Glad Steller accepted invitation to visit Basis

Re: the May 8 guest column "UHS, BASIS are undeserving of Star's columnist's apparent disregard."

It's tempting to perpetuate anti-AP rhetoric, but more difficult to present an alternative or dig deeper and understand what underlies schools' adherence to the imperfect AP curriculum.

Alex Swindle aptly explains how UHS and Basis do so much more than AP tests and I am pleased Tim Steller accepted his invitation to visit Basis.

As the parent of a UHS graduate and a current BASIS student, I urge Steller, after he sees the Basis education live, to write a follow-up column on what he discovers.

As a reader I define the quality of a journalist's writing as his ability to get to the heart of the matter rather than to rely on hearsay or sophistic reports.

Steller has an opportunity to apply the very critical thinking skills taught by UHS and Basis and portray these schools' essence so Tucsonans may understand why two of their schools warrant top national ranking.

Holly Ballard Gardner


How you can help fight global warming

Re: the May 1 guest column "How would an extra month of 100-plus-degree days feel?"

Thank you for publishing the guest opinion on the Southwest Climate Assessment.

"How would an extra month of 100-plus-degree days feel?" Gregg Garfin asked in his piece. It would not feel good. As Garfin points out, we're facing not just hotter days, but also less water and greater wildfire danger, not to mention the collapse of global life-support systems.

What are we to do?Are you cooling your house and your business to 78 degrees at the coolest? Have you looked into leasing as a low-cost way to go solar? Are you eating less meat, more plants, more locally? Have you stopped buying single-use plastic water bottles?

If not, now's the perfect time to begin. If yes, then join others who are working on policy change. Tucson Climate Action Network, Citizens Climate Lobby, and are all active here in Tucson. You can help.

Stuart Moody

Board president,

Green Sangha, Tucson

2nd commandment, not 2nd amendment

Re: the April 30 article "Bill signed preventing Tucson from destroying 'buyback' guns."

So now the gun lobby, supported by Gov. Jan Brewer, has made it a crime to destroy a gun.

Instead of focusing so much on the Second Amendment, these folks might remember the Second Commandment: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image ... and thou shalt not bow down to it nor worship it."

And what about "Thou shalt have no other gods before me"?

Margaret Fleming

Retired educator, Tucson

Inexplicable? Look at toxic chemicals

Re: the May 2 articles "Food, skin allergies in kids are inexplicably on the rise" and "5,000 home items contain toxic chemicals, report says."

Inexplicable? Hmmm …

John Barringer


Polarizing? Look at your own language

Re: the May 4 letter to the editor "Evidence suggests left is polarizing force."

I wonder if the author of this letter realizes the polarizing language he used in his diatribe against liberals? Words like "ilk," and "nut-job" are almost always used to convey a disrespectful, derogatory tone toward the subject, in this case liberals. Just wondering if he did so intentionally or subconsciously. Either way those words diminished his message.

Anne Lane

Retired elementary teacher, Tucson

Make council pay for streetcar delay

Re: the May 5 article "Streetcar delay to increase city costs."

Since the construction and delivery of the modern streetcars is delayed, and will cost Tucson several more dollars, my idea is to take that amount of money out of the mayor and council's paychecks. They are the ones who voted for the railed fiasco to come to town in the first place, weren't they? Do the mayor and council get paid? Maybe they have real jobs on the side when they aren't doing official city business?

Kenneth Unwin

Retired federal worker, Tucson

TUSD should continue to fund the arts

Re: the May 2 article "TUSD may spend $84M on desegregation plan."

Sylvia Campoy's comment about how "questionable" the $2 million funding for the arts is under the proposed Unitary Status Plan - already "down from the $4.25 million allocated this year" - ignores the facts about art education and the contribution of art to Tucson Unified School District and this community.

Repeated studies have shown that music, dance and the visual arts lead to higher test scores. "Family engagement" is better served through attendance at concerts, art exhibits, and plays than coming to school to discuss the latest suspension of your kid.

Offering a high school, specifically for the arts would draw the best teachers, artists and students and do more to integrate the system than anything on the list of 13 "projects" put forth under the Unitary Status Plan.

This city relishes its arts and its cultures. The public school system should recognize that, reflect it and fund it.

Hannah Glasston

Director, Etherton Gallery, Tucson