A Yes Vote for ¡Ask a Mexican!Dear gabacho Samuel Chompis ("One Step Closer to Mega-Suckage!" Mailbag, March 29) and all Tucson Weekly readers: ¡Ask a Mexican! is the funniest thing I have ever read in the Tucson Weekly. If some gabacho pendejo doesn't get the joke, the joke's on him. What does Señor Chompis have against rats or wabs, anyway? What, he likes dancing bugs? Oh, so the gringo reads newspapers. Que bueno for him! Then why doesn't he stick to all those gabacho papers in Tucson and leave the muy bueno Weekly por los multiculturas?
High Expectations for a 220-Word CD ReviewIt's lazy elitism like Annie Holub's, in her review of Six Parts Seven new album (Rhythm & Views, March 29), that gives the alternative press a bad name. It goes without saying that she only listened to the album once--and didn't even make it all the way through--but what really sucks is she didn't even give us cursory Google-gathered biographical information.
The album sounds youthful? Well, is the band youthful? Where are they from? Is this their first album, or have they been making music since 1993, that time of pure-flowing indie-nectar-truth that Annie speaks of? She's convinced the band is "uncorrupted by talentless hacks who just want to get girls to sleep with them," but that presumes she knows their musical backgrounds and sexual preferences.
The Arts Community Feces-Throwing Continues!I found it amusing (and somewhat suspicious) that David Aguirre was not identified at the end of his letter as the executive director of Dinnerware Contemporary Arts ("It's Time for New Leadership at MOCA," Mailbag, March 29). In his excessive and vitriolic attack on the Museum of Contemporary Art's leadership, he slyly inserts a glowing comment about Dinnerware Gallery as some kind of model MOCA should be following. The Dinnerware of many years ago, perhaps, but not of today. Dinnerware used to be a cutting-edge gallery that featured a wide variety of artists, but appears to have become an exclusive showcase for Dinnerware's inner circle and whoever might be sucking up to Aguirre. His accusations against Anne-Marie Russell and MOCA regarding their "gift shop with a never-changing art exhibit" ring a little hollow, since he has essentially turned one of Tucson's most exciting galleries into a members-only showroom. Sounds like the pot calling the kettle noir.
Another interesting tidbit is that Aguirre has also been the erstwhile manager for a couple of the buildings in the Warehouse District for several years. He charges artists paltry rents but has failed miserably with the upkeep of the buildings themselves. These same warehouses are being eyed for possible destruction--partly due to their poor condition. Perhaps if Aguirre was more concerned about the preservation and maintenance of the buildings and less about empire-building, the Warehouse District would not be in the precarious state it is in today.
I'm thankful that MOCA and Russell are approaching these challenges realistically and may be able to preserve some of the buildings Aguirre didn't screw up.
Aguirre should have been identified as the executive director of Dinnerware; that omission is the fault of the editor. We apologize.
Former MOCA Head Defends Current MOCA HeadThough I appreciate the comments made by David Aguirre about my work at MOCA, I would like to state for the record that I wasn't "ousted" from the museum; I quit. When I was hired to run MOCA's Hazmat Gallery, it was still an alternative art space, and I was given the freedom to follow my vision. I was thrilled to be able to make a space dedicated to local artists who would benefit from the visitors coming to see the established artists.
The space was in the basement (I was often accused of "relegating" local artists to the basement; I thought I had "secured" a space for them), and we had to fight the fire marshal to keep it. The point is that Anne-Marie Russell and David Lewis spent a lot of time and effort trying to save the space, but unfortunately, the repairs and electrical costs were beyond our budget.
While having complete freedom to run Hazmat, I was also very aware of the vision of MOCA to become a true museum. I asked several community members who shared that vision to join the board. Anne-Marie was my first choice. She has the experience, ambition and energy one needs to see a vision like this through, and she put the rules and regulations of a formal museum in place. I quit because I was not the right person to curate exhibitions under the constraints of the new formal organization of the museum. I also quit because I don't have the spine for the gossip, back-biting and anger leveled at me by certain members of the community, for whatever reason (usually because they didn't get a show). I would have been in tears had that Weekly article been about me ("Getting Toole'd," Currents, Feb. 22).
That article about MOCA was a personal attack on Anne-Marie, and though she may be lacking the diplomatic people skills required to peaceably navigate the waters of an established art community like ours, she also has the cojones to see the vision of a museum through.
I wish the transition could have gone more smoothly, and I lament the loss of the Toole Shed studios and all the other spaces that are reducing the presence of working artists downtown. It pains me to see the negative effects that gentrification and politics have had on conversations about saving the character of our downtown.
More People Should Care for Snakes Like Catherine O'SullivanFinally, one person who gives a shit about native wildlife (O'Sullivan, April 5). The only people who kill snakes are either ignorant or pussies, most likely both. Remember: They were here first.
A Clarification of Habitat for Humanity's IntentionsI am writing on behalf of an article published on March 29, written by, Anthony D. Ávila ("Home Sweet Home," Currents).
I was misquoted. While Habitat for Humanity Tucson is constantly evaluating how we can serve more families through creative collaborations with all sectors of our community (including for-profit homebuilders), we remain committed to partnering with our community volunteers, as they have built more than 260 local Habitat homes during the last several decades.
Assistant director of development, Habitat for Humanity Tucson
A Kind Word About BiodieselWe use biodiesel B100 in our stylish, fast 2004 VW TDI. No modifications are needed, and it works great ("Portraits in Biodiesel," March 29).
Clean diesel engines on biodiesel are a real alternative to pricey hybrids that still use unleaded gas. More than half the cars sold in Europe are clean diesels, but they are still too hard to get in America.
Biodiesel, especially from sources besides corn and soy, is an essential sustainable energy solution. Increasing biodiesel use is a positive for Tucson, the environment and national security.
Daniel R. Patterson
Tucson Planning Commissioner