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Claim: Light Rail Could Destroy Fourth Avenue's Ambiance

Compliments to Dave Devine and Molly McKasson on their article exposing the light rail coming to central Tucson ("A Streetcar Named Development," Sept. 16).

One thing they did not address is the likelihood that if the railway is routed down Fourth Avenue, there will be a negative impact in terms of ambiance. As is stands, Fourth Avenue is now the "meat in the sandwich" between the ever-expanding UA spreading south and west, and downtown, which is spreading north via the new Fourth Avenue underpass. A bustling train, with its stations and its crowds, would likely be the knockout blow to our laid-back "Greenwich Village of Tucson."

I say to the powers that be: Keep your trains out of our quiet little village.

Danny August


Access Tucson Equals Democracy

Access Tucson, Tucson's public TV station, is being considered for elimination by the City Council. They want to sell its Broadway Boulevard building and defund the organization to help cover the deficit.

Why is such a plan bad? Access Tucson is the only TV station in the city where anyone can freely express their opinions without fear of censorship. It is truly a place where democracy is practiced and honored, and new ideas have a chance to be heard.

If we want to solve our city problems and the collective sufferings of humanity, then let the people speak! Freedom of speech is a core principle of democracy.

Libby Hubbard


Chef: Calling Primo Tucson 'Unsustainable' Was Inaccurate, Unfair

I am the executive chef of the JW Marriott Starr Pass and one of the chefs responsible for the cuisine at Primo, our Mediterranean restaurant. I appreciate you visiting our restaurant to write about your experience; however, I think there was much more information regarding Primo in Tucson which was not included in "Unsustainable Eats" (Chow, Sept. 2).

I will not give any excuses for the quality of food you experienced during your visit. Unfortunately, neither myself nor the chef de cuisine of Primo was on property the day you visited. Either of us would have shared much more information regarding the food which we grow, how it is grown and the partnerships we have with many local farmers.

I am also concerned with the matter of comparing Primo Maine's garden to ours in Tucson. I don't feel that it is fair to compare the two. I have also been to Primo Maine and would love to come even close to the resources that they operate with. We grow what we are able to four seasons out of the year, and have a part-time gardener who practices holistic gardening, which is the most advantageous for the earth and the vegetables which are grown. We utilize cold frames in the earlier part of the year to get a head start on our growing season, and we use grow lights to get our seedlings started. I am unaware of many, if any, restaurants in Tucson that grow their own produce.

We have also started to create our own organic compost to be used in the garden, using organic waste from all of our kitchens at Starr Pass. Each season, a new bed is fed with this organic soil, replenishing the nutrients needed for the best-quality vegetables.

We partner with many local farmers. In fact, the owners of Sleeping Frog Farms would love to share their thoughts about Primo with you. They have stated that we support their business more than any other restaurant in Tucson.

With all of these points in mind, the title "Unsustainable Eats" is far from the truth, and it is disheartening to have Primo looked upon this way. It is actually several customers who urged me to contact you regarding the article.

I ask that you return and speak to myself, Christie Tenaud (chef de cuisine) or Sylvia Lindeman (Primo gardener) to get the full story of the passion we have to make Primo as sustainable, all-natural and organic as we possibly can. We would never suggest that Primo is 100 percent sustainable, but to call it "unsustainable" is completely false.

Primo chef/owner Melissa Kelly will be the guest chef at an event at Double Check Ranch on Saturday, Oct. 16. The menu is created from all local meats and produce. For more tickets or information, visit outstandinginthefield.com/events/north-american-tour/?dinner_id=57.

Chris Brown
Executive chef, JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa


A Pedestrian-Only Fourth Avenue Would Be Bad for Wheelchair Users

Matt Scholz's proposal to make Fourth Avenue a pedestrian-only zone ("Want Safety? Make Fourth Avenue a Pedestrian-Only Zone," Mailbag, Sept. 9) would make it impossible for people like me to buy groceries at the Food Conspiracy Co-op. I use a manual wheelchair and need to park very close to the co-op, as I'm not strong enough to push myself far, especially not on a street like Fourth Avenue, which has an incline. Others who have a limited ability to walk would also be unable to carry heavy groceries for blocks.

I've been a wheelchair user for 30 years and am still amazed at how often we are entirely forgotten by able-bodied people, or how people assume that we have someone to push us, or assume that we have power chairs and the expensive modified vans needed to transport them.

There is no other store in Tucson that meets my needs like the co-op. Maybe these "selfish businesses" Scholz refers to are the ones that remember disabled folks exist.

Zana Siegel

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