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No, We Still Think It's Insane and Negligent to Present Unsubstantiated Claims as Facts

Thank you for including me on the list of people who could run for Raúl Grijalva's seat if he is appointed to a Cabinet position ("Scramblewatch '09: Special Replacing-Raul Edition!" The Skinny, Nov. 27). However, you forgot one tiny little detail: I'm insane.

Remember, just a few weeks ago, the Weekly said that I was insane, because I believe that the Regional Transportation Authority election wasn't on the level ("Descent Into Insanity," Editor's Note, July 31). Since then, you've printed several articles that have highlighted some problems with Pima County's election story. Could it be that you, too, are slipping into the dark side?

Well, insanity loves company, so I'd be interested in an Internet poll to find out how many of your readers are also insane.

If the count is high enough, we can flip the definition of insanity, just like the votes.

John Kromko


Sarah Palin Doesn't Know Much About Compassion

I can hardly believe that one of your readers used "Sarah Palin" and "compassion" in the same letter ("Hey, Weekly: Why Are You Hatin' on Palin, Nader?" Mailbag, Nov. 27).

This is the person who required women in Wasilla to pay for their own medical examinations after being raped. This is the person who doesn't support a woman's right to choose, even in the case of rape or incest. That's the very antithesis of compassion.

This is also the person who can't understand why more women don't support her. That's stupidity.

Kira Freed


Claim: Downtown Saturday Night Shows the City Needs Improvement

I attended the last Downtown Saturday Night with friends visiting from several cities in the United States. I checked my trusty copy of the Weekly to be sure we got the date right. We did.

A friend from Detroit said he felt much better about his city, and he was no longer comfortable going downtown at night. The chain-link fences, boarded-up storefronts, absence of entertainment and abundance of panhandlers felt right at home to me, but didn't really appeal to my guests. I explained that we had only spent several million dollars so far, but that had not taken us past the argument phase.

It was a sad affair, folks. Considering all the fine events in this fair city, I would not advertise this one.

J.O. Teague


Hurray for the Tucson Phoenix Mars Mission!

My compliments to Jim Nintzel and photographer Holly Harris on their excellent feature about the Phoenix Mars mission ("Farewell to Phoenix," Nov. 27). It was a treat to read an in-depth science article in my favorite paper and to see the UA's Lunar and Planetary Lab receiving recognition in the local press for being at the forefront of current space exploration. Let's hope that as our president-elect begins cleaning up the mess left behind by the Bush administration, he will appreciate the importance of supporting a vigorous space program.

I just have one question, though: Since the marvelous Mars robot was the progeny of geniuses here in the Old Pueblo, shouldn't the lander have been named Tucson, not Phoenix?

Geoffrey Notkin


Thanks for Showing How Words Can Change Lives

Thank you for the excellent story about the Poetry Inside/Out program for girls who are being held in Pima County Juvenile Detention ("The Power of Poetry," Dec. 4). It is well-conceived, and the involvement of students at Pima Vocational High School and students from Guy McPherson's class at the UA is an inspired touch. Thank you for writing and publishing it.

The girls who find themselves in this place are more sinned against than sinning. They can still be helped to contribute productively to the world. "Traditional" models of detention cannot accomplish that goal; in fact, they do not even have that goal.

Patricia McKnight


Claim: City Officials Disregard Environmental Concerns

It is very saddening that such thoughtful and authentic concern for the environment as Bryna Gallagher shows in her Guest Commentary ("The Solution to Grant Road Congestion Is a Change in Thinking, Not a Wider Road," Nov. 27) predictably falls on deaf ears. City officials seem incapable of rethinking mistakes and taking into account ever-more-alarming concerns about the environment. Evidently, they're not much concerned, and other voices we should hear from are also mute.

These millions ($166 million is only the beginning) sacrificed to more congestion, pollution, contributions to global warming and diminishment of our city's limited space would go a long way toward meeting priorities that are being slashed. As I say, it is very saddening, and future generations will not thank us for turning over yet more of their legacy to the Great God Oil.

Maybe it makes sense to cut education, though, for only a poorly educated public can passively tolerate such leadership.

David Ray

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