A Skate Park Would Greatly Benefit Santa Rita Neighborhood, Tucson in General

Hey, Santa Rita Neighborhood Association geniuses: Do you want to revitalize "your" super sketchy park? Then support the skate park ("Park Pique," Currents, Jan. 17).

A great skate park will be packed everyday (if built correctly), and the unsavory types will fade away. Skateboarding is a family activity. Don't believe me? See for yourself at any of the Phoenix-area parks where moms and dads skate with their kids frequently. Hundreds of skaters visit every single day of the year.

So-called "progressive" yuppies like Demion Clinco need to stop with their claims of historical benevolence and embrace their urban existence. You live in the city, not Oro Valley. Stop trying to gentrify the neighborhood with bogus assertions of cultural identity, when in reality, you are only thinking about yourselves.

The city of Tucson is finally starting to recognize the embarrassment of not having a well-designed, well-built and well-maintained skate park in the downtown area. We desperately need that park, one that belongs to ALL Tucsonans; we don't need a few stuck-up elitists who want to use even more of our precious water on their grass. Skateboarding is freaking huge:

• Skateboarding is the third-largest sport between the ages of 6 and 18. In 2001, nearly 21 million people participated in action sports other than baseball, soccer, softball, volleyball, tennis, football.

• During the last 10 years, no sport had a larger increase in participation among users age 7 and older. Skateboarding is the sixth-largest participant sport in the United States.

• More than 9.3 million skateboarders will take to the streets in the U.S. this year.

• Statistically, skateboarding is safer than basketball, baseball, football, soccer and volleyball.

Currently, Santa Rita is one of the scariest parks in town. The area needs help badly. A great public skate park in Santa Rita Park would not only revitalize the area (businesses would love it), but would also encourage the continual growth of a blossoming neighborhood.

This park must be constructed ASAP. I'll be one of the many adults there every night loving the fact that my city doesn't suck so hard anymore.

James Carroll

Since I'm Getting Filmed, I'm More Important Than Sandwiches!

Well, here is yet another example of left-wing spin ("Protest Predicament," Currents, Jan. 24). Why didn't the reporter watch the protests and report what we actually say, rather than reporting what others--who oppose our political viewpoints--say about what we say?

A better question is: Can the left-wing, racist Hispanic hate groups and the right-wing local businesses, who have worked together to make fortunes exploiting Mexico's poor, withstand public scrutiny? And the answer is no.

I've given dozens of substantive interviews to local reporters, who either greatly distort my viewpoint or "deep-six" the interview because they cannot find a way to demonize me as a racist.

Guess what? My viewpoint has reached a far larger national audience. Within the next several weeks, a major New York film company is coming to Tucson for the express purpose of making a film on the First Amendment and the right of political protest. And they're not doing it because they think I'm a racist.

Listen up: Sandwich-makers of the universe, unite! When the local beaneries get a major film company to fly out from New York to film their sandwich-making, THEN maybe someone will pay attention to their right to make money off of sandwiches.

Roy Warden

Vegetarianism Is Delicious; Danehy, Not So Much

Clearly, Tom Danehy will go to any length for a laugh, including Coulter-esque "up-is-down" absurdisms--like joking that protein is in "short supply" in a vegetarian diet, even though many vegetarian "meats" have a higher percentage of calories from protein than flesh-foods, because of the vegetarian meats' lower fat content (Danehy, Jan. 24).

As Cleveland Amory said, people have an infinite capacity to rationalize, especially when it comes to something they want to eat. Tom's claims about people starving in a vegetarian world are the opposite of reality, since most food grown is fed to animals, with the vast majority of those calories being wasted. (See for more information and citations.)

Of course, no one eats a turkey club to prevent starvation. Most people eat meat because of habit and convenience, and because they don't know of the cruelties inherent in today's factory farms and industrial slaughterhouses. (Visit However, more and more thoughtful people are turning away from willful obtuseness and absurdist rationalizations and are instead making the humane, delicious, vegetarian choice.

Matt Ball

Ron Paul's Politics Are Delicious; Danehy, Not So Much

I read with interest Tom Danehy's Jan. 17 column. While I agree with the overall tone of the article, I did find his attack on Ron Paul to be disturbing on two counts.

First, to say "trying to locate the rocker that Ron Paul fell off of" is in itself irrational, but in a context that links Paul to "airport men's bathroom(s)" and "the baseball steroid scandal" (among others), it is simply unfair. Wouldn't it be better to address any of Paul's positions with logic and reasoning? Then those who disagree with you would have a chance to refute your arguments on the same basis. Doesn't that seem fair?

Second, I infer from your article that your problem with Paul has something to do with taxes. Paul's position on taxes relates strictly to taxes at the federal level and says nothing about taxes at the state or local level. The state and local authorities have the right to tax us to any level we will bear. Federal income taxes are a different story. The Constitution does not authorize the federal government to tax the wages of most American workers. Nor does it allow a private cartel of bankers (the Federal Reserve) to print our money.

The questions you raise with your article are very important and will become more important as the economy slips further into recession (and possible depression?) in the coming years. You can and do provide a meaningful platform for ordinary citizens to understand what is happening, why it is happening and who is behind the fix we find ourselves in. We look to you, and others in journalism, to be neutral observers who will "give it to us straight."

Carl Manz

Ron Paul Paid Attention in Kindergarten!

I completely agree that the Legislature spends too much time on issues that are either unnecessary or entirely outside of the legitimate function of government. That is why I find it disturbing that you lump Ron Paul in with some of the things that waste our time and money.

Have a problem with political junkets? Support Ron Paul. He has never taken one. Cringe at the concept of publicly funded art? Support Ron Paul and other politicians who agree with him. Want the government to soften the blow of hard economic times? How about getting out of Iraq? How about bringing trillions of dollars back home and shutting down some of our 700 foreign military bases? And how about attacking the economic problem at its roots--our government's reckless spending, borrowing and printing of money with nothing to back it? These are Ron Paul's positions and have been for the entire length of his career.

Don't spend what you don't have; don't try to police the world; respect and defend the rights of everybody; be friends with and trade with other countries; never waiver in your honesty and integrity. That doesn't sound to me like someone who is off his rocker. It sounds like someone who was paying attention in kindergarten.

Erik Lundquist

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