PCC board's integrity, credibility are at issue

Re: the April 26 guest column "Documents don't appear to support decision to place PCC on probation."

Professor David G. Iadevaia analyzed the process the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) used in placing Pima Community College on probation.

The professor said he hasn't seen substantial documentation to support the HLC probation decision, argued the HLC has no credibility and called for the HLC to withdraw its probation. The professor's analysis is imposing, but the HLC and its processes should not be our focus.

I see two focal points: Does the current PCC Board of Governors have the credibility and integrity to successfully lead PCC out of this crisis? Do the citizens of Pima County have sufficient confidence in the current board members to continue to entrust to them the educational plans and futures of tens of thousands of current and future PCC students?

Frank Douglas

Adjunct instructor, Pima Community College East Campus, Tucson

Entomologist scolds: Star misusing 'swarm'

Re: the April 26 article "Wildflower season is also bee season; swarms are a danger."

Well, thanks for writing an article to spread fear and paranoia around the city where none belongs.

The term "swarm" refers to an old queen recruiting worker bees to leave the hive and find a new home, not honeybees attacking an intruder in their territory. Worker bees in a swarm have filled their crop with honey, so do not become aggressive. They get tired and alight on a branch or other object, protect the queen inside and await information from scouts.

If you had written an educational article, people would understand that the hive with offspring is protected by the surrogate mothers and may present danger to people and pets, so that hive should be removed.

A swarm that rests on a branch probably will leave within a day and presents little danger unless someone gets bonkers and starts spraying them or swatting at them.

Please learn some terminology. Hive = colony = offspring = mother's protection = potential danger.

Swarm = workers full of food = lethargic = tired = ephemeral = not a problem.

Paranoia and fear = not what nature is all about.

Carl A. Olson

Retired entomologist, Tucson

Congress took care of itself with FAA fix

Re: the April 28 article "FAA: Air-traffic system soon at full operation."

I am thoroughly disgusted with the lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

The sequester is affecting many, many Americans, yet they seem to be taking no action to resolve the problems. However, when the sequester affects their lives, oh yes, then they knuckle down to do something about it - not much, though.

Meals on Wheels and Head Start are only two examples of programs being affected by the sequester. Old people and kids won't miss some meals, so Congress isn't worried about them. However, because members fly frequently, the Congress pushed through a bill that resolved the issue of delayed flights.

The normal workweek in Congress is Tuesday through Thursday. Why don't they stay in Washington and work on the sequester? Why aren't their salaries, and those of their staffs, being withheld until the problems of the sequester are resolved? The usual weekend travel to their home districts should be canceled.

Jerry Lujan

Retired diplomat, SaddleBrooke

Care under AHCCCS is not 'substandard'

Re: the April 26 article "AHCCCS might drop childless adults.

I was shocked to read in the Star today that state Sen. Kelli Ward believes the care provided by Arizona's Medicaid is "substandard."

My AHCCCS patients receive care at the El Rio Community Health Center, the University of Arizona and from private physicians across Tucson. I am confident that by any objective measure they receive excellent care.

The senator states that entitlement programs like this "disincentivize the poor from improving themselves." In my experience the truth is that a serious medical condition for which one cannot get medical care due to lack of a medical safety net often becomes an insurmountable barrier to self-improvement.

I feel that what is really substandard in Arizona is the capacity and willingness of our elected officials to move beyond political posturing, to learn the truth in regards to health care in Arizona and to honestly work toward solutions that would benefit us all.

J. Kevin Carmichael

Physician, Tucson