Dan's The Man

To the Editor,

Regarding Tim Vanderpool's "Business As Usual" (Tucson Weekly, March 27): Your cheap shot at Supervisor Dan Eckstrom conveniently left out Eckstrom's logical, fair and legal reasons why he voted for the Canoa Ranch Rezoning. The good Supervisor's rationale for voting to rezone the property was because the proposed zoning conformed to the area plan and the land was a logical extension of the fine community known as Green Valley.

Mailbag The opponents (and I presume your reporter) have three things in common:

1. They have comfortable homes.

2. Good incomes.

3. And they are self-serving, selfish people who want to deny others the lifestyles they themselves enjoy.

It is obvious they do not want anyone else to settle in Pima County. So with that--they should be "sports" and follow the advice of their no-growth leader, Raul Grijalva, and buy all of the Canoa Ranch and, while they are at it, buy the remaining private land in Pima County. As you know, over 88 percent of Pima County is owned by the government(s), which pay no taxes.

It is simple: Just put the issue before taxpayers and float a bond for the Canoa Ranch, just like we wasted our tax dollars as the Yetman Board bought half of the Sonoita area and took that land off the tax rolls.

The Socialists in England nearly emptied the Queen's coffers as they bought producing land and left England in a financial crunch. We are following the same primrose path. (i.e., the $22 million that is being paid for land adjoining Rocking K and also the proposed purchase/trade of 600 expensive acres on the west side). Yes, it is federal money, but it is our tax dollars, too, and also more of our land goes off our tax rolls.

All this fiscal madness makes the above-mentioned elitist snobs very happy. Tax increases would not hurt them, only what they consider the lower class.

--Don Golos


To the Editor,

Regarding "Curtain Call" (Tucson Weekly, April 10): For a story that is "not about individuals," it appears remarkably biased against one. Having both known and provided architectural services to both Erich Avedisian and Paul Barrington together and seperately for a number of years, I have found them to be very different people. Avedesian has always been very honest, forthright and has consistently honored his agreements. The same cannot be said for Barrington.

Our office produced drawings for the Rialto Cabaret conversion. Typically such a project budget runs between $50,000 to $100,000 with a three-month time-frame. Barrington's "unconventional methods" included unlicensed prime sub-contractors, no general contractor and no building permit for the east addition (all illegal, by the way). I believe Avedesian rightfully had cause for alarm after investing $185,00 and still seeing no bar opening after nine months. Any businessman in his right mind would, at this point, lose faith in the manager of such a project, perhaps suspecting malfeasance or incompetence. Whatever his reasons, he rightfully sought to protect his investment and take managing control of the project.

It seems irresponsible to encourage further public investment in a project surrounded by controversy, which is in foreclosure, whose manager is in bankruptcy and under investigation by the Arizona Attorney General. For The Weekly to publish such an obviously biased and misleading article demonstrates little regard for fair and impartial reporting, much less truth in journalism. This causes one to wonder what, if anything, published in The Weekly is actually true.

--Thomas Spendiarian

To the Editor,

Regarding "Curtain Call" (Tucson Weekly, April 10): Let's see if I understand this correctly--this Erich Avedesian guy receives a bunch of money that he didn't have to work for, but he wants to make more money, so he gets into a partnership with Paul Bear. Bear invests possibly thousands of hours on the construction of a club, makes no money, gets slandered by Avedesian and is labeled a thief.

Avedesian might have had some real cause for concern at one time. Who knows? Paul's not perfect. He wouldn't be my first choice as a construction superintendent, he doesn't have a "touchy-feely" personality, and he has this weird habit of keeping his nipples covered much of the time, but that certainly doesn't make him a crook.

I don't know if the Cabaret could have been done faster, but it was completed beautifully. Paul may step on some toes with those big feet of his, but as a true visionary, he's a real treasure for this town, and here's hoping the Rialto Theater finally rises from the ashes.

As for Mr. "Cut-off-my-nose-to-spite-my-face" Avedisian, may I suggest therapy?

--Richard Trible

To the Editor,

Mari Wadsworth's "Curtain Call" (Tucson Weekly, April 10) was timely, informative and historically accurate. Paul Bear and Jeb Schoonover will reveal to the community their true character before the history of the Rialto is complete.

I have reconstructed historical buildings and built new buildings. Reconstruction is much more difficult, and during such a complicated job as the Rialto, it really is difficult to figure out where all the money went.

Both Bear and Schoonover have displayed perseverance and determination no matter how challenging the task. They are model citizens that others in our community could learn from. I believe in Bear's vision to create something of beauty in the downtown area. I know Paul Bear and I know Jeb Schoonover. I know what they are up to. I have seen them in action before, and they are good at what they do.

Clearly the decision of the Heritage Fund to allocate more than $200,000 to Bear and Schoonover is evidence to the community of the Heritage Fund's knowledge and wisdom, in both historical buildings and these two men devoted to the future of the Theater.

Since the Rialto, a non-profit, and therefore non-taxpaying, company has thousands already invested from previous partner and $200,000 coming from the Heritage Fund, this project must succeed. It is a winner! Bear and Schoonover are real winners, too! I consider myself a friend of the Rialto--where do I sign up ?

--Aaron B. Warren

To the Editor,

Given the idiotic stance The Weekly has taken in The Skinny concerning the Pima County Home Rule Charter and those of us on the committee, I was only mildly shocked to see Paul Bear on the cover of The Weekly ("Curtain Call," April 10), in his famous you're-not-man-enough-to-take-me-on pose, which he assumed when, as treasurer of the Board of KXCI, I asked him (the general manager at the time) to see the financial reports. Needless to say, the reports were not readily forthcoming.

Enough! Skip to the inside of the rag, and there is John Kromko portrayed as a wacko with incredible influence over a bunch of gullible fools, the Charter Committee--a ridiculous notion for anyone who had ever attended a meeting.

Get it right for once. Whatever you think (which you don't) about the Charter Committee and the Charter, you've gotten it all backwards with Paul and John. You should have had John Kromko on the front page of The Weekly with a great story about a true homespun hero: a good politician, a guy with heart and guts, a guy who has persistently functioned as a conscience for this community and certainly for the Charter Committee. (And no, I am not a relative nor a Democrat; and I have only gotten to know John well since we began working with the Charter together.)

Then, in The Skinny, you should have had a nasty cartoon face and biting remarks about Paul Bear with some sly innuendoes concerning his involvement in various whatevers based on some true investigative reporting, which would have included interviews with some of the old Board members of KXCI.

But the race is not always to the swift, nor justice to the good. The Tucson Weekly seems to be doing all it can to see to that.

--Spencer Block

Getting Personal

To the Editor,

Regarding "Would You Buy A Used Charter From This Guy" (The Skinny, Tucson Weekly, April 10): I don't know who writes The Skinny, but it's very clear the writer has a serious personal dislike for John Kromko. I also don't know Kromko, but I do know he's been elected to several offices, and I hear that he's done some good things.

The Skinny should report on what's happening without so much personal bias. The constant attacks on Kromko are so personal and vicious that they just don't ring true and cast doubt on the truth of the entire column. I've talked to some other readers, and they're pretty tired of it, too.

For example, you attack Kromko for proposing that political districts be drawn by an independent committee. Now, I don't have the whole story, but that seems to be the best idea I've heard in a while.

Instead of presenting what's good or bad about the idea, which your readers want and deserve to know, all the space is used to attack Kromko. With no other information available, The Weekly comes across as supporting gerrymandering and corruption.

--Sean Burlew


To the Editor,

There's a bumper sticker making the rounds that reads "Accept Responsibility For What You Say And Do." Apparently Tom Danehy does not think this applies to him. Wasn't it Danehy who called reserve University of Arizona center Donnell Harris "a waste of a scholarship?" Lots of sportswriters and fans, myself included, criticized the play of Arizona's inside players during the regular season. No one but Danehy chose to maliciously hit below the belt.

Danehy's "That Championship Season" (Tucson Weekly, April 3) raves about the Cats' performance in the tournament and blasts the local TV coverage and the Fourth Avenue revelers, but not a hint of humility about what he wrote regarding Harris. Wasn't it Harris who grabbed key rebounds and made huge free throws that sealed two victories? Danehy would have shown some class had he followed his mama's advise and eaten his words. Lighten up, Tommy boy, you're no Greg Hansen.

--Ed Espinoza

Muddy Water

To the Editor,

Paula Huff's article about water issues ("Trust Us," Tucson Weekly, April 10) was overflowing with misinformation. The primary source of backflow contamination is from homeowners' garden hoses left submerged in tree wells. I've never heard of a direct piping connection between sewage lines and potable delivery lines, although I'm sure anything is possible.

A much more interesting story would be the conflict between backflow prevention for public health and maintaining adequate water pressure for fire protection. Now that's a big problem for large buildings.

As for quoting the National Resources Defense Council on cancer rates from THMs, now there's a credible source! What does the National Cancer Institute say about THM risks, and more importantly, at what exposure level? I'm personally comfortable with a one-in-a-million cancer risk versus getting the trots every time I take a drink of water.

The privatization of Tucson Water will not make water-quality data secret. Federal regulations require water systems to report their results, regardless of who runs the system. I guess Paula was too busy blasting privatization to make this simple, well-known finding. There may be many reasons not to privatize Tucson Water, but I don't believe Paula Huff wrote about any of them.

--Steve Holland

Paula Huff responds: The phenonenon to which you refer is not backflow, but backsiphonage. And yes, it's a big problem; but it can be remedied. In California, the Uniform Building Code requires prevention devices on hose bibs.

The point you made about the conflict between backflow prevention and maintaining adequate pressure for fire protection is exactly the point about which Tucson business owners complained loudly to our legislators, prompting them to relieve the owners of their responsibility to keep their sewage out of the public water supply.

The National Resource Defense Council was one of many sources for the information about trihalomethanes. A very good article regarding contamination of the public's water, entitled "Toxins on Tap," appeared in the November 15, 1993, issue of Time magazine. Time also put the incidence of bladder and rectal cancers due to trihalomethanes in the water supply at more 10,000 each year. Furthermore, has it ever occured to you that if you have to make a choice between taking a cancer risk and "getting the trots every time you take a drink of water," that there might be something wrong with your tap water?

And as far as public reporting, if you ask Tucson Water for data concerning water quality, its public information office sends you a sheet of paper with the levels of chemicals and metals that federal standards require. The sheet also states the levels that are usually in our water supply. The key word here is "usually"--I've seen documents detailing contaminant levels our water supply has reached in the past. The figures would horrify you.

Well Versed

To the Editor,

I am dismayed by Stacey Richter's capsule film review of Liar, Liar, written in Hiaku verse. Like so many Americans, Richter doesn't realize that following the 5-7-5 verse is not enough. In order to be proper Haiku, it must also have a reference, no matter how obscure, to the season (which is fairly easy in Tucson, as there is only ever one season, really).

Allow me to present the following attempt:

My seven dollars

Dry, hot, pollen-ridden air

Jim Carrie spazes

--Nicholas Maryol

Food For Thought

To the Editor,

Margaret Regan's "Tea, Anyone?" (Tucson Weekly, April 17), updating readers on the Tucson Museum of Art's plan to oust Janos from the Stevens House, brought back some old memories. I seem to recall (from a previous Tucson Weekly article) that one reason the TMA wanted to throw out Janos was because restaurants were a terrible fire hazard.

At the time I thought this was sort of a lame excuse, as nearly every art museum I have ever been in has had a restaurant on site. It also seemed to me that Janos, being a proven successful restaurant, would be a wonderful, steady source of cash (rent) and a downtown magnet for well-heeled (read potential contributors) museum-goers. The whole thing seemed a bit odd, at least until I read Regan's most recent article.

Now, in spite of that awful risk of fire, it seems the TMA feels the need to put a restaurant in the Stevens building after all. But that restaurant will not be Janos. It may be one owned by Don and Donna Luria, one of whom just happens to be on the TMA board.

This is obviously an example of those in control of a non-profit organization using their position to enrich themselves. Kicking out Janos may not have been the best decision for the future of the TMA, but it seems it was the best for the personal interests of the board members.

--Jeff Giles

To the Editor,

Regarding "Tea, Anyone?" (Tucson Weekly, April 17): After reading about the plans the Tucson Mueum of Art has for the building that housed the present Janos Restaurant, I really wish I was a member so I could resign.

--Margaret H. Mason

The Fix Is In

To the Editor,

G.J. Sagi's "Range War" (Tucson Weekly, April 24), on the U.S. Forest Service's closing of the Sabino Canyon shooting range, certainly confirms the adage that "no good work will go unpunished." Despite its flawless safety record, the Tucson Rod and Gun Club didn't have a chance against an unbeatable alliance of self-serving government apparatchiks, politically correct local media and rapacious developers.

If even half of the allegations in Sagi's article are true, then the Arizona Attorney General and the U.S. Inspector General's Office should investigate John McGee, Glen Shumsky and Tom Quinn. We all know that will never happen; the fix is in.

--Peter H. Caroline

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