High And Flighty

To the Editor,

Boy, did The Skinny hit the nail right on the head with its appropriately scathing remarks about the current downward spiral at Channel 13 News ("Air War," Tucson Weekly, February 12).

Mailbag Now, most of us already know and accept with grim resignation the fact that news in Tucson is largely a matter of shamelessly pushing the crap envelope to see what fetid effluvium will keep eyeballs glued to Jim Click commercials (actually seen on Channel 13 some time ago: one reporter touring the home of another, snooping in the spice rack and "reporting" on the scourge of the middle-class kitchen, spices that are beyond their use-by date!)

Nevertheless, once the cynical laughter dies down after an evening of watching the "news" and seeing only pure pap entertainment, one is left wishing for at least a little substance, even here. But alas, KOLD has militated most tellingly against substance and quality reporting by demoting Bud Foster, the only newscaster in town who understands local, state and national politics, as well as nearly anything else important about Tucson (and who doesn't come off as just another dippy, undereducated, blow-dried Channel 13 copy reader), to the functional equivalent of news-team water boy.

Enter "Chopper 13," yet another example of the senseless Los Angeles-ification of Tucson by folks who fled L.A. and other overgrown armpits of excess like it, where any non-event whatsoever can be instantly transformed into a media circus that demands attention not for its own merits, but simply because a bunch of dorks in a bunch of whirlybirds are flying over it.

As for "improving the news from the ground up," it ain't gonna work--KOLD needs to lose the chopper, get some integrity and show some respect for its viewers' intelligence.

--Keith Johnson

Coming Out Of The Cave

To the Editor,

I couldn't believe my eyes. You actually called a certain local newspaper the Arizona Daily Suckwad? You were actually dismayed at that paper's blind acceptance of a flawed and biased report as justification to close the Sabino Canyon range? I thought that only right-wing libertarians like myself held such views.

Yesterday, I read Jeff Smith's piece on the Suckwad's ludicrous editorial about the NRA "hooking kids on guns." You printed that? I could not be more surprised if I were to read, in Ho Chi Minh's memoirs, that he was horrified to learn that Mao Tse Tung was a Communist!

I guess I've misjudged you. I thought you were like "them." Thus it is my duty to inform Smith that the press is, on the whole, liberal, and that liberals don't want private citizens to own guns. He must not have known that, or he wouldn't have been so dismayed that the Suckwad would print such garbage.

I will pay more attention to his writings in the future. Has he been there all along?

--Phil Johnson

Shelly Shocked

To the Editor,

Regarding "Catching 22" (Tucson Weekly, February 12): Stacey Richter writes that "There is no excuse for being patronizing." Nevertheless, I suggest that she consult "Cliff Notes" on Mary Shelly's Frankenstein. Not only did the author survive the birth of the monster but several other novels, a journal, as well as an edition of her husband's works. She died in 1851, a matron of 54 years.

--Edgar A. Dryden

Pistol Whipped

To the Editor,

Once again, the "Anti-Everything Coalition to Ban Coalitions Association for the Advancement of Deluded Peoples" has reared its ugly head. The list of lies we are expected to swallow on a daily basis by ultra-liberal self-interest groups continues to grow. Our own City Council and Pima County government sell us out just as regularly. But folks, it is our own damned fault! There are those of us that need to re-evaluate our voting practices.

The Rod and Gun Club is, for all intents and purposes, gone. The desert is being chewed up by more and more chicken wire and stucco tract homes. I can't even ride my horse in the Saguaro National Monument, on horse trails, without newly transplanted California Comrades complaining about horse poop on the trail.

Maybe it's me. I am fourth-generation Tucsonan, and seventh-generation Arizonan. We grew up with a certain outlook, and a certain lifestyle. It is our birthright. I enjoy being a good neighbor, and having good neighbors. People of a similar mindset. We just don't have that anymore.

When I was a kid, our neighbor helped with our horses when we were away. We did likewise. They had keys to our home, and in a pinch our car and truck. What's more, they didn't call an attorney if our cat happened to be on their roof.

The long and short of it is this: The Rod and Gun Club, and the horses on the eastside were there long before Sabino Canyon grew into Sabino Subdivision. People knew about it, and chose to live there anyway. We chose our lifestyle, and resent people telling us we MUST change to suit them. If you are against the way we live, live somewhere else.

Remember, when looking at a prospective home, if you see horses and a gun club, and buy anyway, tough.

--Sean M. Francisco

And, Yes, More Salpointe Letters

To the Editor,

As a 19-year-old graduate of Catalina High School, I just happened to pick up your publication and saw "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (Tucson Weekly, February 19). I proceeded to read it and found that it was not about Nirvana.

In almost every letter to you, I found that "Salpointe defenders" are saying, "Why our school and not others?" Helloooo, people, I seem to remember Catalina and Tucson High Schools getting on the 10 o'clock news, on more than one station, about the riots a couple of years ago. And what about the smoking/ditching pictures in the paper about Catalina? If people think that Salpointe is the only school that gets publicity, they are sadly mistaken.

Salpointe is not the only school with drug and alcohol problems. All schools have it, but being the age that I am, I can tell you that Salpointe has quite a bit more than I've seen or heard of in other schools. I just cannot believe that people could be so blind to the fact that any school does not have these problems. It is out in every school. The only thing that makes it different from school to school is how the school itself takes care of the problem.

To the individuals who vandalized Ms. Hart's place: Did it make you feel any better? Because it just made you look even more immature than you really are.

I want to thank the whole staff at Tucson Weekly . You guys put out one hell of a paper!

--Jay Newman

To the Editor,

I represent a conglomerate of past Salpointe alumni who go to Northern Arizona University. We were truly outraged at the blatant attack on our school's integrity and students.

In the articles "It's Party Time," "Twisted Standards," and "Jesus H. Christ!" (Tucson Weekly, February 5 and 12) we feel that Vicki Hart grossly misconstrued not only the events of Mr. Machado's Party, but also Salpointe's overall character as well.

But our bone to pick is not with the Editing Staff, though we found the "Motto" and the "Eye Of The Beholder" caption was especially insulting. Instead, we wish to take issue with Vicki Hart herself.

To her, we would first like to start out by saying that you have picked a fight with the wrong school. If your aim was to single-handedly start a war, you have accomplished what you wanted, and make no mistake, we will keep coming with all guns blasting.

While we as students may seem like we are a bunch of snobby, stuck-up, egotists, there is a very good reason for it.

As graduates of Salpointe, we recognize, as we did then, the unique opportunity that Salpointe gives each and every student that walks through their door, should they choose to accept it. We hold the standards of our honor code and the expectations of the faculty and staff in as high a regard as we do of our religion that as a community we all belong to. We are of the mindset that instead of being part of America's career fields, we will someday lead them into the future. One only needs to look at the success of one of our past Salpointe grads, Jim Click, to know what kind of esteem one can reach with the right schooling.

Concerning the party that was "reported on," we are among the 200 odd students that were in attendance. We would have been more than happy to describe the events of that night, had you bothered to research and contact us.

Yes, there was drinking that night, but it was done by a select group of people outside the premises, and out of Mr. Machado's view. Those who did drink in the view of the supervising adult, were told to take their drinks and leave immediately.

The police came, as they do of every other party in recent memory, regardless if Daddy called them or not. And mayhem proceeded to break out as they stormed the house. Allegedly some people ran, but from our standpoint, we stayed put and allowed ourselves to take responsibility for the activities of the night.

Then the arrests started. I must prefix this by saying that people that were outside the home, or on the street were allowed to leave without being checked for intoxication or cited. In fact, many people were drunk, and drove home at the insistence of the police.

The student who was sprayed for refusing to take a breath alcohol analysis (which, last time we checked he had the legal right to do.) was a good friend of ours. As far as we are concerned, we all saw the police mace him at close range, much closer than the 6- to 8-foot distance allotted by law.

As for Mr. Machado, we support his version of the night's activities. We also support his choice to welcome his son's classmates into his own home. It was out of the goodness of his heart that he allowed us to celebrate there. We do not take the price he paid for that for granted.

In response to the article "Twisted Standards," we are athletes that participated in our high-school sports program. To our knowledge, other than the normal rivalries of who has the best records between the sports programs, we have never come to blatant fighting of one another.

The accusation that parents play bodyguard to their student athlete is preposterous, whomever gave you that information should have their head checked. Furthermore, student athletes if anything are held to the same standard as their classmates, if not higher. Athletes, as well as any other club is a representative of the school, it's students, and it's integrity. This is the first time in a LONG time that Salpointe has been recognized for something they allegedly did wrong, Ms. Hart, shouldn't that tell you something? The weight room (I still can't believe I have to talk about this) is open to all students no matter if they play sports or not. We do not believe that Salpointe has ever demonstrated prejudice nor any other civil rights discrimination pertaining to monetary issues at all. Salpointe offers a work study program for those who need assistance to gain one of the best education's in Tucson, and maybe even Arizona.

And finally, in response to your responding article "Jesus H. Christ," concerning your treatment by anonymous persons, which even you cannot identify, what were you expecting? We are sorry about the alleged treatment of your belongings and your safety, but you made the choice to take on not only Mr. Machado, but the entire school. Ma'am, when you do that you have to expect a hell fire of defense from everyone associated with that institution, past and present. If anything, this should show you to choose your fights a little more carefully in the future. You cannot beat an army with just one shot (or in this case, three). Every time you try to take one member of our family on, the whole family rallies behind them. Bottom line, we are Salpointe, we are and always will be the best, and don't mess with us.

In conclusion, I do hope that you have learned a lesson from this. I know that all of us have. The lesson that you should have learned (had you been paying attention) is that you shouldn't try to mess with birds of a feather, because not only do we flock together, we fight together. We have learned that when an oppressive figure tries to bad mouth us and where we come from, we can pick up a pen and paper and fire back with the rest of our Salpointe family.

--Joel Michael Barr
--Byron Marlowe
--Ian Marlowe
--Christine Atkielski
--Jason Willmeng
--Marcy Payne
--Brad Dunmead

Smoke Signals

To the Editor,

Regarding "Acapulco Gold" (Tucson Weekly, February 19): I rarely read Danehy because I find him obnoxious and I'm not much for organized sports. But I recently had some spare time and felt adventurous, so I figured why not.

A mistake. I mean, this guy spends two full columns rabidly vilifying some Canadian Olympic gold medalist whose recent Olympic-sponsored blood test revealed a minuscule trace of cannabis. And then the young man had the audacity to state publicly that, yes, he and his friends do smoke marijuana, though he himself hasn't smoked since April. Oh, sin of sins!

Danehy's moral indignation is so great that he seems barely able to contain himself. "Brain-addled," "dickheads," "no self-control," blah, blah, blather, blather. He reads like some desperate Puritan fanatic as he lurches back and forth searching for insults grand enough to hurl at this perceived evil. Why is this sanctimonious sniveler writing for the supposedly progressive Tucson Weekly anyway?

It may be beside the point, but if Danehy would restrain his self-righteousness long enough to see half-way clearly, he might realize that if marijuana was so malevolent, then this young snowboarder from British Columbia could not have been the world's best in the first place.

--Lynn Jacobs

Gun Ho

To the Editor,

Regarding "Straight Shootin' " (Tucson Weekly, February 12): Jeff Smith should actually read the part of the Constitution that deals with "our birthright to protect and defend ourselves." The Second Amendment states: "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Despite all the blather of the NRA and other gun nuts, the Constitution does not guarantee an alleged right to personal ownership of guns.

--Paul Siegler

Gone To Hell

To the Editor,

The Tucson Weekly has always been the paper of fun. I mainly read it to find out where the food is great, which bands are playing and what free event is happening.

I don't give a shit about Catholic school kids having a party, or if a bunch of cranky rich white people get their own elitist town. I hate all this pro-handgun crap in your paper--what's with that? I have never met anyone who was really into guns that wasn't some type of emotional cripple. The only reason the shooting range should stay open is there is always the chance a stray shot might kill that asshole who runs those crappy trams.

I liked the fact that the Canadian snowboarder stuck by his friends and ruled the hill high as a kite on pot. The Tucson Weekly attacks him for it? Lighten up! Your paper has gone to hell since police groupie Vicki Hart was hired. That cranky Emil Franzi guy and that fat house-husband sports fan dude suck, too.

--G.W. Kelly

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