No one is forced

to attend college

Re: the March 28 article “Student loan debt widens US wealth gap.”

The article describes the “plight” of individuals who are repaying student loans taken to attend college and graduate school.

The first two examples given are a law student and a doctor! They describe how their debt is putting them behind their peers in being able to achieve their dreams, such as paying into retirement accounts and buying a house.

The article attempts to elicit sympathy for those who are in debt compared with those who are not. Attending college is a very good idea, but no one is forcing these young people to do so, and certainly no one is required to attend a private college that costs at least twice that of a public college.

Going to graduate school is also a good idea for many. We certainly need more doctors. A need for more lawyers is another question! States withdrawing support for public universities is unfortunate, but there is a cost to attend college, and we should be responsible for the choices we make.

Paul McDonagh

Retired professor, Tucson

TUSD was shortsighted

in firing Principal Scott

Re: the March 26 article “TUSD board votes 4-1 not to renew contract of Catalina Principal Scott.”

The Tucson Unified School District board and superintendent showed an incredible lack of courage in removing Dr. Rex Scott from his position as principal of Catalina High School.

They, and anyone who has ever served as the principal of a high school, know that with the circumstances of the extremely high numbers of English-language-learner and exceptional-education students, the mobility rate and the severe poverty of the families at Catalina, the results that Scott and his staff achieved were spectacular.

In fact, Scott’ s performance at Catalina is quite possibly the best job anyone has done in TUSD in the last 20 years. By removing him, the school board has made a clear statement: Test scores are more important than helping our most needy at-risk students.

Scott will move on and inspire staff and students wherever he goes. The students, families and staff of Catalina, as well as all at-risk students in our community, will be left to suffer.

Robert Mackay

Retired TUSD high school principal, Tucson

Why is LaWall opposed

to Gattone’s suggestion?

Re: the March 25 guest column “Allegation of County Attorney’s Office bias is unsupported.”

I can understand why Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall is offended by Paul Gattone’s suggestion that her office carries an inherent bias in favor of law enforcement agencies, but I cannot understand why she is so opposed to an independent review of officer shootings.

If her own office’s reviews are as balanced and thoroughgoing as she insists they are, then she has nothing to lose from the independent review that Mr. Gattone calls for, and such a step would shield her from further criticism.

Erik Ryberg

Attorney, Tucson

Former cheesehead

ready to bear down

I have lived half my life in Wisconsin and the other half in Arizona. Whom do I cheer for today? I am undecided right now. The Badgers are tall and can really pass and score at will.

The Cats are going to have to play a totally great game and take the “sky” out of 7-foot Wisconsin center Frank Kaminsky. Can a wildcat stop a badger? We will see tonight.

Just kidding about cheering for Wisconsin. Arizona — bear down!

Ken Unwin

Former cheesehead, Tucson

Health-care sign-up

deadline is Monday

Monday is the last day to enroll — or at least initiate enrollment — in the Affordable Care Act to be covered in 2014. This is a good time to reflect on what it would have been like for me had I not had health insurance.

I tripped and fell on my shoulder while walking my dog and tore my rotator cuff. After two doctor’s visits, an X-ray, physical therapy and an MRI, surgery was recommended to repair it.

I had surgery and am still undergoing physical therapy weekly.  The grand total so far is about $55,000.

All it takes is one slip and fall to financial ruin. Anyone without health insurance can get covered. Do it now before it’s too late.

Susan DeHart

Engineering technician, Tucson

Come, take advantage

of wonderful theater

My wife and I were recently treated to a wonderful Tucson surprise. As snowbirds from Chicago, we are used to talented performances from storefront theaters and found just such a theater in Tucson at the Comedy Playhouse on First Avenue.

We were a little shocked to find so many empty seats, and when we went back to the next offering we again were bewildered by the lack of local support.

Come on Tucson, see the next generation of your local actors and actresses, young, old and in between, developing before your very eyes. You truly have a gem.

Jim Buchler

Retired teacher, Tucson