Shame Game

To the Editor,

The Skinny's remarks about Fred Ronstadt hit way below the belt ("Ronstadt Rumblings," Tucson Weekly, October 9). You have already counted Ronstadt out as a contender for the Ward 6 council seat.

Mailbag This is a grass roots campaign, yes--but to accuse Ronstadt and his campaign staff of not working hard is off-base and totally untrue.

The biggest problem Ronstadt faces is the brick wall of apathy relative to the city elections, which has been building in this city for over a decade. This city finally has the opportunity in November to start a new dialogue with the City Council. To open the door to a new voice that would help bring balance and leadership into city government. A voice that is forthright, honest and deeply concerned about the present and future for the people of Tucson.

The Skinny suggested that, with all the Ronstadts there are in this city, he should have plenty of money, support, etc. I can tell you that Ronstadt has a wonderful family and they are extremely supportive. How rare it is in political arenas for a person with a well-known name to not base his entire support on the members of the family with the same well-known name. So you chastise him for not using his family in this campaign. It is enough for Ronstadt and his family to be just that--family--with family values (a rarity in our society today).

Tucson has a person running under the Republican ticket for the council who is dedicated to family values, who is dedicated to moving our city forward with solutions to the issues that will impact us in the 21st century. A person with a deep passion for serving his fellow man.

If he is not elected to the council seat--shame on you, Tucson. If the indicators show a lack of enthusiasm for his campaign--shame on you Republicans for not supporting this fine person.

And shame on you, Tucson Weekly, for your totally unkind, out-of-line commentary. If you want to know what the Ronstadt campaign is really doing, call their headquarters. Of course, that may not be your style, since you don't even sign your name to your editorializing. Shame on you!

--J.L. Bradley

International Incident

To the Editor,

Regarding Margaret Regan's "Big Move on Campus" (Tucson Weekly, September 25): I am one of the inaugural students at the Arizona International Campus (AIC). As a result of attending AIC for a year, my education has taken a quantum leap. In more than one year I have learned more here than in all my high school years combined, and I am so excited about my future and all it has to offer.

The attitude your paper has taken has been negative from the very start, constantly focusing on the administration and the decisions regarding AIC's financial conditions. The administration does not make up the unique chemistry of AIC. The students are AIC. We are the ones benefiting from a unique interdisciplinary education, and using that knowledge to better our community and ourselves.

In just one year we, the students with the guidance of our professors, have accomplished a great deal, and this is just the beginning of our on-going efforts to take our classroom experience into the community. As an alternative paper, it would be logical to assume that you would support a diverse, alternative, liberal arts education that does its utmost to include minority students' interest, and would be in support of this program instead of bashing it with one-sided information.

My parents made an investment sending me to AIC; you seem to be divested from anything that "rocks" the status quo of cookie-cutter education. How's about lending some creativity to the AIC issue? We could all use some support to make AIC work for us students.

--Sheila Kressler

To the Editor,

Margaret Regan's "Big Move on Campus" (Tucson Weekly, September 25) caused quite a stir on the Arizona International Campus. I talked on the phone with Regan shortly before the article was published. We had an extensive conversation, during which I shared my feelings about the relocation as well as some specific problems I have encountered with the administration. I feel it must be noted that at no time during our conversation was I "close to tears," nor did I state that I felt "sold out" or "lied to." Fortunately, everything else I was reported to have said is accurate. The quotes stated above were clearly embellishments; Regan added them to my statement in order to maintain the negative tone used throughout the article.

Why has The Weekly used such negative language in every article printed about AIC? Might it be because Margaret Regan is the wife of a UA professor who has stood in opposition of AIC from the start? What is The Weekly trying to achieve by slandering a liberal arts institution? We are an innovative and courageous group of bright students that are just the type of people to someday write for an alternative media source like the Tucson Weekly. Taking a stand against AIC, whether it be for its location, its budget, or its dismissed professors, is taking a stand against 106 shining opportunities to better Tucson and the world.

--Rachel Ann Rojahn

Margaret Regan replies: There were no embellishments whatsoever in my story "Big Move on Campus." Perhaps Rachel Ann Rojahn was embarrassed by her comments when they appeared in the paper, but that doesn't change the fact that she made them. She absolutely said that she felt "sold out" and "lied to." As a matter of fact, these were among the less inflammatory statements she made in her long litany of complaints about AIC. During our telephone conversation, she was indeed close to tears. She stopped frequently to catch her breath, her voice kept rising to the highest registers and she used a series of strong words to describe her distress. I didn't quote those stronger statements, or her stronger language, in my story because they were not relevant to its central theme: the regents' impending decision to move AIC to the UA campus because of its many troubles.

Which brings us to her charge of "negative" reporting. The article in question quoted what Rojahn might characterize as the "negative" comments of such personages as Board of Regents President Rudy Campbell, Regent Hank Amos and President of the UA Faculty Jerrold Hogle. It also included Hogle's account of the concerns of incoming UA President Peter Likins. If she is suggesting that I should have simply ignored the views of all these people, who hold the fate of AIC in their hands, or left out the "negative" facts that prompted the move, then she doesn't understand what journalism is.

I have not created the problems at AIC, which I might remind her is a public institution underwritten by the taxpayers. I certainly have raised critical questions about the school from the start, relating to its location, its administration, its budget and, now, its dismissed professor. That's my job. The taxpayers and everybody who cares about education in Arizona deserve no less.

I have repeatedly disclosed the fact of my marriage to a UA professor. My husband has no involvement with AIC and his employment is irrelevant to my reporting.

Get Stuffed

To the Editor,

I was pleased to see the International Wildlife Museum made it to the Best of Tucson (Tucson Weekly, September 18). However, the slant of the article, in my opinion, left much to be desired. I found the article to be misleading and full of misinformation. This comes from an avid reader of your publication.

This museum has come a long way and has diversified its collection with insects, unique replicated prehistoric mammals and soon, live animals. Dioramas using preserved specimens have been a staple of some of the finest museums in the world such as the Denver Field Museum, Smithsonian, and the American Museum of Natural History.

By the way, to clear up one misconception, not one animal on display was collected specifically for the museum. The museum only accepts donated specimens, which come from various government agencies, wildlife rehabilitation centers, captive breeding programs and private individuals. Some of the collection is on loan to us from other institutions and museums. We are unlike some of the larger natural history museums that actually went out and collected thousands of animals using only the best specimens for their displays. This fact surprises a lot of people and clears up the rumors started and perpetuated by uneducated people.

--Richard Fedele


To the Editor,

Tom Danehy's "Arizona Rap?" (Tucson Weekly, October 2) was amusing. His sense of humor is great; he can crack on just about any subject. I got that CD because I like that song, but the rest of the CD was so-so. It's cooler to read a music review that doesn't follow the same old format. Tom Danehy is a treasure.

--Michael Schindler

To the Editor,

Regarding Tom Danehy's "Arizona Rap?" (Tucson Weekly, October 2): I agree with almost everything he says about Nasty Boy Klick, but his paragraph summarizing Arizona music is wack!

He mentions Linda Ronstadt and the Gin Blossoms as examples of Arizona's lack of originality and identity. What he failed to mention is that some of the most original and influential bands ever are from Arizona. Arizona music does have an identity, and no, not all people in Arizona have moved from somewhere else.

First I'll talk about the most orignal and influential band, who capture the spirit of Arizona and the Sonoran desert like no one else has: The Meat Puppets. They've had a huge influence on Dinosaur Jr., VIDA and many others. The highways, mountains and deserts of Arizona breathe through their recordings in an incredible way.

Another big-time favorite: Jody Foster's Army, demi-gods of hardcore skate rock, they were, and still are, a major influence to modern bands like D.F.L., Sublime and the Beasty Boys.

Arizona bands have a mix of ruggedness and sophistication not found elsewhere.

Machines of Loving Grace, as they sing, "take me where the grass is brown," have made me homesick many times as I traveled to other places. They made raw industrial rock before many more famous and neurotic stars did.

What about Alice Cooper, who must be talked about before Linda Ronstadt? What about Phunk Junkees, who have their roots in Arizona hip-hop as Bum Rap? What about G-Wiz? And what about the several hip-hop crews on Tucson's southside who can put NBK to shame?

Arizona music has strong roots in Latin, native, blues, country and rock and roll. From the words of our Dead California Homeboy, Don't tell me this town ain't got no heart,/You've just got to poke around/Don't tell me this town ain't got no heart/Well I can hear it beat out loud.

My advice to Tom: Get out more, bro.

--Wayne Accacca

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