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Tucson Iron and Metal: We Were Horrified to Find Out What Greyhound Park Was Doing

Tucson Iron and Metal has been a small business in Tucson for more than 25 years. Owners Gary and Tandy Kippur started the scrap yard with just three employees and one little dog they rescued from under a scrap-metal pile. She is named JD, for junk-yard dog; the owners took her to the vet to get her shots, and she became their first rescue dog. Gary and Tandy have only owned rescue dogs, and the two they currently have can usually be found running around the scrap yard, saying hello to customers coming in to sell their scrap metal or buy usable scrap.

Tater, short for "Sweet Potato," is 6 months old and the newest member of the scrap family. She, too, is a rescue from the Humane Society—part yellow lab, part German Sheppard, and all heart. When she wags her tail, her whole body wags. She has greeted many of the kids who come by with a big slobbery kiss; no one can resist her.

Doug, Tucson Iron and Metal's manager, was approached a few months ago by our "Greyhound Park neighbors" asking for a favor to help the dogs. He had no idea what was being done to the greyhounds. They said they needed a place that was quiet and fenced in. Since we have a big front parking lot, and the scrap yard doesn't actually open until 8 a.m., he thought he was being a good neighbor, so, of course, he said yes. Doug is also an animal-lover, a current rescue-dog owner, and the father of twin boys.

We were all horrified when we found out what was actually being done to these dogs, and stopped allowing it immediately. ("Shooting Gallery," Currents, April 12.) Tucson Iron and Metal has always been socially active, and its owners and employees support and have served on the board of the Humane Society, Tucson Clean and Beautiful, the University of Arizona Hillel, and the 1st Rate 2nd Hand nonprofit thrift store, just to name a few causes.

We sincerely regret that our facility was used for this purpose. We absolutely do not support the use of steroids in greyhounds.

Tandy L. Kippur

President, Tucson Iron and Metal

DeConcini Should Do More Research on Private Prisons

Many thanks to Mari Herreras for the article about former U.S. Sen. Dennis DeConcini being a member of the board of Corrections Corporation of America ("Morals Before Profit," Currents, March 29).

CCA is the largest private, for-profit prison company and has a checkered history. Sen. DeConcini said he wanted more documentation of the abuses committed in the CCA prisons. Surely the stories of family members of those who have been abused could have been important enough for him to find out more. DeConcini could very well have accumulated additional documentation if he had read recent articles in the Arizona Daily Star and The Arizona Republic about the influences CCA and other prison corporations are exerting over legislators and the governor. These efforts are not, as DeConcini states, "to help states with strapped resources." These efforts are to make more money for the stockholders of the for-profit corporations.

Private prison corporations have high staff turnover because they pay and train guards poorly. Private prisons are often less safe: Staff-on-inmate and inmate-on-inmate assaults are higher in private prisons than in state ones, and escapes from private prisons are often the result of lax security. Private prisons usually don't save states money. In many cases, the private prisons are more costly, requiring a guarantee that they will be paid by the state for 90 percent occupancy.

Sen. DeConcini could have informed himself on these flaws by reading newspaper and magazine articles which have been covering private prisons' claims for years. And, more importantly, he could have listened with concern to the story provided by Alma Hernandez.

Diane Wilson

Long Live the Siesta!

Here's a well-known bit of wisdom from the days of African colonialism: Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun. Those sleeping Mexicans are doing what all people from hot climates do in the middle of the day; only the Northern European work ethic, unable to shift from the need to make use of daytime light and warmth, confuses smarts with idleness. ("The Sleeping Mexican Wakes Up," April 12.)

Viva la siesta!

Maria Cadaxa

Comments From Readers at

Regarding "Go Downtown, Dammit" (Editor's Note, April 19):

Last weekend, I went downtown for my B-day with my wife. We stopped at The District and a couple of other taverns. We were really impressed by The Playground. What a neat place and a very diverse crowd. We ended the night dancing at Club Congress, and with $3 Stolis, how could it not be fun? The construction did interrupt the 2nd Saturday stuff.


Thank you for this! I live near downtown, and I've been telling everyone I know the same thing. We need to do all we can to make sure our wonderful local businesses make it through the construction and the impending dry summer!


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