A Letter in Defense of SaddleBrooke

The "Stereotypical SaddleBrooke People" article by Inés Taracena (Get Out of Town! Dec. 13) was a little on the cruel side.

I have lived in SaddleBrooke for 13 of the last 17 years and do not recognize this depiction of a typical SaddleBrooke resident at all. I don't find them to be a mean, greedy, unsmiling bunch who hate young people. Shoot, we all wish we were young again; we love visiting with the kids and grandkids; and we are trying to stay active and healthy. And the six-digit bank account has long ago been blown on all the purchasing trips into Tucson—trips that help keep the local economy going strong. Politically, yes, there were a lot of unhappy faces after the recent election; one couple even had the audacity to fly the flag upside down the day after. But there is also an active Democratic club here, too.

So before you run us out of town, you may want to think a little about the dozens of local workmen who come into SaddleBrooke daily; the local restaurants, banks, stores, etc. that get so much business from us; the school districts that get our volunteering help; and the many charitable groups here.

Oh, and by the way, even though we have a Tucson address, SaddleBrooke is in Pinal County, so in that sense, we are already out of town.

Mike Christiansen

Save Jobs by Avoiding Self-Checkout

Using self-checkout means fewer jobs and higher unemployment (Get Out of Town! Dec. 13). Remember gas-station attendants? Probably not. What did the loss of gas-station attendants do to the unemployment rate?

Rude, impatient people should get out of town. However, everyone should check out with a person. Why? In many cases, those checkout jobs are the last of the union jobs with fair pay and benefits. What happens to unemployment rates when the stores no longer need checkout employees? My brothers got college help as a benefit when they were union baggers in high school at the Jewel grocery store.

When I have just a few items and am told I might want to use self-checkout, I always explain that I prefer to save jobs. Sometimes, other customers join me in line.

Christina Farnsworth

Self-Checkout Is a Poor Option for People With Reusable Bags

I hope Irene Messina will reconsider her wish to rid Tucson of people who are averse to the self-checkout lanes at grocery stores. As someone who likes to bring reusable shopping bags to stores, I find the self-checkout lanes poorly designed to accommodate me. If I don't put the first item I scan into one of their bags (a wasteful, single-use plastic bag), they won't let me proceed with my other items. I could always bag my items that way, and then transfer them to my reusable bag later, but why should I bother?

I'd rather go to a staffed checkout lane and know that my transaction requires one more paid employee to complete. I'd rather decrease my waste and create jobs—even if it annoys people like Irene Messina.

Matt Peters

Tucson Salespeople Are Awesome!

Regarding "Inept Salespeople" by Ryn Gargulinski (Get Out of Town! Dec. 13): This has surely not been my experience in Tucson. I'm a 60-something gringo who wears Adidas, Levi's and T-shirts with graphics. Back in Connecticut, if I walked into, say, a store selling trendy clothing, comic books or luxury cars, I was invisible. In most stores, one had to shake the staff awake to buy something.

In Tucson, everywhere I shop, I am greeted by a friendly sales person who knows what they're selling. Example: I had a shelf-stocker in a supermarket explain to me the amount of suds generated by various detergents. My theory is that in a low-wage place like this, sales jobs are "real jobs," not time-fillers, and people want to excel at their "real jobs." And so they do. By the way, this also goes for waiters and busboys.

Thanks to the unsung Corporals of Industry!

David P. Kelly

Smoking Restrictions Are Karmic Payback for Reefer Madness

One of the best examples of "what goes around comes around," other than Richard Nixon, is the clamping down on cigarette-smokers, either when they smoke indoors or out (Gargulinski, Nov. 29).

It was the alcohol and tobacco industries, along with others, who fought to make marijuana illegal back in the 1930s. So here we have, in the 21st century, smokers being told when and where to smoke.

Ain't it wonderful to see karma in action?

Judy Hubbard

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