To the Editor,

Regarding "Sucker Call" (March 4): Jeff Smith whines too much about the rates charged by the "call around" service he used. If he were less "dumber than he looks" he could have called them beforehand to ask what the rates were.

This isn't rocket science after all; it's what any consumer with a lick of sense would do. (OK, so "Less dumber" is rotten grammar.)

--Bill Stercot

Executive Reaction

To The Editor,

Regarding "Wonkin' With Willy" (March 4): Various sanctimonious ("showing or marked by false piety or righteousness; hypocritically religious or virtuous") media pundits ("learned persons, experts, authorities") and obviously biased judgments/analyses of the Barbara Walters/Monica Lewinsky interview prompt me to share:

Mailbag "Duty, honor, and country" were among the reasons I, a newlywed, volunteered for military service 40 years ago.

Now the father of three daughters and grandfather of four granddaughters and a grandson, I am absolutely amazed, and saddened, at the societal change that has occurred.

During the recent presidential visit, I was engaged in conversation with a middle-aged woman outside the TCC Music Hall. I acknowledged the advances women have made under the current administration but expressed dismay at the apparent degradation of individual women by the President.

When the woman responded, "He is a man," I asked her, "How would you feel if he (the President) did that (the affair with Monica Lewinsky) to (with) your daughter?"

The woman replied "I would be proud."

When the President emerged from Old Town Artisans, I had the distinct honor/pleasure of politely turning my back to him.

The entourage having departed, I thanked a number of security detail police officers for protecting the presidency but not the present occupant.

--Samuel Winchester Morey

Fight The Forest Service

To the Editor,

Regarding Sam Negri's "Forest Service Prime Evil" (March 11): In April, forest lovers must decide again whether to boycott recreational user fees on federal lands. Fees are now under fire nationally in the media, in court, and from large organizations.

The Sierra Club's recent position states: "The user fee program raises serious questions of free public access, social equity, forest economics, and industry subsidies. The American people already own these lands, and should have free and open access to them. We pay taxes every April 15 to support the professional management of these public lands... The recreational fee program has the potential to transform recreational management of our public lands from a public service orientation to a commercial enterprise."

Larry Auxter, a Mount Shasta planning commissioner, was primed for a showdown in federal court over a citation for failure to pay user fees. The USFS dismissed charges against him at the last minute. According to the San Francisco Examiner, "Had the trial been held as scheduled before U.S. Magistrate Craig Kellison, it would have been a test case for the Forest Service's controversial recreational fee demonstration or adventure pass program."

Similar charges against Steve Ankrum of Oregon were simultaneously dismissed. The Shasta-Trinity National Forest wouldn't reveal why charges against Auxter and Ankrum were dropped. Ankrum has his own theory, saying, "The incredible public interest has impacted the Forest Service to the point where they realized they don't want this to be brought to public attention...." Both climbers state they have no intention of paying to climb Shasta.

And in Los Angeles, U.S. Magistrate Roslyn Chapman ruled that Bob Bartsch, cited for failure to pay fees while distributing information about the fee demo program, didn't have to pay. She ruled the fees were a "demonstration" and therefore "discretionary." Bartsch has a choice whether or not to pay, and so should we. Boycott the fees.

--Isabelle Spohn

Thank-You Note

To the Editor,

During the approximately 24 years I have lived in Tucson (not counting the five others spent in other lands) I have seen and experienced (lived it) the Tucson Arts District and its development, including the Tucson Weekly, from the bleak old days when everything was abandoned and gray (1984). I just wanted to say thank you for all you do. And keep on doing it.

--K.D. Bennett

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