Low education funding an unattractive feature
Re: the April 21 article "Tucson growth rated in bottom 10."
The article lists the reasons why Tucson isn't doing well and how it will improve to attract young entrepreneurs and university graduates. However, it leaves invisible the 800-pound elephant. That is the "expenditure per student: The U.S. average per-student expenditure for public elementary and secondary schools in 2010-11 fall enrollment was $10,770 … Arizona ($6,448)."
Arizona spent the least amount per student of the 50 states, according to the statistical analysis of the National Education Association. In addition, Arizona had the fifth-worst ranking of the number of students to the number of teachers (read, class size).
Then, of course, there's Arizona's antipathy toward undocumented immigrants (read, Hispanics) and one can readily understand that in the state-by-state competition for attracting young, bright, entrepreneurial individuals, the state and the city would not be attractive choices.
It's not likely that the rankings will change, at least in the near future.
Retired physician, Tucson
Streetcar starting to show its value
Complaints about our modern streetcar are as predictable as summer monsoons. Some decry the need to "subsidize" ridership - as if air traffic controllers and road maintenance turn a profit for the government.
Others complain that "nobody" will ever use it - forgetting how transit ridership soared nationwide when gas hit $4 a gallon.
Another common criticism is to claim that electric buses would be less expensive. That's misleading; rail transit is costlier to install, but far cheaper to maintain than asphalt roads. And while bus systems are more flexible, the very permanence of light rail adds value to the surrounding land. We are already seeing the payoff with an investment boom along the streetcar route, even before the line is complete.
A modern city offers a variety of transit options. It was shortsighted not to have built our streetcar system sooner - and we may soon be wishing it were more extensive.
Art teacher, Tucson
Would view apply to male Girl Scout leader?
Re: the April 20 article "Boy Scouts may allow gay youths, not leaders."
Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, expresses sympathy for "the gay Eagle Scout who, as an adult" wants to become a Boy Scout troop leader. I wonder how sympathetic and open-minded he'd be if a straight adult male was appointed the leader of his daughter's Girl Scout troop?
Writer, speech coach, Tucson
No real commitment to border security
In 1986, when Reagan was president, legislation was passed granting citizenship to 3 million illegal immigrants. We were assured that sufficient controls were being put in place to keep this from repeating, including workplace controls called E-Verify.
Now more than 12 million will be granted citizenship, and E-Verify will be phased in over five years. Give me a break. Can they really believe that five years must pass before enacting controls sufficient to persuade employers to not hire persons here illegally?
Billions to be spent on border security - what a joke. There is not now, nor has there ever been, a serious commitment to secure the border. This is just to placate citizens into believing all will be well.
We fell for it then and most will again now. Anyone against this bill is labeled racist. How sad that most are cowed into silence because of this accusation.
Jack B. Walters
Enforce law uniformly
Re: the April 23 article "Crash victims likely illegal migrants."
Whether in the country illegally or an American citizen, the driver of the SUV that crashed, killing five people and injuring 15 others, should be charged with involuntary manslaughter or negligent homicide.
He knew he was engaged in illegal activity, and rather than trying to get away from authority, he should have surrendered. Those deaths and injuries were incurred in the commission of a crime.
Let's not make two sets of laws - one for our legal citizens, one for those in the country illegally.
Marietta D. Luce
Gay marriage could open door to polygamy
Re: the April 22 letter to the editor "Wrong questions being asked about marriage."
Indeed, most discussions, including that of the media, are missing an important broader implication of the debate. If marriage simply involves the agreement of consenting adults, what is to limit it to two adults? Human relations have a long history of multiple-person marriages.
Indeed, the basic argument for gay marriage provides no rationale for limiting marriage to only two. Be careful for what we wish. We are opening the door to polygamy. But, perhaps, that is all right too.
Economist, Oro Valley