Letters to the editor

2014-01-07T00:00:00Z Letters to the editor Arizona Daily Star
January 07, 2014 12:00 am

Shame on zoo group for selling land gift

Re: the Jan. 5 article “Zoo group sells land donation to Freeport.”

Shame on you, Reid Park Zoological Society. They have solidified my knowledge that the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is the only place in Southern Arizona to see and learn about the flora and fauna of the area, not to mention learn about conservation. Shame on you!

Barbara Rosenberg

Consultant, Tucson

Maybe sale will lead

to tightened gift rules

Re: the Jan. 5 article “Zoo group sells land donation to Freeport.”

Apparently, when Albert Aguirre gifted 765 acres of land to the Reid Park Zoological Society, he did not stipulate in the transfer documents that the land must be used in keeping with “his vision of reintroducing imperiled species.” The documents could have further stated that if the society chose not to use the land in keeping with his original intent and purpose that it would revert back to the donor.

Did the group do anything illegal by selling the land? No. Was it unethical? Maybe. Will it give cause for future donors to be more restrictive in the transfer documents to be sure the intent of their gifts will be honored? I certainly hope so.

Dave Glicksman

Retired nonprofit corporation controller, Tucson

Zoo society made reasonable decision

Re: the Jan. 5 article “Zoo group sells land donation to Freeport.”

Mineral museums frequently sell donated minerals to purchase higher quality specimens or to support overall museum costs. The Reid Park Zoological Society used a recent land sale to support its core activities. The donation was generous but would have saddled the society with perpetual land management costs.

They apparently re-evaluated the idea to take on an animal and plant reintroduction program in light of the forecast of annual operating costs needed to care for the property and introduced species. This would require ongoing, large fundraising efforts to develop it into a sustainable program beyond the original land donation. It didn’t make financial sense. Introducing nonnative species doesn’t make biological sense either — can we all say buffelgrass?

Cori Hoag

Geologist, Oro Valley

San Ventana? C’mon. Get Spanish right

It always hurt my eyes to pass by San Ventana in the Foothills area. Just who was this Saint Window? If such a saint were to exist, it would have to be Santa Ventana. Now I hear of a place in Oro Valley to be named San Dorado — Saint Golden. And once again if such a saint were to exist, it would have to be Santo Dorado. When naming businesses, why not ask a competent Spanish speaker for help?

Oscar-Ernesto Morales

Retired UHS teacher, Tucson

‘Bucky’ Steele

was remarkable teacher

As a Tucson High School student from 1964 to 1968, there was always one instructor who inspired me, challenged me and guided me: Charles “Bucky” Steele. We called him “The Old Man.”

He led with a firm resolve, and we benefited from all the talent he brought in to visit us — people such as Louie Bellson, Rafael Méndez, William Grant Still, the Modern Jazz Quartet and Dave Brubeck. How many local directors had students who played with Los Changuitos Feos, with Enoch Light or Empire Brass?

I also credit Steele with helping many of us receive scholarships. The man was a legend!

Vicki Senter-Sheley

Retired TUSD teacher, Tucson

McCain, Flake wrongly backing a Dem agenda

Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake are confused. Both senators voted to approve the Democrats’ budget, which cuts military pensions (including for disabled veterans) by $6 billion over the next 10 years. The same budget continues the Internal Revenue Service’s practice of sending child tax credits to illegal immigrants, which cost taxpayers billions.

As a disabled veteran, I am sorry the senators chose “illegals” over veterans.

The budget McCain and Flake approved also continues funding for Obamacare, the federal monstrosity responsible for canceling insurance coverage for millions of Americans and driving premium costs higher.

In addition, McCain and Flake are members of the “Gang of Eight” working to pass the Democrats’ version of immigration “reform.” ,” providing amnesty and citizenship to millions of illegal aliens, while leaving the border porous.The senators apparently believe they were elected as Democrats.

Bruce Scott

Writer, Tucson

Account of firefighters in Israel heartwarming

Re: the Dec. 8 article “Local firefighters impressed by Israeli preparedness.”

It was heartwarming to read of the trip of a group of Southern Arizona’s firefighters to Israel, where they learned a great deal from their Israeli peers about their profession. ... Especially wonderful was what Capt. Scott Laird said. “We went as seven firefighters and came back as seven ambassadors for Israel.”

Billie Kozolchyk


Self-defense using guns

is underreported

Re: the Dec. 26 letter to the editor “Where are the armed good Samaritans?”

The “Good Samaritans” are all around you. According to a 1994 Department of Justice survey titled “Guns in America,” guns are used 1.5 million times annually for self-defense. Other studies claim higher or lower numbers, depending on bias.

The real number is likely higher. People usually don’t call the police when someone runs off because you brandished a weapon.

The reason you are still waiting for the headline “Armed civilian saves the day” is that the media are generally anti-gun. They make money off sensational headlines, not, “Woman scares criminals by falsely shouting she has a gun.” That just isn’t up their political alley.

Jason Krutz

Small-business owner, Tucson

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