Choose wisely

in GOP primary

Re: the Aug. 7 column “Republican extremists win when voters ignore the primaries. ”

Sarah Garrecht Gassen believes in the Affordable Care Act and seems to believe in an immigration policy that would allow almost anyone to walk across its borders without any consequences.

Is it any wonder that she would characterize Republican primary candidates as extreme or as tea party conservatives or right-wing Christian conservatives?

I say vote for the existing Republican primary candidate who will enforce America’s borders, has a vision to create jobs in Arizona and who wants to decentralize medicine so that Obamacare does not end up as a national version of the Veterans Affairs.

Apathy is why the Republican Party is looked upon as the laughingstock of American politics.

Mainstream Republicans have no courage of their convictions.

The status quo? That’s called the Democratic Party.

Roberto Martinez

Customer support representative, Tucson

Helicopters impact wilderness, wildlife

Re: the Aug. 7 article “Pusch Ridge copter plan is in dispute.”

Helicopters intrude on the primitive character of wilderness and significantly detract from the “wilderness experience” of visitors. The deafening noise of helicopter blades can cause stress on other wildlife there. Lower altitude helicopters have been shown to flush birds from feeding and nesting areas.

It also has been shown to decrease foraging and increase panic running of deer and other mammals. It has shown to decrease young survival (USDA 1999). There is also the temporary flattening of vegetation (i.e. moving branches, bushes) that may occur at helicopter landing sites.

Among the many values of wilderness is the preservation of traditional skills. The Arizona Game and Fish Department must have the ability to travel and work in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness without the aid of mechanized transport or motorized equipment such as helicopters to observe, manage and monitor the relocated bighorn sheep population, not to mention culling of mountain lions.

Helga Klynn

Retired, Tucson

Would drones work better than helicopters?

While I understand how helicopters can be disruptive to wildlife and humans, we should continue the discussion for alternatives in managing wildlife reintroductions. For example, why not explore using drone technology toward this end?

Marsha Schlanger

Retired, Tucson

Renowned bat expert will be missed by many

Re: the Aug. 7 article “Ronnie Sidner, famed bat expert, dies in I-10 crash.”

I am so very saddened to hear of the passing of Ronnie Sidner, Arizona’s famed bat expert. When I was a second-grade teacher, she visited my classroom on multiple occasions, bringing with her a variety of live bats and teaching my students the value of these incredible creatures.

Every child understood the importance of the bat and its impact on the environment and learned that bats do not bite you on the neck or fly into your hair.

At the end of lecture, every child wanted to adopt a bat and give it a good home with lots of bugs and fruit to eat!

Every time I listened to one of Ronnie’s presentations, I learned something new. Ronnie will be missed as a kind, gentle and extremely knowledgeable advocate for Arizona’s beloved bats.

Bonnie Darby

Outreach manager, Tucson

We traded Saddam

for something worse

Currently, Christians are being slaughtered in Iraq by Muslim extremists. Even after paying a fee to remain Christian or denouncing their Christian faith under the threat of death, Christians are killed.

There is a quote: “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.”

This has been proven by the misrepresented invasion of Iraq by labeling the country one-third the axis of evil and portraying Saddam Hussein as evil incarnate. There is no denying he was a ruthless dictator but he also protected Christians. He was the devil we knew.

We traded him for out-of-control massacre of Christians and other minorities by ISIS, which gives credence to the quote about the devil we didn’t know. Before Saddam’s death there were about 1.2 million Christians in Iraq. Now the number may be as small as 200,000. Christian leaders in Iraq tell us life was safer under Saddam.

The solution of using war to end violence reinforces Jesus’ call to a different path to peace and justice.

John D. Kautz

Retired clergy, Tucson

Why did Obama warn fellow Muslims?

I support military airstrikes on ISIS 100 percent. But it’s always been my impression that secrecy is crucial in any military action. So with the president’s blatant announcement of them it makes me ask, was it to warn his fellow Muslims or was it for political reasons?

I’ll let you be the judge.

Paul Cragle

Electronic tech, Tucson