No-Tel Story Verdict: 'Brilliant'To the Editor,
Saxon Burns' account of his harrowing time at the No-Tel Motel ("My Stay at the No-Tel Motel," Oct. 23) was brilliant. My husband and I take visiting out-of-towners there and threaten to leave them if they complain about our hospitality. Now we have more ammunition for perfect compliance by guests.
I would have loved to read a behind-the-scenes about the defunct "Cluck You Chicken." You missed a golden opportunity there.
No-Tel Story Verdict: 'Waste of Space'To the Editor,
Why did you bother to waste space with the No-Tel article? Icky cockroaches, dirty showers and prying eyes? Is Saxon some sort of wealthy, evangelical Puritan? I expected something interesting out of the article, and all I got was angst about shirtless old men and a messy medicine cabinet. Do us a favor and send Saxon to cover a Renaissance festival or something.
No-Tel Story Verdict: 'Great Name for a Porn Star'To the Editor,
Please give my thanks to Saxon Burns (Great name for a porn star! Start thinking about that second career!) and Jimmy Boegle for training their investigative microscope on the No-Tel Motel. I must have driven by the place a thousand times without giving it a passing thought. I imagined it was probably on the sleazy side, but I really had no idea what horrors its cheerful facade concealed--the cockroaches, the stained bedclothes, the sinister hole in the medicine cabinet, that stench of ennui. I gotta tell you, it gave me the shivers.
I don't know if our young man is game to do a follow up, but I just have to know: In a place as wretched as that, do you still get those tiny bars of soap in the bathroom?
Saxon Burns responds: Yes, the bathrooms did include one of those tiny bars of soap.
Raising the Gas Tax Isn't DoableTo the Editor,
I frankly do not care what Chris Limberis thinks about me personally ("Props 200 and 201: Vote Yes and No," Oct. 23). Propositions 200 and 201 are about bettering the life of all Tucsonans. This campaign was not about Steve Farley or me, but is based on the hard work of a very dedicated steering committee, hundreds of volunteers and thousands of supporters who share a common vision of shaping the destiny of Tucson through citizen-driven public participation.
While Limberis acknowledges that our plan is sound, he does a grave disservice to the people of Tucson by his allusion that somehow Steve and I have the power or ability to fundamentally change Arizona's tax law and Constitution, and that we elected not to in order to impose a sales tax.
Witness the road and tax plans put before the voters by Mayor Walkup and his country-club cronies in 2002 that would have charged a 40 percent higher sales taxes to ease the commute of Foothills residents at the expense of the south, west and central parts of the city and to widen Houghton Road as a gift to developers to increase the value of their projects--many of which are in the unincorporated areas.
Arizona set our current gas tax in 1971, and it hasn't been raised since. Raising the gas tax would require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature--something that every politically knowledgeable person knows is nigh on impossible. If that miracle were to occur--and yes, I would strongly support raising the state and federal gas tax--we would then need to win a statewide election to amend the Arizona Constitution to permit the money to be used for transit. Even permitting Tucson to levy its existing sales tax on gasoline would require legislative action.
Trust me, if Steve or I could effect these changes on a state or national level, we would. But to advocate that Tucson voters vote for the Comprehensive Transportation Initiative yet then prevent its implementation is simply irresponsible.
--Clague Van Slyke III
City Council Salaries Need to be RaisedTo the Editor,
Even as you cross out all the council candidates as undeserving ("The Tucson Weekly Un-Endorsements," Oct. 23), you state that higher pay may actually attract more endorseable candidates--but ..."thanks to the current economy" of Tucson, now is not the time to raise pay.
The six-member council was invented to represent about 40,000 neighbors. Now, the six members must respond to a mind-numbing maze of societal issues facing 500,000-plus constituents--plus thousands of in-transit students/Sonorans/servicemen/snowbirds.
Has there ever been a better time than now to attract more knowledgeable and compatible council candidates? Do you truly expect some phenomenal financial occurrence to elevate Tucson toward the national economic norm?
In your Un-Endorsements, you're asking, "and, this is the best we get?" My observation is that in a city of penny-pinching People Like Us, the expression, "We deserve the elected leadership we get," certainly applies.
Re-Creating IronyTo the Editor,
Margaret Regan's story about of Rio Nuevo Project "Re-Creating History," Oct. 16) has some unmentioned ironies hidden in it. Some 4,000 years of continuous inhabitancy and cultivation along the river, and the touting of it as ".... a living park, not a museum," are just two.
Apparently, the existence of everything here today is due to the river actually having had water in it once. Maybe it should be called the Rio Muerto Project, for the sake of "hysterical" accuracy.
Homeless Need to Help ThemselvesTo the Editor,
I read with interest the article in Oct. 9 by David Burckhalter ("Homeless on the Santa Cruz"). I've cooked meals for the homeless (as well as myself) and wondered why they can't pitch in and help. Some are incapable; others you wouldn't want to touch any food; but many are perfectly able. They just don't do anything.
Why must the city provide 20 people to clean up after 40 homeless? I have to clean up after myself.
I don't mean to belittle their problems, but feeding them instead of teaching them how to feed themselves, picking up after them instead of teaching them how, building them a day center instead of having them do something for themselves--these things simply make them into victims, and solve no problems beyond the end of the day.
Props 200 and 201 Were the Best Options We HadTo the Editor,
Jimmy Boegle's take on Tucson's transportation situation is doubtless well intentioned ("Props 200 and 201: Vote No," Oct. 23), but it's as wide of the mark as those early restaurant reviews. If you had lived in Tucson as long as I have (15 years), you would know that Propositions 200 and 201, whatever their imperfections, are the closest we could get in our lifetimes to an adequate transit system.
Arrogance? Try watching city staff and their hired guns bullying, manipulating and finally threatening central Tucson residents with street widening, as I experienced during two years of Sixth Street Corridor meetings. (Hey, don't our taxes pay their salaries?) Steve Farley, Clague Van Slyke and other CFASTS volunteers have donated their time and expertise to research, design and promote a genuine alternative that would qualify for federal matching funds--something the City Council and paid staff couldn't be bothered to do.
In dozens, if not hundreds, of meetings throughout the city, CFASTS worked with residents to design a system that meets Tucsonans' needs, rather than those of the developers and car dealers who wield influence at City Hall. The integration of bus with light rail services will serve the whole metro area, not a "tiny fraction." Just check out the maps in your voter information booklet! Mile for mile, light rail is cheaper than road widening, so every dollar spent will save us money in the long run, while preserving the integrity of our neighborhoods.
Read 'Burn' for the Local SceneryTo the Editor,
I am confused by Jordan Myers' book review of Eric Cuestas-Thompson's book, Burn.
Jordan Myers both compliments the book and later nitpicks the author's style and writing tactics. I have read Burn, and found it enjoyable, exciting and erotic.
The reviewer is distracted by details he dislikes or finds disturbing. The author is local; he has written Burn to include many references to local landmarks; creating visual imagery for the characters interacting in local familiar places. Burn is an interesting book that should be read for the author's skills in character development and references to local scenery.