a country with a human-rights record so appalling it makes Nazi Germany look like a democracy--is our real enemy.

Congressman Jim Kolbe voted for financial aid to the Saudis, saying, "We need all the friends and allies we can get." Well, we don't need friends like Saudi Arabia or Jim Kolbe. Even if the Saudis weren't behind the Sept. 11 atrocity, why should we give money to an oil-rich country that considers Jews and Christians "infidels" and executes homosexuals? Because Saudi Royal family members are buddies with our foundering president? Not a good reason.

While we're examining the congressman's bewildering voting record, let's not forget that he voted against Internet freedom (by voting for HR 5252, COPE Telecommunications Law, June 8), and is still dragging his feet on HR 550. This sensible legislation would require a nationwide paper trail for all ballots cast on voting machines.

So that was a "yes" for money to terrorist-loving Saudi Arabia, "no" for a free Internet and "I don't know" for safe elections. With the congressman scheduled to retire this year, it's a shame he'll be leaving office with a trail of political gaffes behind him.

Geoffrey Notkin

Giffords Supporter: Weiss' Claims Lack Evidence

Patty Weiss was quoted in The Skinny on July 6 ("Political Welfare Queens") saying that "there are certainly ties to the money that she came into and the votes that she took" when discussing campaign contributions received by Gabrielle Giffords when Giffords served in the Arizona Legislature. However, Weiss was not prepared to back up her allegation with any specific facts. She continued in this vein on The John C. Scott Show, charging that Giffords was beholden to "special interests," but again failing to cite any evidence to back up this serious charge.

Would Weiss have accepted such flimsy charges and political gamesmanship from a candidate for public office back when she served as a journalist? I doubt it. What is regrettably clear is that Weiss is trying to cast an ethical cloud over Giffords by repeating her bogus claims over and over, hoping that they will stick in the public mind despite the lack of corroborating evidence.

The race for Congress in District 8 is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for Democrats to take a seat held by the Republicans for two decades. The party's nominee should be someone capable of waging a serious and mature campaign. With these baseless attacks, Weiss demonstrates that she is definitely not the person best suited to take up that challenge.

Rex Scott

Giffords Supporter: Patty Weiss = Karl Rove!

We deserve better than a Karl Rove-style smear campaign that lacks evidence, avoids specifics and ignores the truth in Southern Arizona. Knowledgeable Southern Arizonans respect Gabrielle Giffords for taking a strong voice for children, working people and the environment to the often-hostile environment of the Arizona Legislature. See for yourself at www.vote-smart.org.

Shame on Patty Weiss for lowering her campaign to this level. Gabrielle Giffords is the only candidate in CD 8 with a proven record of effective representation and constituent service.

William C. Thornton

Claim: Burns' Union Coverage Showed 'Bias'

I was astonished by the bias in Saxon Burns' article, "Textile Tiff" (Currents, July 13). The subhead in the article makes the bias clear: "Union organizers--without evidence--claim a laundry is cutting potentially dangerous corners."

Four workers had just described their personal experiences laundering contaminated hospital linens. They did this at considerable risk, considering Arizona has no protective whistleblower statute. In fact, worker Denise Knox was fired on her next workday following her testimony at the panel.

Common sense tells us that if you just took a feces-covered sheet out of a laundry cart, you should not turn around and put a clean dinner napkin in the same cart. Nevertheless, this practice happens regularly at Milum Textile Services. Even if the napkin continues to look clean, microscopic bacteria can grow on the napkin's surface. The problem has been bad enough for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to take notice of the danger to Milum employees, but for some reason, Burns does not see this as adequate evidence that the public should be concerned.

Burns ended his article with an implicit swipe at card-check union campaigns. Mr. Burns should read Human Rights Watch's 2000 report on workers' rights in the United States, available at online. The report found the traditional union election to be fundamentally unfair, but praised the card-check process as an impartial alternative. Maybe he would then better understand why workers call their union drive at Milum a "struggle."

Rachel Wilson

Soccer Players Aren't the Only Sissy Athletes!

I love the sissy athletes bit (Danehy, June 22). I'd like to add some of my own:

Sissy baseball players who use a glove just to hold a piece of wood, something they don't even have to catch!

Sissy baseball players using a HUGE glove to catch a ball.

Sissy football players wearing gloves, or even spraying what is essentially GLUE on their hands to catch a ball that is simply thrown!

Sissy hockey players who use a glove to catch a puck, or to hold on to a hockey stick!

And what about all that other padding that football and hockey players use, or even baseball players at the plate? What's wrong with those wimps?

And you know which sport bugs me most? Basketball, with all the stoppage of play, probably so they can talk about their post-game dope-smoking party plans. Six full time outs and two 20-second time outs per team per game? If they know how to play so well, why do they need to stop and talk about it so much? Then there's all the stoppage for fouls. Those whiners! They should be allowed four fouls each, tops. If they have to break the rules so many times to win the game, they just must not be that good. All the play-stoppage is good for advertising, I guess, but it makes for a boring time watching. And so many baskets! Watching them make baskets (that even sounds wimpy) isn't interesting to me; there are so many of them made in a game. I guess those guys are terrible defenders.

So I'm on board with you! Thanks for bringing up your point!

Scott Hart

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