Letters to the editor

2014-04-22T00:00:00Z 2014-04-23T21:49:57Z Letters to the editor Arizona Daily Star
April 22, 2014 12:00 am

‘100 objects’ series great for tourists

Re: the April 20 article “Tucson in 100 objects.”

I am looking forward to the remaining 99 ways to describe Tucson! What a great idea!

If you are going to be putting them into a book, please put my name on the list. I would love to have a copy for my coffee table. They would also make terrific gifts. I certainly hope you are planning an edition, with great pictures, it would be the ultimate tourist take-home gift!

Johanna Stein

Retired, Tucson

Uber, Lyft are not

‘ride-sharing’ services

Re: the March 17 guest column “Ride-sharing services put all road users at risk.”

Mike Tully’s guest column provided good information on new transportation providers, such as Uber and Lyft.

Tully categorized these providers as ride-sharing services. However, this is not an appropriate way to describe these providers, which are actually profitable businesses where transportation is purchased, as Tully accurately describes.

A ride-share service, such as Sun Rideshare run by the Pima Association of Governments, provides free carpool matching for sharing a ride to and from work. Participants generally share the driving or split the costs, but no profit is involved. Most personal auto policies cover passengers in a carpool, since it is not a commercial venture.

Sun Rideshare was established in the late 1980s to reduce pollution and traffic congestion in Pima County. It continues to facilitate carpooling and vanpooling, promote transit, biking, walking and telecommuting and provide incentives to increase the use of alternative transportation.As a result, we prefer services like Uber and Lyft be referred to as transportation network companies and not ride-share services.

Ruth Reiman

Travel demand management, Pima Association of Governments

‘Use it or lose it’ boosts absenteeism

Re: the April 15 letter to the editor “Military’s sick-leave policy is ‘use it or lose it.’”

The military does not accumulate sick leave time like their civilian counterparts but does accumulate regular leave. Sick leave in the military is non-chargeable leave. It is true that military members who have in excess of 30-days regular leave at the end of the year are required to “use it or lose it.” They can also sell back regular leave at the time of their re-enlistment or separation with the service.

While paying employees for unused sick leave may seem “unfair,” it does cut down on absenteeism when compared to employees who do not receive this benefit. The federal government discovered this when it changed its retirement systems in 1984 to include a “use it or lose it” policy and there was a spike in absenteeism from employees under the new system.

They earned it; why not pay them for it.

John Connolly

Retired military, Tucson

Courtesy lacking

in the parking lot

In having moved to Tucson almost nine years ago from the east coast, one of the more obvious differences that my family and I encountered was the behavior of drivers in parking lots.

It seems that when backing out of a space, we apparently do not have the right of way. I just thought that the safest thing to do was to wait for a car to fully back out, thus permitting the driver to be on their way out of the lot.

Plus, with the proliferation of SUVs, it is impossible to see if another vehicle may be barreling down the row. However, when that does occur, wouldn’t it be the polite thing to let a car completely back up?

Nope. In Tucson, drivers would rather maneuver around a backed-up car rather than permit the backing up to continue. This leads to the question: Why?

My guess is that this type of politeness of waiting is now considered to be “uncommon courtesy.”

Steven Bleicher

Medicare adviser, Tucson

NRA should get background checks

Would somebody please explain to me why the National Rifle Association is so opposed to background checks?

I agreed to a background check when I went into the Marines. I agreed to background checks when I worked for two large companies. Is it possible that they have something to hide?

Maybe we should demand background checks for all NRA members. Wouldn’t that be an eye opener.

Ted Gemoets

Retired insurance claim manager, Tucson

Pitts column omits union donations

Re: the April 10 column “With eyes glazed, US watches hijacking of democracy.”

As usual, columnist Leonard Pitts presents some thought provoking material, but there is a glaring omission. He fails to mention the multimillion dollar contributions made by labor unions, mostly to Democrats.

Could it be because he doesn’t consider contributions made to Democrats as part of the billions “polluting” the political system as he characterizes donations by others, such as billionaires?

Richard Gallimore

Retired civil engineer, SaddleBrooke

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