Taxpayers deserve to know increase’s impact

Re: the April 28 article “Sheriff’s budget a taxing proposal.”

Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry says there needs to be a property tax increase of 11 cents to the primary rate to support an increase to the Pima County Sheriff’s Office budget.

The Star loves reducing things to the absolute lowest possible level in an effort to fool people into supporting tax increases. While PCSO, the Tucson Police and Fire departments deserve the best, the Star owes it to its readers to give the full impact of the increase instead of saying 11 cents.

Furthermore, it is incumbent upon the Star to find out why Pima County has perhaps the highest property tax rates in the state and the worst infrastructure. Where has all of the money gone?

When will we finally get responsible politicians in Pima County and Tucson? As opposed to those who see an endless supply of money from the residents of the city and county.

Jon Hurtado

Retired Navy, Tucson

Sex education lets teens make smart choices

Re: the April 27 article “Many kids in Tucson area don’t get sex ed.”

As a foster parent, I see directly the enormous social, emotional and financial toll that Arizona’s dismal record on public school sex education wreaks on our state.

Republicans in this state don’t want to teach our kids about sex, then they don’t want pregnant teens to get abortions, then they don’t want to fund social services for unwed mothers, then they don’t want to fund the foster care system.

The result, not surprisingly, is a state full of uncared for and unloved babies and children. Sex education will not make our teenagers want to have sex — 3.5 billion years of biological evolution provides that unquenchable desire all by itself.

What sex education will do is help teenagers make smart choices about how they take care of their bodies.

Rafe Sagarin

Biologist, Tucson

More editorial balance is appreciated

Re: the April 27 column “Changes on Editorial, Op-Ed pages reflect reader survey responses.”

Thank you for becoming a more balanced paper editorially. As a conservative I always read articles and letters from the other side and consider their point of view.

If liberals are as smart and rational as they think they are, I’m sure they will do the same now that they have more opportunity.

Judy Murphy

Retired, Tucson

Star should remain forward leaning

Re: the April 27 column “Changes on Editorial, Op-Ed pages reflect reader survey responses.”

We agree totally with those who are upset or saddened by the Star’s decision to “balance” editorial commentary by lurching more and more to the right.

Now we learn that “balanced” commentary means more and more mean spirited right-wing attacks on the common good.

It is indeed a sad day when an Arizona newspaper cannot proudly declare itself a forward-leaning publication. Your support for international mining and pollution interests now makes a lot more sense.

Wayne Viitanen

Retired, Sierra Vista

TUSD should evaluate teaching of curriculum

RE: the April 30 article “TUSD external audit finds ‘brutal’ shortcomings, Sanchez says.”

It was depressing to learn that it required a $200,000 external audit to determine that the Tucson Unified School District has an “inadequate curriculum, a lack of oversight and little or no evaluation of interventions designed to help struggling students and schools.”

What have the superintendents, assistant superintendents, building principals and curriculum specialist been doing with their time? Curriculum guides and measurement instruments designed to evaluate the teaching of the curriculum should be routinely available for all grade levels and all subjects.

Superintendent H.T. Sanchez must direct his administrators and faculty to remedy the problems identified and to do so quickly. Furthermore, it is essential that the superintendent hold his building principals accountable for providing quality supervision of instruction. A responsibility that should be their main focus as educational leaders.

Stuart Sellinger

Retired school administrator, Tucson

Thanks to workers for showing respect

Recently I went to my friend’s funeral. The police escort took us to All Angels Memorial Park. When we reached Broadway and Houghton, the city road crew workers stopped, took their hats off and placed their hands over their hearts while we passed. It was an emotional day and that brought such a lump to my throat. We all appreciated their show of respect.

Sherry Hagenah

Small-business owner, Tucson