Letters to the editor

2013-11-26T00:00:00Z Letters to the editor Arizona Daily Star
November 26, 2013 12:00 am

How can lawmaker’s arrest be misdemeanor?

Re: the Nov. 24 article “Cocaine bust dims rising GOP star in House.”

This is an outrage and yet, sadly, so typical of our hypocritical society. Rep. Trey Radel pleaded guilty to possession of 3.5 grams of cocaine — and this is a misdemeanor? There are thousands of people in this country who have been found guilty of possession of lesser amounts whose lives have been turned upside-down and inside-out because for them this was a felony.

I work for an agency that tries to help people convicted of a felony find jobs and housing; no-one wants to hire a felon. No one wants one for a neighbor. Rep. Radel says “he wants to continue serving this country” and says he believes in “faith, forgiveness and redemption.”

Where is that faith, forgiveness and chance for redemption for the rest of us?

Pamela Bice

Social work, Tucson

Opposition to health law is same old stuff

I have been following the political war over the Affordable Care Act, and I have seen this before. For 75 years, members of the far right have tried to discontinue or to privatize Social Security. For 50 years they have tried to discontinue or privatize Medicare. They are doing the same to the Affordable Care Act.

They have voted more than 40 times to repeal the act. They have closed the government to try and get their way. Several far right senators and representatives have said they will do everything possible to shut down the ACA. It seems their genes will not allow them to believe that the federal government can do anything better than capitalism despite 75 years of facts to the contrary.

Because I have been in this war before, I will believe nothing said by a right-wing Republican because I have already heard it all!

Richard Toenjes

Retired CFO, Tucson

Lifelong learners have yet another option

Re: the Nov. 3 article “Back to school for lifelong learners.”

The article highlighted two organizations. There is a third option, however. With some 1,000 members, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Arizona is an organization and university program in which members pay modest dues for entry into as many Osher classes as they wish.

Classes range from those offered at UA, such as “A Musical Medley” taught by music faculty, to classes on science, history, art and literature, taught at one of several Osher campuses by professors (retired and current), Osher members and local experts.

Osher members form a community for social events, too — theater nights, gatherings at restaurants and interest groups. The membership fees range from $75 to $250, depending on the campus and term (semester or full year). Information sessions take place every January and September. Information is on the website at olli.arizona.edu/olli

Carol Stewart

Program manager, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UA

Coal-fired plants have real, harmful effects

Re: the Nov. 4 letter to the editor “EPA rules will raise our energy, water rates.”

Recently, Legislative District 9 Republican chair Donna Alu wrote defending the Navajo Generating Station from the new EPA guidelines rules affecting coal-fired plants. Most coal-burning plants in the U.S. are substandard, inefficient and incredibly dirty. Wherever their emissions go — whether to the Grand Canyon to mar the view, or to the east — they contribute to acid rain and cause tens of thousands of premature deaths from respiratory disease, including asthma.

Further, the mercury from these plants can impair neurological development in fetuses. So when you worry about the added pennies that you might pay for power, think also about the cost of health care for all those Americans breathing downwind and consider the global warming effects that are significantly greater for coal-fired plants than all current alternatives.

Roger Barthelson

Scientific analyst, Tucson

Help shelter animals, homeless at same time

Re: the Nov. 6 article “County OKs tent expansion to ease overcrowding at animal shelter.”

As a veteran, I applaud the efforts of our local government to move the homeless into spaces of their own; and, as a rescue-dog owner, I cry for the animals that are crowded into the Pima Animal Care Center facility.

These two issues can be melded together for a mutual benefit.

The homeless receiving a new home do not have to live alone. A rescue dog or cat of their choice can make a wonderful companion. If there is any small cost involved, it could come from the $400,000 proposed for the temporary shelter tent. This can be a win/win/win for the veterans, the animals and the community budget.

Roger Elgram

Retired, Tucson

Whooping cough

immunization is vital

Re: the Nov. 13 article “Whooping cough spiking.”

It is truly troublesome to read about the outbreak of whooping cough in the Vail School District. There was a time, not that long ago, when parents and children lived in fear of contracting the crippling disease polio, but a strong immunization program eliminated that fear. Measles, mumps, rubella and diphtheria have also been eliminated or mostly eliminated with immunization programs.

The reappearance of whooping cough is a reminder that we must not forget the importance of getting immunized. Many pharmacies now routinely offer immunizations; talk to your pharmacist today and get your immunization shots for your and our community’s better health.

P. Jason Wong

Registered pharmacist, Tucson

JFK’s death was felt in a distant place

One of JFK’s finest gifts to my generation was signing the Peace Corps into law. I was serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in northeast Brazil where his picture adorned mud houses, bodegas and classrooms alike. I learned of his assassination from students in an evening literacy class I was conducting. I couldn’t finish the class. What a tragedy felt ’round the world.

Judith Seoldo

Retired nutritionist, Tucson

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