Sunnyside needs Giffin, Quintero on board

The Sunnyside Unified School District needs new blood: Eric Giffin and Beki Quintero will bring nourishment to a school board that the community sees as ailing.

Giffin promises to right the wrongs of the superintendent’s report, agreeing with board member Buck Couch that fuzzy math is being used with graduation statistics, and somehow the books have been cooked.

As Giffin’s campaign slogan states: “Let’s use our education dollars wisely.” This man runs on his record with 12 years of previous board experience.

Beki Quintero brings a love of children to the table and wants to see our schools regain their A+ status. What better person to put Sunnyside back on track than someone who cares about kids enough to be a Reading Seed volunteer who is a published author of children’s books.

Quintero is a neighborhood activist who is the founder of Peace Gardens and recycling coordinator for Tucson Clean and Beautiful.

Giffin and Quintero are the new blood that will bring life back to a sickly board.

Elizabeth Denbo

English teacher, Tucson

Today’s ‘conservatives’ don’t deserve the name

Your new “conservative” columnists and cartoonists, plus the “conservative” letters to the editor, testify to the bankruptcy of today’s so-called conservative.

True conservatives of the good old days tended to be educated, thoughtful statesmen. Most of them were principled and adjusted their positions to meet facts on the ground. They debated without being mean-spirited or calling their opponents liars.

Today’s “conservatives” aren’t worthy of the name. Unlike true conservatives, they don’t care about and refuse to invest in free public education, infrastructure, the military or anything else that made this country great.

True conservatives would be concerned that water is already lapping at the foundations of Miami and working with scientists on methods for saving our coastal areas. Today’s “conservatives” would rather have inane arguments about causes.

They’ll be swimming down the streets of Miami while complaining about the government before facing the problem.

Maris Bootzin

Retired editor, Tucson

Story about Alex Lavine is inspiring

RE: the May 11 article “‘I have done so much, so why can’t I do this?’”

Jon Gold’s articles about the University of Arizona women’s softball program are simply terrific and a joy to read.

He has a superior talent not simply for summarizing each game but for conveying the drama, actions and ironies behind the scenes.

Sunday’s personal story about center-fielder Alex Lavine is highly inspirational and woven together expertly. I hope he gets more such opportunities to share the amazing stories of our student-athletes and coaches.

Don McCarthy

Astronomer, Oro Valley

Nothing but praise

for VA medical care

There is a swell of negative reports out there about VA medical care. Some will be proven true, others perhaps not. When something like this takes place, unfortunately, all facilities and those who serve in them are painted with the same brush.

I am a satisfied recipient of VA care in Tucson and Green Valley. I felt it time to weigh in among all the negatives. My medical care and treatment from those who serve in Green Valley and Tucson has been excellent. Very caring, thoughtful, understanding and patience has been the hallmark of care I have received.

These professionals, along with the many volunteers at the Tucson facility, have made it all work. Many veterans I know have expressed the same positives.

Bottom line, if there are two lists, as has been reported, I have been on the good one for the past 15 years.

John Fanning

Retired, Tucson

Let’s focus on Michael Sam’s athletic success

As we watched the recent NFL draft, outstanding young athletes, their college careers ended, waited anxiously for their names to be called.

After three days and seven rounds, the player whose selection was most publicized by television and newspaper media was not the first athlete but one of the last to be chosen, the Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year from the University of Missouri, Michael Sam.

But Sam was primarily identified not as a successful athlete but as a gay person. That’s irrelevant. Parenthetically, I write this letter to the editor because I respect the quality of your thinking and writing. Your gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation are irrelevant.

Now, fed by the media, rather than discussing Sam’s contribution as a team member, some are fearful of shared shower facilities. Others are offended by a kiss. The focus on Michael Sam’s sexuality does a disservice to his strength of character and athletic accomplishments. Those are the qualities that should determine his identity.

Robert Swaim

Retired architect, Tucson