Tom Danehy Needs to Study Up More on Adobe

Since Mr. Danehy, by his own admission, knows nothing about building with adobe, he should make sure to consult more than one source before spouting half-baked wisdom (Danehy, Aug. 16). Coming from a family of adobe-builders—not the warm, fuzzy liberals you deride, but plain ol' working stiffs—I'd like to add a bit of information on this millennial craft.

Multi-story adobes are remarkably resilient and quite common throughout the world. Right here in our backyard, look at the various ruins of past civilizations, still standing after hundreds of years—a bit eroded without roofs, but still there. In the Middle East, there are entire cities with multiple-story buildings. As for the need to shore them up with immensely thickened walls, such as in Mali, this is done for defense purposes as much as stability; the more-common technique, seen here in the Southwest, is to build buttresses along the sides, similar to those in the medieval cathedrals of Europe.

These adobes are reinforced with natural materials such as straw or nopal juice, which was used in the renovation of San Xavier, in keeping with the historical construction. Modern adobes are reinforced with various far-more-durable substances, in conformity with the stringent building codes. One such material is cement, which in a proportion of only 5 percent makes the bricks as resilient as baked ones, without the need for firing. As such, they can be used just like other blocks, and will not deteriorate under water.

Water damage is what is wrong with the Marist Building, something which could have been avoided with a minimum of roof repair and foresight. "The business side of the church actually knows what it's doing" is incorrect, since it failed to address a simple problem at its inception, because the building was empty and did not yield revenue.

We have destroyed much of the Old Pueblo in the name of progress. Can we not do the right thing this time?

Maria Cadaxa

Claim: Tucson Forward Wants to Get Rid of Davis-Monthan

Tucson Forward is dedicated to one purpose: to end the presence of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson (Guest Commentary, Aug. 16). To this purpose, Robin Gomez cites a list of problems including noise and safety (accidents in San Diego, Virginia and the Osprey in Marana). He also suggests that somehow, minority low-income residents are especially affected by the noise from the base.

Gomez also makes the point that the economic analysis of the report (on the impacts of possibly expanding Operation Snowbird) ignores Tucson's tourism impact, but Gomez does not seem concerned about the huge economic impact of D-M over the past 60 years.

I have lived in Colonia Solana for 26 years and can respond to the noise issue. Yes, there are times when we hear noise from the base. It has actually been reduced in recent years due to changes made in the landing and takeoff procedures.

For the record, I served in a bomb wing with the Strategic Air Command, and joined the 162nd Fighter Wing, Arizona Air National Guard, when I moved to Tucson.

I would hope that as Americans, we could accept some inconvenience in our lives, knowing that by doing so, we contribute to the security of our nation.

Stanley P. Abrams

Claim: Obama Is on the Payroll of ... Mexican Drug Cartels?!

I'm writing about J.M. Smith's "Keep the Faith" (Medical MJ, Aug. 23).

Unfortunately, I am not nearly as optimistic as Mr. Smith. The Mexican drug-cartels don't want any legal marijuana sold in Arizona or anywhere in the United States. So will they go after the medical-marijuana dispensaries? Not directly. Instead, they'll have politicians on their payroll to do it for them.

Unfortunately, I voted for and campaigned for one of those politicians who now resides in the White House.

Kirk Muse

Comments From Readers at

Regarding "We Call B.S.," Aug. 23:

Thank you, Jim Nintzel, for the clearest analysis of county taxes I've ever read.

I just checked and see that my actual county taxes here in Santa Cruz declined. The slight increase arose from bond issues, including a splendid new fire station located less than a block from my home—which I've already used when I went there not long ago to ask for help installing a child's car seat in my car. Three friendly firemen—all fathers, obviously—installed the seat in less than 10 minutes. This would have cost me at least $20 if I'd gone to a car dealer.


What's funny is we complain about how the county is run, poor roads and the poor business climate, but here, the Weekly bashes four candidates. While this county and city burn, its leaders fiddle, just as Nero when Rome burned. If we do not stop the status quo in Pima and Tucson, the region will be a Detroit-style wasteland. Look at incumbents and say we gave them a chance (sometimes 16 years); now, let's give someone else a chance. ... Pima and Tucson are broken. It's time for some new leaders—leaders who don't whine. Leaders who find solutions. Politicians should not be in office for nearly two decades.

—Stand up Citizen

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