No joy in the trial, conviction of Jodi Arias

Re: the May 9 article "Arias says she prefers death to life sentence."

While it is justice for the killing of Travis Alexander, it is a sad commentary on who we are that spectators outside the courthouse chanted, "USA, USA, USA!"

Two young adults' lives have been lost for many reasons unknown, except that Arias murdered Alexander with unbelievable rage due to jealousy and fear of his leaving her for another woman. The article states that she was a "high school dropout" and perhaps this speaks to the failures within our educational and mental-health systems.

Arias' explicit descriptions of intimate encounters indicate perhaps that she needed help. How close have any of us come to feelings of despair over loneliness, loss of a child or loved one? How many of us have witnessed heartbreaks experienced by our children, unable to make things right for them?

There is no joy in the Arias trial, only loss and despair.

Patricia O'Neill

Retired teacher, Tucson

What's Loomis' expertise on streetcar?

Re: the May 5 article "Streetcar delay to increase city costs."

I wonder what special expertise former Oro Valley Mayor Paul Loomis has that's worth almost $400,000 over four years to monitor Tucson's streetcar contract.

Is he familiar with streetcar construction? Or does he have superlative skills at keeping contractors to the wording of contracts?

And I also have to wonder about those down at the Regional Transportation Authority who OK'd this contract, especially since they already agreed to pay an engineering firm $3.9 million to do essentially the same thing.

Richard Lansdowne,

Mining engineer, Tucson

Don't OK raises based on wrong information

Re: the May 8 article "Council complains it wasn't told full cost of city raises."

Almost every day I read about another fiasco at the city offices. Mismanagement of the "someday streetcar" and misinformation to the Tucson City Council - who, by the way, generally seem sufficiently misguided on their own without help from the city staff.

If the city staff has had a history of misplacing information, wouldn't you think that the council would exercise due diligence on such important matters as the city budget?

Would someone please explain why the decision couldn't be rescinded and the raise amount rolled back since the vote was based on incorrect data? Am I just being a misanthrope about this?

Dennis Winsten

Consultant, Tucson

Reasonable people can address gun violence

Re: the May 8 letter to the editor "Bottom line in debate on guns is freedom."

According to the letter writer, at bottom the strong objection to any gun legislation is "Freedom. ... Most Americans live here for our precious freedom. Got it?"

Gun violence victims in Tucson, Newtown, Aurora and elsewhere, all got it. Their precious freedom, life here in America, a life free from being shot to death, was trumped by the Constitution's Second Amendment.

Surely reasonably minded people can strive to fashion legislation that may begin to reduce death from gun usage.

Stuart A. Ulanoff