Jiffy Buffet

To the Editor,

To my delight, Todd McKay's "Glutton For Punishment" (Tucson Weekly, December 5) made me laugh out loud. I've actually been to some of these all-you-can-eat places. Sure, I enjoy the reviews of steamed- squid- with- a- delightful- fermented- prune- sauce- buried- in- the- back- yard- for- 17.5- days, but I don't find myself eating in those places very often. I enjoyed the blue-collarness of McKay's review.

I think the family and I will go on out to Gordo's for a gorge-out.

--Christine Maxwell

Must-See TV

To the Editor,

While taking my class on a field trip to Oasis Tucson, I asked one of the people in charge of public access what he and his colleagues thought of your article on public access ("Cable Trouble," Tucson Weekly, November 21). The reply was that it was very good, and your publication had really done your homework. I just want to point out here two more arguments for the preservation of public access television in Tucson.

Mailbag The first is its educational value as a facility. I am always hauling classes of all ages down to 124 East Broadway for the tour, during which my students find out not only how television works, but how they, too, can participate. The big surprises for my students (especially those from out-of-town places where public access apparently does not exist) are always that Access Tucson has existed all this time without their knowing about it and that they can learn television production and produce shows at no cost.

The second argument for Access Tucson's continued existence is, simply, its proven ability to run a facility that processes, trains, facilitates, inspires, comforts and assists every citizen producer to bring a show to completion. The organization and lack of chaos are remarkable. The employees responsible for this smooth operation are clearly worth their salaries. Every would-be producer is a potential prima donna who can be a bigger pain in the psyche than the commercial television producers ever thought of being.

I should know--I was one of the worst during my producing years, from 1983 to 1987. By now, the operating problems have been ironed out, the model established. What a waste to let it die.

--Audrey Ricker

Low Society

To the Editor,

Regarding the two rebuttals to Jeff Smith's article "Gimme Shelter" (Tucson Weekly, December 5): It saddened me to read them, and I felt both women read negatives into his words that simply weren't there.

I'm one of those who had a really depressing experience at the Humane Society recently. I have dealt with them for years and have never had problems before, but I certainly did this year.

I found a lost dog and took it to the Humane Society, hoping its owner would look it there. From the onset, the young woman in the receiving area was anything but friendly. As I relinquished the dog I'd found, I requested that she call me if it wasn't claimed, as I would adopt it. I've been screened, found acceptable, and adopted there in the past.

She said "No. I will not call you, that is not our policy, and if no one claims it, we will euthanize it and we will do it soon."

I work, and knew I wouldn't be able to call them as often as needed to check. I talked to her for several minutes--or rather, I tried to talk to her, as she virtually ignored me and attended to other papers and such in front of her.

Finally I said, rather loudly, "You mean to tell me you'd rather euthanize this animal than take two minutes to call someone who is standing here telling you that she would adopt it? That there is no way I can be informed if the animal is about to be euthanized?"

She said, "Yes, that is correct."

There were others working in the receiving area who looked embarrassed, but they didn't say anything. As someone who believed in the society, and who has supported them, I was flabbergasted.

I raised such a commotion that finally someone went in the back and brought out a woman who apparently had more clout. In the midst of the flurry, she assured me she would call me if no one claimed the dog so that I would have the chance of adopting it. (The dog was subsequently claimed that afternoon, and the woman with the clout did indeed call me almost immediately following the claim.)

As to the charge that Jeff Smith thinks that death by coyote or by being run over is better than being euthanized, I hardly know how the one critic came to such a ridiculous conclusion.

What I read in his article was when you adopt a pet it has a wonderful chance of living a full rich life if you take the precautions that any normal, caring person would take. One of his critics is sarcastic enough to ask if Smith would be "entertained" when he finds his puppy's mutilated corpse. I read nothing if the sort in his article. Nor did I read anything that would imply that Smith thought or wanted the animal to be "entertained" by the impact of a careless neighbor's pick-up. Those statements pole-vault into the realm of full-blown absurdity.

I believe Jeff Smith has the animal's best interest at heart, and I also believe that it was absolutely critical that this sort of callousness on the part of some individuals at the Humane Society be brought to light.

And yes, I think the Humane Society has gone too far--way too far--in its refusal to release animals for adoption where they might have had a chance to live and be loved and cared for, even though in some few cases they might not live as long as another.

--Catherine Shivani Goodrich

Dirty Work

To the Editor,

Thanks for Mari Wadsworth's review of the rammed earth solar homes exhibit at Meliora Architectural Gallery ("Terra Firma,"Tucson Weekly, December 26).

I just wanted to mention that Meliora Architectural Gallery was set up and is run by Bil Taylor, architect/builder.

In addition, Taylor created the concept and design of the parking lot rammed earth enhancements you mentioned in your article.

I can't tell you the interest this rammed earth exhibit is receiving, and I am sure your article has helped spark a lot of that interest.

--Carrie Gauthier

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