Arizona's Jaguar Habitat Must Be Protected

The loss of the jaguar called Macho B is a tragedy, one that must not be repeated (Guest Commentary, Aug. 6).

The decision to capture and collar Macho B lacked a scientifically based long-term vision for jaguar conservation in the state and the country. To this point, ignoring the information collected through a project supported by the Arizona Game and Fish Department is dishonoring Macho B's life and death. The dozens of photographs, tracks and scats collected throughout a decade in Southern Arizona's borderlands should inform decisions to protect the jaguars' home, food sources and international migratory paths.

Macho B's long life is a testament to Arizona's unique habitat quality. It is the responsibility of federal (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) and state (Arizona Game and Fish Department) wildlife agencies, and the Arizona-New Mexico Jaguar Conservation Team, to act immediately to preserve the only known jaguar habitat in the nation, Arizona's sky islands.

Sergio Avila

Sky Island Alliance

Tom Danehy Needs to Get Out More

The Tucson Weekly should offer Tom Danehy some unpaid vacation time. There are lots of fantastic cities he has obviously never had the opportunity to visit! I suggest he start in San Francisco and work his way up to Portland and Seattle. That's just the West Coast. After that, he can visit Austin, Denver, Chicago, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Nashville, Philadelphia and Boston. Oh, and make sure you tell him not to miss New York City! If he finds that he is short on spending money, maybe he can spend his vacation in the library reading up on the Cultural Revolution in China.

If Mr. Danehy has such virulent doubts about the positive economic and cultural impacts of a thriving arts community (Aug. 20), he will be happy to know that the notion of a "creative class" also includes such cutting-edge industries as green engineering, biotech, telecommunications and software development, to name just a few. We need as many bright, talented, creative and critical thinkers as possible.

If Tom wants to join the 21st century, he'd be welcome at the table. The rest of us are moving forward.

Miles Conrad

Conrad Wilde Gallery

Danehy's Claims About the Warehouse District Are Clouded by Selfishness, Ignorance

I was not surprised to read that Tom Danehy is feeling deprived because his car doesn't qualify as a "clunker." Tom Danehy, isn't driving a fuel-efficient car that is good for the environment and in your country's best interest reward enough? Do you really need your $4,500 in taxpayer dollars before you can shout "hurray" over the fact that polluting gas-guzzlers are becoming history?

Well, at least you are consistent. If there is nothing in it for you personally, then it must be a stupid idea. That is all I can conclude from your Aug. 20 piece.

You don't say a thing that gives me pause for thought or challenges my reasons for supporting the Warehouse Arts District. No presentation of reputable research concluding the Steinfeld (with its history and its 100 years of use) is beyond hope of survival—nope, just a drive-by and an old Flip Wilson joke. No persuasive argument that supporting an arts district doesn't make sense for Tucson, just hyperbole about keeping up with McAllen, Texas. No compelling refutation of any referenced document that outlines the monetary and social contributions the arts make to many communities. No, just a threat or promise to explain "how it is mathematically impossible."

As for Councilwoman Regina Romero, she has vision, and she has done her homework. She supported a deal in which not a single city dollar was spent: City land that was a de facto easement for Interstate 10 was traded to the Arizona Department of Transportation for properties in our downtown. That's unusable property for usable property, at no expense to the city or its taxpayers.

Let me point out: Two of the properties are currently fully occupied—as was the Steinfeld up to 2007, and many evicted Steinfeld tenants want to return; all three properties have buildings that contribute to the National Register Historic District status; and in conjunction with acquiring these properties, the city is issuing a request for proposals to improve the buildings under a long-term lease agreement. That means a private entity and the artists will be paying to improve real estate that the city retains.

Multiple research and planning documents, including ones generated by both Tucson and Pima County agencies and leadership organizations, recognize the link between and the importance of the arts (and the "creative class") and economic development in downtown revitalization, business recruitment and tourism.

Along with the city-owned properties and ADOT easement properties in the Warehouse District, there is privately held real estate, the majority of which has been developed for and currently has arts uses (at a higher occupancy rate than downtown office space).

In other words, we have the property, the buildings, the tenants, the interest, the desire, the vision and lots of support for the Warehouse Arts District. You may not see any reward specifically for you, Tom, but what about it is stupid?

Susan Gamble

Santa Theresa Tile Works, Inc.


The photo accompanying "Compromised Conviction?" (Currents, Aug. 27) was of David Nordstrom, not Scott Nordstrom. We apologize for the error.

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