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Danehy's Column About the Steinfeld Plan Was a Cheap Shot

While Tom Danehy's throwaway shout-out to Jack "The King" Kirby is appreciated, the remainder of his Aug. 2 column regarding the Steinfeld Warehouse is based on faulty assumptions and the sort of knee-jerk prejudice that one would expect in the comment section of the Arizona Daily Star's Web site.

Spending transportation money to relocate businesses and shore up properties affected by a construction project is not unprecedented. When I talked with some of the Regional Transportation Authority jurisdictions who met with the city about the plan, they told me that they had very specific concerns about how this was going to be carried out. This should be expected, since the RTA is still fairly new. As far as I can tell, there was no objection to the idea of using RTA money for this purpose, at least among these folks.

The objection that has been raised came from one member of the State Transportation Board, who, oddly enough, has never objected to the use of transportation funds like this in other parts of the state. He just seems to have a problem with doing this in Tucson.

As for Tom Danehy, his cheap shots show that his problem may well be with the tenants rather than the policy. Unfortunately, this sentiment is shared by others and seems to drive much of the opposition to the city's idea. Perhaps if RTA money were instead being spent to shore up a gym used by middle-age men, Mr. Danehy would have a more positive opinion.

State Rep. Tom Prezelski


Danehy Should Research Before He Writes

Tom Danehy's cranky-writer routine is growing stale. Seems he's working overly hard to find stuff to complain about--the Steinfeld Warehouse, for example, and the alleged absence of space for writers therein. Did Danehy make a phone call before he wrote his rant? It wouldn't have taken much time to learn that those spaces were indeed available to writers.

Writers like me. A few years ago, I had one or two publications to my name--amateurish short stories in obscure literary magazines. I was so new you couldn't even call me "emerging." I was pre-emergent. I needed someplace to write, so I called David Aguirre at the Steinfeld, and he set me up in a tiny studio built into the rafters. The rent was dirt cheap.

Turns out the Steinfeld Warehouse was my incubator. In that room, I wrote short stories that earned me a handful of hoity-toity publications, a contract with a fancy New York literary agent, a creative-writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and, most recently, the O. Henry Prize.

Tucson has been my hometown since 1979. We now have the chance, by investing in the Steinfeld and other infrastructure, to replicate the cultural successes of great cities like Austin, Texas, and Portland, Ore., and to create some innovations of our own that will make this a truly kick-ass place to live. The arts have been shown, by one urban planning expert after another, to be vital for a healthy economy.

So this writer is cranky, too: cranky over the short-sightedness of Mr. Danehy, who begrudges a handful of hardworking, largely unpaid people a quiet place to make their art and write their words. I'm cranky that the Weekly--a newspaper from which I've always expected an informed artistic perspective--publishes a guy who can't seem to grasp that the fine work of Tucson's cultural creatives and their admirers is all that's keeping this place from becoming one enormous Mall of America.

What if Danehy had bothered to make that call to the folks at the Steinfeld? What if, like me, he also had a hideout in the rafters? Maybe today, he'd be a better writer.

Shannon Cain


Heed Williams' Advice, and Beware of the Internet

I hope folks clip copies of Imani Williams' Guest Commentary in the Aug. 2 issue and circulate it to everyone who'll give it 10 seconds of undivided attention.

Williams echoes the Better Business Bureau's advice to consumers who are tempted by a slick-looking Web site: If there's only a phone number or an e-mail address and no listing of full contact information--names, physical addresses, phone and fax numbers--then simply don't do business with them. End of discussion.

Kudos to Imani Williams and to the Tucson Weekly for printing it.

Tom Collier
President, BBB of Southern Arizona


Only Take Animals to Shelters When All Else Fails

I want it to be known that I consider turning one's pet into a kill shelter as an absolute last resort! While I am grateful that someone is covering animal-related issues at the Tucson Weekly, I feel I was misrepresented "The Shady Bunch" (Currents, July 26): a misrepresentation that could actually result in life or death.

While I have much respect for the Humane Society and view it as a five-star hotel in comparison to the horror of our county's impound facility, statistics in the Tucson Citizen on June 14 show that in 2006, 37 percent of all animals brought to the Humane Society were destroyed.

Unlike the Humane Society, which no longer accepts "unadoptable" feral cats and charges an intake fee, Pima County's facility accepts all animals at no charge. A staggering 79 percent of the cats brought there in 2006 ended up in the landfill. We can stop this endless cycle of killing. Cities far larger than ours have.

Adopt from pounds, shelters and rescue organizations--not breeders--and spay and neuter your pets! Ferals can be humanely trapped, altered and released back into their habitats. There are now low-cost spay/neuter clinics as well as local programs and organizations to assist.

While not recommended, as far as listing animals in the paper and on sites such as Craigslist, there are ways to screen potential homes. Requesting a home visit is one way. Remember, there is no such thing as too many questions when it comes to a life!

Jessica Shuman


Claim: Gay-Friendly Churches Are Under Satan's Spell

We laughed to hear Saxon Burns "couldn't understand" one of Pastor David McAllister's teachings ("Into the Lion's Den," Currents, July 12). Even our kids, from day one, could grasp the basic concepts of his teachings! On the day Burns showed up at The Cool Church, he amazingly avoided talking to anyone. Why? Don't want to hear the truth or a real, balanced journalistic viewpoint?

Readers, if you want to know God's viewpoint, look it up in the Bible! For those who say "Jesus didn't talk about homosexuality," you're right, but the reason was Jesus talked to the Jews, who already were aware of God's viewpoint and consequences!

All churches believe God exists, and since there is God, there must be Satan. Satan does whatever he can to lead you away from God. He focuses on individuals' weak points. Whether he tells you that you were born gay, and God created you this way, or that society says it's normal, or a psychologist says they can't help themselves, Satan just keeps reinforcing it, and everyone keeps accepting it as truth. And he must be leaping for joy when churches say homosexuality is acceptable behavior. These churches that are supposed to be leading people to God are instead leading them away!

God's way is not the world's way. We wouldn't want to belong to a church that sells out for a feel-good message. Kudos to Pastor McAllister, who stands up for God's word at a time when other pastors/priests sit in fear of society's backlash or a loss of revenue and attendance.

Larry and Michelle Frye

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