Ticket prices say something about values

Recently, my wife and I received the 2014-2015 UApresents brochure that lists forthcoming attractions.

We were somewhat surprised to see that the ticket prices for the privilege of listening to the wit of Jay Leno on Oct. 25 at Centennial Hall start at $105.

Four days later, on Oct. 31, a world-renowned orchestra of at least 60 skilled musicians also performs for just one night. Those tickets start at a mere $75.

Fifteen days later, on Nov. 15, one can go to listen to a conversation with actor Alec Baldwin for the starting price of $90.

I think we have got our values wrong. Is it really fair for

UApresents to reward a world-class orchestra with a miserly fee while Leno and Baldwin laugh all the way to their respective banks?

Michael Jolley

Retired VP of Rolls-Royce Inc., Tucson

TUSD ‘savings’

come at a cost

Re: May 19 article, “Audit says cuts could net $37M for TUSD.”

The audit as presented is a dangerously oversimplified plan that ignores predictable expenses, financial and human.

May I suggest that proposed savings which rely upon new software programming look to the experience of the Affordable Care Act rollout? Such change is never that simple or costless.

Similarly, eliminating vacant positions and relying on skeletal staffs to do more than one person’s work will ultimately diminish efficiency by exacerbating low morale and creating high turnover. Renegotiating labor agreements is not accomplished by declaration or fiat, but by actual negotiations which take time and money.

Finally, in light of recent revelations of unconstrained bullying on school buses, reduction of such monitors seems like a poor choice. Was there no consideration to lowering executive benefits or salaries? If so, I didn’t see it.

Kendra McNally

Retired, Tucson

Lack of handrails at TCC,

McKale, Ariz. Stadium

It is incomprehensible to me that so many public facilities in Tucson lack handrails on their stairs. Last Friday I attended my granddaughter’s University of Arizona graduation at the Convention Center. Once again I was forced to brave the steep, narrow stairs down to the seats. Without help from my sons, I never would have gotten there.

Why a city code or the insurers of this facility have not forced them to retrofit stair railings is a mystery to me. My husband and I gave up our prime seats for basketball at McKale and football at the stadium for the same reason: lack of handrails at those sites and the resulting risk of a fall and serious injury. Modern arenas and stadiums have handrails on the stairs. It’s time for Tucson to get with it.

Ruthanne Strong

Retired attorney, Tucson

Support the troops

by backing the F-35

Memorial Day is Monday, and it will be another time when we turn our attention to our military and start thinking about the future of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

I know that the F-35 support down here has been drowned out by the opposition, but it’s important to remember what the ultimate goal of the F-35 is: to provide our nation’s military with the most advanced equipment to protect them in combat.

The opposition seems to forget that. They only seem concerned with small matters, when ultimately our goal should be to protect our military. Isn’t that what we mean when we say “support the troops”? Or maybe we should just change the phrase “support our troops . . . only if it’s below a certain decibel level.”

Janice Murphy

Manager, Tucson

Recreational shooters need to show respect

Re: May 19 article “Shooters littering national forest land.”

Recreational shooting is rapidly becoming associated with illegal and irresponsible behavior. The Star’s recent article on shooting near Catalina Highway is a case in point that should be taken seriously by the public and public officials, and responsible gun owners and users.

Littering public lands with “targets” such as shot-up TV sets and spent cartridges is clearly illegal. However, there is also the problem of public safety and activities that discourage citizens and their families from enjoying the quiet and other values of our public lands. Safety and respect for the comfort of others should be a major consideration in any recreational use of firearms.

Irresponsible and illegal shooting for fun also can seriously damage public resources, including by starting forest fires. Activities with firearms have changed from the days of boys plinking with their .22-caliber rifles, and hunters sighting or patterning their rifles and shotguns for hunting.

The management of shooting activities on public lands needs to change with the times.

Roger McManus

Biologist, Tucson