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Local Organizations, the 'Weekly' Can Do More to Save the Earth

The write-up about Kevin Koch's efforts to "put sustainable-living methods into practice" is welcome news that someone within city limits is doing so (TQ&A, July 3).

But one statement puzzled me, for he referred to ecology courses at UA that could be helpful in doing something about "damage being done in the concentrated urban areas." Sounds like Kevin's a real greenie, and we need a lot more like him. However, I was not aware there is any concern at all about ecology on the part of the university. I've not noticed solar panels on buildings, and I've often wondered why athletic fields need lights on at 4 p.m. Anyone with open eyes could make a long list of small local actions (not just by the university) that cumulatively could set an example for others to follow. One city in the East has banned leaf blowers: needless, useless, noisemaking polluters that put out more exhaust than the average car; some city police actually enforce emissions laws. I recently saw a speeding truck heading south on Campbell Avenue, spewing double smokestacks I haven't seen since Pittsburgh decades ago, but I'd be surprised if anyone complained, or if the police would write a ticket if they did. Perhaps the Weekly could offer space devoted to individual suggestions of steps that could make a difference.

Sorry, Kevin, but the distance between what's taught in the classroom and what's applied on the outside, the so-called real world, is too vast an abyss to leap.

David Ray


Suicide Article Only Scratched the Surface, Furthered Stigma

My husband and I are the son and daughter-in-law of Gerald Paul Schwartz ("The Stigma of Suicide," May 29). I realize that the main purpose of the article was to inform readers of the statistics associated with suicide in our community and the available resources.

My family's story was told in one person's perspective with the one view associated with the stigma mentioned. Our experience with suicide and the loss of a father were much more. The community would benefit most from a realistic assessment of the warning signs associated with elderly mental-health issues that are commonly and conveniently overlooked. While the article mentions resources available, it completely misses the behaviors leading to this tragic result. Nearly everyone knows someone who has been affected by suicide, and while the stigma comes from the religious and ethical overtones in our country, by heading the article "The Stigma of Suicide" and only grazing the surface, your paper continues to ignore the true problem associated with this mental-health issue. It is that stigma that prevents loved ones from stepping up and recognizing the extreme need for outside help.

As family survivors of suicide, we would like nothing more than a bare-bones article to address the real-life problems and warning signs associated with suicide. Help can only be available if people are educated and able to be real about the risks. Topics such as mental-health changes, lifestyle, alcoholism, retirement/loss of purpose, health issues, difficultly in maintaining personal relationships and removing access to suicide methods for high-risk individuals would be a few that should be recognized in such an article.

Dr. and Mrs. Gregory Schwartz


Ray Carroll Had Nothing to Do With Branch-Gilby's Candidacy! I Swear!

Jim Nintzel's article about the Democratic Party's Nucleus Club meeting was, for the most part, a fair and accurate description of what happened ("Nucleus Meltdown," Currents, July 17).

However, I must take exception to Nintzel's statement that Ray Carroll, through his aide Patrick McKenna, is "using" Branch-Gilby to get back at the Democratic majority on the board.

Nintzel's editorial interpretation of McKenna's behavior simply stokes the fires of the tired fantasy that Carroll and Branch-Gilby are somehow connected (whisper whisper whisper; scare! scare! scare!), albeit in a different manner this time around than previously rumored in the Weekly.

What Ray Carroll is doing or not doing is of no concern to Branch-Gilby.

Let me say, unequivocally, and with my hand on any religious text offered, that Donna Branch-Gilby has no political, social, financial or personal connection ... other than several very public conversations, with Ray Carroll.

Can we please put this waste-of-time rumor mill out of operation?

Bunny (Ruth) Davis, Campaign manager, Branch-Gilby 2008


Pima Dems Are Staying Neutral in County Races! I Swear!

In the story "Electoral Difficulties" (Currents, July 10), the Weekly attributed a quote to Donna Branch-Gilby suggesting her belief that the Pima County Democratic Party, or that I, as the chairman of the party, had been seeking candidates to run against Democratic incumbent Sharon Bronson.

I have remained neutral in all Democratic primary races so that all candidates can rely on evenhanded treatment during the election and afterward. I have not endorsed nor recruited any candidate in any contested Democratic primary race.

Similarly, the Democratic Party and its executive officers are not endorsing candidates in any primary race, and the Democratic Party remains officially neutral and evenhanded in all contested primary races. Our policy is that the Democratic Party and its officers do not endorse candidates in any contested primary.

Vince Rabago, Chairman, Pima County Democratic Party


Ask Tim Bee for Reimbursement for Problems Caused by Prez's Visit

If readers found themselves caught on one side of Tucson Thursday evening, July 17, or Friday morning, July 18, unable to get home or to work, I suggest that they call Tim Bee campaign headquarters at (520) 979-8667 and ask to be mailed a check compensating them for wasted gasoline and lost time ("Dash for Cash," The Skinny, July 17).

After all, the supposed Republican ideal is that there are no transfer payments or external costs, with each paying his own way. I presume that the campaign has compensated the city and county for police overtime.

Bennett Kalafut


Leave Jennings Alone, and Focus on Olson's Actions

Tom Danehy and the rest of the UA community are like the guy who scores a date with the hottest girl in school, manages to piss her off and blow it, and tells his friends, "Well, she was a bitch anyway" (Danehy, July 17).

Jeez, you'd think Brandon Jennings had flipped off Mother Teresa's grave, when all he did was what grown men the world over do every day; He made a choice about his life. Would a "one-dimensional clod" have bothered to take the test three times? The kid wanted to come here.

Jennings made the logical choice considering how much UA hoops has declined. Mustafa Shakur and Hassan Adams stayed four years and got worse.

It's time for UA hoops fans to take off the Underoos and behave like adults. Guys are jumping ship and de-committing left and right. Could they all be wrong? Lute Olson abandoned his program, and the young men and the parents who trusted him are entitled to a full explanation. He has since continued to make an ass of himself in the media. Until yokels like Danehy and the Arizona Daily Star hold Olson accountable, Jennings is merely a harbinger of this program's decline.

Tyrone Henry

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