Scared migrant kids

aren’t the problem

I believe in the Constitution of the United States, which gives us the right to free speech and to assemble and demonstrate, nonviolently. I’ve been arrested for exercising those rights.

The people trying to block buses carrying immigrant children to places of safety need to remember, however, that it is not those homeless, frightened kids that are the problem. Screaming at them is simply an act of bullying rather than expressing a viewpoint.

Demonstrating at the federal building to petition for redress of grievances is more appropriate than shouting at a bunch of lost and scared children.

And since many of these children are refugees from the drug wars, we need to remember that those of us who use and buy “recreational” drugs, and those of us who support American military interventions in other countries, bear a lot of responsibility for the situation. Meanwhile, kids are kids and need to be sheltered, protected and loved no matter what.

Albert Lannon

Poet and historian, Tucson

Protest in Oracle

was disgusting

Like some in California, Arizona has its hate-mongering militants. It is sad to see, however, that in a state that has been populated mostly by folks from elsewhere would be so hateful.

These kids are refugees trying to avoid death and lives of fear, much engendered by American drug users. They should be treated with respect and be welcomed no matter whether they have to be sent back or not. What I see happening in Oracle is truly disgusting.

Donald Shelton

Retired, Tucson

Use Arizona Stadium

for viewing parties

During the World Cup, we witnessed large viewing parties in many U.S. cities. Thousands of fans gathered in public parks and sports stadiums to watch the games on gigantic video screens.

Instead of watching at home, fans longed for the camaraderie and excitement of watching in a large group setting. Shortly after the games ended, everyone peacefully and calmly dispersed. There were no reports of injuries, vandalism or arrests at any of these mass gatherings.

Let’s learn from the World Cup experience and use McKale Center or Arizona Stadium for viewing parties during the March playoffs.

Costs can be offset by concession sales or a small $3-$5 admission fee. Capacity can be controlled by selling general admission tickets in advance (which would also help determine what size venue is needed). Security could be similar to normal football or basketball games without a need for a police riot squad. Fans get to watch the games in a safe, controlled group setting.

Here’s hoping we can make this happen.

Wes Clark

University of Arizona sports fan, Tucson

YOTO helps all comers

and needs help itself

Re: the July 15 letter “Central American kids ‘on their own,’ too.”

In response to the writer, the Youth on Their Own (YOTO) program helps at-risk kids to stay in school and graduate. Yes, immigrants/refugees are enrolled in YOTO — no documentation required. Our goal is to help all who desire to stay in school and are challenged through no fault of their own.

Enrolled YOTO students are contracted to maintain good grades and have consistent school attendance and no illegal behavior, which earns them a stipend averaging $4.66 per day.

Pima County stats indicate 5,600 homeless youth. YOTO receives no federal funds. Our funding comes from supporters who realize that uneducated kids become uneducated, unemployable adults who dramatically affect our economics, workforce development and quality of life. Last year, Youth on Their Own helped 1,200 kids, with 270 seniors graduating.

Helping more youth to stay in school and graduate depends on money. Need exceeds our ability to keep up.

Teresa Liverzani-Baker

Executive director,

Youth on Their Own, Tucson

Racket in the skies

is a reassuring sound

The roar of the Air Force jets is especially loud this afternoon. Probably has something to do with the skies being overcast, something that doesn’t happen often enough in Tucson.

Reminds me that I have two more things to be thankful for. Tucson is getting some much-needed rain and the United States Air Force is still flying overhead, assuring me that my grandchildren are safe from enemy attacks.

Thanks to all our Air Force pilots for that reassuring racket in the skies.

Virginia Lofty

Retired, Tucson

Migrants indeed pose

health concerns

Re: the July 12 column “2 doctors cry wolf on migrant health dangers.”

As expected, progressive Tim Steller attempts to assure us that we have nothing to fear health-wise from the invasion from the south of undocumented, unexamined, unneeded and unwanted “migrants,” smearing the professional medical opinions of Drs. Jane Orient and Elizabeth Lee Vliet in the process.

Unreported by the lame-stream media are the facts concerning the negative health effects that these migrants are already having on those border agents who have been reduced to government-paid baby sitters. Border Patrol agents have become ill after working in the closed and cramped environments called detention centers. Now we are to believe that we should just roll out the red carpet and not worry about the health, economic and social consequences these migrants pose.

I get it; we just need to shut up and trust our government.

Steve Nekolek

Education, Tucson