In 2010, a climate

of hate infected Tucson

Re: the Nov. 25 guest column “Lessons from JFK assassination: Remembering Tucson’s own taint.”

Tom Zoellner wrote eloquently, and from an insider’s viewpoint, about the implicit threats to Gabby Giffords in Southern Arizona in the fall of 2010. He did not mention some specifics that were readily apparent to everyone, including me, as a visitor at the time from California: billboards said simply “Gabby’s Got to Go,” another showed her dangling in the air as “Pelosi’s Puppet.”

Sarah Palin showed her in cross hairs. I was appalled that October by the animosity and saddened but not surprised when the climate of hate spurred an imbalanced man to act. We need to honor Gabby’s integrity, courage and kindness and elect more politicians who share her humanity.

Constance Gottlund-Stevens

Retired educator, Tubac

Nurse practitioners can fill physician gap

Re: the Nov. 11 column “We can head off physician shortages with help from elected officials.”

Your recent column by the Tucson Citizen misstated the issue of where all the primary caregivers for the future will come from. They are already here, in ever greater numbers: Nurse practitioners.

Institutional and commercial practice entities seem more than satisfied to forgo employment for physicians in primary care. When was the last time you saw a doctor for a sick visit? And NPs do not have to finance eight years of college and four years of residency to do the same job.

Keeping the reimbursement for MDs in primary care stagnant for years, adding mandatory administrative tasks to what was once an efficient, streamlined practice, has assured the number who go into first-line practice will be limited to those without debt or who burn with missionary zeal.

So, how many nurse practitioners per population are needed for the future? That is really the question.

Jonathan Pasternack

Physician, Tucson

Make companies pay up front for damage

Rosemont got a real bargain when they placated Game and Fish with a few million dollars. Now there’s the Kinder Morgan Sierrita gas pipeline and millions more in potential environmental damage. No problem, these companies say, we’ll mitigate everything — when we’re done.

I suggest setting up a massive escrow account right now for mitigation later. Show us the money now. Make this part of the deal and see if the companies still want to play if they have to pay in advance. Remember Exxon in Alaska? BP in the Gulf of Mexico? They promise the world, pay a minimal fine out of corporate petty cash, let emotions cool, and then stonewall and say “That’s all, folks.”

For these companies, mitigation expenses are part of their promises program, not part of their business plan. Promises will never replace cash up front, and Arizona will surely need lots of cash to clean up after Kinder Morgan’s construction and when Augusta disappears into Canada.

David P. Kelly

Retired, Tucson

Impeachment doesn’t guarantee removal

Re: the Nov. 14 letter to the editor “Fast forward to impeachment.”

Just as a point of information, impeachment does not imply dismissal or removal from office. It only means to accuse of wrongdoing by an officeholder. Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson were impeached but never tried for high crimes and/or misdemeanors. Nixon resigned under threat of impeachment, but impeachment means nothing without a trial.

Said trial would be held in the Senate. Current legislative makeup would almost certainly ensure that no such trial will happen. And, no, I am not an attorney. I just stayed awake in high school and college civics and political science classes. Evidently, the letter writer did not.

Elizabeth Crown

State employee, Marana

Squandered opportunity

Re: the Nov. 12 article “High-pay jobs not in Tucson forecast.”

I wonder how many high paying jobs Grand Canyon University might have brought to Tucson, along with massive infusions to the local economy, had the city of Tucson assisted in that effort instead of deciding to retain a golf course that costs taxpayers money?

Charles Ostermeyer

Contracts manager, Tucson

Don’t believe Iran’s promises

Re: the Nov. 24 article “6 world powers, Iran reach nuclear deal.”

The administration so craves an agreement with Iran that we are willing to accept their promises regarding the limiting of its nuclear activities. In 1939, Neville Chamberlain, then prime minister of Great Britain, signed an agreement with Hitler, who promised that Germany would not drag Europe into another war. A confident Chamberlain declared we would have “peace in our time.” Well, we all know the rest of the story. Let’s hope that we won’t have “déjà vu all over again.”

Alan Dankwerth

Consultant, Oro Valley