In "Minding the Mine" (Editor's Note, May 27), you gave Rosemont Copper "a lot of credit for being so open and apparently honest about its intentions in the Santa Ritas." If you really think they are open and honest, then I have a bridge in New York that I'd like to sell you.
Rosemont's tours and ads are driven by pure marketing hype. They make the mine sound like a great boon to Arizona, but the copper will be sold in China or India, and the profits will go to their investors (primarily in Japan and Canada). As you point out, we'll be left with a 1 1/2-mile-wide hole in the ground, a devastated valley, a depleted water table and quite possibly toxics in our water. What's more, the mine is not needed. There are several existing copper mines in Southern Arizona that can provide far more copper than Rosemont will ever provide. Also, 400 jobs is nice, but certainly not worth the trade-off.
This is why virtually all elected officials and jurisdictions in this part of the state believe the mine should be stopped, including Pima County and Santa Cruz County; the city of Tucson; the towns of Marana, Oro Valley, Sahuarita and Patagonia; the Green Valley Community Coordinating Council; the Tohono O'odham Nation; many state legislators; and our two members of Congress, Gabrielle Giffords and Raúl Grijalva.
I am glad that you also concluded that the mine needs to be stopped. I am, however, surprised that an astute, observant editor would describe this company as open and honest.
President, Save the Scenic Santa Ritas
It's all well and good that Rosemont Copper is sponsoring visits to a site that is slated to no longer exist (an open-pit mine). However, why not sponsor visits to Cienega Creek, a year-round creek and a major contributor to the aquifer? This gem of the Tucson area will also dry up and blow away after being severely impacted by this mine.
It upsets me to see how BP has robbed the people of Southern Louisiana of their environment and their livelihood. It upsets me that Rosemont wants to rob Southern Arizonans of their last year-round stream, all for the benefit of another greedy, foreign corporation.
Augusta Resources is an impressive corporation, with an impressive list of organizations, politicians, media outlets and citizens that they have bought, duped and schmoozed onto their roster of supporters. Give the devil his due.
You may recall that one of the first things Augusta did when they rode into town was snatch up all URLs that might be used by opposition groups. They were gracious enough to release www.savethescenicsantaritas.org back to SSSR, but only after they had the B.S. flag thrown on them.
Who could forget the first Forest Service public forum, when Augusta bused in scores of people to fill out applications for jobs that would not exist for years, if ever, just to pack the place with pro-Rosemont Copper bodies? At least they bought these people dinner before they, well, you know the rest.
Then there was the now-legendary Patagonia riot. I survived. Ask me about open and honest.
Jimmy Boegle is right when he says that we need copper. If a company wants to mine by cut-and-fill on their own private claims, even on Tucson's back porch, then they have every right to do so. But the days of dropping an open-pit mine in the lap of a thriving community are over. This is not Superior. It isn't Globe. We are not waiting for the next mining outfit to come to town and give us all a job. We are not interested in trading an established path of economic sustainability for the trap of boom-bust mining. They can razzle-dazzle the public with promises of cutting-edge technology and environmental neutrality. But, hey, it's still an open-pit mine.
Maybe I'll take the tour, and I can find out why the mine plans to use the Arizona Trail as the southern boundary of its waste-rock pile. It's not near the Arizona Trail; it is the Arizona Trail. As if that weren't enough, they gave the Arizona Trail Association $25,000 to build that new section of trail on the very contour line of the tailing stack.
Augusta officials can stand on the podium and throw coins into the crowd all they want. I remain unconvinced.
Thank you for the story regarding Joe Mucenski Sr. and how he and his wife are working for positive change ("Crisis Management," Currents, June 3).
I wonder how many members of the Pima County Sheriff's Department who have received crisis-intervention-team training appear in the Tucson Weekly Police Dispatch column. I do know that if PCSD + crime + mentally ill subject = nonviolent altercation, I can count on it being fodder for laughs in Police Dispatch.
Mental illness is not funny in any situation.
Jason K. Mason
In "And They're Off!" (June 3), we incorrectly spelled the name of George Keane, a Libertarian candidate for Congressional District 7. We apologize for the error.