Happiness is contagious

As a resident since 1959, I have seen both the good and bad regarding our town. Let me tell you about something really good. I have been attending the UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences-sponsored lecture series on happiness held at the Fox Theatre downtown on Wednesday evening for the past four weeks.

People are very interested in happiness. The Fox is packed, as is the overflow venue at the TEP building a few blocks away. Thank you, UA, for bringing in the intellectual horsepower.

The follow-up conversations at the four Pima County Library branches have been engaging and fun. There is one more lecture Wednesday and several more weeks of library conversations. For those who are looking for happiness, you may not need to travel any further than our own downtown!

Mark Grushka

Consultant, Tucson

Next year, please

cover Breeders’ Cup

Re: the Nov. 5 letter to the editor “Breeders’ Cup deserved coverage.”

Thanks to the letter writer for saying what was on my mind. I looked through the entire sports section to get the morning line on the horses entered in the Breeders’ Cup on the day it was to be run and broadcast. Nothing. It was an exciting and close race. Too bad the Daily Star forgot? Ignored? This is deeply rooted horse country, after all.

Rhoda Flint

Retired, Tucson

Ina-Oracle intersection needs fixing

When attempting to go south onto Oracle from Ina using the Michigan left turn, the left turn arrow is often solid red, even when there are no cars approaching eastward (nor are there cars waiting on the cross street, Via Ponte) and it would be safe to make the U-turn. At a similar junction at Grant and Oracle, the left turn arrow blinks yellow, allowing drivers to make a U-turn when there’s a break.

Why can’t the Ina turn incorporate the blinking yellow along with the solid red? Certainly, it would be safe enough during off-peak hours. If the concern is for cars waiting on Via Ponte, surely the traffic engineers could use sensors to determine whether to apply the blinking yellow or a solid red. I frequently find myself sitting pointlessly at the light with no oncoming traffic in sight, unable to proceed because of the solid red arrow.

Bion Smalley

Retired, Tucson

Drivers should spread out during bad weather

Re: the Oct. 31 article “Dust alert on I-10 issued too late.”

Why doesn’t the Department of Transportation get laws passed so that when dangerous weather occurs, such as the dust storms that affect travel on the highways, all vehicles — especially the big trucks — have to leave a greater distance between vehicles?

I have seen trucks traveling in a cluster, with cars in between, at a high rate of speed along Interstate 10 between Tucson and Phoenix, even in dangerous weather. If vehicles slow down and spread out, maybe there would fewer pileups and fewer deaths. Loss of life is harsh enough, moreso when something could be done and isn’t.

Bill Hatfield

Retired firefighter, Green Valley

Voters should reject $22 million dog pound

Re: the Nov. 2 article “Tent city sought to ease dog crowding.”

It is unconscionable that the county administrator even considers asking for $400,000 to build anything to accommodate more overcrowding at the dog pound. Worse yet is the $22 million that may be part of a bond issue to build a new “state of the art” dog pound. The county supervisors and the county administrator need to address the needs of the county, prioritize those needs and try to do their jobs by choosing what gets done without asking for more taxpayer money.

Taxpayers will ultimately balk at trying to add everything everyone wants to the list of costs. I for one will vote against any bond proposition that has in it a $22 million dog pound, regardless of what else is in it. I would not support the temporary tent, either.

Dan McWilliams

Retired consultant, Tucson

Capital punishment is poor public policy

Re: the Oct. 20 letter to the editor “Execute killers in 2 years or not at all.”

The letter writer’s proposal to execute prisoners within two years or not at all could indeed unify all of us. Sign me up for the “not at all” option.

It’s simply impossible to carry out an execution within the time frame proposed. First, new lawyers are appointed, then voluminous records must be reviewed. This is followed by written briefs, the argument and the court’s decision. All of this takes time — a minimum of three or four years. Why? Because death is different. An innocent person can be released from prison but cannot be released from the grave.

Capital punishment serves only as vengeance. It is poor public policy. It’s time for Arizona, indeed for our nation, to join the majority of the First World.

Dan Peitzmeyer

President, Death Penalty Alternatives for Arizona