Tom Danehy's criticism of the Cash for Clunkers program (Aug. 20) is politically naïve. The cash should have gone to those who voted Democratic or didn't vote at all. That's rewarding your core constituency. Similarly, people who voted Republican shouldn't be allowed to enroll in the public option for health insurance once it's in place. If they like the for-profit system so much, let 'em pay the higher rates.
Democrats should tell Barack Obama to wake up. Enough of this reaching across the aisle! The current Republican Party put an end to that.
Tear down the Steinfeld! And while you're at it, tear down that crumbling building behind the St. Augustine Cathedral. But why stop there? Let's just tear down any building that looks like it might need some work, and put in something new, like, say, an Arby's. What do we need history for? Why save the Rialto, or the Historic Train Depot, or Hotel Congress? Was it really worth all the money and effort to restore the Temple of Music Art? That building is only used for arts events, and as we all know, the arts and artists are only looking for a free ride. Never mind that every artist is in essence a small business person and gives back, both directly in terms of support for local business and indirectly by bringing people into the center of town.
Tom Danehy (Aug. 20) wants to ignore, and not bother researching, many studies and examples showing how the arts are the main force behind downtowns being revitalized. The economic number is a distraction and misses the point that we have an artist enclave, and this should be protected with a long-term goal of attracting development. This is how it has worked for decades in other cities, including Phoenix. Not only does the art scene attract a crowd; it attracts a younger crowd and therefore creates a long-term interest in living in the urban core.
Should we talk about the "green" aspects? Living in the urban core translates to less driving, and we are seeing the negative side of the sprawl both with our wallets and the environment.
As for the lame and obnoxious comments directed at Councilwoman Regina Romero, they were ill-informed. There is a creative class written about by academics which has been a topic for years as an important part of the future of our nation's economy. Romero does her research and knows what she is talking about. I wish Danehy would follow her lead and actually do some research of his own rather than just hurling insults.
I really enjoyed Christine Wald-Hopkins review ("Owning History," Books, Aug. 27) of Katherine Wells' Life on the Rocks: One Woman's Adventures in Petroglyph Preservation. The review does not mention that Mrs. Wells donated 156 acres of her property to the Archaeological Conservancy, an Albuquerque-based nonprofit organization that acquires properties to preserve archaeological sites for future research. The Archaeological Conservancy also owns several preserves in the Tucson-Marana-Green Valley area and other parts of Arizona.
Executive director, Old Pueblo Archaeology Center
John McCain's defense of Sarah Palin's tirade against "death panels" ("In Sickness ...," The Skinny, Aug. 27) once again demonstrates his tendency to pervert democracy into mob rule. These days, the Republican playbook seems to consistently revert to injecting urgent fear into the debate in order to stimulate the reptilian portion of the brain and cause a stampede toward their desired outcome. This is the playbook that resulted in the invasion of Iraq and the adoption of national torture policies.
Clearly, McCain sees and portrays himself as a rational person, but he just can't keep his finger off the fear button. His defense of the right-wing hysteria about government death panels making health care decisions based on level of productivity is the latest example. We currently live in a society where corporate "death panels" routinely deny health-insurance claims, and where most of the unemployed and many of the underemployed are not covered at all. And yet, McCain, understanding that this is a situation that has not yet affected most of the mob, opts to stimulate a stampede against any government option. Apparently, he'd rather stick with the system that allows health-insurance corporations to skim off one dollar in every five paid in premiums for profit, administration, advertising and lobbying.
Can't we do better that this in Arizona? Isn't it time for McCain to join Sarah Palin as a private citizen on the wing-nut speaking circuit?
In "Heritage Holdup" (Currents, Sept. 3), two groups were incorrectly listed as supporters of the proposed Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area. The Green Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Tubac-Amado Chapter of the Santa Cruz County Cowbelles are not supporters.
We apologize for the error.