To the Editor,

Mark Bryant's "Brewski News" (Tucson Weekly, June 20) nicely described the history of U.S. breweries and the fresh, high-quality beer found in local brewpubs. I'm certainly looking forward to the upcoming openings of Gentle Ben's and the River Road Brewery.

Mailbag Regarding the recent surge in locally brewed craft beers nationwide, many people aren't aware of the distinction between a brewpub and a microbrewery: A brewpub is essentially a pub that brews on premises, whereas a microbrewery sells almost exclusively off premises, usually in bottles or draft accounts. A brewery is termed micro if it produces less than 15,000 barrels per year, a number many breweries have been approaching and even surpassing lately.

--Nimbus Couzin

News Flash

To the Editor,

I was struck by (er, enjoyed) Greg McNamee's article about Tucson lightning (Tucson Weekly, June 27). However, I was shocked (oops, surprised) by some of the assertions made in the article. First, the statement that lightning's "force can equal 10 Hiroshima-size atomic bombs" really electrified me, and made me wonder how I had missed such extraordinary displays each Tucson summer. I am not sure what that statement means...but it certainly is not true. The energy delivered by a Hiroshima-size bomb is 100,000 to a million times greater than the energy delivered by a terrestrial lightning strike. However, it is interesting--and McNamee's misstatement provoked me to realize it--that the energy of ALL the lightning hitting continental U.S. ground in a typical year, taken together, does amount to something like the equivalent of the 10 Hiroshima-size bombs referred to in the article.

Also, the cubic kilometer of graupel (hail) referred to in the article must really refer to a cubic kilometer or so of graupel-containing air...the actual amount of graupel involved is MUCH LESS than "enough to cover the University of Arizona campus more than half a mile deep." Few of us would fail to notice a Paul Bunyanesque storm of that magnitude, dropping the better part of three thousand feet of hail or water!

--Gene Levy
Dean of the College of Science
Professor of Planetary Sciences and of Physics
The University of Arizona

Gregory McNamee replies: Although I am normally happy to defer to Dean Levy in all matters of planetary science and wisdom, I would point out that the Hiroshima-megatonnage figure for the potential energy of a thunderstorm is common in the standard references. Members of the UA atmospheric sciences faculty and other researchers whom I interviewed gave me ball-park, give-or-take-a-warhead confirmation of that figure. UA scientists were also the source of the statistics on and imagery for the graupel field.

Rock Vs. Hard Place

To the Editor,

Regarding Jeff Smith's "Killer Copper" and "How To Avoid Piles" (Tucson Weekly, June 27 and July 4): Smith writes, "I don't think we can provide 650 able-bodied sufficiently stupid boys and girls to work this mine." ASARCO employs highly paid union member adults; $50,000 a year is not an uncommon wage. In Santa Cruz County we have 20 percent actual unemployment and, if you counted those who drive 120 miles a day to a $6-an-hour job, that number would reach 30 percent--four or five times that of Pima County. We have been shut out by Symington's alleged Economic Development Staff. I was told by their head loan honcho, "I'll waste a whole day if I go to Santa Cruz County."

Smith should check out the fine job of reclamation that ASARCO did around Harshaw just south of Patagonia. So let's use a little common sense when speaking of our county. We have three great needs: jobs, jobs, jobs!

--Dave Cook

It's The Growth, Stupid!

To the Editor,

Thanks to the young journalists who pointed out some of the problems with Pima County government that have been noticeable the last 20 years ("Buying Access," Tucson Weekly, July 11).

When Pima County Supervisor Paul Marsh complained a few weeks ago about the growing county budget, I wanted to tell him, "It's the Growth, Stupid!" How naive he must be to not understand how the Board of Supervisors rezoning decisions allow continued growth (against the wishes of many immediate neighbors who cannot leave work to voice their displeasure at public hearings) that affects Pima County services. As a Tucson citizen, I see county staff working hard to provide services for the growth, yet Marsh wants to deny pay raises and overtime pay! Perhaps Marsh really is a Dim Bulb!

--Mike Dilly

Wet Work

To the Editor,

Our city is being raped over and over again by the developers--the pimps being city and town councilmembers. Emil Franzi's "Water Torture" (Tucson Weekly, July 4) points out another incident in the saga of developers controlling the local politicians, with taxpayers without say or recourse. Marana is getting a hole full of water to be delivered at half-price and the Tucson taxpayer is picking up the tab. We have already paid an extra sewer tax this year for the benefit of the new developments.

Impact fees must be placed on those making the impact. There is no valid reason for current residents to pay for services for the new developments. As the only water service we have, Tucson Water must be supervised by the taxpayer. Take note of the fortune spent on consultants to decide what to do with CAP water, and the mess it's in now. A perfectly good and knowledgeable solution was offered by our own University of Arizona about 15 years ago. There is no excuse for the money, the time and thousands of sheets of paper wasted on that subject. And I haven't even mentioned the defunct CAP treatment facility, which obviously was researched carefully.

If we cannot do anything else, at least complain and object to being hoodwinked.

--Name withheld by request

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