If Prop 200 Passes, Tucson's Budget Will Be Screwed

While I agree with the writers who want Michael Goodman run out of town ("Welcome to Goodmanville," Sept. 3), I'd like to see Jim Click, the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association and the Tucson Association of Realtors kicked out with him. They really deserve it for Proposition 200, the "Public Safety First" Initiative, an idea that sounds good in theory—until you look at the numbers involved, and what it would do to Tucson's budget in the next five years.

It is unfunded, and supporters state that its funding would come from the general fund, which is exactly the problem: Can you say massive property-tax increases? Can you say goodbye to the zoo, KIDCO, Parks and Recreation, and other institutions which receive funding from the city? This is what will happen if Prop 200 passes.

John M. Jensen

Why Spend on Police When We Could Fight Poverty?

Thanks to Jim Nintzel for the clarity on Prop 200 and why I am not voting for it ("Police Action," Currents, and "A Rational Ratio?" and "Growing Opposition," The Skinny, Sept. 24). If we had $51 million a year to spend, I would rather use it to reduce poverty and get Tucson some good-paying jobs. Then we wouldn't need 2.4 police per 1,000 residents—maybe not even 1.9 police per 1,000 residents.

Poverty breeds crime. I get it.

Polly A. Connelly

Poison Is Bad; Younger Generations' Openness Is Good

Poison is poison; thanks to Randy Serraglio for stating the obvious (Sept. 3). When a population participates in self-deception for as long as ours has (farming, driving, throwing away), we can't have enough choices in perspective.

I take heart in the generation born in the 1980s. They seem to possess fewer ingrained prejudices against the Earth and each other, a more honest understanding of their individual selves, and ingenuity to overcome artificial constraints to free and open communication (often by simply ignoring those constraints).

The bad habits of our nation may not be perpetuated, but we are on the bridge, folks. Find a message, and help it get across.

Tuesday McCormick

And Now, a Treatise on How to Judge Tacos

John Schuster recently called my attention to DJ Randy Williams (aka R Dub), the so-called Taco Inspector ("R Dub Taco Stunt Doesn't Sit Well With Border Patrol," Media Watch, Sept. 3). Given my love of tacos, I read Media Watch with great interest and even visited Williams' Web site, thetacoreview.com, to find out the parameters he uses to judge tacos.

I was greatly disappointed with Williams' ratings and his overall criteria for selecting good tacos. While I don't wish to polarize this discussion into Mexican-versus-U.S. taco-eating habits, Tucson Weekly readers should be aware of some information.

The art of taco-eating has traveled south to north from Mexico and has greatly deteriorated in the United States, partly because of the high cost of supplying the high-quality ingredients essential for a good taco. For example, avocado, a basic and relatively inexpensive ingredient for tacos in Mexico, greatly increases the price of tacos in the United States. Because of this, tacos in the United States suffer a most violent decline at the hands of unsavory, watered-down guacamole. Curiously, Williams does not even consider guacamole an essential part of a taco.

In addition, there is the issue of tortillas. While it is true that tacos can be ordered either in corn or flour tortillas, any decent taco-eater knows that a true taco is wrapped in a small corn tortilla. To my dismay, Williams judges most of his tacos based on the notion that flour tortillas make the taco. This doesn't even deal with the issue of handmade versus ready-packed tortillas, the latter the favorite in most taco shops in the United States.

Finally, there is the issue of what Williams calls a "condiment bar," the area where one can choose a variety of sauces and other ingredients, such as onion and cilantro, to enhance the flavor of a taco. For Williams, the sign of a good taco shop rests in the size of its condiment bar.

This seems utterly preposterous. A good taco should automatically come with the ingredients the patron wishes. In any good taqueria, patrons tell the taquero (taco preparer) what to include in the savory dish: "sin cebolla (without onion)," "con todo (include everything, typically salsa, guacamole, cilantro and onion; the use of cabbage reflects the regional varieties of tacos in Mexico—in this case, Sonora—and should be considered an aberration of taco culture)" or "con poca salsa (just a little bit of salsa—not pico de gallo, by the way, a favorite of Williams')." All these variations can be heard regularly at any taco shop in Mexico. That way, when your taco arrives, it is nice, warm and ready for any final touches you wish to add, such as a few drops of lime or a sprinkling of salt.

Now that he has a SENTRI card, Williams should spend more time in Mexico to really learn the art of taco-making before presuming to instruct us in its subtleties.

Alex Hidalgo

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