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McCain Is Reaching Out to Sleaze for His Presidential Campaign

Thank you for speaking the truth about Sen. John McCain ("Get Out of Town!: Morons Who Refer to McCain as a Moderate," Dec. 14). It's incredible, the myth building versus reality that passes for coverage of McCain.

I wanted to let you know about the bio of Terry Nelson, the man who McCain has tapped to be his presidential campaign manager. Not surprisingly, this has gotten almost no coverage from the mainstream press. Nelson is an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2002 GOP New Hampshire phone-jamming conspiracy where GOP operatives illegally jammed the phone lines of Democrats trying to get out the vote. He was involved in laundering money for Tom DeLay. Recently, he was responsible for the racist bimbo ad against Harold Ford in Tennessee and oversaw the robocalls by the RNC that harassed voters and pretended to be from Democrats. You can get a detailed rundown at Media Matters, mediamatters.org/items/200612130001.

Nelson is the perfect sleaze for the saintly McCain, who obviously has decided that to win, he must suppress the vote, skirt the campaign-finance reforms he helped write and appeal to the racist tendencies of the public.

Again, thanks.

Joan Safier

Nonstop Christmas Tunes Made Me Switch Off

I'm glad I'm not the only person annoyed by KMXZ's 24/7 holiday music ("Get Out of Town!: KMXZ 94.9 FM, aka MIX-FM," Dec. 14). They pulled the same stunt last year, and I permanently banished them from my car-radio presets. It has been more than a year since I last tuned a radio to 94.9.

Ted Louis Glenn

NOT a Fan of Profanity, Porn, Advice for Gays and ... Food Coverage?

I pick up the Tucson Weekly each week, but I am increasingly reading less and less of it. My latest deletion is Tom Danehy's column, because of his cheap shot at the Mormons (Dec. 7).

I long ago excised Catherine O'Sullivan because of her profanity (foul language is for illiterate and inarticulate people), that disgusting homosexual advice column, some of the comics, all the porn pages, all the food pages (as I rarely eat out) and the radio and TV section (as I watch no TV, and just twirl the dial on the radio).

I do, however, read Hightower, Devine, The Skinny, the music and entertainment columns and miscellaneous other articles. As I watch no TV, I rely on newspapers and magazines for a link to the world.

Thank you for your kind attention.

Rosemary Snow

I am Glad O'Sullivan Left My Father's Song Alone

I was relieved to see "Here Comes Santa Claus" was not on Catherine O'Sullivan's list of least-liked Christmas songs (Dec. 14). To add to her list of lore, I know exactly how that song came to be, because my father, Oakley Haldeman, wrote it.

I clearly remember a summer night, during a hamburger cookout, when my parents were arguing about it. Gene Autry, my dad's business partner, wanted him to write a song for the Santa Claus Parade, where Autry was to be the grand marshal, and where, back in the day, Hollywood Boulevard was renamed Santa Claus Lane every December. My dad was tossing ideas at my mother, and she finally said, "Oak, why not just say, 'Here comes Santa Claus, right down Santa Claus Lane?'" The rest is history.

I also remember "Uncle Milty" was on TV that night, so it must have been a Tuesday.

Ginia Desmond

When Senses of Humor Were Handed Out, Where Was This Guy?

What Catherine O'Sullivan was callous and obtuse to rant about the "wassail" songs in her Dec. 14 column.

Literally obscene! She demonstrated herself to be the epitome of ignorance and insensitivity to venerable folk traditions and the stories they tell. Their historical value is priceless. She doesn't have a clue about lyrics that were written several hundred years ago and the pastoral culture they illuminate!

Her interpretations are scurrilous, her knowledge nonexistent. There can be no comparison of these anthropological gems, which are kept alive and vibrant by millions on both sides of the pond, with the tinsel she also chose to comment upon. For shame.

Don Kolakowski

Artists Need to Realize Condos and Cash Will Always Win Out Over Art

Steven Eye, Zee and many other warehouse residents got one thing right at the Warehouse Arts Management Organization meeting as Dave Devine reported in the Weekly ("Warehouse District, R.I.P.?" Nov. 23), and that is the relationship between high-end condos and artist evictions.

Last year, the Old Y (at Fifth Avenue and Sixth Street) was sold out from under the community's investment because of a big-money deal to create condos. For seven years, the city promised landscaping and other forms of help that never came through. The city "worked with us" on code violations. We started with 56 pages of violations, and after six years of work, ended up with 106 pages of violations. There were business problems, like a mortgage with a 14 percent interest rate hung around the building's neck. There were a lot of good intentions and broken promises, but the biggest one was the city's promise that the building would always be used as a cultural resource--that was, until there was a lot of money involved. Then, the city didn't just break its promise; it issued a demo permit on an historic building. It's irreplaceable. Now, one of the city's last, best hopes for growth with meaning is a hole in the ground.

Fast-forward to the present, and an article in the Star. Bob Morrison of the West University Neighborhood Association says the $300,000 condos "replacing" the old Y are just fine with him. "It's irrational to mix low-income and upper income in the same neighborhood," Morrison said. Phil Borghuis of VantagePoint told the Star that The Lofts at Fifth Avenue are the perfect infill project with "a walkable lifestyle" and "growth that enlivens and energizes."

The old Y housed 10 artists, had studio space for 20, performance space seating for 750, small performance spaces seating 50 each, classrooms and workshop space for 25 each and mural/sculpture space to accommodate 20. Either way you cut it, what WUNA, VantagePoint and the city (by compliance) are saying is one upper-middle-class condo dweller is worth at least 20 to 100 artists and/or poor people in terms of their contribution to the cultural life of the city.

I'm surprised. I had no idea we meant that much to them.

But all seriousness aside, economic apartheid works better for me than the cognitive dissonance of flying the flag of art and really being about money.

Yes, I proposed the Phantom Gallery and the Artist in Residence programs (and you know, I'll have to beat you up if you call me bitter), but now in the light of all the damage done to downtown and art by arts managers, maybe it's time to question the wisdom of all that social engineering. Witness the Star article:

"(Historic-house restorer Chris) Ganz thinks his experience should be a warning to other in-town residents. 'We're the canaries in the coal mine.

Every neighborhood should be afraid of this,' he said."

I am afraid. I'm afraid we should recognize that our value systems are irreconcilable and just move on.

Visit vanishingtucson.com and bigtimebigself.blogspot.com.

Dennis Williams

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