Rosemont report

should be in hard copy

The Rosemont Final Environmental Impact Statement (an approximately 2,400-page report) for the proposed mine was recently released. Regulations allow for comments to be made on this by signatories to the previous draft edition.

However, the Coronado National Forest has decided not to distribute hard copies of the report to these individuals, but, instead, simply to place a copy in each of a number of local libraries, thus implying that the Internet version can suffice for the signatories.

For reviewing such a lengthy and important report these alternatives to a hard copy are entirely inadequate. Hard copies are required by all signatories. Mining at Rosemont would be a major project, affecting the lives and livelihood of many people, and proposed plans should be transparent and made easily accessible to all.

Fergus Graham

Retired, Tucson

With Obama, that

was then, this is now

In 2006, then-Sen. Barack Obama used the title “The Audacity of Hope” for his famous book in which he outlined how Americans could reclaim their dream. Years have passed and so much has changed. Now, under President Obama, the National Security Agency collects billions of telephone calls daily, spying on friends and foes all over the world and in the United States.

The NSA seems worse than the KGB in the Soviet Union or the Stasi in East Germany, disregarding all laws and denying us the basic right of privacy. President Obama’s key term thus gains a new meaning, since he has the audacity, so it seems, to give full legal rights to the NSA in disregard of our Constitution and the fundamental principles of our democracy (e.g. the Fourth Amendment). In his speech addressing the Democratic National Convention in 2004, Obama asked whether we “participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope.” The cynicism of his leadership now not only trumps hope, but freedom as well.

Albrecht Classen

Professor, Tucson

Why are we paying

for foreign diplomats?

Re: the Dec. 6 article “US: Russian envoys cheated American gov’t.”

The Daily Star reported that Russian diplomats lied about their income to get the American government to pay their health-care bills and federal prosecutors said that “the diplomats qualified for Medicaid benefits by under-reporting their income.”

It is absurd that a foreign diplomat could qualify for any health-care assistance from our government instead of their own.

Claus Damerow

Retired, Tucson

Bighorn return, killing

of cougars senseless

Thank you to the Tucson citizens who voiced their disbelief with the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s release of the bighorn and the murders of two beautiful mountain lions. This is not the first time the department murdered cougars. Facts are that hunters pay big for a permit to kill bighorns!

Diane Tilton, wildlife manager with Game and Fish, stated in a letter to me: “The goal of this project is bighorn sheep and mountain lions coexisting in a naturally functioning ecosystem. To achieve that goal, it is important to quickly establish a viable population of sheep by temporarily reducing lion predation.”

Cougars kill only when they are hungry, and kill old and sick prey. Plus, how can you count cougars in the wild — who really sees them except hunters with dogs? We need to stop this unacceptable “project” now. Write Game and Fish and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.

Kathy Davis

Retired, Chandler

Be more tolerant

of those who have less

Re: the Dec. 10 letter to the editor “Downtown library is being misused.”

It’s possible that the Grinch has taken up residence in my heart, but I’m finding it difficult to muster much sympathy for the writer of the letter who commented on the excessive noise in the downtown library. She complains that the library “doubles as a facility catering to those that don’t have a home to go to.” Shocking!

I’m not sure what is sadder — the fact that there are so many souls among us who need to seek out the library as a place of refuge and sanctuary, or the fact that there are people who begrudge them that small comfort. I would invite any who feel that way to imagine themselves, for just a moment, in the shoes of those who are dispossessed.

Jay Hornbacher

Actor, Tucson

Don’t put decorations

on your handrails

Handrails are for holding with your hand. During the holidays they are convenient places to put decorations. But if your handrails — especially on stairs — are cluttered with decorations, people won’t grasp them. And if your family or friends don’t grasp handrails, they can lose their balance and fall. Be safe. Put holiday decorations some other place.

Robert Sleight

Retired, Tucson