Prop 301 Will Take Treatment Options Away

Thank you for your article on the consequences of Proposition 301 ("Truth and Consequences," Currents, Sept. 28). There are some points I would like to clarify.

Under existing treatment law, a person convicted of first-time drug use can only be sentenced to prison or jail if she/he refuses court-ordered treatment. This is an important point that must be stressed: Treatment is required. The prosecuting attorneys and judges already have the "legal ammo" to incarcerate people who refuse treatment or do not adhere to the requirements of treatment. No additional laws are necessary. The effect of Proposition 301 would be to remove the possibility of treatment to first-time methamphetamine users. They would automatically be sent to prison.

I know, from my experience presenting pre-release classes in prisons and jails, that there is either no drug treatment or only sporadic treatment within the prison system. I also know, from working with recovering meth addicts, that early treatment does work.

Diane Wilson

Prop 201 Takes Away Rights From Businesses, Smokers

I could not imagine a freethinking publication like yours would favor Proposition 201 and oppose 206 ("Decisions, Decisions '06," Oct. 5). Proposition 201 means even more government and would require a small army of "tobacco cops" looking to bust people for using a legal product. As for bars, nonsmokers have a lot of options to drink in a smoke-free atmosphere. What is happening to freedom of choice? What's next, prohibition?

As a small bar owner and smoker, I am concerned not only about my business, but the livelihood of my 11 employees. Some people claim that going smoke-free will not impact business; it does. Talk to the bar owners in Prescott as I did recently; their regular local patrons are going to the local casino to drink. I do not consider my bar a public place, as nobody has to come here or work here, and I have the option of rejecting anyone. If a majority of my patrons objected to smoking, I would gladly go smoke-free and impose the same restriction upon myself and my staff.

The Weekly prints material that some people may consider objectionable. How would you like the government telling you what you can and cannot print? I see a lot of ads in your paper for local bars and clubs. If they all were aware of your position, you could kiss that business goodbye.

As a small business yourself, I urge you to put personal prejudices aside and reconsider your stance on these propositions. Proposition 206 adds a lot of additional restrictions but gives the small-business owner freedom of choice.

God Bless the U.S.A. Are you still allowed to print the G word?

Dennis M. Murphy
Owner, Margarita Bay Inc.

My Two Cents on the Corporation Commission Race

Thanks to Dave Devine for his coverage of the important race for the two seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission ("Energy and the Election," Oct. 12). It's a branch of our state government that not too many people are familiar with, even though it makes the decisions affecting our utility rates.

I, along with my husband and a few others from Santa Cruz County, have been an intervenor in the Tucson Electric Power transmission-line case for the past five years. In our opinion, Kris Mayes is the best thing that could have happened to the commission and to Southern Arizona. Unlike the others, she listens. She questions. And she is not intimidated. She is the only one of the five commissioners who every month comes to Tucson to meet with anyone regarding commission business.

This term will be her last because of term limits. I expect her to go on to bigger and better things, and I will support her. But in the meantime, we need her back on the commission. I truly feel we should support Kris.

I am also supporting Ric Boyer. He seems to be an honest, intelligent person. Another plus in his favor is that he is from Sierra Vista and, although a transplant from the East, he has been very active in Southern Arizona politics and issues. With the rapid growth taking place in our part of the state, we need a voice from Southern Arizona.

Ellen Kurtz

Prop 400 Will Give Students More Options

I would like to know why people who have no idea what they are talking about try to sway an issue ("Vocation Vexation," Currents, Oct. 19). I am a teacher and a parent of a student in one of these programs that the joint technological education district will help grow. I have been doing this for three years, and I have seen many pods show up all over our city. These pods do not constitute a program--at least not the type the JTED will facilitate.

Our program offers vocational classes geared at training our students to get entry-level jobs in their chosen fields. These jobs are with employers who will help pay for their post-secondary education. Our program is more than high school classes; it features concurrent enrollment classes, advanced placement classes, community-service activities and exposure experiences for our students to see what they will actually be doing once they receive their education. I would gladly pay a little extra so that all students in the Tucson area have access to these programs. These programs give our youth and our future employees a step up to becoming more productive and effective individuals.

Joan Dawson

People Who Slam Teachers Have No Idea

Having taught high school in Tucson and New York, I really identified with Laura Dulin's Guest Commentary on Sept. 21. I was shocked to read Abra McAndrew's slam of the piece ("Guest Commentary Writer Makes Inappropriate Assumptions," Mailbag, Oct. 5).

McAndrew seems to believe that Dulin failed because she was racist. Can she not believe that students would resist education unless taught by a bigot? Wise up! Child psychology says that teenagers want maximum freedom and minimum responsibility. (Who among us doesn't?) To minimize responsibility in school, each of them needs only to be bad enough that the teacher's example/lesson/semester won't go ahead as planned, and enough of them can loudly say at the end, "I'm totally lost." I have never seen students cry when, for whatever reason, a lesson could not go on as planned, with the result a half hour of unaccountable time or one less topic on a test. So why wouldn't a student try to spend the whole period talking and then snipe back at the teacher when told to stop?

But McAndrew surmised that the student who called Dulin a racist was correct. On the contrary, I thought that Dulin's assessment that her student "used her best ammunition" was right-on. It is a greatly insulting and upsetting allegation--and it can never be disproven.

I believe that all students want to learn. But I don't believe that all students want to work for it. Wouldn't it be great if they could just insert a memory card?

I urge McAndrew and others who believe they know what is going on in our classrooms to spend a day in one--or a year--and then tell me how it went.

Tiernan Erickson

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