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If All the Land Is Sold, Where Will Hoffman Hunt?

Perhaps Jonathan Hoffman (Guest Commentary, Dec. 29) should remember the old saying, "Be careful what you wish for; you might get it." Hoffman writes of the pleasures of hunting on state trust land, then expresses the preference of those in the so-called "Freedom Movement" for "all the land to be sold off, and a stake driven through the heart of the government school system." Talk about a contradictory message! I wonder where he plans to go hunting once his ideal is achieved.

William C. Thornton


Maybe These 'Weekly' Writers Could Use a Tunnel Visit ...

When Jim Nintzel and Leo W. Banks ridicule the award-winning "tunnel of oppression" ("One Last Dive Into 2005," Dec. 29)--a program designed to challenge people's thoughts, perceptions and inner feelings about oppression and hatred--you have to wonder who they'll bully next. Santa Claus?

The "tunnel" is a walking tour through a series of rooms (like a staged haunted house) that engages each participant with interactive skits, multimedia videos and role-playing exercises. For the last seven years at the UA, thousands of participants have been encouraged to reflect upon the moral questions raised by the tunnel's staged situations of hatred and violence.

The original tunnel won "Program of the Year" in 1995 by the National Association of College and University Residence Halls for its efforts to challenge people's previous beliefs. "This is a campus of mostly white, middle-upper-class students," said Brian Shimamoto, assistant director of multicultural education and advocacy for Residence Life and project adviser. "We hope the tunnel helps them to realize that not everyone experiences (things) the way you do."

Of course, Santa isn't real, and neither is the "tunnel" an actual experience of oppression. But Santa represents the spirit of giving, and when bullies use their uninformed, uneducated, mean-spirited, white-supremacist assumptions to degrade genuine attempts at cross-cultural understanding, you have to wonder why the Tucson Weekly gives these grinches the literary license to lynch the tunnel's spirit of truth and reconciliation.

Mac Hudson


The Odd Thing Is, Our Columnists Were Here Three Years Ago, Too

After three years, I moved back to Tucson and picked up the Tucson Weekly. The Weekly has always been an intellectually stimulating read, but I was disappointed in some of the changes.

The primary bone of contention I have with the new TW is its columnists' constant attempts to turn every issue into political satire, and the closed-minded, supercilious hatred and scorn for those who disagree with the writers' personal opinions. Granted, people like Molly Ivins, Maureen Dowd and Jon Stewart have popularized this harsh style and tone, but it, too, will pass and become seen for what it is: petty, childish and narcissistic.

The fact that George W. Bush's opponents hate him with such enmity and virulence, and the fact that he does not hate his opponents in return, tells me that he is probably right. The fact that it is the peaceniks, who walk around with signs and chant slogans, and not our soldiers, who kill and are being killed in a hostile land far from home, who are the hatemongers tells me that our soldiers are probably right.

Ideally, the reader should not be able to tell the identity or the political persuasion of the writer from the writing itself, as radical as that may sound these days. The arguments and logic should stand on their own, and they should be presented with facts in such a way that the reader's personal feelings for or against the writer do not interfere with the correctness of the arguments and conclusions presented. Reliance upon appeals to emotion rather than logic to persuade signifies weakness in argument and intellect.

I have high expectations for the Weekly's professional writers, but aside from the tossing of a gratuitous reference to the title of a book like The Federalist Papers, the writers could just as easily be writing for a college newspaper. I don't see why they can't do better.

Steve Brandon


Wake Up, 'Weekly': Meth Is a Big and Growing Problem

Some corrections need to be made to the recent "Meth Heads" comments in the Weekly ("Get Out of Town!" Dec. 15).

The Weekly's comments reminded me of the words of bureaucrats that the dikes were fine in New Orleans. I can assure the readers that things are not fine with meth nationally or locally, and would welcome the chance to introduce Weekly staff to real data and real people accumulated by the Meth Free Alliance.

Treatment admissions for methamphetamine nationally have risen dramatically from 1992 to the present in most states, but not in Pima County. Instead, the users have become frequent guests of jail and medical hospitals, neither of which treat the addiction. National trends that the Weekly cite are a bit like citing the average temperature in North America to predict the temperature in Tucson.

Southern Arizona happens to be in that hurricane zone of meth. Some data that my colleagues and I just published in the Arizona Medical Association Journal shows the percent change in medical hospital discharges, arrests and treatment admissions for meth-related problems. More people are having the host of medical problems that are landing them in hospitals (and these can become really expensive); there are more arrests, yet no change in treatment numbers.

If the Weekly had done a more thorough investigation, you would discover that the law enforcement officials are not yelling about more toys for them; they are screaming for treatment and prevention. You could read the serious investigative journalism articles about the effects of meth on small communities in the West in The New York Times. The cops are screaming just like some people were screaming about the dikes in New Orleans--for good reason.

Meth use has not been a big teen drug problem; it is a big problem that is affecting young adults largely, which is causing an unbelievable human burden on Child Protective Services, special education, medical care, employers (50 percent of users are employed full-time), and of course all aspects of law enforcement. At the Meth Free Alliance, we never refer to users of meth as "meth heads," because it takes away the essential humanity and hope for stopping the addiction.

Any day of the week, my colleagues and I are happy to show the Weekly the problem and how all of us can stop meth through rather simple but effective prevention, intervention and treatment options.

Dr. Dennis Embry
Steering Committee, Meth Free Alliance


More Info on Curtis' Land Purchase

Regarding Tim Vanderpool's article on Christine Curtis' real estate interest in a property in the Tucson Mountains ("Developing Controversy," Jan. 5): Ms. Curtis sent a letter to the County's Conservation Acquisition Commission on Feb. 25 stating that she was part owner of the property, that she had disclosed this to her supervisors at the county before she purchased the property and that she would not represent the county in negotiations nor be involved in any negotiations with other property owners in the area.

On Sept. 8, Ms. Curtis submitted the required notice of substantial interest forms to the clerk of the board. Ms. Curtis offered a portion of the property to the county at the price her limited liability corporation paid for it. My understanding is that the county and Ms. Curtis have been unable to reach an agreement on the number of acres to be sold.

William G. Roe
Chairman, Pima County Conservation Acquisition Commission

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