Forest official failing to protect our land

The decision by Coronado Forest Supervisor Jim Upchurch to approve the Rosemont Mine clearly violates the mission of the U.S. Forest Service: “Caring for the land and serving the people.” Instead, this open-pit copper mine would rape the land and rob the people.

As cabin owners on National Forest land in the Catalinas, we must comply with strictly enforced USFS guidelines: “preserve the natural character of these scenic public landscapes for everyone” and ensure “human built structures and associated activities on the forest harmonize with the landscape,” i.e. no grading, paved driveways or walkways or tree removal.

Consequently, Upchurch’s irresponsible decision contradicts both the Forest Service mission and its guidelines. Rosemont will destroy vegetation and habitat, excavate a vast pit, dump the waste on undisturbed land, create a network of roads, realign natural drainage systems and consume water resources.

Forest Service approval permits an inexperienced Canadian company to devastate the scenic quality of the Santa Ritas and permanently contaminate the environment. Upchurch is derelict in his duty to protect our land.

Robert Swain

Retired architect, Tucson

Music, arts help students in many ways

In Arizona, along with a general lack of funding for public education, the arts suffer in particular from low tax dollars. In many other states, the arts are considered an essential part of students’ education and are funded with tax dollars, not a patchwork of grants and gifts.

Those states have a mandated directive requiring every elementary school have a certified music and an art teacher on staff. Documented studies have shown that the presence of a strong art and music program will help instill creativity, problem-solving, spatial reasoning and critical thinking skills in elementary students.

These attributes, which may not be tested, are nevertheless measurable in keeping students engaged in education. Too much emphasis is placed on standardized tests in Arizona and not enough placed on other important aspects of a student’s education.

We need to make sure all Arizona students have access to an arts program.

Jo Tubb

Retired art teacher, Sahuarita

Bomber deserves

lifetime of punishment

The Boston Marathon bomber is facing the death penalty. He doesn’t deserve it.

The death penalty is so extreme, so final, that it requires numerous lengthy and expensive appeals — as it should. We dare not make a mistake even in this extreme case.

While awaiting execution the prisoner is a star, back in the news every few months, the subject of well-meaning protests, able to consult with reporters, lawyers, etc., probably for decades.

Drop the death penalty and you have one trial, maybe one appeal, and then it’s life-without-parole in a maximum security prison where all the time is hard time. Forever. Denied what he wants most — glorious martyrdom followed by jihadi heaven.

Just stuff him away in society’s dead-storage locker with nothing to do but think about how he got there. That’s a punishment that lasts a lifetime.

David P. Kelly

Retired, Tucson

Look no further than AZ

for personality disorder

Re: the Feb. 1 letter to the editor “Which elected official fits this description?”

Unlike the letter writer, who pointed a finger at the White House when talking about narcissistic personality disorder, I really thought she was describing most of the Arizona state Legislature and administration.

“Inflated sense of their own importance?” Check. “Believe that they’re superior to others and have little regard for other people’s feelings (or opinions)?” Check. “Fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism?” Check.

Karen Schickedanz

Retired, SaddleBrooke

Click has long history of helping others

Re: the Jan. 19 letter to the editor “Brewer, Click benefit from lack of context.”

The letter writer thinks the news needs more “context” because Jim Click is helping hundreds of charities in a “feel-good car raffle.” Apparently Mr. Click does not have the right to support politicians he believes in or causes he believes in because it offends the writer’s “context.”

For decades, Click has helped multiple charities, hired hundreds of mentally and physically disabled people in addition to thousands of others, and paid millions in taxes.

I’ve never bought a car from Click, but I will buy his sponsored raffle tickets to support my favorite charities.

Bruce Stoddard

Pilot, Tucson

Rosemont critique

by Bronson appreciated

Re: the Feb. 2 guest column “Splintered views of Rosemont Mine don’t reveal total picture.”

Many, many thanks to County Supervisor Sharon Bronson for her thoughtful — and devastating — critique of this proposed environmental disaster that the Star’s feckless editors have endorsed. If, God forbid, proponents of this mine are successful, her commentary will prove to be sadly prophetic.

James W. Clarke

Retired, Tucson