Verdict a rallying cry to carry on struggle

Re: the July 14 article "Jurors find Zimmerman not guilty in teen's death."

I am both stunned and horrified at the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. How could it be that a person with a gun, who intentionally stalks a young man walking through a neighborhood and shoots him, is found not guilty? Whether the young black man tried to defend himself when confronted is irrelevant. George Zimmerman was the pursuer, the antagonist and the murderer.

With this verdict our country has regressed to a time when racism and discrimination reigned supreme. I grieve for all those crying out for justice and equality. Let us not give up hope, but battle together until the rights of all humans - regardless of race or origin - are treated equally and fairly in this country.

Toni Rivers

Writer, Tucson

Gun was what made Martin case a killing

Re: the July 14 article "Jurors find Zimmerman not guilty in teen's death."

If George Zimmerman did not have a gun, the outcome would likely not have resulted in death. Even if Zimmerman had confronted Trayvon Martin, the worst that might have happened would be a fistfight resulting in injuries to both parties instead of the tragic death of Martin.

Zimmerman's arrest record was not allowed to be introduced at the trial, even though Martin's use of marijuana was allowed. In 2005, Zimmerman was arrested and charged with "resisting an officer with violence" and "battery of a law enforcement officer." These charges were reduced, as is often the case, and the remaining charge was waived when Zimmerman agreed to attend an alcohol treatment program. Also, his ex-fiancee filed a restraining order against him for domestic violence.

Zimmerman had a record of violence. Martin did not. What about Martin's right to self-defense?

Jessica Hamdan


Zimmerman now needs to watch for gun toters

Re: the July 15 article "Possible lawsuits, ongoing fear for safety may face Zimmerman."

Robert Zimmerman Jr., George Zimmerman's brother, told CNN his sibling would be "looking over his shoulder the rest of his life." That's probably true, if there are other people who carry guns and take the law in their own hands.

Irene Walden


Story showed what's right about Tucson

Re: the July 14 article "A family by choice."

Too often we focus on what is wrong with our city. I'd like to thank the Daily Star for the article on Jeremy McCray that highlighted all that is right: a compassionate and observant TUSD educator, a wonderful partnership between the Beacon Group and Jim Click, life-fulfilling offerings at Tucson Parks and Recreation and quality martial arts at Howden's Kenpo Academy.

Clearly, these components have enabled Jeremy to thrive in a supportive community, and from the quotes in the article it appears that those around him are benefiting 10-fold from their involvement. Surely this is just one example in thousands of social networks that are going right every day, enabling Tucsonans, in all our many forms, to succeed. It serves as yet another example of why I'm proud to call Tucson home. Let's continue to focus on the good.

Brian Stark


Special interests vested in keeping racism alive

Racism in America will never die. The reason is simple. Too many people and powerful organizations have a vested interest in keeping racism alive. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton need some instances of racism, real or imagined, to maintain their status. The 24/7 media cycle also requires a lot of stories to fill their space. Stories about racism can be spun into so many other stories that they are highly prized. The recent Zimmerman trial illustrates that, with stories about the judge, the mothers, planning to control possible riots, etc.

Racism will never die because powerful interests require it to live.

Gene McNally


Software might not be TUSD's real problem

Re: the July 6 article "TUSD to dump software system."

As a systems analyst with previous Lawson experience, I can say there's nothing wrong with the software. We used Lawson for many years with great success.

The article states the old PeopleSoft system (replaced by Lawson at my facility, too) was unusable "because it had been modified too much and was years behind in upgrades." Well, any computer system that is customized and not kept current is doomed to fail.

John Pedicone is partially correct stating it is a system problem. But in reality it's a management problem. It takes competent IT management and adequate staff for any computer system to succeed and provide return on investment. TUSD needs to ensure both exist before committing resources to upgrade the old system or we will have come full circle at great expense to the taxpayers.

Scott Saylor

Technology consultant, Tucson

Guns-first mentality hurts Arizona's image

Re: the July 10 letter to the editor "Arizona's lousy image hurts tourism."

The author omitted one more important reason: Guns are first, education is last in many minds here. Unfortunately.

Joan Domash

Retired teacher, Green Valley

Enviros have a part in 19 wildfire deaths

Dear Tree Huggers: You wanted us to stop burning our forest trees. We did. You wanted us to not "clean" our forest. We did. Nineteen brave Americans died. What responsibility do you take? Have you done anything to help the families of the 19 brave souls? Now is your time to pay for your "achievements."

Ann Lee