What If Liberals Had Showed Up to Bush Events With Guns?

Your "Comment of the Week" (Weekly Wide Web, Jan. 14) from Edward Biebel sucked, big-time. Boo-hoo, right-wingers are being called names.

I'm surprised George W. Bush didn't have an official "enemies list" like Nixon boasted about, which he used as bait for IRS and FBI investigators. As far as First Amendment rights are concerned, if liberals had showed up with guns (Second Amendment rights?) at Bush rallies (like right-wingers show up at Obama rallies), they would've been flogged to death.

So much for left-wing hypocrisy and political inequality ... blah, blah, blah.

Alan Neff

Claim: Giffords Is a Carpetbagger!

In the spirit of our former illustrious governor, who has so distinguished herself as such a stalwart guardian of our country, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' surrogates, like the Weekly, maintain the aura of journalistic creativity by espousing her re-election as a "marquee race" ("Giffords Vs. Paton: 2010 Showdown," The Skinny, Jan. 21). Yet no mention is made of her current carpetbagger status as an out-of-state representative.

Why doesn't the Weekly report the facts concerning her absentee status? It would be instructive to have you report the percentage of Arizona residency Giffords (and presumably her husband) reports on her Arizona state income-tax return. Also, how much of her Arizona-based property is subject to Pima County personal property tax?

Giffords is just another clever user of the electoral system, which allows her to skirt the normal rules which we nonpoliticals are required to live by. She has attempted to portray herself as a "blue dog" Democrat. She should, in all candor, label herself as a "brown dog" Democrat who has her nose up Nancy Pelosi's ass.

Lou Dudas

Sonoran Science Academy Responds

On behalf of Sonoran Science Academy-Tucson, we write this letter to formally respond to the Tucson Weekly article, published on Dec. 31, under the title of "Hidden Agenda? Parents Raise Concerns That a Tucson Charter School Has Ties to a Turkish Nationalist Movement." We hope that you will consider printing this letter, to give your readers the opportunity to draw their own conclusions about the biased and one-sided "investigation" that led to the article. We also invite Tucson Weekly to visit our campus to get a more accurate picture of SSA, which is a transparent, public institution open to any questions or inquiries by public media officials. SSA highly respects the freedom of speech and expression.

The article by Tim Vanderpool raised questions about possible links between Sonoran Science Academy-Tucson (a public K-12 charter school) and a "Turkish nationalist movement." The article was based on comments and allegations by a third party who apparently spoke to Mr. Vanderpool on the basis of anonymity. Mr. Vanderpool contacted Mr. Karatas, the principal, by phone to ask a few questions regarding the matter. Mr. Karatas kindly welcomed the inquiry. On at least three occasions during this call, Mr. Karatas requested that Mr. Vanderpool visit the school. Mr. Vanderpool stated that he was unable to visit and insisted on a telephone interview.

In the article, numerous quotes by Mr. Karatas were taken out of context. It sounded as if the school principal was "threatening the parents," which clearly was not the case. Mr. Karatas has great respect for the fundamental constitutional right of every individual to express him/herself and would never threaten a student, parent or staff member. To our regret and disappointment, Mr. Karatas' statements were tailored to fit the story, rather than attempting to show his authentic answers (and message) to the questions being raised.

The history and foundation of SSA-Tucson goes back to three visionary Tucson-based Turkish scientists (a prominent engineer at Texas Instruments, highly acclaimed heart surgeon in Tucson Medical Center and a researcher at the College of Optical Sciences at the UA) who saw an immediate need for quality math and science education in Tucson. These three visionaries established SSA-Tucson as a charter school that would focus on math, science and technology while providing a solid foundation in liberal arts education. SSA-Tucson has never had, and does not currently have, any links to any religious or nationalist movements. SSA is nationally acclaimed as a model school by US News and World Report, Newsweek and the American Mathematics Association. Most recently, SSA-Tucson was honored to be Arizona's Charter School of the Year.

SSA takes pride in its transparency and dedication to serving the community. We were deeply saddened by the blatantly one-sided story written by Mr. Vanderpool and published by the Tucson Weekly.

Fatih Karatas

Principal, Sonoran Science Academy-Tucson


In "And Speaking of Blood ..." (The Skinny, Jan. 14), we reported that the Pima County Interfaith Council administered JobPath. According to JobPath's executive director, the organization is a 501(c)(3) with an independent board of directors.

In "A Celebration of Leonard Bernstein" (City Week, Jan. 21) director Troy Hollar's name was misspelled as Haller.

In "This Week on the Range" (Weekly Wide Web, Jan. 21), we incorrectly referred to Pat Robertson as Pat Robinson.

We apologize for the errors.

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