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Photo Radar Speed Traps Are Just Lazy Law Enforcement

So, does Lt. Mike Pryor believe we need more homicides, or fewer car crashes ("Snap Judgment," April 5)?

The vast majority of vehicular accidents in/around Tucson occur in intersections. Speed is not necessarily a contributor as the cause of the accident, but certainly a factor in the severity. The speed becomes an element when, after the light turns red, five more cars believe they still have a right to go through the intersection, so they speed up to get through before being T-boned. Sometimes, they don't make it.

The real dangers on the road are created by those running red lights, yakking on their cell phones (which precludes the use of a turn signal) and speed differential. Photo radar addresses, perhaps, only one of these.

Any radar trap is lazy law enforcement and is really just a cash cow for the city. Once people clear the trap, they'll drive even faster to make up for the lost time.

Eric P. Maurer


Photo Radar Won't Work, Because It Won't Stop Stupidity

More than 80 percent of fatal accidents in Tucson last year had nothing to do with speeding, and nearly 70 percent of all collisions had nothing to do with it, either. It stands to reason that it would be far more efficacious to attack the real reasons for the vast majority of collisions. Apparently, though, because photo radar is easy to implement and usually profitable, we will have it stuffed down our throats, now matter how many rights it abrogates.

I know that anecdotes are no substitute for analysis, but I have had four near-hits in two separate incidents in the past month. One started in the left-turn lanes at northbound Oracle Road at Ina Road. As I approached in the curb lane with the red arrow lit, an imbecile in big, new Acura stopped in the right left-turn lane decided to jump lanes directly into the path of my pickup. I nicked the curb to avoid the hit. However, after making the turn west on Ina, Ms. Acura came flying into my lane behind me like a NASCAR driver drafting at Daytona. Several red lights later, I managed to get a great view of Ms. Acura's driving priorities: I watched her dig a Yoplait yogurt out of her center console, complete with the foil lid intact, open it, produce a metal spoon and begin eating it, even as the light turned green, and she drove away steering with her knees.

I have a few answers for how to curb the Ms. Acuras of this world. But photo radar isn't even on the long list.

David Anderson


Install Cameras at Every Intersection!

Jim Nintzel must drive a Hummer for him to write an irresponsible article like "How to Beat a Photo Radar Ticket" (April 5). As long as there are Hummers and gigantic SUVs being driven by people yammering on their cell phones, I'm all for cameras at intersections.

The other day, I saw two collisions in one day! Either outlaw cell phones in cars, or put up cameras on every intersection.

Patti Keating


Progressive Catholics Are in the Minority

Regarding the article by Tim Vanderpool about breakaway Catholics ("Breaking Away," Currents, April 5), the sad truth is that it is unlikely that congregations such as those cited are going to have much influence on the official Roman Catholic Church. The problem is not simply wresting control of the "church from the fierce grip of morally confounded white men." The problem is that only a relatively minuscule number of socially liberal people in the West are agitating for progressivism in religion.

Millions of people staunchly approve of the traditional medieval message. They believe strongly that women should be subservient to men, that gays are unnatural and should be shunned, and that abortion is always morally wrong. Many even think of birth control as evil.

Those seeking progress towards tolerance, peace, justice and enlightenment in religion will only succeed when substantial numbers of believers all over the world are convinced progress is desirable. Only when the hearts and minds of a majority of the brethren change will their leaders change.

Nancy Silberschlag


Breakaway Catholics: Good Article, Bad Cover Teaser

Tim Vanderpool's article did a good job of explaining that there are alternatives for those of us who are unwilling and unable to continue as members of the Roman Catholic Church, but whose practice of faith is deeply rooted in the many beautiful and uplifting things about the Catholic liturgy.

I have one question: Who wrote the "tease" for the article on the front cover of the paper? Did that individual even read Vanderpool's article? If he had, then the tease, "Flamboyantly gay? Have we got a church for you!" would never have been considered. The whole point was that breakaway Catholic churches aren't for gays versus straights, men versus women, divorced versus married. They are for everyone who seeks to practice Catholic Christianity without the selective interpretation of the Bible, sexism, homophobia, sex scandals and the assumption that the lay people are as stupid as sheep. The tease should have read: "Gay, divorced, believe in the responsible use of birth control, believe that women should be allowed to be priests and priests should be allowed to be married, or have an active conscience that values equity and involvement in social justice? Have we got a church for you!"

After more than three decades as an active member of several lay ministries of Roman Catholic parishes, I could no longer attend and support an institution that had rules and operational beliefs that were so counter to my principles. I typed "rebel Catholic church" into a search engine and was introduced to both the Liberal Catholic Church and the Ecumenical Catholic Church. I tried both. In spite of being similar in their distinctions from the Roman Catholic Church, each of these breakaway churches is quite different in their liturgies. I resonated with the Ecumenical Catholic Communion, and the slogan, "Where your Catholic heart can be at home, and your conscience can be at peace." My family has worshipped there for more than two years.

Mary M. Cox


Forget the Big Hat; Let's Build a Giant Coyote!

The Skinny ("Shell Game," April 5) seems a bit mystified at the lack of support for the Big Hat, a 100-foot-high cowboy-hat museum. This would be built near the freeway so that tourists would have an image to remember Tucson by, in the absence of the Rainbow Bridge.

This lack of support is not hard to understand. Of all the tacky, tourist-trappy, redneck, overblown ideas we've heard, this takes the cake.

While the Wild West museum is a good idea, we need something more: an iconic image worthy of our modern persona, while at the same time allowing no historical reference to be denied substantiation. We need a desert theme as well as a capitalistic symbol. In short, we need a great leap of the imagination.

Obviously, the only design which could possibly meet all these criteria and represent the Old Pueblo is a 147-foot-high howling coyote. There could be large observation windows in the eyes, an open-air deck in the mouth with those 25-cent binocular things on the teeth, and ears made of a mosaic of massed cell-phone antennas.

Let's show the world that we have as much gray matter under our hats as the next fellow. In time, we could be as famous as Wall Drug. Forward into the future!

Carl Noggle

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