Letters to the editor

2014-05-07T00:00:00Z Letters to the editor Arizona Daily Star
May 07, 2014 12:00 am

TUSD’s transgender

policy is praiseworthy

Re: the May 3 article “TUSD rejects call to reverse transgender policy.”

The Tucson chapter of the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network commends Superintendent H.T. Sanchez and the Governing Board of the Tucson Unified School District for rejecting the pleas to reverse their recently approved addition of gender identity and expression to the district’s nondiscrimination policy.

All students in the district deserve access to an equal education and safe learning environment. Honoring our students for who they are is the foundation for creating a caring, productive school community.

Brenda Kazen

School counselor and chair, GLSEN Tucson

Bicycles and autos

just aren’t compatible

Re: the May 5 article “City builds protected bike lanes to get more cyclists riding.”

Star reporter Jamar Younger singled out motorists who “veer into a bike lane and either hit or almost hit a bicyclist.” Evidently Mr. Younger has never experienced a bicyclist suddenly veer into the roadway while riding sans hands during the course of texting, or other like distractions.

It seems to continually elude the bicycle culture that bikes and autos are not compatible. Ad hoc remedies only generate a false sense of security, while increasing the numbers of those willing to play the odds of survival against a higher volume of tragic incidents.

Richard Wakefield

Retired, Tucson

Gender-identity policy’s

implications are unclear

Re: the May 4 column “No need to fight TUSD’s gender-identity policy.”

The column about the Tucson Unified School District’s transgender policy change cites my vote against the change but omits my reasoning. I dissented because the new language has ambiguous implications and does not acknowledge potential conflicts with privacy rights.

For example, I have heard no one propose giving boys access to girls’ showers, probably because most people acknowledge that sex differences create legitimate privacy interests. Such privacy interests reasonably extend to bathrooms.

It seems reasonable for (biological) girls and their families to want a bathroom that is private from boys, and vice versa. Other families may reasonably want a unisex or other third option. Schools have enough bathrooms to support several options, which respect everyone’s privacy.

The strong U.S. tradition in civil rights encompasses separate traditions of free speech, privacy, equal treatment, et cetera. A common sense balancing of interests is appropriate when tensions arise between these rights.

Mark Stegeman

TUSD Governing Board member, Tucson

Kozachik takes

the high road

Re: the May 4 guest columns “Police chief, councilman clash over benefits and more.”

On Sunday, two guest opinion pieces appeared addressing the complicated matter of police compensation through sick pay, one by Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villaseñor and one by City Councilman Steve Kozachik.

One took the high road, inviting us as a community to closely examine budget decisions and take part in the examination of costs and consequences. Using labored reasoning, the other remained mired in personal attack that did little to advance discussion of a difficult matter.

Thank you, Councilman Kozachik, for taking the high road. Thanks as well for having the backbone to raise a challenging issue for community consideration. This is the kind of leadership that will help Tucson move on.

Mark Homan

Retired PCC faculty, Tucson

Star’s idea of ‘balance’

needs re-examination

I appreciate the efforts of the editorial board of the Star to bring more balanced submissions to the paper. I do believe there are more qualified columnists to report their opinions than George Will, Jonah Goldberg or Charles Krauthammer.

Too often their comments are harsh, unproven and often untruthful. I don’t take the time to read their comments anymore.

Many letters to the editor are being printed that also make comments that don’t seem factual, especially those of a political nature. I also ignore those and look for ones that concern local events and matters of general interest in our community.

I believe the editorial staff would do well to re-examine their stance on what is actually balanced and what is not. I believe in freedom of the press, but some letters are political garbage written only to make their writers feel victorious.

Glen Huffman

Retired, Tucson

Renters should pay

property tax, too

Re: the May 4 editorial “Property-tax hike is unavoidable in Pima County.”

It can be understood by many that taxes may have to be raised now and then, but Pima County has one of the highest property-tax rates in Arizona, and many in the county are retired, living off fixed income.

How is the constant tax increase fair to them? My main question to the Board of Supervisors is, why do the people who live in rental units not have to pay some form of tax as well?

Yes, they don’t own their home, but they live in the county. Perhaps they should not pay as much, but they should pay some. They have use of county services and facilities.

Reduce property tax on homes some and allow renters to pay some as well.

Terry Emerson

Retired military, Tucson

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