Thanks for help to Davis-Monthan

Re: the Feb. 1 article "Sheriff's Dept. pilot is killed in copter crash."

I was shocked and saddened to read about the Sheriff Department's helicopter crash and the death of pilot Loren Leonberger.

More than ever I am so thankful that we have Davis-Monthan Air Force Base as part of our community. We cannot put a price on their efficient and prompt rescue of the injured.

Kudos to the Air Force and to Davis-Monthan in particular.

Gloria Alvillar

Retired, Tucson

Fitz: Why live here?

I am getting to the point that I don't want to look at the editorial page anymore.

David Fitzsimmons does nothing but breed discontent. If he does not like the way Arizona does things then why does he live here?

Larry Wickersham

Retired, Tucson

Photographs for Gabby

About the tribute items for Gabby: Take a series of photographs and make a large composite for her office. Invite as many as wish to come sign it.

Laurel Rottura


Increase graduation rates instead of taxes

Re: the Jan. 24 letter to the editor "Poverty stats are a disgrace."

I agree with the letter writer that the number of children living in poverty in the U.S. is a disgrace. However, the letter writer then goes on to cite statistics that the top 5 percent of income earners in the U.S. account for 21.7 percent of all income and the bottom 60 percent account for 26.6 percent of income, implying that there is unfairness in these income percentages.

The top 5 percent of taxpayers paid 58.72 percent of all income taxes and the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers paid 2.89 percent of all income taxes in 2008. I would submit that this is fair.

Forcing the rich to pay more taxes, in and of itself, does nothing to help those in poverty. We need to improve our education so these people can obtain better jobs.

The U.S. is way down the list of advanced countries in the world when it comes to the percentage of high school graduates and those with college degrees.

Jerry Bich

Retired electrical engineer, Oro Valley

Replacing Giffords makes sense

Re: the Jan. 23 editorial "Giffords' seat shouldn't be subject to debate."

Although the editorial is compassionate, it is unrealistic. Southern Arizona is without a voice in Congress and will be for an indeterminate amount of time.

The recovery period will be long and arduous, not to mention the stress involved with the job when she returns.

What the Star should have recommended is that a primary election is held as soon as possible and a replacement found so that Southern Arizona has a voice in the House.

Should Rep. Gabrielle Giffords recover within the next two years and be able to perform the duties, she can run again.

All too often, the Star lets politics and personal emotion rule in its editorials. Let common sense prevail.

Dale Cummings

Teacher, Huachuca City

Students defend ethnic studies

Re: the Jan. 3 article "TUSD program called illegal."

Upon much reflection regarding Tom Horne's political move to eradicate ethnic studies, the predominant voice heard publicly has been the voice against ethnic studies.

However, has anyone wondered where the students stand? We the students of ethnic studies classes are the key witnesses. We come to these classes daily, yet we feel our experiences are ignored. The knowledge we gain daily helps us develop academic and character stability.

We students are in disbelief that this bill was signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer.

In our classes we are taught to research in order to substantiate our opinions with facts. We are taught to be intellectual warriors who are fighters for social justice for all.

The passing of HB 2281 has declared war on our educational and human rights and as intellectual warriors we are prepared to defend our rights.

Ethnic studies students

Rincon High School, Tucson