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Would Someone Please Get This Man a Barf Bag?

Dave Devine's article "Residential Revolution" (March 23) was so pretentious it made me want to puke. Under a guise of concern for the "affordability" of new residential developments downtown, he did nothing but provide in-depth advertisements for the developers whose last concern is low-income housing ... disgusting.

There isn't a residential revolution going on downtown! There is pure gentrification, which means the low-income renters will be displaced, and the pathetically low-paid working stiffs in Tucson's civil service will be excluded. It isn't the city's responsibility, nor the developers' responsibility, to provide low-income housing. This form of gentrification is social Darwinism at its very best--so shut up already, Dave!

Robert Steigert


If People Can't or Won't Contribute to Sustainability ... Goodbye!

In response to your article about a downtown housing revolution: I felt that there was a subject that was sidestepped, as it has been since the urbanization of Tucson: Tucson is suffering from urban sprawl. What this causes is a proliferation of bad roads, bad road projects and ideas (i.e., the Grant road debacle), and pollution. The prospect of turning Tucson's downtown into a sustainable housing environment in which housing rests atop retail stores, cafes and government services is, to me, a step in the sustainable direction.

Of course, the future of downtown will not remain the same. Of course prices are skyrocketing, and of course lower-income residents will need to move, but you fail to note the massive expansions in the rental market, including low-cost apartment and condominium living. Sure, this is a sad alternative to a person who has lived downtown his or her whole life, but this is reality. We live in a time and place where every resource is endangered, including water and air.

I think the real issue here is that we are just now coming to terms with the fact that Tucson is far too large for its own good. We must go back to downtown and rethink and revitalize how we live and function within it.

And speaking to the person who was stating that it is impossible to buy a home on a teacher's salary: This is absurd. I am 23. I just graduated from the UA. I plan on teaching, fully aware of the low pay. I purchased my first home in midtown when I was 21, paying $1,500 in closing costs, and my mortgage is manageable.

My last point regards the issues raised about race, gender and income brackets. Anyone who has lived in Tucson for more than one generation is a product of mixed race. So what does it matter if these people are forced to relocate? Why is it that whenever you see a property that looks like nobody has raised a finger in 20 years getting torn down, it's such a sob story? Why can't we move on into a newer, more modern Tucson without having to drag our feet worrying about those who have failed to maintain their properties?

If sustaining goals and milestones means waving goodbye to generations of Tucsonans who have failed to look at the future, I must grit my teeth and digress.

Michael W. Dominguez


An Opposing View on the Fiction-Writing Process

Re: Catherine O'Sullivan's opinion of fiction writing (Guest Commentary, March 16): I had a totally different experience. I started with nonfiction and wrote a book about our lives on the Navajo reservation. It included being caught up in some horribly ugly politics, culminating with an attack on my husband by the Navajo Nation SWAT team. While writing about this and our six-year legal battle, I had to stop numerous times and put everything aside. It was just too hard.

I decided to take a break and write a book about some fictional Tucsonans who got together and formed a phobic support group. (Their phobia is William F. Buckley Jr.) In fiction, I could make "my" people do whatever I wanted them to do. While writing this new book, I spent most of my time laughing so hard that I almost fell off my chair several times a day.

Catherine O'Sullivan mentions having her spouse read her work, leaving her feeling naked and vulnerable. Although willing readers are always appreciated, it isn't necessary to depend on family or friends. There are many editorial companies that will read your work for a nominal fee and provide you with constructive criticism.

That said, I would also like to point out that, after 60, positive reinforcement is not all that important. She has something to look forward to.

Louise Kane Vimmerstedt


Support the Law by Supporting Censure

A recent survey showed that 51 percent of Arizonans thought the government should get court approval to wiretap suspected terrorists ("Poll Positions," The Range, Feb. 2). I agree. But it is not up to us, or the president, whether the government should get approval--it is a matter of United States law, and the law seems to require court approval of wiretaps, as many prominent Republicans have publicly stated. In addition, the president appears to have violated the law by failing to notify all members of the House and Senate intelligence committees of the warrantless surveillance.

It is vital to our democracy that the president uphold the law in spirit as well as in letter. Should he think that changes are needed in the laws of our land, it is up to him to go to Congress to enact changes.

Congress must show that it and the American people will not condone presidential actions that at best skirt the letter of the law--by censuring the president as Sen. Russ Feingold has so courageously proposed.

Shaughan Lavine


Mitzi Cowell: I Am Indeed a Feminist!

First of all, I want to thank Linda Ray for her upbeat article about the KXCI concert Rapture: A Salute to Women Musicians ("Girls Gone Wild," Music, March 9). I need to correct Ray on a point: When describing our response to Amber Askey's invitation to participate in the event, Ray claimed we "responded enthusiastically to Askey's idea, although none profess to be active feminists, and some were unaware of International Women's Day."

I was actually not among the women interviewed for this article, and if Linda Ray or Amber Askey had asked me at any point whether I was an active feminist, they would have gotten a resounding "yes." I know that the word "feminist" pushes all kinds of buttons for people, maybe particularly these days with the ultra-conservative backlash in the mainstream media. Despite whatever stereotypes or fears anyone has about being called a feminist, for me it simply means anyone one who acknowledges that there is a particular type of discrimination based on gender, and that the injustice wrought by this is so pervasive in our world that it deserves its own area of focused study and activism. Anyway, I'm grateful for the opportunity to have participated in this event, and for the exposure the Weekly gave us. I would just ask Linda Ray to be careful about putting words in people's mouths.

Mitzi Cowell

The Weekly apologizes for the error.

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