'Weekly' Endorsement: Farley Can't Beat RonstadtWhile I respect your endorsement of Steve Farley in the Ward 6 primary (Aug. 18), I disagree that he is the best Democratic candidate to face Fred Ronstadt in the general election. While I don't know Steve Farley or Nina Trasoff personally, I have met both of them through volunteer political activity, and they both seem to be fine people. No candidate is perfect, and what one person may see strengths, another could see as their vulnerabilities.
I made my personal decision to support Nina because I think she has a better chance of beating Fred Ronstadt in the general election. I disagree with your premise that Ms. Trasoff's positions are vague. Again, this may be a matter of perception. One could argue that a City Council member cannot have their positions so rigidly mapped out that they are unwilling to make the small compromises that are essential. My impression, from hearing Steve speak, is that he is not very flexible.
Idealism is a great thing, but I think Democrats, at both the local and national level, are rather fed up with feeling we had the candidates with the righteous views, but still lost. I think the time has come to support Democrats who have a chance of winning. It may reflect how unfair our system is, but I feel Steve Farley does not have a chance of winning in the general election.
'Weekly' Endorsement: Props for Supporting a Man of VisionI am glad to see that the Tucson Weekly is endorsing Steve Farley in the Ward 6 primary. After reviewing Farley's resumé, it appears that Farley is a man of vision and action. As for Nina Trasoff, she has, well, "... celebrity appeal stemming from her days as a newscaster 20 years ago." Much to my chagrin, that statement rang true at my recent Midtown Neighborhood Association meeting.
Both Steve and Nina were there to answer questions. When Nina was asked to introduce herself, she began her introduction by saying, "some of you may recognize me from television" ... at which point a few members of the audience cooed.
I do not want to elect a candidate that "connects with the crowd." I want to elect a candidate who will best represent me when in office. I want to elect a candidate who can lead with grace. At a recent candle light vigil in support of Cindy Sheehan, I spotted Nina among the flock. How did I know it was Nina? The Trasoff campaign button affixed to her shirt jostled my memory. I would like to know at what point while getting dressed for the vigil did Nina decide, "Ah what the heck, it'll help me connect with the crowd."
I have cast my vote for the person I think has the vision and wherewithal to move this "biggest one-horse town" into the 21st century.
Mare Hodshon Yates
Thanks for Enlightening Border CoverageI am writing in response to several articles your paper has printed in the past few months on the topic of illegal aliens affecting life in Arizona, including the most recent one ("Images From the Battleground," Aug. 11) by Leo W. Banks.
Thank you for continuing to investigate and report on such a huge affliction to our state. Most of the citizens of Arizona, and of course the entire nation, are blind or ignorant on this topic. I hope that you continue to feature such articles in an effort to educate these masses with rose-colored glasses. I, for one, knew there was a problem but was unaware of the details and how it actually affects ranchers--that is, until I became an avid reader of your paper. Although I normally find your writers to have a little too liberal point of view for my taste, I am 100 percent behind them on the border issues.
My outrage and feelings of intrusion start to overwhelm me as I read, and one question comes to my mind: When you feature or print another story such as this one, can you please leave contact information or a place where concerned citizens may make their voices heard? Perhaps you may use the power of the press to not only educate the misinformed, like you have been, but also give them a place to voice their concerns to the government, Border Patrol or any other currently inept organization. Maybe if they get a flood of e-mails or letters, they may have to at least slightly open the corner of one of their eyes and do something! Say what you will about the Minutemen Project or how you think they are gun-toting, beer-drinking, adrenaline junkies, but nobody can argue against the fact they made an impact on the border while they were there.
Why is it that we are always seemingly around the globe fighting in force to squash possible terrorist uprisings or communist wrong-doings, when our own country is not secure?
I ask you for an avenue to send my questions and disgust somewhere where it can be shot down or ignored in some bureaucratic office. Perhaps you can print my e-mail so that others may enlighten me.
Your Border Coverage Was Filled With Blatant ContradictionsThe only thing missing from the hyperbole of "Battleground" was a few verses of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," and a free CD of John Ashcroft singing "Let the Eagle Soar."
Meanwhile the article was filled with blatant contradictions. For instance, if the problem is that persistent, then why wasn't there a single photo of the action? Why not a single verified account of anything that was mentioned in the article? Instead, it's all hearsay and a photo of some guy pointing at a dirt trail in the desert.
Not surprisingly, once again, we're told that people of Middle Eastern descent travel into this country illegally, just after being told they are the "bad guys." Meanwhile, the right-wing militias build strength in the United States on this very fear. This has the effect of short-term memory loss about the lessons of Timothy McVeigh, our home-grown, white, Christian, militiaman terrorist.
To top things off, we're to believe that the ranchers down there just hate it when people ruin the environment. But haven't their cows been destroying the desert ever since Arizona was a part of Mexico?
We're also told that the "do-gooders" are to blame for the deaths of innocent people by providing water. Yet, these very ranchers provide water, "as they always have." But we're to believe they only do so because it's under threat. But wait, they don't take kindly to threats and always carry weapons, ready to use them to defend their country. Hold on; actually the ranchers are scared to death of these invaders. No, no, wait, no they aren't. The ranchers are a complacent people, willing to do whatever is necessary to maintain their homes. Hold on just one more second, the ranchers know that God is on their side and have nothing to fear (except black helicopters.)
If you really want to end wars, mindless brutality and the destruction of the environment, think about your role in the problems. Raising cattle certainly plays a huge role in consumer waste and environmental degradation.What's more, raising your children adds to the already exploding world population. Ponder, what goes around comes around.
Your Border Coverage Is Tabloid, Non-Real JournalismI am outraged by the tabloid-like quality the Tucson Weekly has adopted. "Images From the Battleground" is an embarrassment to real journalism. The Weekly has a responsibility to accurately reflect what is actually happening on the immigration front on all angles. After Banks' third sensational anti-immigrant cover story this year, I propose that the Weekly re-think its biased standpoint and start reporting on the hot issue about the border that these previous articles have ignored: why hundreds of men, women and children have risked and lost their lives to help our country function.
No More Deaths Media Coordinator
Moncarz Needs to Offer Solutions, Not Just ComplaintsIn response to Joey Moncarz guest commentary (Aug. 11), I would like to say I am "feelin' him" on so many levels. I know how annoying it is to try and shed light on subjects I feel passionately about with stubborn family members, co-workers or apathetic people. I also know that it can be very annoying to be subjected to some bipolar rant (voluntarily working at a place you despise can make you bipolar, I'm sure), and phrase-dropping without context or ideas for real-world solutions.
It is easy to say "peace" or "eat organic" to make yourself appear concerned, but to practice these things in daily life, or to inform those of how one can attain these lifestyle changes in a non-confrontational, educational manner, is key. In short, I ended up viewing Joey as a whining, blame-it-on-the-world, do-nothing citizen against social change, seething in anger about his screwed-up life.
Joey goes on to point out how because of budget cuts, he cannot be an instructor anymore. That is strange; many of my newly graduated friends are getting teaching jobs fast, despite the cuts. Joey continues with how he writes "out of Iraq" instead of his name. Does he think it is really a good idea to get out of Iraq now, given what the United States has done, and the security problems? We already hear Iraqis who are for peace saying they want more troops there to feel safe! And by the way, Joey forgot while he was drinking, eating and being merry in school that we put Saddam into power, a mistake that we (America) had to deal with sooner or later. We supported Taliban and an extensive heroin trade that let a horrid "mafia" treat women and children like garbage! I hear you, Joey; I had no idea Clinton was destroying the Jamaican economy through the WTO.
Nobody wants to listen to you, Joey, because you come off as being ignorant yourself.
Moncarz Comes Off as a Patronizing Know-It-AllI have to ask: Where did you come up with this Joey Moncarz? It's not the April Fools' issue, so I assume he's a legitimate guest commentator. Maybe since we're in the summer doldrums, the Weekly thought we all needed a good laugh and selected Joey Moncarz to write an opinion piece.
Know-it all "radicals" with attitudes like Moncarz play a big role in turning working people off to progressive ideas. He demeans his employer, his work and even his fellow co-workers and then wonders why no one wants to listen to him. He admits that his friends and family are tired of him. His seemingly obsessive crusade has simply made him annoying, not socially conscious. Get a clue dude.
I would bet that Joey doesn't really have to toil at minimum wage all that much anyways, with his globetrotting and disregard for workplace etiquette. I'd sure like to have the money and time to have lived in such diverse places, but like a lot of people, I work. By the way: Just how much does a server at Olive Garden take home nowadays? Now he's off to Palestine. Haven't those people been through enough, without sending them the likes of Joey Moncarz, and his insufferable patronizing ways? But, who knows: If he'd just shut up and listen for a change, maybe they could teach him a thing or two about being a radical, or at least, hopefully, impart some common sense his way.
Pfeuffer: Budget Under ControlIt seems to me the thoughts expressed regarding taxes and TUSD in the Aug. 18 article, "Propped Up," are akin to someone who is making more money this year complaining about having to pay more taxes. After all, increased property values are an investment gain for property owners.
I firmly believe TUSD is being a good steward on behalf of the taxpayers of our district by managing its resources well, including the desegregation budget which, despite increased personnel costs on an annual basis, has not been increased since 2001. And finally, the Weekly must know that TUSD does not decide property values. In fact, if property values had remained constant instead of rising, TUSD taxpayers would have realized a real tax decrease.
Roger F. Pfeuffer, superintendent
Tucson Unified School District
UA Lacks Intellectual CultureMargaret Regan's piece on undergraduate education at the UA ("Making the Undergrad Grade," Aug. 18) failed to address one major problem with the university, which is the dearth of an extracurricular intellectual culture.
I had the experience of receiving bachelor's degrees from both UA and the University of Illinois in Urbana, and I can tell you that a yawning chasm separates the two institutions when it comes to stimulating minds. At Illinois, nerds like me had countless opportunities to pack lecture halls where G. Gordon Liddy debated Timothy Leary or Stephen Jay Gould or Howard Zinn showed up to talk. We actually sat around campus and debated politics and culture; we went to art openings, hosted national political action events, marched against the first Iraq war, and all the things that college kids should be doing en masse. At UA, however, any such events are sparsely populated.
Part of the problem is that UA has been sold out to corporate interests; part of it is a lack of resources, for example its understocked and understaffed libraries that open only for the minimum of hours; part of it is that the students aren't integrated at all into the larger Tucson community and can't make the connection between what they're learning and the real world. But a big part is the student body itself, which is replete with apathetic, conservative San Diego and Phoenix clowns who don't seem to show up for anything other than sports events and bong smoking.