Midnight Madness

To the Editor,

Mailbag Stacey Richter's review of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil ("Southern Discomfort," Tucson Weekly, November 27) was great! Couldn't agree more. It was a movie in search of a center. Eastwood should stick to acting and directing westerns. He just missed the point.

--Pat Clayton

Conflicts Of Interest

To the Editor,

Incorporation versus annexation boils down to one issue: land use. Does an existing town have the right to annex an adjacent area in order to fulfill the monetary interests of its vacant and, in most cases, out-of-area landowners, over the objections of a vast majority of the residents in the area, who want to preserve the natural land-use value of the living desert?

This is the question at heart of the great debate that will determine Tucson's future either as a unique community surrounded by a living desert system found nowhere else in the world, or as a community surrounded by a dead desert filled with generic suburban tract homes, indistinguishable from other backwater communities whose futures have been determined by residents of larger urban areas, whose main interest is extracting as much money as possible from the development process.

Land use is a local issue, and it rankles that appellate judges from another area (Phoenix) had the presumption to overturn a local Superior Court decision. The new incorporation law is a special law designed to address the needs of counties of a particular population size that are rapidly transitioning from rural to urban in the peripheries of their urban areas. So what if only Pima County fits that size? We have special needs--mainly, the need as residents to create our own future over the monetary needs of out-of-area property owners.

In Tortolita, there is a convergence of interests in maintaining our 3.3 acre-per-house lifestyle and the survival of the pygmy owl, which is quickly becoming an interest of the federal government. Oro Valley should recognize this convergence and back off on its annexation efforts, but they won't. They have their own convergence of interests, between non-resident landowners, their planning department, and their council, which is the pursuit of the development money stream. Could it be that the interests of the out-of-town owners of Tucson's daily newspapers in selling their papers and their advertisers' goods to the hordes in their tract homes has something to do with their editorial positions against incorporation?

What is forgotten is the water issue, but what do the development interests care about that? They'll be long gone when the taps run dry.

--Eric P. Gormally

Borrower Beware

To the Editor,

As coincidence would have it, the afternoon after reading Jim Hightower's piece on Beneficial and other banks' new schemes to make mega-bucks in "instant loans" ("Wheel Borrow, Tucson Weekly, December 11), I received an unsolicited check from Beneficial for $2,000! While I normally rip up such "offers," this time I decided to call and find out what the interest rate was on this "gift" (as it's not printed anywhere in the literature that came with the check). I almost burst out laughing when the voice at the other end of the line told me it was 30 percent, plus or minus a point (depending on the length of the loan). That would be almost $700 in interest on a two-year loan! Now there's a gift that keeps on giving, and giving, and giving....

--L.A. Culp


To the Editor,

The letter from Carmela Marshall (Tucson Weekly, December 11) attacks my letter to the editor ("Uh, Whatever," Tucson Weekly, November 20) both substantively and personally. Sadly, her letter shows that being apparently unable to separate the wheat from the dross, she has completely missed the point and has attacked me for things for which I am guiltless, if not guileless.

The point of the original letter was that ham-handed writing and dirty words turn many people off and limit the paper's effectiveness, and if continued will doom one of Tucson's finest publications to abject ignominy in the journalistic slime pit. However, even a cursory perusal will show that at the last minute the TW was saved from this hell by its own literary excellence (emphasis added). It beggars credulity to imagine that any aware person could miss a point so cogently argued. (In addition, I, being a peaceful man, was shocked at the violence in Ms. Marshall's letter. This was nowhere implied or stated in the original.)

(Now just between you and me, given the tone of Ms Marshall's letter, we cannot escape a frisson of titillation at the expectation of some language that would make a sailor's parrot blush. But we search in vain. What do we get in the way of bad words? "Stiffy"? "Screw it"? Pretty mild stuff. What a letdown! Has our Ms. Marshall called the kettle black, being a pot?)

Besides, her portrayal of me as a goody two-shoes is naïve and incorrect. I can cuss with the best of them. I tell you, I can turn the air blue at the drop of a hat. Look at this:



Oh, I can't do it! I can't do it! It's true...I'm just a pompous, self-righteous, heartless wimp. To what depths of shame and humiliation have I sunk? This is only the la... (continued in next letter)

--"Knucklehead" Noggle

Adobe Slinging

To the Editor,

It was with great amusement that I read Emil Franzi's "A Tale of Two Cities" (Tucson Weekly, December 11). Emil's writing skills hearken to the kind of pulp you would find in the National Enquirer. I found it interesting that Emil labels the Committee to Incorporate Casa Adobes as the "Gang of Three." Having been an active member of the board, I found it amusing to see that his article is devoid of facts and confirmed sources. I would like to fill in some of the blanks that Emil left out of his op-ed.

1) The committee was made up of eight Casa Adobeans who shared the same vision. Our decisions were always voted on democratically. We made many hard choices to protect the opportunity of all our neighbors to vote last month. I am glad that we were not loaded up with political activists with their special agendas. Maybe that's why Emil is whining: His pals were not part of the process.

2) Tortolita never incorporated democratically. There was no vote! Let us not forget "the Sally Slosser mistake." Petitions signed do not necessarily mean that everyone supports the proposition. We will never know with Tortolita!

3) If there was true democracy in Tortolita, then why is it that all the members of your town council are the same leaders who were on the committee? Our town council is well represented and is not heavily tilted by our committee or any other special interest group. Tortolita is a shining example of special interest politics. Let's see, is this the same group of people and the same attorney, Bill Risner, fighting for the rights of one pygmy owl? Is this the same group of people who not only do not want any new home construction but also not even new churches or schools in their neighborhood?

4) Tortolita is made up of more than 3,000 people scattered through the hinterlands. Casas Adobes is made up of homeowners, apartment dwellers and business owners who have a much larger financial stake in this incorporation battle. While opinions are divided in Casas Adobes, a majority decided that becoming a town is the right choice. The fact is, Emil, we are very different from Tortolita. We look like a town. We act like a town. We shop in our town. We have businesses. We have a center of town. We have diversity.

5) You fail to mention in your article that Casas Adobes is 80 percent built out. Developers are not drooling at the prospect of leveling existing homes to put up new ones. Business owners in Casas Adobes were considered in the incorporation drive because they are part of our community. If I remember correctly, the biggest business in Tortolita is a pizza business run out of the owner's garage.

6) Lastly, I did not know that Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas was on our new town council.

I remember when Emil was on KTUC radio. He swore up and down that having more towns in Pima County was wrong. More towns mean more government and more taxes. Well, Emil, which way is the wind blowing today? I suppose he'll keep writing fluff pieces for the esteemed mayor of Tortolita and his cronies.

I hope Emil will take a more careful examination in the mirror before he rails on the traditional yet horrible daily newspaper. Have the facts, confirm your sources and take responsibility, Emil Franzi!

--James Gerety

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