A-10 will be history;

F-35 is D-M’s future

Re: the Aug. 27 guest column “Time is now to fight for the A-10 and D-M’s future.”

Martha McSally’s column was a brilliant piece of political tap-dancing. While mentioning the F-35, she never touched on the reality of the situation, and that is that without the F-35, Davis-Monthan will become history.

She did a commendable job of pointing out the facts about D-M — third-largest employer in the community, $1.6 billion economic input, several thousand jobs. But to ask the community to lobby the Air Force to retain the A-10s is a ridiculous idea.

The Air Force has already stated that it wants to retire the entire A-10 fleet because the costs of refurbishing those planes after over a decade of combat flying is prohibitive, especially today under the sequestration budgets.

No, the A-10 will not be D-M’s salvation. Only the F-35 will give that air base a future.

Vern Pall

Retired USAF, Tucson

Foes of I-11 freeway:

Their voices will be heard

The people and businesses that stand to make money off a new highway through the clean, quiet and natural desert have been busy — giving interviews, directing people to a website for Interstate 11 and holding meetings that the real stakeholders were not invited to attend.

If this were just a PR campaign, they have done a good job. But the truth is the real people — the residents, all visitors to the desert and the shared guardians of the vanishing open space — have not been consulted.

We are busy too, but we will tell you that a bypass is a big mistake. And we will use our time and voice to be heard.

Catalina Hall

Retired teacher, Tucson

Want to ‘buy American’?

Good luck!

I would like to tell you of my personal quest to “buy American.” Two years ago I purchased an older home, knowing it needed to be updated. My partner and I shared the idea of buying most or all of the products from manufacturers in the United States.

We experienced nothing but frustration with essentially every variety of purchase. Even the brand names we had been familiar with for decades revealed their offshore origins in small print. We spent more than $20,000 over the course of six months. I am sure that American corporations benefited, but how many hourly American workers did?

Ivy Myles

Retired, Tucson

Cattle have ruined

Arizona Trail section

I recently hiked the 15-mile portion of the Arizona Trail on the north side of the Catalinas — an area relatively few people visit. What’s it like?

Well, about half of it’s not a “trail” at all but rocky, eroded ranching roads. Every foot of the 15 miles has ranching, from bottom to top. Cattle trample, kick up dirt and dust, upend rocks and roll rocks down hillsides, break off plants, denude vegetation and cause erosion, ruin water bars, defecate everywhere, and generally trash our beloved Arizona Trail.

And the entire 11-mile Oracle Ridge stretch is closely paralleled with a barbed-wire fence. How’s that for a wilderness experience?

Worse still, nearly half of the greater Catalina Mountains suffers from cattle ranching — nearly all on the “hidden” north and east sides. A century of environmental harm on our Coronado National Forest. Isn’t that enough?

Lynn Jacobs

Handyman, Tucson

Headline disrespected

athlete, religion

Re: the Sept. 13 article “Jewish kicker won’t pull a Sandy Koufax.”

The headline to this article is one of the most insensitive I have ever read. Koufax would not pitch on Yom Kippur out of respect to his religion and those who participate in the Day of Atonement as well.

Respect is what we as Americans want to see from our citizens, and this headline shows disrespect. The fact of the matter is that Jewish holidays go from sundown to sundown, and as sundown on Saturday is around 6:30 p.m. with the game beginning at 7:30 p.m. it means his participation would not be during the holiday. Though many Jews do fast during, Yom Kippur it is really a personal decision.

Ronald Cohen

Retired pharmacist, Tucson