Don't Fret About Missing a Phoenix-to-Tucson Flight; Take the Shuttle

Your airline experience is becoming more and more common ("Airline Adventures," Editor's Note, Oct. 4). Unfortunately, the airlines will do nothing until consumer outrage begins to affect their profits. Even then, it probably won't be anything but some cheap giveaway to quiet the masses.

I can sympathize with the panic you must have felt when your flight was delayed. I'm not sure I would have run to catch the connecting flight. Another alternative would have been to demand a refund for the flight and then take one of the airport shuttles from Sky Harbor back to Tucson. It only costs about $40, which is much less than the ticket from Tucson to Phoenix. It does take a tad longer, but you can read or sleep.

Rick Walter

In Defense of Proposition 200

I'd like to propose a reality check to counter the misinformation and fear-mongering being spread by the "No on 200 Committee" in their glossy flyers now clogging recycling bins throughout the city. Since Proposition 200 is only one page long, it's pretty simple to follow along ("Flush This Crackpot Scheme," Oct. 11).

For the sake of argument, let's imagine that we will somehow continue to get our full Central Arizona Project allotment of water for the next 100 years. Since the groundwater in Tucson's aquifer is continuing to drop with the current population, once Tucson Water is delivering the full allotment to subscribers, it only makes sense to disallow any more hookups. This will help ensure that what's left in the aquifer will be available to current residents.

The real problem is that we're betting our future on paper water--an "official" report that says we will continue to get the same amount of water in the future from a Colorado River that is oversubscribed and whose headwaters will be experiencing 40 percent less snowpack in the coming years. That's a simple, physical and natural reality on a planet experiencing global warming.

In regard to the garbage fee, how did it get attached to our water bill in the first place? Not only should we all equitably pay for the water we actually use and the cost to deliver it; we should also pay for the waste that we create. Our water bill shouldn't include charges for garbage, roads or any other nonrelated items. Further, existing ratepayers shouldn't be financing infrastructure for new development.

As for the proposition banning privatization of our vital water supplies: Access to clean water should be a human right, and since our rights are supposed to be protected by our government, the fact that Prop 200 bans our city from selling our water or delivery services to private interests for personal profit is in the best long-term interests of the citizens of Tucson.

Finally, in regard to the ban on toilet to tap, until someone comes up with a way to remove hormones, pharmaceutical drugs and other chemical toxins from "treated" water, using effluent is not a very wise way to attempt to bolster our assured water supply. As Prop 200 says, if properly treated, effluent can be used for irrigation.

It is past time to seriously address the growth problem in a desert environment suffering from dwindling water supplies. Those of you who have been following the various candidate forums know that only the Green Party candidates are being honest about this problem in their support for Proposition 200. Both the Democratic and Republican candidates are siding with the Growth Lobby in protecting special interests to the detriment of future generations.

Dave Ewoldt

Greyhound Industry Is Trying to Spin TGP Incident

I knew it was only a matter of time before the racing industry began to "reinterpret" what happened at Tucson Greyhound Park, to shift the attention from the racing professionals who allowed Pa's Mismakamess to die ("Greyhound-Racing Industry: Don't Condemn Us!" Mailbag, Oct. 11).

Those involved in the killing of Pa's Mismakamess aren't being condemned for not handing a dog over to David Blair, as Gary Guccione disingenuously claims. They are being condemned for not allowing an adoption-group representative already on her way to the track to pick up the dog. (Track manager) Tom Taylor refused to allow the adoption representative entry into the track and instead ordered the euthanasia.

Shifting blame away from those whose actions created this mess sends the message that, when it happens again (and at TGP, it always happens again), excuses will again be found.

Sukey Waldenberger

Reel Should Entertain Doubts About Shakespeare's Identity

In his review of Jennifer Lee Carrell's new book, Interred With Their Bones ("Chasing the Bard," Oct. 11), James Reel gets several things about the recently-issued "Declaration of Reasonable Doubt About the Identity of William Shakespeare" wrong.

His most egregious error is to accuse its authors of being "chronically class-conscious Brits (who) won't even entertain the notion that an individual with intelligence, ambition or determination could rise above his or her origins." The declaration clearly states, "This is not to say that a commoner, even in the rigid, hierarchical social structure of Elizabethan England, could not have managed to do it somehow; but how could it have happened without leaving a single trace?" The issue is an incredible absence of evidence. Also, while Brits participated, the declaration's principal authors are American, and not the sort of people anyone would accuse of class-conscious bias.

Reel should "entertain the notion" that there's a genuine mystery about Shakespeare. The problem isn't just a lack of evidence. The problem is what we know. Nothing indicates that he was ever a writer, much less the greatest writer in the English language. Nothing in his detailed will, for example, echoes the author or suggests a literary career. Nobody in Stratford seems to have thought a great poet was in their midst, and when he died in 1616, no one took note.

It strains credulity to think the true author first emerged out of nowhere in his mid-20s and then, just as mysteriously, fell completely silent the last many years of his life.

John Shahan

Signs Can Make a Difference, and Teachers Should Be Thanked

In response to James Goodman's wonderfully myopic letter ("Protesters Need to Get a Life, Watch Out for Cars," Mailbag, Oct. 11), I have a few thoughts:

1. The irony of Goodman using a public forum to protest/decry protesters is delicious.

2. Goodman cannot start his letter with a very insulting description of protesters and then fall back on the overused and awful "American soldiers die so that you can protest!" argument. It's oxymoronic, at best.

3. In response to Goodman's assertion that "paper signs will never make a difference": When insulted and cheated by a little ceiling-fan shop in Mesa last July, I protested outside of the establishment with a picket sign. Two days in, I was offered full compensation by the store.

Mr. Goodman, thank you for serving our country. I truly mean that. And I expect a "thank you" from you any day now for teaching our state's middle school and high school students for the past four years. And remember: Shooting people, whether enemy or civilian, can also make a difference. The last time I checked, terrorist attacks have increased the world over since the onslaught of this war. Now, that's a difference!

Justin Kinney

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