Barista Needs to Serve Coffee and Skip the Arrogant Dribble

How very grandiose of S. Jane Bradford to think that we are blaming her for the financial crisis (Guest Commentary, Jan. 1). If people are still willing to pay $6 or $7 for a coffee, I suggest that she make it, hand it to them and wish them a good day. This is more conducive to getting good tips than giving a lecture on the life and times of the coffee bean. I also find it hard to believe that the children in Africa who are picking the beans are paid very well.

I used to get a medium--excuse me, grande vanilla latte at a local Starbucks; when they chose to raise the price, I quit buying the grande vanilla latte and switched to the large--excuse me, venti house-blend coffee for half the price. So by raising the price of their latte 40 or 50 cents, they lost $2 per transaction, plus the "coffee bartender" lost half the normal tip.

That is what the people in this industry are--coffee bartenders--and when they ask me how my day is going, I should be able to express my concern at the rising coffee prices and my rapidly disappearing 401(k).

In closing, I say that Bradford is the one who needs to demonstrate a little compassion and courtesy. She needs to understand that paying $6 or $7 for a coffee in today's financial climate is a choice made by people who do not wish to listen to her arrogant dribble.

Richard P. Kirk

Claim: Item Discussing Mentally Ill Woman Was Insensitive, Distasteful

I read the account about a mentally unstable woman in your Dec. 25 Police Dispatch column ("Don't Let Her Baby-Sit"). Providing the details of this woman's psychosis for reading entertainment was insensitive and distasteful. I chalked it up to you being ignorant of the problems of those who are mentally ill. But a few pages later, you gave accolades to Roxanne Prillwitz, who "aids and defends Tucsonans suffering from mental illnesses" in your Local Heroes section. Therefore the ignorance defense goes out the window, and all that is left is insensitivity and distastefulness. Shame on you!

Stephanie Prudence

In Defense of Che, TUSD's Raza Studies

In "Bailout Nation" (Jan. 1), the Weekly attacked the Tucson Unified School District Raza Studies Department for having a picture of Che Guevara in department classrooms. Weekly writers have joined right-wing bloggers and Web sites in alleging that Che has been "unmasked as a torturer, mass-murderer, peasant-executioner, labor-camp boss and firing-squad honcho."

The only problem with such assertions is that there is no historical proof to back them up. I would like to know what sources, other than the previously mentioned right-wing blogs and Web sites, that Leo W. Banks and Jim Nintzel can cite for such accusations. The reality is that Che Guevara was a doctor who could have lived a very comfortable life in his native Argentina. Instead, he chose to join progressive liberation struggles in other parts of the Americas. He joined the liberation struggle in Cuba despite the fact that he was not from that country, and despite great odds that the fight would not succeed. After the victory, Che could have remained in a government position in Cuba, but instead chose to attempt to bring revolution to other countries. It is hard to believe that a "mass murderer and labor-camp honcho" would choose to leave his life and family behind in order to start a guerilla movement in the Bolivian countryside, as Che did. Rather, I believe that the Weekly writers and other right-wing pundits are so hard-pressed to spread lies about Che Guevara, because they understand that he was and is an inspiration.

The fear of Che and those who might follow his example is the real reason why two seemingly reputable journalists would include historically false and slanderous information in their story.

Paul Gattone

I Want Credit, Dammit!

There was a significant omission in the Weekly article about the performance of Kalimba-kee at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra's Just for Kids concert ("Kids, Hippos and the Bassoon," City Week, Jan. 1).

There was no mention made of the composer. Just to set the record straight, I'm Michael Fan, violinist with the Tucson Symphony and the composer and author of the story of Kalimba-kee.

Michael Fan

Thanks for Honoring Steve Garb

A big thank you to Jim Lipson for the article helping us to say goodbye to our good friend Steve Garb ("R.I.P., John and Steve," Music, Jan. 8). He was to us a spiritual giant, a gentle man with a huge heart. I learned from him with each encounter. He exemplified a man of God, always the student, living a life of service.

We at the Eckankar Center knew of his music as he led our choir, both with his guitar and his enthusiasm. However, we knew him best in the role of friend. He is already missed greatly and leaves a huge hole in our congregation and our hearts.

Allyn Thompson


In "Terra Cotta Closing Jan. 31" (Noshing Around, Jan. 15), we reported that Terra Cotta won a James Beard Award; actually, the restaurant was nominated for the award. We apologize for the mistake.
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