City sure looks good from the streetcar

On a recent Sunday streetcar ride I was struck by the extraordinary demographic variety of my fellow passengers: young and old, tall and short, rich and poor: a highly eclectic group of citizens united only in one respect — they were all wearing childish grins, poorly disguised innocent smiles like the expressions on the faces of kids in a candy store.

The public’s evident pleasure is due not only to the smart new air-conditioned cars or nostalgia for childhood memories of public transportation, or Keynesian vindication of government investment, or even a kind of solidarity with the proletariat, but because our venerable Old Pueblo, with its handsome Victorian, territorial, and bungalow homes, its impressive university, funky Fourth Avenue and vibrant downtown is finally showing its true colors as a city to be proud of, especially when viewed from the novel perspective of our modern streetcar.

John Wakefield

Owner, Artistry in Glass, Tucson

Millionaire coaches abuse student-athletes

Re: the Aug. 15 column “In football, the noise is part of the job.”

Rich Rodriguez: “I’m allowed to be mad. That’s my right.” The Star has previously written he yells at his student athletes. Where does that right come from? Not a place of ethical and moral standards of behavior. Coaches, colleges, the NCAA, suck billions of dollars out of these students. The performance of Rodriguez’s athletes directly determines if he continues as a millionaire. Perhaps he is yelling to protect his paycheck?

The University of Arizona basketball and football coaches are the highest-paid state employees. What would happen to any other state employee who was chronically yelling at his/her fellow employees? This is a national culture of abuse that brainwashes students to acquiesce. The setup is: Go along or watch from the bleachers. It must stop.

Glenn Johnson

Retired mental-health therapist, Tucson

Careful reading of article


shows no crime

Re: the August 11 article “Tucson protesters attempt to stop immigrant detainment.”

Imagine my shock and dismay upon reading the article as it detailed how police and the Border Patrol detained an man who disclosed he had no driver’s license and identified himself as an immigrant. I immediately questioned by what authority the man was being held.

A careful reading of the article said nothing about the man being in the country illegally. If he were an “uninvited visitor” to our country the detainment might have been legitimate. Based on the article as published, this incident is an outrage to all law-abiding citizens and immigrants, naturalized or not.

But then, perhaps the article is a sad example of the Star’s editorial bent or a journalistic faux pas.

Kerry McLaughlin

Retired, Tucson

Some candidates are

hard to take seriously

It seems to be a rite of campaigning for some candidates to choose a method that is devoid of any contribution and basically reeks. They cast their “political chum” over the waters of the electorate hoping to attract voters. Their primary contribution to the voters is to point out every possible character flaw of the opposition and fail to understand the irrefutable law of retribution ... you only reap what you sow. This law cannot be circumvented no matter what ploy is used.

We already know the perfect candidate does not exist. In plain English, inform us just how you are going to solve the problems we are facing.

We already know what we need, so skip the verbosity regarding that. Just what are you going to do for us?

John Westhoff

Retired, Green Valley

Evaluation of judge full of holes

Re: the Aug. 14 article “Pima judge gets a rare non-retention recommendation.”

I found the coverage on the Pima County judge to be extremely narrow and incomplete. As noted, judges sit for four years before review. However, that review is done, to my understanding, by surveys distributed to litigants and attorneys who have appeared in the court. By their nature, surveys are subjective unless there is some means to control for bias.

So, say 100 surveys are distributed to attorneys. Of those, 20 are returned. And of the 20, six reflect a negative opinion. That means six opinions reflect a third of the results, clearly an unfair representation, for the commission’s review criteria.

Do we know what the response rate is? No, it wasn’t provided. Do we know what the details of the responses are? No. Maybe the respondents received an unfavorable ruling in the court.

I believe the reporter and the Star have done a disservice to the judges, to the courts and to the voters by neglecting the details of a wholly subjective review process for our judges.

David Heslop

Writer, Tucson

Low-income renters need legal protection

Re: the Aug. 14 article “No hot water, stoves leave S. side renters steaming.”

Both Pima County and Tucson governments should be embarrassed by their lack of desire to help low-income renters with basic problems.

To avoid the expense of enforcing a stricter code to apply to the inside of residential properties, Pima County has adopted a limited set of property maintenance codes.

Tucson does have authority under a Neighborhood Preservation Ordinance to inspect for violations and fine property owners as part of a slum-abatement task force. But it has cut back on staff, so complaints take longer to assess.

Low-income renters need better and more comprehensive laws to ease their situations. For many of them, the next step is homelessness.

(Mrs.) D.L. Dean

Retired, Tucson