Border spending bill reaches ridiculous level

Re: the July 9 article "Border 'surge' may unleash flood of spending."

The details of the immigration bill are grotesque. The bill would add $45 billion to border control, a sum so large that even Homeland Security and the Border Patrol question the value of the measures to be funded.

Private prison companies and others have spent millions lobbying Congress on the bill, which would, no doubt, increase those companies' coffers by an amount that will make the lobbying worthwhile.

What different lives these lobbyists lead, compared to the ones they incarcerate for trying to improve their lot with honest work!

As always, the laws govern the poor and the rich govern the laws. We should be able to do better than this repugnant plan.

Erik B. Ryberg

Attorney, Tucson

Mailing letter via Phoenix takes too long

Sending a letter across town and receiving a reply used to take approximately two business days and 50 miles instead of the current total of four business days and 500 miles, thanks to the Phoenix postmark now required with the closing of the Cherrybell Stravenue processing facility - supposedly in the name of government efficiency.

Is quantity alone truly the best standard our elected officials should be using to determine the quality of public services?

Camille Kershner

Student, Tucson

Border 'surge' would harm environment

More than $40 billion will be spent militarizing the border in the next 10 years if the Senate gets its way. Its "border surge" calls for doubling the number of Border Patrol agents and adding 348 miles of wall to the 651 miles of walls and barriers already built along the Southwest border. More walls and agents mean more harm to the environment.

Walls do not stop people from crossing. They stop wildlife from accessing habitat and water from following its natural course. Border communities like Nogales have been flooded and scenic landscapes, including wildlife refuges, have been destroyed to build walls. Countless species face a rising threat as their habitats disappear, and Border Patrol off-roading has already scarred the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.

This "border splurge" of taxpayer dollars for an illusion of security would come at the expense of wildlife and the environment.

Deanna Badger

Sierra Club Borderlands summer intern

City golf courses don't need new managers

The city of Tucson sent out a request for proposal for management of Tucson's city golf courses. They received 15 responses. Tucson Greens Committee is concerned about a company managing our courses from a remote location. Currently, the green fees have been capped by the mayor and City Council, but a remote company may want changes.

In October 2010, the committee recommended and won a unanimous vote from the council not to privatize our golf courses. Given the potential new direction for Tucson golf, it is now more important than ever that the mayor and council listen to the committee's advice.

The five city courses are in excellent shape and financially show a profit. Most golfers believe we are closing Enke and El Rio and this reduces play. Rescind the closure list and notify the golfers. Please play and enjoy Enke and El Rio.

Frank Salbego

Chairman, Tucson Greens Committee

If not Old Pueblo, how about Baked Apple?

Before we leave the issue of the term Old Pueblo, we should at least mention the nickname Baked Apple - a clever play on New York's Big Apple.

Mary Thoms