Three Points is Improving, Not DecliningI have to say, after reading the Three Points article ("The Saga of Three Points," March 18) written by Leo W. Banks, it is no wonder the reputation of Three Points continues to decline despite conflicting evidence and what I see with my own eyes.
I moved to Three Points six years ago. I chose this area because I desired a rural lifestyle with horses, not because I am reclusive, nor do I harbor any desire to avoid the government. That is, unless you include, in your definition of government, HOAs peopled by yuppies who want to pave and sterilize every inch of the Sonoran Desert.
I take pride in my property and my neighborhood. Yes, we have problems with crime and illegal immigrants. Border Patrol is taking care of the undocumented-alien problem. All we need is a commitment from the Sheriff's Department to provide some measure of law enforcement. Incidentally, the satellite sheriff's office mentioned in the article is only staffed during daylight hours, and the Three Points residents paid for that brand new structure.
I noticed that the article had one picture of a property (trashed, I might add). I wonder if you thought to show any of the many beautiful, well-kept properties? No; that would skew the obvious slant with which he writes.
My neighbors are business people--families with values and morals you would not find in the "better areas" of the city. Many of these kids are raised with animals, participating in 4-H. The reason they are not in the forefront, as the "bad" kids are, is because they have better things to do than hang around the store!
Maybe someone other than a writer who writes only of the "sensationalism" of the area should visit the community with the intent to reflect the true community.
Three Points Piece Was IrresponsibleWhere to begin regarding your recent humiliation of the Three Points community? Your pretentious, arrogant and biased article was one of the most irresponsible pieces of journalism I've ever read, and you owe us an apology. Your story was purposeless and did nothing to enlighten or inform your readers. On the contrary, it merely perpetuates the tired, old stereotype that all Three Points has to offer is murder, drugs and border-crossers.
Your prejudiced view of our community neglected to even hint at the number of good things that go on out here. Why didn't you mention the Robles Junction Community Council and how hard the RJCC is working to get block grants for services? Why didn't you mention the two ladies who have donated countless hours writing and delivering our community newsletter each month? What about the Three Points Fire District's Community Emergency Response Team unit--did you not know that other fire departments ask our CERT unit for advice? I guess you missed the three new restaurants we have.
There's plenty more that you missed, but I don't guess you need to know anything else. That might burst your pompous, city-slicker bubble about how much better off you are because you live in the "right" part of Tucson.
It's Time to Mention the Good of Three PointsI was intrigued to see the final form of the article about the Three Points/Robles Junction community. When Mr. Banks called to interview me, I understood his initial inquiry to be related to the effect of "undocumented entrants and drug trafficking on the community of Three Points." It is apparent from the article that, if my original understanding was correct, this quickly developed into an overview of the community at large. After reading the article, I was hoping that Mr. Banks and the Tucson Weekly might do a follow-up from the transition left open at the end of the article about the points of hope in the community. It does not appear that this will actually occur, so perhaps you could include this note with the following observations about the positive parts of life in the Robles Junction community, from someone who was interviewed and who has worked in the community for 20 years.
In an obvious bit of editorial photography there were no pictures published of the new fire station, the new school property, the clinic building which is about to undergo expansion, nor--from a personal standpoint--Serenity Baptist Church. There was no mention of the impact of Buckelew Farms and the Pumpkin Festival, let alone the leadership of Nick Buckelew through Trico and Epco and the Tucson Conquistadors. Community involvement shows up radically around Thanksgiving and Christmas, with the Holiday Share program through the Three Points Food Pantry and Serenity Baptist Church. One restaurant has supplied 30 free dinners at Thanksgiving for the last two years for individuals and families who do not have access to dinner that day. The Girl Scouts and Brownies always help with supplying dinners through the church program as well, while students at the school often do can-drives for food to be utilized in emergency situations for families through the Food Pantry.
There are countless programs staffed by volunteers, like the clothing pantry now located at the Robles Ranch Community Center, the Three Points Food Pantry at Serenity Baptist Church, the commodities program at the VFW, the Fire Department Auxiliary, Friends of Robles Ranch, the Robles Junction Community Council, Little League and 4-H. The 4-H is primarily responsible for the Christmas gift program, Toys for Three Points Kids, with donations from the community and volunteers. Countless businesses have responded to needs in the community for emergency care. One retired hair dresser even volunteered her time to give hair cuts as part of a program on personal hygiene sponsored by the church.
Young people have been involved in community service through Flowing Wells High School, and one youth group has gone on ministry trips to Riverside, Calif., seven of the last eight years. On the other end of the age spectrum, there are active and growing senior citizen groups who take care not only of each other, but also reach out to the wider population. The members of the RV settlement, Caballo Loco Ranch, south of Three Points, have dramatically aided the crisis food ministry through Serenity Baptist Church with financial and food donations as well as volunteer hours.
Perhaps we don't have a sense of community like Green Valley or Oro Valley. But the lack of feeling like a community does not mean that no one cares for others. Mostly, the folks who live and work here are people just trying to make a living and raise their families, and they look out for each other when they have the ability to do that. Perhaps, Mr. Banks' article will stir a deeper sense of recognizing the potential of community life and will invite us to begin to empower ourselves as a people together in a way that we have not before.
Dane E. Miller
Pastor, Serenity Baptist Church
Even If You Don't Believe, Christ Story Warrants RespectI was not brought up believing, nor am I positive that I now believe the events as depicted in the Bible, so please don't think I am just some ranting Christian. But I am going to rant a little.
As far as your sophomoric view of The Passion of the Christ ("The Gore of the Christ," March 4), I am seriously disappointed in your lack of ability to feel any empathy toward Christ in the story of his crucifixion. You clearly didn't understand any of the film if the most you got out of it was that some hippie got the crap beat out of him. It would have been impossible for Gibson to include much more than he did because it was a movie, not a freaking TV mini-series. Second, most of the film showed Jesus being beaten and whipped because that's what happened to him during the crucifixion, and the film was depicting that event. Last, the point of this "pointless gore fest" is that throughout the horrific ordeal, Jesus was patient, loving and forgiving, even to the ones ripping the flesh from and hammering nails into his body.
And I don't care what religious beliefs you have, no one should refer to Jesus as Drippy McBloodspurt.
Nintzel Should Have Given Us More CreditAmong Jim Nintzel's 20 political moments of the last 20 years ("Poli-Sigh," March 4) is a paragraph about the recall of the egregious Alan Lang, county assessor, one year into his four-year term, in the largest successful recall in the state's history.
The real story is that this effort was led by the unsung leadership of small, fearless organizations. The local chapter of the National Organization for Women ran it, joined by the then-fledgling Green Party, a five-member Democratic Women's Club and the otherwise unsuccessful and short-lived Total Recall. People lined up to sign the petitions, and many folks surreptitiously carried one, but the recall happened because a handful of real heroes from gutsy grassroots groups put their resources and their physical safety on the line through 120 sleepless, backbreaking days.
Lang had arrests for domestic violence, complaints of sexual harassment and a gun he brought to work, but what scared most everyone was that he'd raise their assessment if they said peep. We got 91,000 signatures, but had to re-assure signers that he would never see them until we were sure we had enough names to boot him.
There were two happy endings: Once we got it on the ballot, Lang overwhelmingly lost, and about midway through the recall effort, I found John Yoakum, the man I'm married to 11 years later. On balance, very satisfying. Better than a public thank you.
Why'd You Have to Quote Cussing?I passed through your city and picked up your publication. I was very much enjoying the articles for the next day or two.
I especially enjoyed the feature on Margaret Sanger ("Margaret Sanger: Tucson's Irish Rebel," March 11). I was enjoying another article highlighted on the front cover about a newly released movie ("Hidalgo Happens"), which was by James DiGiovanna. Please tell me why the quote was used as it was. I was so displeased when I read that line. The second paragraph in the second column contains the line which I felt was uncalled for. Had I been reading a novel, no problem, but this is a public-access publication! I don't understand why it was included or why it was not left with fill-in-the-blanks. I do not think it was acceptable or responsible writing.
HOAs Are Not Evil, but ProtectiveSeth Frantzman, in his Guest Commentary (March 18), exhibits an uncanny ability to stack attacks one atop the other. I, a neighborhood political officer (aka secretary-treasurer of a small HOA), am a harassing, draconian, fascist, communist, enslaving, invasive goliath. Whew!!
But should not Seth also offer us a clear argument for his position? Instead, the only coherent (even if incomplete) argument he presents cuts his own legs off at the knees. Seth acknowledges people must be informed that they are buying into an HOA community, must be provided with copies of all the HOA legal documents before they close, and thus, if they proceed, must have acted voluntarily. He simply turns a blind eye to the responsibility that carries with it.
HOA legal documents can be read in an hour. I've read two different, complete sets, dumbed down one to the size of a pamphlet for the consumption of those who prefer executive summaries; I've typed a whole set and posted it to the Internet where it can be word-searched by HOA members. Liberty comes in different flavors. Many flavors are found in communities of homeowners who agree to govern themselves
I would not, were I Seth, expect constructive assistance from a political body such as the Arizona Legislature, where Machiavellian manipulation rules, especially with the amoral bunch presently in control. Excuse me; "amoral" may be too harsh. They are just politicians attempting to force us to consume their peculiar flavor of liberty. To some extent, that comes with the territory, even for neighborhood political officers like you and me, Seth.
Reel's Review Shows He Doesn't Get ItAfter reading James Reel's review of Spinning Into Butter ("Racism Review," March 18), it is evident that he is exactly the type of audience member who could have benefited from the play's message. Sadly, though, he missed the point. His ignorance about the power of institutionalized racism is reflected in the defensiveness of his review.
For example, why bring up the fact that some people do not want to sit next to "Southern white men" or "teen skateboarders," when the topic for Sarah is only about race? Does the fact that we make distinctions based on other characteristics make negative actions based on race any less loathsome? The topic is race; I know, it's uncomfortable, but please stick to it. Unfortunately, this defensiveness is a very common tactic for those refusing to look at their own systematic biases regarding race. What the play is trying to show is that American racism is deeply woven into the fabric of this society, so much so that people will not or cannot acknowledge it.
In 20 years, I doubt very much that the play will be a farce, but a stinging indictment on the ignorance and ugliness of our society. In fact, I'm sure your review will be used to support such theory.
KXCI Democracy Initiative Responds to KXCIThe hundreds of KXCI members who have signed the KXCI Democracy Initiative to restore a majority elected Board of Directors should no longer be surprised at the distortions that the present KXCI Board continues to employ to preserve their self-appointed status, exemplified by General Manager Larry Bruce's recent letter to the Tucson Weekly (March 18).
Mr. Bruce and the KXCI Board claim that signatories of the Democracy Initiative petition were "misled," but he can supply us with no names. To date, only three people (out of 500 plus) have asked us to have their name taken off the petition, and none of them claimed they were misled by us.
Mr. Bruce claims we have refused to pay for the election, and that we object to an independent signature verification. This is untrue. We object to the inflated and unnecessary costs they have presented for the election in hopes of bankrupting our effort. But we are willing to pay for the full costs of the election, right now--if they allow it.
Mr. Bruce claims that we have refused to enter into "mediation"--another distortion. More than 10 percent of the KXCI members signed petitions to force a bylaw election; what right does anyone have to mediate away their rights? KXCI had ample opportunity to mediate since July 25, 2002 when scores of programmers signed a letter of grievance to KXCI, which they ignored. We repeatedly asked for meetings after we first launched the Democracy Initiative months ago, to no avail. The board wouldn't even allow "a call to the audience" at their meetings. Now that we have the necessary signatures, they want to "mediate" away the initiative. We don't think so.
The Democracy Initiative has worked long and hard for a membership election to change the bylaws back to a majority elected board. What motivation could we possibly have for wanting to delay a vote?
We understand why. They have to convince KXCI members to give up their rights to elect their own Board of Directors. We want to restore that right stripped of them two years ago. That is the fight--all else is distortion and distraction
Scott D. Egan, John Murphy, Kali Holtschlag, Bill Risner and David Yerkey
Behold the 'Weekly' Gone LameI, for one, am not willing to give up Jim Hightower's column and Troubletown in order to get Police Dispatch and The Range, which just rehash last week's news. The Weekly is no longer an alternative to the standard papers, just a recap of them. Leading off with Danehy's mashed-potato column sure sets the tone for the rest of the paper.
The "alternative" in alt weekly is supposed to stand for alternative politics, not alternative advertising. Oh, it's nice of you to do book and classical music reviews, but I'm certainly not going to get the paper just for that.
The readers who think the Weekly has "gone lame" are 100 percent correct. If all you want to do is to stay alive on advertising dollars, you can probably do that, but if you want to grab the readership and effect change, you've got to turn the paper around. Of course, corporate ownership would like nothing less.