orget gifts — workers need a living wage

It’s the holidays again. Time for those in our musical-chairs economy who have jobs to take a moment and remember the less fortunate by donating food or gifts.

Perhaps if we focused more attention on creating jobs that paid a living wage, we could worry less about feeding the those who live in poverty and giving toys to their children. Perhaps if people were provided with a single-payer health-care system, parents would have more money to provide for their families. Perhaps, too, if people turned off their televisions and listened to their neighbors, they would be in a better position to help those in need right in their own communities, for they would know who was in need and what services were needed.

But, alas. Such hopes are no more than wishful thinking and, again, those needing help will be fed and their children will receive a token Christmas gift — but not much more. Anything more might interfere with the status quo and, well, better someone else being poor than you.

John Stiles

Consultant, Tucson

Time to pull plug

on Rio Nuevo waste

Our city leaders have forked over another $130,000 to out-of-state consultants to tell us what to do with our downtown. I have lost count; how many millions have we have spent on this? This group’s recommendations? Add more fast-food joints, build more highrises (certain to tick off the Nimbys), keep bicycles away from the trolley tracks, knock down more buildings, develop a convention center that can actually manage a convention, plus convenient and modern hotels.

This, I am sure, will join other reports that have recommended we need a viable convention center and hotel complex. That was the original intent of voters who approved Rio Nuevo 14 years ago. The Democrats who have run this city and have squandered the bulk of Rio Nuevo funds are not entirely at fault. Voters keep electing them.

Stop the madness! End Rio Nuevo. Donate any remaining funds to help our homeless veterans. They have served us far better the current crop of city leaders.

Jay Allen

Retired, Tucson

Let’s keep cellphones turned off while flying

Re: the Nov. 26 editorial “Let airlines make call on in-flight cellphone use.”

The idea of allowing cellphones on airplanes is appalling. I ride the bus in Tucson several times a week, and invariably there is a person talking on his or her phone during the entire trip. If one call is over, they call someone else.

These callers also do not seem to realize that they are using a phone, but feel the need to talk loud enough so that they can be heard several miles away. This is really very annoying but tolerable for about half an hour.

The idea of being subjected to such a verbal barrage by someone sitting near you for five hours is revolting. I suspect that it can lead to confrontation and violence in a confined space, where one can’t escape this type of offensive behavior.

Werner Zimmt

Retired chemist, Tucson