Mark Mayer Is a Local HeroTo the Editor,
The people of Tucson have been unhappy about billboards for a long time. They're the visual equivalent of telemarketers and spam. They're ugly. They sell things like Joe Camel, gambling, strip clubs, liquor, gun shows, sprawl development and buxom blondes in various states of undress. (Oh, were those ads about something else?)
Tucsonans got tired of that and set out to change things. Dozens of organizations and thousands of people, including myself, got involved. Finally, in 1985, laws that virtually banned billboards were passed and then supported by an overwhelming citizen vote.
Nonetheless, after the furor died down, the billboard companies sent out their suits to sabotage these measures with political payola, back room deals and legal quackery. Shame on Kathleen Dunbar, Fred Ronstadt and Bob Walkup for selling out Tucson to the national billboard moguls.
It is good to see The Weekly give Mark Mayer the credit he richly deserves ("The Man in the Middle of the Billboard Battle," Jan. 8). Boy, Chris Limberis must have passed into an alternative universe to find some of those billboard apologists. I hope he made it back OK.
In our universe, Mark Mayer is a local hero. He, more than anyone else, has stayed with the cause, helped the city and county get their acts together on enforcement, and provided leadership for the rest of us.
So What If Mayer Got Paid?To the Editor,
When I first arrived in Tucson five years ago, I was unpleasantly surprised by the shocking number of unsightly billboards everywhere in and around town.
Although the majority of Tucson's citizens have made it clear that they object to these billboards, it's a huge problem to make the billboard industry comply with the existing laws and remove their illegal and nonconforming billboards.
It's clear to me that Mark Mayer is the key bulwark against a well-financed billboard industry that fights constantly and aggressively to foil any and all attempts to force it to comply with the law. Mark is handling this watchdog position with very little help and precious little reward.
I found Chris Limberis' article about Mark Mayer in general to be fair, but at times a bit derogatory. I fail to see how Mark's being hired by the city in the past discredits his subsequent volunteer work in any way.
We should all give a great big "thank you" to Mark Mayer for his tireless efforts on behalf of the citizens of Tucson.
--Leigh M. Robinson
Why Spare Circle K Your Boot?To the Editor,
It is obvious that the enormous yet anonymous capitalist presence of corporations such as Walgreens, Krispy Kreme and KB Home is doing more than leaving footprints on our small-town landscape and adulterating the appetite of the Tucson Weekly staff ("Get Out of Town!" Dec. 18).
If it is true that the Tucson Weekly stands so adamantly against corporations, then how can it possibly have the nerve to print full-page advertisements for Circle K?
The last time I checked my yellow pages, I counted 89 separate store locations in Tucson. That's more than all Walgreens stores, Krispy Kreme fat extravaganzas and KB Home subdivisions combined. Is a thirst-busting fistful of dollars all it takes to plow under The Weekly's dignity, turning philosophical flora into mud fields for the hogs of hypocrisy? Is there much credence to my wounded faith?
The Most Confused Letter WriterTo the Editor,
Unaccustomed as I am to writing letters to the editor, I feel compelled to respond to your article of several weeks ago concerning people your staff judged to be less-than-worthy citizens of this community.
I am a regular reader of your paper. It is often amusing, often satirical, often totally without honesty or integrity, yet it can have some good political information and sometimes champions a cause or issue I agree with. However, your vicious, mean-spirited attacks on Dr. Ann Nichols, Betty Liggins and Sgt. Karen Dickerson were unnecessary. I can't recall the others in the feature article, but I know that my reaction to the feature was: Why single out these folks and where do you (whomever you are, since you don't even identify yourself) come off making such a judgment?
--Martha K. Rothman
OK. Let's sort this out. Dr. Ann Nichols was referred to in a Skinny item ("Caged Heat," Dec. 18), not a feature article. Sgt. Karen Dickerson was referred to in the bylined "Get Out of Town" feature by Jimmy Boegle on Dec. 18. And finally, Betty Liggins was honored as a local hero on Dec. 25 in a bylined feature by Chris Limberis.