If Tucsonans Learn to Preserve Water and Curb Sprawl, We Have a Chance

Kudos to the Tucson Weekly on the excellent 25th Anniversary Issue (Feb. 26)! And kudos to Tim Vanderpool (even if he did say I had been in the trenches for "eons") for a well-written summary of 25 turbulent years of environmental battles.

My guarded optimism about our future is tempered with several real concerns. Can we and our elected officials focus and stay focused on the issues that are important for the long-term health of the community? That is water is limited and must be used wisely both by humans and for the preservation of desert habitat? That continued low-density sprawl makes life more difficult and expensive for everyone but a few developers? That alternative forms of energy aren't luxuries, but necessities? Transit, bikes, walking, tiny cars and hybrids must replace gas-guzzlers and the emphasis on ever-wider roads.

If we can keep these big-picture ideas in view, there is a chance that in 25 years, metropolitan Tucson and the Sonoran Desert may be a place where people will still want to live.

Gayle Hartmann

Make the Banks Auction Off Homes!

How ironic; the Federal Reserve not only lowers interest rates and shovels cash to troubled banks, but when Mr. and Mrs. Consumer get in a financial jam, banks raise interest rates to their borrowers.

The question that remains unexplored in the "Foreclosure Madness" (Currents, Feb. 19) is the lack of liquidation by lenders of foreclosed properties. After five near-death experiences since 1980 with no consequences, the lending industry, with a wink from the Federal Reserve, is still up to its old tricks while gaining power for their constituents--banks. Using the foreclosed property as collateral, banks can borrow from the Fed.

If banks were required to sell at public auction foreclosed homes within 30 days following eviction, you can bet that the banks would be hauling ass to the renegotiation/refinancing table with the homeowner.

Quentin Lewton

When the Carnivorous Aliens Come, Only the Vegetarians May Be Saved!

Tom Danehy, I will begin by saying that I read your column for the same reason I will on occasion listen to Ann Coulter or that transvestite Christian Nazi guy on access TV--purely for entertainment, and no other reason.

You are pompous, vapid and undeserving of anything but my scorn. Those are the same words of description that you used against a priest that is, as I am, a vegetarian. If there is a singular group of people that occupy this moral high ground that you speak of, it is the vegetarians. It is we, and only we, who give the same respect to animals that you would ask us to give to you.

Let's say that an alien race from the planet Carnivora, a people of superior intelligence, lands in Tucson. They are hungry, and they have come to eat us. When they knock on Father John Dear's door (the priest you ridiculed), he will say, "I have shown respect for the animals of the Earth less-intelligent than myself by not eating them. Please have the same respect for me." They might just leave him alone.

Mr. Danehy, when they knock on your door, how will you save yourself?

Stephen Campbell

I Miss the Cat I Sponsored at the Hermitage Shelter

Thank you for a factual article on the Hermitage Cat Shelter ("Gimme Shelter," Currents March 5). Blossom, a loved kitty I sponsored (monthly donations for her care) for almost 10 years, was one of the 70-plus inconvenient cats killed by decision of Mary Jo Spring and the Humane Society of Southern Arizona's Karter Neal last summer.

I last visited Blossom on June 29, 2008; she was her usual feisty, fun, alternately affectionate and playing-hard-to-get little self. When I next went to see her, a week or less later, she was gone for good. The fired staff had cared for her despite her disability, but she wasn't worth it to the gang which hijacked the Hermitage.

On March 3, 2009, members of the Arizona State Veterinary Medical Examining Board were cheerleaders for Neal (and by extension, Spring) at an investigative meeting regarding the mass killing of the unfit. Critters that must look to us for their well-being deserve better than Nazi ideology; those at the old Hermitage which had carried on founder Sister Seraphim's mission for about 40 years received better.

Please help us rescue harder-to-place kitties, and give the Veterinary Board a reason to praise the Hermitage: for a high adoption rate. It would be even better for the current Hermitage board and administration to be replaced with folks who pledge to support the original mission and make it unalterable.

Joyce Smith


In "Forever Creative" (City Week, March 12), Pat Dolan was identified as a "he" due to an editing error; Dolan is a woman. We apologize for the mistake.
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