Only leadership

can solve child poverty

The Daily Star rightly challenges readers to take action on child poverty. But this is a national problem, and both America’s history and the United Kingdom’s example show it’s one we can solve. A generation ago, poverty among seniors topped 35 percent. Today, it’s below 10 percent. Why? Because Congress changed it, creating Social Security, Medicare, retirement savings incentives and other policies that protect the elderly from poverty.

A decade ago, the UK committed to eliminate child poverty and invested in the economic resilience of children and families. The UK’s child poverty rate fell during the global recession, while ours climbed. Let’s challenge Arizona’s leaders in Congress to set a child poverty elimination target, and then deliver on that promise. Only national leadership and real commitment can avoid losing another generation of children to poverty.

Bruce Lesley

President, First Focus Campaign for Children

4th Ave. parking plan

is city money grab

Re: the Aug. 11 article “N. Fourth report proposes 467 metered spaces.”

The city of Tucson has come up with a brilliant plan to get more change out of our pockets. Parking meters on Fourth Avenue! The merchants haven’t suffered enough there with the modern streetcar (oxymoron) construction? Now Parkwise wants to take our pocket change so the city can spend our money on more foolish projects.

Let’s build a hotel on top of the TCC or let’s have a horse-drawn trolley somewhere in town for the tourists to ride. But we can’t have horses on Fourth Avenue because they might collide with the modern streetcar. I know, let’s make a horse route over by Rio Nuevo. Problem solved.

Kenneth Unwin

Retired, Tucson

New homes won’t fix

Ajo’s lack of appeal

Re: the Aug. 13 article “US spent $13M on 21 homes in Ajo.”

The federal government is again trying to force a modification of human behavior and common sense. Ajo is a small town that may have some charms, but it doesn’t have the best schools; job opportunities are poor; and it’s boring. Building 21, 1,276- to 1,570-square-foot homes for $600,000 each is not going to change these circumstances. If I were a young U. S. Customs and Border Protection agent with a family, I would continue to commute.

Douglas R. Holm

CPA, Tucson

Prison conditions reminded of Navy days

Re: the Aug. 3 article “High court backs Calif. inmate release.”

The article lamenting the overcrowding of California prisons drew my mind back to when I served on a U. S. Navy ship. However, to make it more similar the prisons would have to lower the overhead (ceiling) so that the top bunk users could not sit up all the way, remove what looks like lockers from between the bunks so the head of one bunk would be about the foot of the next bunk, occasionally have periods of time when the prison deck (floor) would roll 30 to 40 degrees night and day, and make one third of the inmates roll out (get up) at midnight or 4 a.m. to stand watch or work.

The panel of judges wanted to “avoid cruel and unusual punishment?” C’mon, we served with honor and pride!

Bob Heffelfinger

Retired, Tucson

I’m thinking Democrats

have disappeared, too

Re: the Aug. 6 letter to the editor “True Republicans went extinct years ago.”

It was with great interest I read the letter today that there are no more Republicans. I’m so old I can remember a Democrat who was president of the United States saying, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” What a strange idea. I’m thinking all the Democrats have disappeared, too.

S.M. Beaumont