We need more info on Altar Valley pipeline

Re: the April 10 guest opinion "Energy pipeline would degrade wide-open spaces of Altar Valley."

As Kinder Morgan works with concerns in both Mexico and Japan to build a pipeline through the grasslands of the Altar Valley, Thomas E. Sheridan calls attention to the alliance of groups addressing important issues of conservation.

Beyond this, analogous issues have been raised regarding the Keystone Pipeline and fragility of the Ogallala Aquifer, along with our relationship with Canada. These issues have gone to the State Department level as they involve international trade and also will impact future generations.

Quality of materials and construction as well as ongoing maintenance and inspection will fall under both state and federal inspection agencies. We all will need to learn more about the details of location, habitat, soil in the area as well as the standards of construction and plan of maintenance as well as the qualification of the workers involved before this project moves ahead.

Are there wiser alternatives?

John H. Hughes

Surgeon, Tucson

Speed cameras create bottlenecks

Re: the April 11 article "Brewer signs photo-radar restrictions."

You can't argue statistics - red light cameras have made our intersections safer. However, there are numerous revenue-generating cameras around town that really need to be eliminated - like the one between River Road and Sunrise Drive on Swan Road. I frequent this stretch of highway and have never seen an accident where the camera is placed. A pure revenue generator.

Pima County and Tucson have done nothing but reduce speed limits on most major arteries, which adds significantly to the cross-town commute time. Speed cameras create traffic jams and bottlenecks resulting in drivers going as much as 10 mph below the posted limit.

This just frustrates drivers even more. And we wonder why there's so much road rage?

Tucson and Pima County should be held accountable to produce safety statistics for speed cameras installed on their roads, just like the state. No increase in safety, no speed camera.

Scott Saylor

Technology consultant, Tucson

Sunnyside schools deserve a better leader

Re: the April 13 article "Sunnyside chief's problems keep him in Tucson."

The district employees, the parents and especially the students deserve a leader in the district who is a role model.

How can he ask the parents to pass a bond issue when he is facing $150,000 in federal tax liens? How can he ask students to be responsible and respect rules when he lost his driver's license for a time because of unpaid traffic tickets, failed to appear in court and he had to return $12,545 in disallowed credit card charges? A grand jury in Arizona subpoenaed documents relating to his work selling the laptop incentive program to other school districts.

As the superintendent you are looked upon to lead by example and display the values and ethics to lead the school district. The image that he represents is contrary to what the teachers and parents try to instill in the children - to study, to strive for excellence and to become a person of character.

Rene Teyechea

Educator, Tucson

We're all Americans, not hyphenates

Let's ban the hyphen! Today you hear so much racial division in this country, yet nothing about how to actually bring the division together.

Here's one way to start: Eliminate the hyphen in our lives. Why do we need to describe ourselves as African-American, Mexican-American, Italian-American and so on? Why can't we simply describe ourselves as American? No hyphen needed.

This simple little punctuation mark only serves to further illustrate the divide in this country, and if we can just get rid of it, it will be a good start to getting the divide a little closer.

Now, don't get me wrong. The simple elimination of the hyphen isn't going to fix everything, but why isn't it enough for us to just be American?

Michael Orcutt

General manager, Catalina Contractors Supplies LLC, Tucson

TUSD shortsighted on Dodge enrollment

Re: the April 14 guest opinion "Next TUSD leader must know how to turn around, not just run, a district."

I agree with Robert Padilla's opinion that the next TUSD superintendent will need superior organizational management skills. But the board most also embrace a strategic turnaround vision.

On April 8, I and other speakers urged the board to develop a long term-plan to stem the loss of students and end the yearly "cut the budget" process.

TUSD has several model schools where demand exceeds capacity; Dodge Middle School is one. I urged the board to move Dodge to the Townsend site (scheduled for closure) so as to accommodate an additional 250 students, thus increasing enrollment and demonstrating that TUSD is serious about building on its successes.

Almost half of parents who cannot be accommodated at Dodge enroll their children in non-TUSD schools.

Yet the board voted 3-1 without discussion to reject this suggestion. And how large will the budget gap be next year?

Dale Keyes