Did Huckelberry earn a 15% raise?

Re: the Feb. 13 article "Workers ask county for 1st pay raise in five years."

A recent Star article discussed two items regarding compensation of Pima County employees and the Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry. Apparently, it has been five years since most employees have received a raise.

On the other hand, the Pima County Board of Supervisors (most likely in executive session) OK'd an annual raise of about $35,000 (approximately 15 percent) for Huckelberry.

What did the county administrator do to deserve this very generous raise? Did he do something over and above his job requirements? Did he save taxpayers extra sums of monies?

Hopefully, he didn't get this raise just because he has warmed the same seat for a number of years.

Two board members expressed "sympathy" and the "need for fair compensation."

Not only do the employees deserve honest answers, so do the taxpayers. It's their job, and it's our money. Let's hear from you board members.

Tom Vana


Star is no longer a primary news source

Well, I guess it's official - the Arizona Daily Star no longer considers itself a primary source of news. The print edition, anyway.

I still get the paper delivered. And I don't have a smartphone or watch much news on TV. I still actually rely on the newspaper.

Recently, two big stories broke one day, with the Star's first print article the next day, and they both read like continuing stories.

I got confused reading the story about the ex-cop in L.A. because of references to things (manifesto?) that weren't explained. The same thing with the announcement by Pope Benedict. The paper was all about the aftermath and nothing about the actual event.

I guess the Star now assumes everyone already knows everything from other sources.

I keep debating about whether to cancel my subscription - but if the Star continues to make itself less and less relevant, it will make that decision for me.

Michaela Johnson

Licensed massage therapist, Tucson

What US needs is a Green New Deal

With all the gnashing of teeth about the upcoming sequestration and the devastation it will wreak on our fragile economy, it needs to be remembered that it was bipartisan legislation, backed by tea party Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats and signed by President Obama.

The vote for sequestration was 74-26 in the Senate, with 95 House Democrats voting for it and 95 against, while 174 Republicans voted for it and 66 against. All those voting for it voted against the interests of the American people, pure and simple.

While the media carried extensive coverage of Obama's State of the Union speech and Sen. Marco Rubio's drink of water afterwards, no one paid any attention to the Green Party response.

Dr. Jill Stein called for what America really needs, a Green New Deal: Breaking up the big banks and regulating the gang that created this mess, a full employment program based on building a renewable-energy, green economy and getting America back to work with the creation of 16 million jobs, rebuilding our democracy and ending the Bush-Obama costly, unwinnable wars.

Imagine, the real possibility of peace and prosperity again.

Albert Vetere Lannon

Poet and historian, Picture Rocks

TUSD is trying hard to rectify segregation

Re: the Feb. 15 guest column "TUSD has yet to remedy its disgraceful history of segregation."

Sylvia Campoy and Rubin Salter Jr. maintain that the Tucson Unified School District has not done enough to comply with the U.S. District Court to efficiently integrate our schools.

I am a retired TUSD teacher and volunteer at an elementary school in the district, and I have seen the efforts on the part of the district to integrate our schools. Programs such as English Language Learners and English as a Second Language, for example, work to provide a working knowledge of the English language for those who were not born speaking English.

These programs require the teachers involved to obtain special graduate training in these areas in addition to maintaining their regular teaching credentials.

At least point out that these programs are in place and an attempt is being made on the part of TUSD to rectify the segregation issue. Let's give credit where credit is due.

Ken Wright

Retired, Tucson

More money and hiring won't elevate PCC

Re: the Feb. 14 article "UA stacks up well on national score card."

So Pima Community College's graduation rate is a miserable 12 percent and its students "default on federal student loans within three years of entering repayment" at a rate nearly twice the national average.

This is deplorable. Where are the administrative, educator and entrance qualification standards, if indeed any even exist? This institution certainly doesn't need to add to its payroll two lobbyists (previously reported by the Arizona Daily Star) whose primary focus is to likely secure more taxpayer funding.

What instead is desperately needed are "career profile adjustments" for all those failing to educate at student and taxpayer expense. More money, more hiring, increasing compensation for those in charge at PCC - I think not.

Thomas J. Krieg

Private-sector retiree, SaddleBrooke