Remember: Thousands died at Gettysburg

Re: the July 4 article "Who 'dies' is a tough decision at Gettysburg."

I found your lead story about the battle at Gettysburg smug at best, patronizing at worst. The point of it was how the actors would or would not fall over after they supposedly were shot with a .50 caliber Minié ball.

Never mind the fact your funny little story forgot to mention the battle took the lives of more Americans on that stretch of grass than the entire Revolutionary War. Among those blown apart that hot, sticky July day were three of my ancestors, among them Lt. Col. George Willard.

It was said one could walk from Seminary to Cemetery ridges on the backs of the slain.

Roger Fulton


Tucson's west side needs its green lung

Re: the July 2 guest column "Grand Canyon U blunder suggests Kozachik's clueless about local economy."

In his guest opinion, Tucson Metro Chamber CEO Michael Varney states that inside sources say that Grand Canyon University has a "sour taste" from its experience in Tucson.

GCU is traded on the NASDAQ as Grand Canyon Education Inc. The corporation must have a sweet taste from its earnings announced on March 31 - up 21.3 percent over 2012, to $142.0 million.

With all of the real estate available in this valley, why isn't GCU, with the help of Michael Varney and the chamber, seeking out alternative sites to El Rio Golf Course? The school appears to be well heeled and can afford to invest in land for a new campus.

Just as sprawling New York City has Central Park and congested New Delhi has the Lodhi Gardens, Tucson's west side needs its green lung, the trees, shade and open space of El Rio.

Debbie Collazo

Barrio Hollywood resident, Tucson

Don't paint all sodas with the same brush

Re: the June 29 article "Brewer cuts back on sodas, sleeps 'a lot better.' "

The reasons the governor gave for cutting back on her sodas are good but they apply only to the sodas she was drinking - not to all sodas.

There are many carbonated beverages out there that have impeccable ingredients that don't remove enamel from your teeth or turn you into a mean person. For example, most brands of root beer have no caffeine, no phosphoric acid and are made from cane sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup.

Finding the good guys in a food market takes some work and can be frustrating. A magnifying glass may be needed to read the labels but it's worth the effort. All sodas are not the same.

Ken Bates

Retired, Tucson

Let's just leave Mother Nature alone

Re: the July 5 guest column "Restoring bighorn sheep won't require wholesale slaughter of lions."

Encroachment, human disturbance and changes in habitat have greatly increased since the bighorn sheep died out the first time. Why put more back into an area that killed them to start with? Add lions that will do what they do to survive and then kill them for doing it - it's more reason to leave Mother Nature alone.

The heavy use of the area by an increasing number of people is reason enough to let it alone. If the sheep were in trouble where they are now, it might be a reason to try to relocate a small number of them to see if it would work. Mother Nature will tell you!

C. Bilbro

Retired, Tucson

Obama should stay at his Oval Office desk

President Obama spent millions on his trip to Africa, and while there he advised American businesses to invest in that continent. I thought we wanted to bring business and jobs back to America.

May I offer some advice to President Obama? Get on Air Force One and head straight for the White House, go to the Oval Office and be the leader of our nation that you were elected to be. While you are at it maybe you could encourage the business community to invest in the United States of America, which surely would create more jobs and help grow the economy.

The millions you have spent galloping around the world could be spent more wisely. One suggestion is to help our wounded veterans and families of our fallen heroes.

Jack L. Ransom

Retired, Tucson

City's election system isn't working

Re: the July 5 letter to the editor "Nonpartisan elections simply don't exist."

The writer extols the virtues of partisan elections. I concur. The problem with Tucson's partisan elections is that the majority party is allowed to silence the voice of any opposition. For example, if I live in a ward that is predominantly Republican, and the voters of that ward give 95 percent of their votes to a primary election candidate to represent them on the City Council, the rest of the city is allowed to say that that majority candidate will not be allowed to represent that ward.

This the result of having the wards electing their candidates, but a citywide vote deciding if that person gets to sit on the council. We end up with a one-party council that has no opposition and can do anything they want. Voters of both parties suffer.

Darrel Thayne

Retired military, Tucson

Criticisms of earnings are unfairly applied

Is civility at work when a national media commentator throws out a generalization that America's CEOs unfairly earn 300 percent more than their employees; and yet nothing is ever said about professional athletes often earning more than 1,000 percent more than most minor league players?

Or closer to home, how is it that there's never any media criticism of a school district superintendent's salary that's 300 percent or more of the average salary of a teacher or a University of Arizona vice president whose salary is much higher than the average salary of a tenured professor?

Criticism directed consistently at one group and not another seems to be based on politically correct views that evolve from a double standard or prejudicial bias. Neither is civil. And neither contributes to the level of respect each of us should maintain for the views of other.

D. Monroe Weaver

Consultant, Tucson

Maintain your privacy: Use snail mail

With the revelation of the far-reaching intrusion of the National Security Agency into our electronic communications, the 43-cent cost of a stamp seems to be cheap insurance against spies. Who would have thunk that the Postal Service would be the last bastion of privacy in these times? Start printing out your letters and licking your stamps. Your postal carrier is your guard against the NSA. Go USPS!

Daniel Poryanda

CNC machinist, Tucson