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Greens of Tucson, Unite!

To the Editor,

In The Skinny's recent critique of the Green Party ("What If They Held an Election and Nobody Ran?," June 26), you guessed that "some Green leader will write in to bitch." I'd actually like to thank you. You've said something Greens in this town desperately need to hear.

The small but dedicated group of volunteers who head up the Green Party of Pima County have been recruiting candidates since December. These Green Party leaders, who all either live in wards with no race this year or don't meet the three-year residency requirement, were certain that one of Tucson's almost 1,600 Greens would step forward to run. None did.

Greens, listen up! Your registrations have made Tucson the only city in Arizona where the Greens are a recognized party. But that victory means nothing if no one takes advantage of it by running. Want to really make a difference? Run for office!

It may not be too late. My understanding is that Greens can run as write-in candidates during the primary, and by getting just a handful of votes, qualify to be on the general election ballot. I know my fellow Greens read this paper, so come on, people! Let's prove The Skinny wrong.

--Sam Ritchie
Treasurer, Green Party of Pima County


County Needs to Give Old Tucson a Break

To the Editor,

I was a stuntman at Old Tucson Studios for a number of years. I read Chris Limberis' article, "Quiet on the Set" (Currents, June 26), and Greg DiBenedetti is a good friend of mine. I feel his pain, as do many of us that have worked at OTS. I was known as the "oldest" stuntman at Old Tucson Studios, and I had a lot of fun performing. I have performed since I was knee high to a grasshopper. I worked in several parks, including Universal Studios. I've been in a few movies, sang for the San Jose Symphony and worked at Knott's Berry Farm and for Disney. In essence, performing is in my blood.

I can certainly understand from a business standpoint why the "Dons" had to do what they had to do. When the number of guests visiting the park is less than the number of employees, things have got to change. I am certain that if Pete Mangelsdorf had his way, and the "Dons" had their way, everybody would be gainfully employed.

It is of my opinion that Old Tucson Studios has had a lot of bad press, and some do not understand what it takes to run a park of this magnitude. The logistics are enormous. If I were to run a park, (which I am endeavoring to do in Colorado), I would suggest this:

· The county and the park need to come to an agreement as to the cost of leasing the land. Old Tucson is still paying a substantial amount based on income/revenue of several years ago. This has to change.

· When Old Tucson is in their "down" season, it should open the gates to the public for free to take pictures, eat in the competitive restaurants, have an ice cream and shop. It's good press, good PR and giving back to the community.

· Instead of running the same shows for a year, give new shows every quarter. Then the season ticket holders are getting the bang for their buck.

· Make this a movie location again. That's what made this park the second-biggest attraction in Arizona.

I will never say that the Dons are responsible for the way the parks sits now. The county needs to give them more support, both financially and morally. They have not let the Dons rebuild Kansas Street, nor will they help finance a new sound stage. The county wants money, but won't help in the making of it. Is that good business sense? I think not.

--Gary Halsey


Way to Kiss Up to Management, Van Man!

To the Editor,

I was prepared to get upset and send a scathing letter about The Skinny's one-sided reporting of the events at KXCI. I was gonna point out how there are more listeners, with more diverse ethnicities, ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. I was gonna point out how it used to take 17 days to collect $30,000, and now we're collecting $70,000 in just more than 10 days. I was gonna point out that KXCI, post-Tony Ford, has more news shows, like Democracy Now, that appeal to our typical demographic. And I was gonna point out that with governmental funds drying up, the changes Tony made are the only reason we're still on air.

But then I spoke with the people at the station, and their feeling was ignoring sideswipes like The Skinny is wont to do.

You know, there are two real easy ways to express your feelings about the station. The first is to stop listening; that's not happening. The other way is to start your own station. That's OK with me, too. In the meantime, we'll keep doing what we've been doing for 20 years--playing cool music and talk that you can't hear anywhere else. We remain "Real People, Real Radio."

--The Van Man
Music Mix Mondays, 9-11 a.m.

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