Belated gift wish: Fix Wetmore Road

Dear Santa,

Now that Christmas is over and you will have more time on your hands, I would like to ask you to work on a present for the community of Tucson. Do you think you could possibly get someone to pave Wetmore Road and Auto Mall Drive?

There might be a plan for keeping these roadways in the condition they are, I’m not sure. It is possible Auto Mall Drive is some kind of test track for car dealerships. Wetmore might be a planned roadway where doctors send their patients to break up kidney stones.

All I know is that I have hiked on smoother trails than either of these roads. I’m sure they give visitors to Tucson Mall a lasting impression of our city. Santa, please help.

Fred DiNoto

Retired, Tucson

Obama is brilliant —

in a manipulative way

Re: the Dec. 27 letter to the editor “Obama a brilliant man; his critics are misguided.”

I absolutely agree with the letter to the editor that our president is brilliant. He is a brilliant man and here are a few reasons why:

1. Benghazi. Four Americans murdered and he is able to shift the blame to an obscure filmmaker.

2. Fast and Furious. One American murdered and our president evokes executive privilege halting the investigation.

3. IRS. Our president uses the very powerful Internal Revenue Service to oppose his critics and blames two low-level agents.

4. Obamacare. Millions have lost their insurance, seen their premiums skyrocket and deductibles increase to the point of why have insurance at all.

Brilliant is simply not adequate.

Gene Liefke

Retired, Vail

Train robbery part of family’s history

Re: the Dec. 3. online article “Tales From the Morgue: The not-so-great, attempted train robbery, Part 8”

I find this aspect of Tucson history — the attempted robbery of the Golden State Limited — especially fascinating as Thomas and Helen Dugat were the adoptive parents of my mother, Corinne Dugat.

My mother’s first eight years were spent partially in Tucson and partially on the Dugat goat ranch, which was located at the end of what is now West Sweetwater Drive. Young Corinne much preferred life on and around the Dugat goat ranch, as opposed to living and attending school in Tucson, and she had always said that those were the happiest years of her life.

It seems that Thomas had health issues requiring surgery and money was very short. He also worried about Helen as she worked in tuberculosis sanitariums and risked contracting that disease. Out of desperation, he attempted the train robbery. The shame of this event prompted Helen and young Corinne to leave Tucson for New York and eventually, Montana.

Corinne went on to have a happy life and she has since passed on. Interesting times!

Farrall Smith

Retired, Burbank, Calif.

Writer offers no facts

to support theory

Re: the Dec. 30 guest column “Skinheads, anti-government cultists embrace NRA’s paranoid message.”

Guest columnist Ann Shoben says that she has a theory that “the NRA is deliberately channeling the voices of those individuals and groups that exist on the extreme fringes of society.” In support of her theory, she offers no facts at all. All she does is call people names. She identifies herself as a science writer. Is that her idea of science? Is that the Star’s idea of a reasoned argument? If so, the NRA wins hands down.

Stephen Deatrick

Retired computer programmer,

Sierra Vista

Writer wrong: More gun laws won’t save lives

Re: the Dec. 30 guest column “Skinheads, anti-government cultists embrace NRA’s paranoid message.”

How dare Ann Shoben write such a vastly off-base column. Her call for “common-sense gun control laws” is wrong, dead wrong. The actions of those few mentally deranged people that have committed those senseless killings are inexcusable and sad. But for your information, there are already laws in place to prevent such persons from owning or carrying a gun. More laws would not have saved those people, sad to say.

Shoben’s comments that Obama doesn’t want our guns, how foolish can you be? Our government wants nothing more than to limit what law-abiding citizens can own or operate.

The NRA is made up of people like me to protect the Second Amendment and our Constitution. Shoben and the Star should understand more about what you print.

Ray Murphy

Retired, Tucson

Schools not safer,

but City Hall protected

The outrage and sorrow shown here a year ago after the Newtown massacre have not been translated into any attempt to make Tucson schools safer. The ones near where I live and those I drive by daily are as wide open as ever.

The only increased security I have seen in Tucson is at City Hall, where the mayor and council have looked out for themselves by installing a security system very similar to the one found at Tucson International Airport. At least you do not have to remove your shoes.

Vern Pall

Retired, Tucson