Free shotguns a cry for political attention

Re: the March 27 article "Ex-Tucson mayoral hopeful plans free shotguns for high-crime areas."

I have lived in the Pueblo Gardens neighborhood with my wife and two small children for eight years and recently became the principal of Pueblo Gardens Pre-K-8. While I could present both quantitative and qualitative evidence arguing that the "high-crime" label thrust upon my community by Shaun McClusky is ill-informed, I believe it is also irrelevant.

At the heart of this issue is our community's use as a political pawn in an unsuccessful politician's attempt to gain national headlines.

At best his political rhetoric undercuts the efforts of my hard-working neighbors to change this community for the better. At worst it places the families and the children I work for and alongside at risk.

I urge my community and those in our sister communities similarly identified to speak out and resist becoming the poster children for this individual's selfish political ambitions.

Seth Aleshire


Preschool a place for early intervention

Re: the March 25 editorials "Would universal preschool pay off with valuable benefits?"

I have no statistical data supporting or negating the effectiveness of preschool. I do have many years of experience working with preschoolers. From an empirical point of view, preschool can make a difference.

Kindergarten teachers tell me students with early literacy skills, such as knowing the alphabet, writing their names, understanding numbers, and with better attending skills are prepared to be engaged, ready to learn. This is not always the case with children who have no preschool experience.

Language and other disorders affecting learning can be identified in the preschool. This is critical. My profession recognizes the positive impact of early intervention on later academic development. Children receiving early speech-language intervention have better outcomes than those who don't.

If we decide that preschool doesn't have a significant impact on graduation rates, we should look at other factors that have emerged in the past 50 years that may be impacting those rates.

Frank J. Perez

Pediatric speech-language pathologist, Tucson

Kelly sea-lion story shows liberal bias

Re: the March 27 article "Giffords' husband pulls dog off sea lion."

If you just read the headline in the Arizona Daily Star regarding the Mark Kelly dog-sea lion story you would have thought he was some kind of hero. Laguna Beach (a very liberal community) police said it didn't appear the owner was at fault.

Really. I guess it was the baby sea lion's fault for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. So a free pass in this particular case is given to a family member of one of the current sweethearts of the liberal media and establishment.

Would the Arizona Daily Star, PETA, Laguna Beach Police and the federal agency responsible for protecting marine animals have given Rush Limbaugh's or my family the same consideration? I doubt it.

Al G. McDonald

Retired, Oro Valley

Make Arizona better with commitment

Re: the March 27 editorial "Who will help us Arizonans get what we want?"

Your endorsement-non-endorsement editorial of The Arizona We Want 2.0 hopefully will open the eyes of the many who are content to "let someone else do it."

Certainly the well-made points in the report are idealistic and no one expects all of them to become reality. However, as you point out, we let so many of the important facts slip away from us because we often judge the elected and the media on our feelings rather than our information.

You ask for companies and state and regional groups to get engaged. Indeed, those with a stake in our state should be challenged to make information about the several areas covered in this report available in as many ways as possible.

Learning can be fun and interesting, but it has to be offered by a credible source to a willing audience. Are you participating? If not, why not? There are thousands of opportunities to make things better.

Steve Perry


Will is right: President feels no constraints

Re: the March 28 George Will column "Presidents intervene; Congress' spine dissolves."

I endorse Will's contention that presidents since Truman have exceeded their constitutional powers by putting American lives at risk without the authorization of Congresses that repeatedly abdicated their responsibility to declare a state of war on opponents.

Yes, the Cold War upped the risk of hostilities sliding into hot war. Yes, the rise of non-state enemies like al-Qaida make it difficult to define foes. Yet the War Powers Act became a joke long before Bill Clinton ordered questionable attacks on Iraqi air defenses.

From the Tonkin Gulf to Tripoli, Americans were hazarded with no regard for the tests prescribed by Caspar Weinberger and Colin Powell - questions like "What vital American interest is at stake?" "Can we obtain our objectives?" Will the American people support us?" "What is the endgame?"

Imperial presidents will do as they wish unless and until restrained by a Congress that is more than simply the best legislature special interests can buy.

Richard Felker

Retired military pilot, Tucson