'Show me,' 'Prove it' essential to learning

Re: the Feb. 6 guest column "Senate bill is an end run to get religion into Arizona public schools."

As a teacher in a classroom for 33 years, I very much enjoyed hearing from my students "show me" or "prove it." Those statements sent us on many adventures in learning, reasoning and critical thinking.

Senate Bill 1213 fails to appreciate the "show me or prove it" approach that should enliven every science classroom, the scientific method of examining and repeating to be able to "show me or prove it." My students and I could repeat over and over the technique for turning water into steam, but although "it is written" that water was turned into wine, that has not been repeated that I am aware of.

We do our children a great disservice when we do not insist on teaching provable facts, even when those facts negate old "truths" from ancient "authorities." The Earth is not flat and the moon is not made of blue cheese.

Diane Uhl

Retired teacher, Oro Valley

A simple solution for shopping carts

Re: the Feb. 6 article "Task force will take on shopping carts."

The report on the numbers of shopping carts being abandoned and the problems they create caught my attention.

Creating a task force to seek solutions is another example of government entities ignoring the obvious solution and spending time and money to brainstorm.

Has no one heard of the Aldi company? Their grocery carts are outside the store in a device. You deposit a quarter and it releases one cart. When you return the cart you receive your quarter back.

Luggage carts at airports are released much the same way. Grocery stores wouldn't have to pay employees to collect the carts or buy those powered cart pushers to aid in pickup. Everyone wins!

Sandy Bales


Bills from Statehouse defy credibility

It is hard to believe what bills our legislators in Phoenix present.

It is not possible for law enforcement officers to diagnose the mentally ill. There are extenuating circumstances at traffic stops involving anger, threats to life, etc.

It is easy to detain someone when emotions are raw. Such determinations should be made by properly qualified professionals when emotions are not raw.

Another strange bill is about practicing law without a law degree.

What is this world coming to? You may as well let anyone practice medicine without a medical degree.

Anant M. Pathak

Physician, Tucson

Walton brings touch of humor to games

Re: the Feb. 7 letter to the editor "Walton's commentary was biased vs. Arizona."

I have been enjoying the fun that Bill Walton brings to the PAC-12 games where he provides commentary. 

The individual who wrote this letter is way overthinking the situation and needs to understand that a color commentator is not held to the same standards as say, Fox News. His consternation is amusing, especially in view of the fact that Bill revels in his status as a space cadet.

Who could not appreciate the hyperbole when he stated, as Washington lost control of the ball in the last couple of minutes when the game was on the line, "That was the worst possession in the history of Husky basketball?" That's funny, Bill. Keep it up.

Dick Patterson

Financial adviser, Tucson

Birth-control debate is about power, control

Re: the Feb. 7 editorial from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Single-payer plan best solution to birth-control issue."

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch suggested that the outrage about paying for contraception for women could be solved by simply giving women an extra $15 in their paychecks, assuming that that is what a monthly supply of pills costs. I wonder whether we should also provide men with a stipend for their Viagra and discontinue paying for the millions of their prescriptions that are filled every year.

I have to speculate that if men became pregnant, they would have adequate funding for birth-control supplies throughout the country.

The fact is that the legal battles to prevent funding of birth control for women have little to do with religious dogma and everything to do with exerting power and control over women. It is an age-old and worldwide practice.

Susan E. Hetherington

Retired nurse-professor, Tucson

Look within PCC for new leadership

Re: the Feb. 10 editorial "PCC should hire an interim head to act as steward."

Those paying attention are learning a national search for a chancellor is an expensive and uncertain net. What has not been said is that even if successful, it is a net that catches little in the way of new ideas.

For decades, higher education in America has been engaged in extensive benchmarking. As a result, there is little difference between what happens from one college to another. Administrators are the carriers of this conformity as they pad their résumés in search of ever larger salaries. The Star pointed out that 60 administrators left during Flores' tenure, but the trend began long before him.

Once upon a time, Pima educators worked their way up through the administration and thus understood the workings of the college intimately. Current acting Chancellor Suzanne Miles is such a leader.

There are others, deans for example, waiting to weave their local history and connections into positions of leadership. Look within!

Lee Shainen

Retired educator, Tucson