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While Tucson Argues in Pessimism, Phoenix Is Optimistically Making Progress

In your Jan. 10 edition, you presented the article "The Risk of Revitalization." The article discussed how the (proposed) hotel, arena and convention center (expansion) were losing propositions. Unfortunately, the article is a reflection of the attitude prevalent in the city of Tucson.

We want to do nothing to improve our city. Simply stated, cities and corporations are virtual entities. These organizations have human tendencies, because they are managed by people. That is where we get the concept of culture and organizational culture. The collective behavior of individuals reflects on how the city or corporation behaves as an entity.

If Tucson wants to become a class-act city, it needs to take risks. An individual who welcomes friends to his home and entertains usually invests in an effort to make his home attractive to his guests. If the individual is blessed with prosperity, he will perhaps invest in a nicer home. Tucson wants to welcome people and be a good host to visitors; Tucson wants to revitalize downtown. However, Tucson does not want to invest in itself or take risks, because the citizens and city government are uncommitted.

In the future, we will continue to hear comments from people saying how much they enjoy going to Phoenix because of the many venues available there. At the same time, Phoenix will complete its hotel/convention complex and its condominiums in Copper Square, and will launch a brand-new light-rail system. All of that will take place while Tucson continues to argue whether to approve or deny downtown projects and publicize projects that never seem to get off to a start.

Jose Palmer


Wouldn't Skate-Park Money Be Better Spent on Sidewalks or the Homeless?

Regarding the skateboard-park plans, or lack thereof, for Santa Rita Park ("Park Pique," Currents, Jan. 17): The city and the Department of Parks and Recreation have not presented a plan for the skateboard park to the residents of the Santa Rita Park neighborhood. This concept was initiated more than 10 years ago and does not take into account any of the opinions and concerns of the people who have purchased homes and moved into the neighborhood since that time. As a homeowner, the concerns I need addressed are:

1. Location: The location of the proposed skating area is very close to the residential area. Isn't the southeast corner of the park much more appropriate?

2. A lack of plans: The residents have not been given a clear idea of the size and scope of the skating areas. We have not been told how deep they are, or whether or not they are really "kid-friendly."

3. Drainage: With West Nile virus on the rise in the city, does this facility have a good drainage system?

4. Maintenance: How does the city plan to maintain and keep this area clean and in good repair?

5. Security: Will these massive holes in the ground become a haven for drug deals and graffiti? Can we expect more beat cops to manage the new "attractive nuisance"?

We are also concerned that there are real issues in the neighborhood that have never been addressed. Shouldn't we consider a different use for the city block-grant funds? There are still plenty of streets in the area without sidewalks and street lights. Doesn't that seem like a better use of neighborhood funding?

We have gathered more than 100 signatures from concerned residents in both the Santa Rita neighborhood and the Armory Park neighborhood, so we are not just a small bunch of malcontents. This is a real concern for many of us.

Please consider that the Santa Rita Park is located three blocks away from the Casa Maria soup kitchen, and we have a very real homeless population that is here to stay. Shouldn't we be addressing the needs of that population in a way other than by pushing them into the neighborhood and by intimidating them out of the park?

This project should be put on hold, at least long enough to incorporate it into the larger plan for the Santa Rita Park that is imminent with the forthcoming expansion of 22nd Street. We ask Steve Leal for his leadership in regard to this and hope that he will be open to addressing the concerns of his constituents.

Armando and Debra Rodriguez


The Fix Is In: The City Wants to Shove Skaters Out of Downtown and Into Santa Rita Park

Yikes to Tim Vanderpool's take in "Park Pique." The "skateboard story" of Santa Rita Park is about community involvement and sustainability. A worthy headline would have been: "Neighbors Unite to Expose City Workings."

The skate facility was bought as the "fix-all" for park problems a decade ago, and the only fix going on today involves the city's workings. Environmental impact studies and the master plan of the park are being blocked--and these are fundamental tools necessary to make an informed decision about a healthy location for the youth facility, which is not in the center of a homeless park in need of community revitalization.

The city is whitewashing the facts and misrepresenting the support in a mission to get the thing built. The city wants to move the skaters from downtown! It boils down to gross irresponsibility on the part of the city, as they're attempting to force a fatally planned project to fruition.

Call Councilman Steve Leal. After the secretary picks up, say, "Hear my vote. I support responsible, informed planning for all youth facilities of Tucson and the Santa Rita Park."

This facility is like giving a Mercedes to a child whose parents can't afford to pay their electric bill. We need to pay for basic needs like open green space, sidewalks and lighting to "fix" the park.

Viki Rambo


It's Not Just TPD's Duty to Detain Illegal Immigrants; It's a Duty We All Share!

Regarding "Undocumented Drama" (Currents, Jan. 10): We all need to protect and defend our precious freedoms, and illegal immigration reportedly costs Arizona taxpayers many millions of dollars per year, without our authorization. Therefore, it is emphatically every citizen's right and duty--including Tucson police officers--to detain illegal-immigrant suspects and call in the U.S. Border Patrol to rightfully enforce our country's immigration laws.

It is likewise everyone's right to inform the blatantly un-American, rabble-rousing and radical Hispanic activist Isabel Garcia that she will henceforth be reported for illegally aiding and abetting illegal immigrants. Let her un-American, anti-law-and-order crap hit the fan!

I greatly appreciate the dedication and service to our country by all law-enforcement and military personnel. God bless them and keep them safe!

Rose Marie Shelley


If Illegal Immigrants Are Heroes, Then So Are People Who Push to the Front of Movie Lines

Dan Millis writes ("I Disagree With It, So Therefore, the 'Weekly' Should Not Print It!" Mailbag, Dec. 27, 2007) that "both the migrants and the humanitarians are heroes, and deserve no lesser treatment."

Perhaps he should state that those migrants who follow the laws of the land they wish to adopt might possibly be considered heroes ("Readers Give the Boot," Get Out of Town! Dec. 20, 2007); however, those migrants who choose to break those laws, and to attempt to get in line ahead of those who are following legal procedures, are no more heroic than are those who push themselves to the front of the line at the movie theater.

Let's get it straight what the definition of "hero" actually is.

Roberto Gonzales

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