Online reader comments on some of the week’s most talked-about stories. Join the conversation at

Re: the Jan. 5 article “Land donated for conservation sold to mining company.”

The decision by the Reid Park Zoological Society will haunt them. Regardless of whether the sale was legal or not, the person who donated the land did so for a specific purpose. Perhaps he did it out of guilt for all the land he personally has developed to ease his conscience. Regardless of whether or not the conditions of the gift were poorly crafted to preclude such a sale of the land, I would think that any organization or individual that might consider supporting the mission of the Reid Park Zoological Society would have doubts about the integrity of the organization, unfortunately.

Donald Luke

Wow, how unethical! Donor intent must be respected and (Gilbert) Aguirre should have been contacted prior to any sale. The future cost to the zoo could be greater than the short influx of cash.

Bill Carnegie

As a friend mentioned to me today, the donor must have received a huge tax benefit in a year he had huge capital gains to offset. His “PR positive” offer to buy back the land might fade quickly when the tax consequences are considered.

The donation was fabulous and the Zoo Society’s communications needed improvement after they did their number crunching and realized the proposed project was a money pit. In the end, the society’s core program gets a huge boost, the donor had a huge tax deduction, and the land will remain as a reasonably biologically intact buffer from future subdivisions.

Cori Hoag

I always enjoy taking my grandson to the zoo. From what I gather from the article, using the land for the end envisioned by the donor would have cost the zoo. What good is receiving a donation only to cause a liability? Our zoo is a great wonder and enjoyment to our children. I think the zoo made the best decision.

Eric Gustafson

Zoos are nothing more than animal jails. Any sops given to “conservation” are merely to assuage the guilt of the jailers. There is not a single animal at any zoo that has a half-decent environment to thrive and reproduce.

A polar bear in Tucson! Two elephants crammed into eight acres! How can you people live with yourselves? What all endangered species need is habitat, not captive breeding programs. I will support habitat acquisition but not animal jails.

Jerry Miller

Re: the anniversary of the Jan. 8 shooting and the proposed memorial at the Old Pima County Courthouse.

I think that is a great choice. But remember it’s a memorial for a horrible day. So I hope and know it will be done with respect.

Sean Daughtery

More work for a “celebration” of death, instead of working for truly celebrating life, is no way to honor the dead or the living.

Betty Krug

I have not been privileged to the specifics of using parts of the old courthouse vs. the outside area to the west, but as plans develop, I hope the architects consider the importance of focusing on making something new that is grand, unique and enduring.

Demitri Yegolas Downing

When my father was killed in a plane crash, his friends organized a scholarship fund in his memory. It had a positive benefit that changed some lives. To me, spending $10 million for a memorial doesn’t seem like a very good use of such a large sum of money, but of course, the families involved should have the last say in this issue.

Wayne D. Anderson

Whenever there is a mass shooting the first thing from the left is a call for more gun control. The shooter in Tucson and the one in Colorado both passed background checks.

The left’s real goal has always been to ban guns but that pesky Second Amendment stands in their way.

Debbie Slater

I can’t speak for all of the left, but as one of them I will say that I am not interested in banning guns. I am only interested in seeing that a person who possesses a gun has at least the same minimal qualifications and background check that we require for people who work with children, or people who want to join the Marines, or people who wish to drive cars and on and on.

Chris Miller