August 10 - August 16, 1995


Goodwill Gesture

To the Editor,
Thank you for your continued Honey Bee Canyon coverage. Readers from all over Tucson rely on The Weekly for updates on this issue. A gentleman visiting from New Jersey was inspired by your paper to drive up to an Oro Valley zoning meeting and offer his support. He implored us to keep fighting for Honey Bee Canyon and other open spaces before it's too late here.

Regarding that supposed gesture at the council meeting your reported on in The Skinny (Tucson Weekly, July 27): I'd like to offer a little background about what was occurring that evening. A request was before the council to order an appraisal for about 50 acres east of Honey Bee. The appraisal is needed so the town can consider offering this parcel for voter approval in a possible parks, trails and open space bond this fall. It's also needed as part of an application for a Heritage Fund grant for the area.

Councilman Bill Kauntenburger made a motion to deny funding for an appraisal and indicated he felt taxpayers weren't interested in paying for "rocks and cactus." His motion was seconded by Councilman Marty Wells. I objected to this idea, of course, and asked that we give the canyon a fighting chance. I added that if we couldn't accept responsibility for our various needs, then we would perpetuate the image some in the metro area hold of us: that we have wanted the privilege of being a town without responsibilities. At that point, I waved my hand in a vague gesture and said, "Some people think we say 'Screw you' to the rest of the area.

That's all. I absolutely did not and would not flash an obscene gesture at an elected official. They were mistaken. That's not me. The irony is, the people on the street keep saying they wish they'd been there to do just that!

I hope folks in O.V. can finish this issue and get on with something more productive. Thanks again.
--Nancy Young Wright

Swallowing The Story

To the Editor,
How sad that The Weekly first assumes the worst in people. Regarding "The School Board Member Who Went Up A Mountain And Came Down With A Hooker" (The Skinny, Tucson Weekly, August 3) about the Star's article investigating Ted Koff--are you really ready to swallow the Star's report without question? You support the citation of Dr. Koff and suggest the feminists would smile. But the lead to your note suggests that the woman hitchhiker was a prostitute when no such evidence exists. You mean a woman can't thumb a ride in Tucson without being assumed to be a hooker? Not to the citing cop and, apparently, not to you either (which should not bring smiles to the faces of a lot of feminists).

You have taken the bait and been pulled down perilously close to the grade of reporting exhibited by Star ace sleaze reporters Corella, Duarte and Burchell.

To paraphrase your own closing line: Pardon me, but I would have expected a little better behavior from The Weekly.
--Jack Dexter

Jazzed Up

To the Editor,
When Yvonne told me she would be writing a little something about my group and our gig at Ventana for The Weekly, I was pleased to hear it. The hotel doesn't advertise, and it's always nice to get the word out.

So I was largely disappointed to see what did appear in this month's Big Noise ("Xmas In August," July 27). More than 20 years of experience as a professional musician was reduced to glib comments about my wardrobe and my role as a parent.

Sure, I'm a "doting mother," although my kids haven't been toddlers for some time. I just fail to see what that has to do with musicianship. It was especially surprising coming from Yvonne, another woman working in a male-dominated field. I have a lot of respect for what she has done with TJS. And Yvonne has hired me to sing with Tucson Jazz Orchestra, has heard me with the Latin Jazz Orchestra, knows of my recent gig with the Pops. But hey--it's easier to write about "supermom."

I am certainly used to sexism and condescension in music. I notice no mention is made of my male co-worker's kids, or clothing, or "energy." I have yet to see in print Fred Hayes' great guacamole recipe, or read of Homero Ceron's tireless dedication to his kids' soccer team, or what a whiz Howard Wooten is with cars. Gosh, don't these things matter?

In closing, I'd like to invite folks to come out to Ventana some night and hear what I really do. And I promise not to scold you if you don't sit up straight and finish all your drink.
--Martha Reed

Kansas Fan

To The Editor,
I realize it would be against the creed of the Society of Music Critics to spew anything but elitist dung in previewing a concert by a '70s rock band with a geographic name ("All You Can Ear Buffet," Big Noise, July 27). And I realize it's very tempting for Michael Metzger to lump Kansas and its fans in with the poseur, "baby baby" mainstream mentality of that era, but the truth is these guys were more than just skinny legs, hairspray and effective marketing.

In describing the "former friends" that took him to see Kansas as a kid, Metzger asserts that their fans also "owned Boston and Foghat albums." Yeah, I know, they're long-haired white boys, too. Truth is, the classically trained musicians in Kansas shattered the knuckle-dragging, testo-targeted, rock redundancy of their time with innovative instrumentation (violin, xylophone, etc.), complex melodies and rhythms, and intelligent lyrics. And they sold records. Ugh.

Apparently, those fans have a "bad taste in music." Metzger may be surprised to know that within a year of the 1978 Kansas show at the TCC, I and my "despicable" friends also took in the Jean-Luc Ponty/Renaissance concert at the Music Hall, and the Earth, Wind & Fire concert in Phoenix. Bad taste? Well, diverse, anyway. Probably not as diverse as the almighty Music Critic, though.

Much as he describes the music of Kansas, Metzger's by-the-numbers concert preview itself was "overblown" and "pretentious." And I'm sure the same adjectives will be used by the next generation of critics when previewing the Tucson stop on the "Grunge-a-palooza" reunion tour in 2010.

Perhaps the next time he decides to kick a so-called "commercial" act in the backside of their career, maybe Metzger should look beneath the Greatest Hits/radio playlist exterior to see if there was actually a reason they were commercially successful. Like, maybe, talent? Whadda concept.
--Ken Roberts

Best Wishes

To the Editor,
Is it my imagination, or over the past couple years has the Best of Tucson contest moved away from non-commercial categories to focus on shops, restaurants, etc.--namely, people you can get advertising dollars from if they win?

What happened to Best Local Politician, for example? Or Best Day Hike?

Does anyone really give a rat's ass about distinguishing between 12 different varieties of bars? Oops--yuppies with $$$ who patronize advertisers do, I guess.

Well, your paper is still a free paper, so maybe I shouldn't complain. Still, I'd rather put 50 cents in a voluntary cash box like the Comic News than see The Weekly have to put advertising interests before everything else.
--David Sewell

Editor's note: Don't forget to vote for your favorite retailers--the Best of Tucson ballot can be found on page 23 in the newsprint edition of The Weekly.

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August 10 - August 16, 1995

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