Taken To Tax

To the Editor,

Regarding "Half-Sense" (The Skinny, April 8): As a Pima County taxpayer and voter, I do not support the efforts being made by Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry and the Pima County Board of Supervisors to change the state law governing county sales taxes.

Mailbag Huckelberry and the Pima County Board of Supervisors have grossly mismanaged Pima County tax dollars and need to be held accountable for their actions. Changing the state sales tax law will not solve Pima County's financial crisis, it will only make it worse. You wouldn't give a gambling addict more money, would you? Pima County's situation is no different. Just like the gambler, these Pima County tax-and-spend junkies need counseling, rehabilitation and recovery, not the continued and growing dependence on Pima County taxpayers to bail them out of trouble for their own mismanagement. Please make Mr. Huckelberry and the Pima County Board of Supervisors be responsible to the taxpayers and voters of Pima County. Don't support their run-around efforts to change Arizona law.

--Larry C. Hunter

Drug Bust

To the Editor,

Regarding Jim Hightower's "Bionic Bacteria" (April 1): There are a few points he missed that I think should be addressed.

I totally agree with what he had to say, but to zero in on Tyson and other meat purveyors is somewhat unjust. Who does he think supplies the antibiotics that these purveyors use? Large corporations such as Elanco, Dow, American Cyanamid, Upjohn and, yes, Pfizer (long before they marketed Viagra), just to name a few, have been selling antibiotics as feed additives for decades. Not only that, but they have been marketing injectable antibiotics for use in food animals for the same amount of time. The use of injectable antibiotics in food animals has probably attributed to as much, if not more, proliferation of resistant bacteria as feed additives. The availability of the injectables to anyone having the money to buy them has been relentlessly pursued by these large pharmaceutical companies, under the guise that they are a "cure-all" to an extent that the average consumer can not even imagine.

I am a veterinarian who practiced in the food-animal phase of the profession from 1965-1991. Over the years, I observed the constant decline of one antibiotic after another to be able to control bacterial infections in livestock and pets. However, as the efficiency of each antibiotic became lower, the pharmaceutical companies, with the help of the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), were more than happy to develop a new one. Huge advertising campaigns followed, and the cycle started over again. One only has to look back a few years and think about the overuse of penicillin. Penicillin is probably one of the great scientific discoveries of all time, but the promiscuous use of it has rendered it ineffective as an antibiotic in the treatment of bacterial disease and infections in many cases in human and animal medicine.

Given that, how are we going to solve this dilemma? One solution would be to clamp down on these so-called "purveyors" with government legislation. However, to find a politician to take that task on would be almost impossible. If indeed that could be accomplished, it would be wise to think of the decline in profits these large corporations would suffer. The stockholders' share of the profits would decrease, and who wants that? Perhaps, when the monetary equation is considered, some may want to tolerate the growth and proliferation of the bionic bacteria. Aren't capitalism and free enterprise intriguing?

--Ray D. Askey, D.V.M.

Home Ec

To the Editor,

Thanks for Tim Vanderpool's "House Of Pain" (April 1). I live around the corner from this thing and am trying to get a better understanding of it.

From my point of view, it seems to be the financial equivalent of cutting in line: "I will force my house to be the crummiest house on the block and trash my neighbor at the same time."

I've heard the neighborhood association view, but hadn't heard anything from Hebert. It seems that he could have done things a little differently and had much friendlier results.

--Dana Clarke

Wrong Note

To the Editor,

Thanks to Jeff Smith for all the edifying and entertaining columns over the years. He's a pretty likable chingadero, even if he did attribute Peter and the Wolf to Tchaikovsky--it was written by Prokofiev ("Jack's Dead," March 25).

--Jeff Simpson

Hurricane Jennifer

To the Editor,

After reading "Weather Or Not" (Mailbag, March 25) about the talented Jennifer Santiago, it's time to update that Don Henley classic, "Dirty Laundry" with the following verse:

Got the bubble-headed brunette from the WB

She's so cute she's way too good for TV

Give the girl some ink pretty please?

In the Tucson Weekly

Well she could've stayed a model but she wound up here

No degree in the weather but the forecast is clear

Over-qualified I fear for the Tucson Weekly...

--Howie Nave

To the Editor,

Okay, so Jennifer Santiago's letter ("Weather Or Not," March 25) was tacky, and your running it managed to trump her tackiness. Big deal. I'm far more concerned about the hateful ramblings of letter-writer Michael J. Urena ("Stormy Weather," April 8). His attempted defense of Santiago's clumsy faux pas quickly degenerated into a rant full of sexist and racist clichés.

Complaining about "white males" is so passé, and brings absolutely nothing of merit to any discussion. Is it Jeff Smith's fault that he was born a white male? And is he somehow promoting a "white man's" agenda? Of course not.

Even worse was the shot Urena took at Tom Danehy. Urena feels that because Danehy is a father to his children, he is somehow a "castrated househusband." What nonsense! I would think that in this day and age men and women alike would celebrate a man who actually takes care of his children. I wish more men would do it, and they could probably do it without losing their precious "manhood," however they choose to define it. At the risk of stumbling into Urena's racist minefield, I find his thinking to be terribly macho, in the worst sense of the word.

Santiago's letter was embarrassing, and your printing it was mean. But Urena's letter was downright disheartening.

--Maria A. Gutierrez

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