Letters to the editor

2014-03-28T00:00:00Z Letters to the editor Arizona Daily Star
March 28, 2014 12:00 am

Streetcar danger

will exist downtown

Re: the March 24 column “Kozachik: City must act for bikes, cars, streetcars to coexist.”

We should be appalled that Parkwise Program Administrator Donovan Durband remarked that they “will work with city staff to address problems as they arise” in response to a real concern that some streetcar routes will be perilous to bike riders and drivers.

Any driver who has negotiated the morning maze on Congress heading west through downtown will tell you that sharing the road with the streetcar will no doubt feel like one is playing an obstacle-laden video game.

The city should not wait to address problems “as they arise.” I would rather see Congress and Broadway shut down to non-streetcar use during peak hours of the day, or at least prohibit parking and bike use on those narrow routes.

Don’t wait for the first bike rider to be victim to vehicular overload when the streetcar runs through downtown. The city surely doesn’t want to invite payouts from its already strained legal reserves.

Anne Shiff

Downtown business owner, Tucson

NRA’s policies:

a prescription for tragedy

Re: the March 23 column “Protect kids from guns? Arizona won’t hear of it.”

Todd Rathner has his agenda from the National Rifle Association, which I now refer to as the New Radical Army as opposed to its official name.

I was a member of the NRA in 1964 and ‘65. Its focus then was responsible gun ownership and safety. Now it appears to be to put a gun (or several) in the hands of every American and to have guns accepted everywhere. This is a prescription for tragedy — and we’ve seen that prescription filled time and time again.

I take particular offense in Rathner’s statement regarding laws on parenting. We have them, Mr. Rathner — where have you been? Keeping a gun where a child might get it is not only gross abuse, but incredibly stupid.

Rathner and those like him are the reason we need stricter gun laws!

Lorraine Messineo

Data analyst, Manchester N.H.

Why must business

fund birth control?

I would appreciate a coherent argument as to why Americans and American businesses are forced to pick up the insurance costs of birth control and morning-after pills for all females.

Preventive care for maintaining good health is one thing, but pregnancy is not a disease — it’s the result of a decision by two people who agree (in most cases) to copulate. Abdicating responsibility for one’s actions will simply speed the downward spiral of turning this once-great country into a nanny state.

Lindsey Smith

Retired, Tucson

Catalina High must deal

with unique problems

Re: the March 26 article “TUSD board votes 4-1 not to renew contract of Catalina Principal Scott.”

The Tucson Unified School District board recently voted to dismiss Catalina High’s principal. Maybe it was the right decision, but the fact that Catalina’s academic assessment significantly improved in the past year may indicate otherwise.

It just seems unreasonable to expect anyone to do better given the circumstances at Catalina. According to its Web page, over 40 languages and dialects are spoken at the school.

Many students are refugees from war-torn areas in Africa. They don’t speak English, and some are not even literate in their own languages. They have lived in refugee camps, and in some cases, suffer post-traumatic stress disorder from having witnessed the killing of family members.

Catalina has a student turnover of nearly 60 percent and a significant number of special-needs students, and most students are economically disadvantaged. The question is not whether the principal is at fault, but instead whether the board is using unrealistic criteria to measure success.

Tim Ingraham

Attorney, Tucson

Technology exists

to scan for blowing dust

Re: the March 20 article “Simple device aims to aid drivers when dust storms hit”

Technology exists and has supporting EPA standards (Alternative Method 082) and international standards (ASTM D7520-14) to determine visibility impairment of blowing dust using common digital imagery devices (cameras and high-definition recorders) and computer software. The technology is inexpensive, reliable and proven. Imagery can scan miles of potentially hazardous area in seconds to provide early warning, while fixed-mounted sensors require the dust to be on top of the sensor. Given the vastness of the Arizona desert, fixed-point sensors seems a waste of tax dollars. For more information on currently available commercial technology, see www.virtuallc.com

Shawn Dolan

President Virtual Technology LLC, Rio Rico

Baseball teams failed

to connect with Tucson

The Chihuahuas/Aces series (April 11-14) at Kino Stadium is an insult to Tucson baseball fans. These clubs represent the failure of management to connect with the community. Albuquerque went through a similar experience and has a new team that drew 567,000 people last year, compared with Tucson’s 200,000.

Nothing about the Sidewinders or Padres ever screamed “Tucson.” The former were the Baby Backs, and Tucson doesn’t want to be Phoenix’s understudy. The latter were packaged to be sold elsewhere. Why support a temporary team?

The Toros had a connection with Tucson and that’s been missing since they left. The community named the team and the team led the league in attendance regularly, two facts about Albuquerque baseball.

This management team blames fans for not coming out, but they don’t blame themselves for not connecting with us. Maybe they should call the Isotopes for some advice.

Sean Curley

Student, critical thinker, Tucson

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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