Thanks for Pointing Out Political Games With DUI Bills

Congratulations to Tom Danehy for writing the truth about the DUI laws (April 3). I was at the hearing when Sen. Rebecca Rios walked out before voting. They just don't "get it." Rios was hit by a drunk driver at some point in her life and had her arm broken, and her aunt was killed by a drunk driver, she told me, yet she either leaves the room when it's voting time, or she votes "no" more than she votes "yes" on DUI bills. Our own Victor Soltero voted "no," too.

How stupid is it not to pass a bill saying a driver's license should be suspended after jail time, not during? (You can't drive while in jail.) Sen. Jim Waring also proposed a bill to not return licenses until offenders have completed their community restitution. Both of these are common-sense bills. Waring has never turned his back on victims of these senseless crimes, and he is helping to save lives in this state by introducing these bills.

The drunk driver who killed my only child, Brenda, and her best friend, Tracy, on Interstate 10 here in Tucson had four prior DUIs and a valid Arizona driver's license--and kept it after killing them. That means he had five DUIs and had been charged with two counts of second-degree murder, and STILL had a valid driver's license.

Thanks again for keeping drunk-driving awareness in the public's eyes.

Molly Steffens

Gay Chamber: Proposed Constitutional Amendment Is Bad for Business

The Tucson GLBT Chamber of Commerce (TGLBTC) opposes the proposed amendment that would put into our state Constitution wording similar to a current statute that limits marriage in Arizona to people of the opposite gender (The Range, April 10, and "Get on the Phone: Marriage Amendment Resurfaces," TW Blog, April 21).

The TGLBTC believes this amendment is both unwise and ill-timed. It would enshrine into our Constitution a negative and potentially discriminatory, even hateful, message that a certain class of people is not welcome in Arizona. As a part of our Constitution, it could potentially conflict with evolving national policy, causing undue expense and legal wrangling--all of which could be avoided by simply leaving the current statute intact.

As importantly, we believe that this action, during a time of budget crises and other higher priorities, is simply an ill-advised distraction. Worse, by positioning Arizona as unfriendly to the GLBT community during an economic slowdown, we make our state less competitive vis-à-vis neighboring states and discourage inward movement by individuals, educators and corporations. Thus, the proposed amendment is anti-business and discourages economic development.

The Tucson GLBT Chamber of Commerce encourages all business organizations and leaders to communicate with colleagues and legislators to oppose this initiative and re-focus our lawmakers' legislative efforts around what is really important to businesses large and small--economic growth and development.

Deitrich Benjamin
President, TGLBTC

No More Deaths Volunteers Are Enablers

If Tim Vanderpool is going to write credibly about our continuing border nightmare, he needs to lay off the No More Deaths cuckoo juice ("Border Brush," Currents, April 24). His breathless description of the arrest and prosecution of open-border zealots Shanti Sellz and Daniel Strauss for aiding and abetting illegal immigrants is nothing short of ludicrous.

There was no need for the two activists to "rac(e) three delirious immigrants to a Tucson clinic." If humanitarian aid were their real aim, a taxpayer-funded, all-expense-paid flight to a proper trauma center was only a phone call away. The only possible reason for putting them in their own car and taking them to their church clinic was to assist them in evading the Border Patrol. They knowingly violated the law; that's why they were arrested and prosecuted. That the charges were eventually dropped testifies to the stranglehold the open-borders lobby has over this county.

Far from a return to the "bad old days," this latest controversy sounds like business as usual: The illegals will keep coming, and their enablers will continue to get off scot-free.

Mike Taylor

Clarification: Temps Are Indeed on the Big-Time Rise in Arizona

I want to make a clarification with respect to the 1 degree Fahrenheit warming observed in the Tucson region ("Getting Warmer," Currents, April 17): This is over the very recent period from the mid-'80s to present. I gave this number out because of recent analyses I produced for another study. The 4-degree warming you mentioned from the Earth Day Network's "Climate Change Fact Sheet" most likely covers a much longer time period than the data I looked at. If you look at long-term records (back to early 1900s) for the region, you definitely see 4 degrees Fahrenheit of warming with the annual average temperature. We are definitely following this general pattern of warming--if not leading it. My number of 1 degree Fahrenheit is an apple/oranges comparison because of the different time periods considered.

Michael A. Crimmins
Assistant Professor/Climate Science Extension Specialist,
UA Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science

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