John C. Scott Defends Linda Lopez and an Advertiser of HisHaving read the recent letters from Pat Birnie, Rob Kulakofsky and Carter Rose of the Environmental Justice Action Group attacking Linda Lopez and Brush Ceramic Products, I have to seriously question their motives and command of the facts. While I have not spent a lot of time on the issue, it is obvious that Linda Lopez has. If a dedicated public servant such as Linda Lopez has concluded that the facility does not present a hazard to the community, then that opinion should not be taken lightly. The reaction of EJAG to her letter does not speak well of their position. To call Linda Lopez a liar is unconscionable.
It would seem that the Environmental Justice Action Group is willing to attack anyone who disagrees with them, including community leaders such as Yolanda Herrera, who has written in support of the company. EJAG ignores the support of the hundreds of Brush Ceramic Products employees who have demanded fairness for their company and have been steadfast in their support.
It is obvious that EJAG has decided that Brush should leave town. To accomplish this, they have shown that they are willing do anything. It is time for the Tucson community to reject the Environmental Justice Action Group's attempt to run this company out of town.
John C. Scott
That Catherine O'Sullivan Sure Has Testicular Fortitude!Thank you! Finally someone that has the balls, I mean the gall, to articulate this topic (Guest Commentary, May 19) precisely with a touch of humor.
Thanks for Showing What Jesus Would Really DoI often think about the woman who wanted to learn about spirituality after she developed cancer. She knew that I enjoy the teachings and practices of some Eastern religions and thought I might be able to help her. When she found out that I am a Christian, she expressed surprise. "The only thing I know about Christians," she said, "is that they are angry and hate people." That says it all about whose voices are being heard.
Thank you, Renée Downing and John Fife, for voicing an alternative view of Christianity (Downing, May 19). Perhaps the undue and threatening power of the religious right will inspire the rest of us to become evangelical in our own way about the Jesus we try to follow.
That Wacky Five Points Intersection!I've been watching the Five Points controversy for some time and am relieved to hear of the "re-think" ("Points of Controversy," Currents, May 26). Though I support the return to two-way streets, putting in the proposed "pork chop" barrier and funneling traffic to Stone Avenue always seemed like an elitist design brought on by the Armory Park faction.
With little regard to Barrio Viejo, downtown business and the people who would have to bear the burden of re-routed traffic, the ditched design pandered to powerful neighborhood associations that would like to create their own little gated communities within the city.
Sixth Avenue is a major thoroughfare that should continue to carry its share of traffic. It not only makes sense in providing better traffic flow for all of us; it also helps the residents of Armory Park contribute to the greater good and take advantage of the connectedness that makes a vibrant community.
That Wacky Aviation Parkway Expansion!I'm somewhat of a freeway and highway nut, referred to as "roadgeek" among my counterparts. I usually enjoy the prospects of highway construction and new freeways, which may beg the question, "Why do I live here and not in Phoenix?" Despite this, I am adamantly opposed to this extension of Aviation Parkway ("Traffic Tie-Ups," Currents, June 2).
The highway was originally not completed for good reason: Tucsonans will not stand by and see their desert's historic neighborhoods decimated. The City Council and powers-that-be need to realize this. I drive Sixth Street to UA for my daily commute, and follow Saint Mary's under Interstate 10 at least three times a week. I see a lot of holes in the prospect of traffic being re-routed onto this corridor:
1. It was pointed out in the article that Sixth Street just does not have the capacity, and this is very true.
2. I've seen no mention of the current at-grade railroad crossing on Sixth. It would turn into a nightmare if Aviation traffic were dumped into the mix. And everyone knows that trains come by often.
3. There are no direct ramps to and from I-10 onto Saint Mary's. Saint Mary's is not currently a primary arterial route. It was never intended to be.
Has there been any discussion on routing the traffic to 22nd Street? It would require bridge construction for additional ramps, as well as upgrades to 22nd Street west of the railroad tracks, but I would think that it would save money in the end, as well as help to maintain the historical character of the area around Sixth Street.
Unfortunately, I'm afraid that people outside of the central area of Tucson will not really understand the issue at hand and resign to support it. I'm all about proper improvements of highway infrastructure, but this is just not the way to go.
Some Good Advice: Appreciate What You Have in TucsonAs a Canadian who scrupulously saves his diminished currency each year to make a yearly pilgrimage to the Old Pueblo for a little spring training baseball, and as a regular Tucson Weekly reader (online), please allow me a few observations.
I commiserate with the problems of your city as they are dissected and thoughtfully debated in your paper. Runaway development, the abandonment of the downtown core and lunkhead, special-interest politicians can be the proverbial pebble in the shoe that diminishes the desert experience.
Permit me to point out that these problems exist in virtually every urban setting in both Canada and the United States and are certainly not unique to Tucson (although, thankfully George Bush is not, as yet, Canada's headache).
My point is this: Please continue to rail against the social inequities and selfish bastards, but don't lose sight of the unique, spectacular wonders that you live among. Take a moment to watch the sun rise over the Santa Catalina Mountains; watch it go down at Gates Pass. Visit the Desert Museum to watch a raptor's performance. Know that visitors to your town, smart enough to avoid the resort-centric, metropolized Phoenix experience, bring home cherished memories, pictures and relationships that are invariably nurtured and sustained. One glimpse of a saguaro, and I'm "homesick."
So even as you're being fried and pissed off by the latest bureaucratic fiasco, take a second to look around and realize ... Tucson is one cool place to be.
CorrectionsIn "Flunkies" (Currents, June 2), the length of time before the Department of Environmental Quality's next sunset review was incorrect. The agency's next sunset review will be in four years.
In "Odds on the Odd" (The Skinny, June 9), U.S. Sen. Bill Frist's home state was misidentified. Frist represents Tennessee.
In "Shutter Bugged" (The Range, June 2), the location of the Unisource Tower was correct; it's actually located on Congress Street and Stone Avenue.
Finally, due to a pagination error, the last line of "Informant's Revenge" (Currents, June 9) was cut off. The last sentence of the quote from Maria Magda Thompson should be: "Then start looking for another job, because there are no advantages to being a whistle-blower." We apologize for all the gaffes.