Unvaccinated kids shouldn’t be in schools

Re: the Oct. 5 article “3 Vail schools have a total of 4 cases of whooping cough.”

An increasing trend in parents opting out of vaccinating their children has contributed to the outbreak of whooping cough in Southern Arizona. Misinformation and rumors have left many parents grappling with whether or not to vaccinate their children, despite the health risks.

As health professionals, we aim to educate parents on the consequences of not vaccinating their children. Yet our efforts are diminished by Arizona schools that allow unvaccinated children to still attend, needing only a parent’s personal or even philosophical reason to opt out.

Should we continue to allow “personal belief exemptions” to be made at the expense of other children’s health? Or should our state shift its interest from catering to parents’ personal medical decisions to protecting its children from debilitating and potentially fatal infections?

I support freedom of choice, but if you have the right to opt out of the vaccine then the school board should have the right to opt your child out of school.

Mary Kinkade

Graduate student, Tucson

Power play hurts

poor citizens the most

Re: the Oct. 8 article “Find $650K for families, Brewer tells DES.”

When I read that 3,200 families, or 5,200 depending on the day, were not paid the aid they depend on to meet the basic needs of life because the government shut down, I was incensed. Governor Brewer ordered the Department of Economic Security to find the money after pressure from the public and Democrats in the Legislature.

Why would our elected officials, who have sworn to represent our interests — all our interests — need to be pressured to protect those most in need of protection?

The fact that the people who are most vulnerable are the ones most affected by this power play in our government is a travesty to our political process. The people who have created this stalemate are the same people who were elected to serve their constituents. I, for one, feel far from served by the current Congress.

Jennifer Baldwin

Massage therapist, Tucson

Police have to enforce law of the land

Re: the Oct. 10 article “Crowd scuffles with Border Patrol, cops.”

Are protesters suggesting that we fire Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villaseñor because he has instructed his officers to enforce the law?

Whether or not you agree with SB 1070, it is the Police Department’s responsibility to enforce the laws of this state and country. What’s next, don’t arrest murderers because you don’t agree with that law? These protesters need to set at least one foot in the real world so they understand the rules that govern this wonderful country that so many want to live in. Our freedoms are protected by laws that need to be enforced by our police.

Ellen Yacovone

Executive, Tucson

4-way red lights

can improve safety

Re: the Oct. 13 column “In Tucson, lives of walkers, bicyclists are cheap.”

Tim Steller’s column brings to light in a very poignant way the perils pedestrians and bicyclists face daily in Tucson. While the safety of cyclists will always remain in the hands of the motorists they share the road with, something can be done for pedestrians.

Washington, D.C., has a system whereby all the red lights at an intersection come on at the same time, thereby giving the intersection over to pedestrians who can then cross directly to the other side of the street or they can walk diagonally across.

Compare that to Tucson, where pedestrians risk getting hit by cars turning right. Pedestrian walk signs should never be illuminated when cars have a green light to go ahead or turn right.

Intersections should be given to cars for their safe passage or to pedestrians for their safe passage. But the two should never be mixed, because tragedies like the one Steller writes about will continue to happen.

Vern Pall

Retired, Tucson

Traffic stop shows misplaced priorities

Re: the Oct. 10 article “Crowd scuffles with Border Patrol, cops.”

Finally something newsworthy. If I get the chance I would be protesting the law as well. This is not how I want my tax dollars being spent! Pepper spraying protesters and calling in Border Patrol for two people with a headlight out. Really?

It actually makes sense why we have the worst roads in America and are dumping money into cameras at every stoplight — our priorities could not be any more twisted if we tried. This isn’t it even if you’re against immigration. This tactic isn’t solving the problem. Wasting tax dollars to pull people over — how about finding some of the missing children or bad-check writers? Tell me how this makes sense; how is this helping Tucson?

Meaghan Isaac

Homemaker, Tucson