Ajo story a reminder to give, spend wisely

Re: the Aug. 13 article “US spent $13M on 21 homes in Ajo.”

We may never know who is responsible for this profligate spending; but the article reminds us of our choices for some tax expenditures: $13 million for 21 moderate-size homes and another $2 million for 20 mobile homes. For that price, how many lives would be changed by Habitat for Humanity homes in Tucson? How many homes and their surrounding neighborhoods could have been rehabbed to allow homeowners to remain in their homes?

Lucky for us that the park-model homes are mobile. Any chance they can be sold and moved to pay for this fiasco? In the meantime, don’t neglect your opportunity to direct your tax dollars, whether through federal deductions and/or Arizona tax credits. Choose to give to 501(c)(3) organizations with responsible track records. Make your money talk!

Jo Riester

Deaconness, Ascension Lutheran Church and School

Appalled that we can't protect military women

Re: the Aug. 16 article “Hagel tries to clarify handling of sex assaults” and the Aug. 17 article “Hagel looks to cut impact of recent Obama remarks.”

If I had a daughter or granddaughter in the military, I would be totally disheartened about measures being considered to protect her. I am appalled by the inability of the military, the Department of Defense and Congress to solve this problem. How can we as a country criticize others for their treatment of women when we cannot seem to accomplish that mission ourselves?

Dorothy Dittmar


Wrong to change coverage after the fact

Re: the Aug. 16 article “Fire widow takes equal-benefits fight to Brewer.”

The Yarnell hotshots should have been aware of the benefits they and their families were entitled to. If benefits were not considered sufficient they had the option of refusing employment or of purchasing additional coverage. With many underfunded departments in the state in is ridiculous to consider changing benefits for anyone after the fact. I carried extra insurance as a member of the USAF for seven years and when I was self-employed for 35 years. Others should do likewise.

William E. North

Retired, Tucson

Pressure polio nations to protect vaccine staff

Re: the July 31 editorial “New polio outbreak shows how hard eradication will be.”

Polio has crippled thousands of youth around the world and it is an absolute travesty that several terror groups have targeted the volunteers who dedicate their lives to providing the administration of the vaccine. Rotary International has made eradicating polio its main goal since 1985. Rotary teamed up with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and has helped raise over $1 billion towards this effort.

Bill Gates has also donated over $500 million to Rotary’s effort. Last year we saw only 223 cases but we can’t be fooled into complacency. This disease can spread rapidly and we must pressure the countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Nigeria to provide protection for vaccine volunteers. We are very close to eliminating this ugly disease. I hope others will join us in this effort.

Dave Gallaher

President, Rotary Club of Tucson

Fitz column soars with personal tale

Re: the Aug. 10 column “What it takes to rescue a heavy heart from the abyss of poverty.”

In addition to being a talented cartoonist David Fitzsimmons is a gifted writer. His column soared as a postscript to the Daily Star’s poignant series on poverty. The richness of his words ends with a revealing personal story. He is a Tucson treasure.

Keith McLeod

GOP harming nation with its filibusters

Re: the Aug. 2 letter to the editor “Republicans represent half of the country.”

The letter claims that because Republicans represent roughly half the country, President Obama needs to nominate more moderate candidates for appointments requiring Senate confirmation. The problem isn’t his choices, it’s the Senate. The Senate used to pass legislation on a simple majority vote. Then Obama showed up and the filibuster became routine. It now takes 60 votes to get anything through the Senate. A similar situation exists in the House. Even though Democrats won the popular vote in the last Congressional elections, gerrymandered districts enabled Republicans to maintain their majority. Now they’ve parlayed that majority into the lowest approval ratings in history — not exactly an endorsement from half the country.

Intransigent Republicans have made a mockery of democracy in America. Waving the Stars and Stripes does not hide the fact that they’re doing grave damage to the country we all love.

Duncan Stitt

Musician, Tucson

Put offenders in stocks to reduce crime

It infuriates me to read of teenagers today who are found guilty of crimes such as vandalism but cannot be publicly identified because they are too young! Have we learned nothing from the Pilgrims? Crime in those days was often punished by locking the offender in a stock located in the center of town, sometimes for days. Such public ridicule and humiliation was a very effective tool in reducing crime, and I guarantee you if applied today we would experience less adolescent mischief and parents would quickly get more involved in overseeing their children’s activities!

Ted Reynolds

Retired, Oro Valley