That's Not Airplane Noise; It's the Sound of Freedom!

I would like to respond to James Collins' letter ("Forget the Military; Tucsonans Need to Preserve Tourism," July 21).

Collins complains about the possibility of the F-35 Lightning II being based here at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, and seems to have a bit of a Chicken Little attitude, fearing that one of those F-35s will somehow crash into the University of Arizona simply because it is a single-engine aircraft. Well, I am from a small town near Fresno, Calif., and for years, the 144th Fighter Interceptor Wing of the California National Guard has operated out of the Fresno Yosemite International Airport as a part of NORAD, mainly with single-engine fighters. Never has one of those crashed in a populated area. Further, the Navy has never lost one of their single-engine jets in a populated area from the Naval Air Station Lemoore, which is also nearby. Hmmm, maybe those single engine jets aren't so dangerous after all.

Collins also seems to think Davis-Monthan should be closed because he claims there is no proof that there are thousands of jobs at the base. Well, since it's "innocent until proven guilty," can Collins provide proof that those jobs aren't there?

As for the noise Collins complains of, he simply has to change his point of view. That isn't noise he hears when a jet fighter flies overhead; it's the sound of freedom, freedom being defended. When I was in the Army in Germany years ago, guarding an ammo dump, we used to be used for mock bomb runs by not only our Air Force, but those of France and Germany, too. Once I thought of it that way, the "noise" didn't bother me at all.

Charles W. Walker

Ancestors, Descendants ... Whatevs

Regarding "Tales From the Outskirts: History Preserved," July 7: I got a genuine thrill when I realized that the ancestors of Fairbank residents were taking care of the cemetery.

My imagination stretched when I visualized the annual picnic: Me, sitting among the ancestors, eating hot dogs, no doubt.

Fairbank must be a "ghost town" after all.

Elisabeth Roche

Roadrunners in the Parking Lot Were Just Doing the Normal Roadrunner Thing

What you observed is the standard roadrunner mating ritual ("Beep, Beep," Editor's Note, July 21).

The male always presents an edible gift to the female. In fact, she will not accept his advances without the requisite edible gift. The male always retains the food item in his bill until the act is consummated. He is supposed to give the food item to the female, though apparently, this is not always the case. (The avian cad.)

I've observed mating roadrunners on my property. The male courtship advance can be quite elaborate, with hiding behind small bushes, and shaking and dancing, before finally making the grade with the female. All the while, the male was holding the lizard in its bill.

I doubt there was any omen in the act for you or your staff—just a lucky observance that the next generation of roadrunners is assured.

Susan White

A Theory on the Omen Brought by Those Mating Roadrunners

In two words ... we're screwed!

Alex Maldonado

Struggling Financially? Then Don't Breed

Hard to feel empathy for John Tsosie when this couple's irresponsibility is clear in having another child ("Beat the Clock," Currents, July 21).

David Rodenborn

And Finally, a Bit of Poetry Focusing on the Santa Ritas

I step out in the morning, and face toward the


the mighty Santa Ritas greet my eyes.

Rising from the desert, they gently brush the sky,

guarding the habitats they hide.

Madera Canyon rests in Mt. Baldy's arms,

a paradise of birds and trees and skies.

In the lower hills, the wildlife roam free.

to feed, to live, to fly.

The Rosemont Ranch lies at the foot of the


A vast expanse of desert plain.

That land holds a fortune in silver and copper—

a corporation wants to work their claim.

If we allow that mine, they'll scrape and scour

the land—

spill and leech their toxins in the ground.

They'll carve out their hole—a wound upon

the land.

The Santa Ritas—extinction bound!

Wrong mine! A vast open pit.

Wrong place! In the Santa Rita Mountains.

Wrong time! The West is not wide-open anymore!

Wrong mine! No Rosemont Mine! No Rosemont


So, people of Pima County, join in the crusade.

Stop this mine from tearing up our land.

Stop ore extraction from all public land—

mine companies will have to understand.

A mining act shouldn't rule us from 1872—

when picks and shovels mined the mountain


We need to change the law, and learn to mine

ore right—

but, the Santa Ritas must be set aside.

Dennis Riley

Send letters to P. O. Box 27087, Tucson, AZ 85726. Or e-mail us. Letters must include name, address and daytime phone number. Letters must include signature. We reserve the right to edit letters. Please limit letters to 250 words.
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