Tucson should play up its cowboy heritage

Re: the April 21 article "Tucson growth rated in bottom 10."

The Daily Star reports Tucson is listed among the bottom 10 of U.S. cities in economic growth. The mayor thinks we should change our image to attract more bikers and hikers, outdoor types. A good suggestion, but he also says we should dump the Old West cowboy image, even though the cowboy is as outdoor as it gets.

Mr. Rothschild and some of Tucson's other recent political leaders have shaped the policies responsible for our economic malaise - loss of employment opportunities, decline of the business sector and stagnant growth.

We should promote all images that can transform Tucson into a vital and vibrant economic powerhouse, including that of the range-riding, ranching, roping and rodeo-busting Arizona cowboy.

Our Western heritage and our historical Mexican traditions go hand in hand and are both vitally important to our regional identity. Let's chip in and buy the mayor cowboy boots and a 10-gallon Stetson, then saddle him up as the grand marshal of the 2014 rodeo parade.

Jim Crumpacker

Unemployed, SaddleBrooke

Picacho rail yard idea has a lot going for it

Re: Tim Steller's May 12 column "Picacho Peak Park already has noise problem, so rail yard plan deserves careful attention."

For several years we have been looking for ways to bring new jobs into our area, improve our economic interface and develop a reputation for cooperation with business. The rail yard proposal, with some modification, can do all of these things.

Currently, the proposed parcel of land is thousands of acres of vacant desert. The main objection is the possible high level noise the venture would create. Union Pacific is constantly buying new equipment that is greener than yesterday's and quieter, too.

Finally, to ensure the yard is a quiet one, move it east into the vacant land.

While many factors affect sound and are variable like temperature and relative humidity, increasing the distance is not and can definitely lower the level of sound. It's a law of physics.

Thomas L. Nolan Jr.

Retired college teacher, Oro Valley

To county on gas tax: It's time to reprioritize

Re: the May 15 article "Supervisors to take their case for gas-tax hike to Legislature."

Memo to Pima County Board of Supervisors: I suggest reprioritizing the budget and shifting of available funds if you want more money for road repairs.

An increase in the state gasoline tax will only cause people to drive less and/or leave people with less spendable cash, thus decreasing retail sales and sales tax revenues.

More importantly, your support of a tax increase will cause me to reprioritize my vote in the next county election.

Russell Long

Retired, Tucson

High levels of CO2 are cause for alarm

Re: the May 13 article "Big cities' CO2 output getting new scrutiny."

Did everyone see the news? Atmospheric CO2 levels have reached a shocking 400 parts per million. The last time in the history of our beautiful planet when there was this much carbon in our atmosphere, sea levels were 50 to 80 feet higher than ours are now!  

It is really time to wake up and take emergency action. If we don't want to face severe climate disasters, we must move completely off of fossil fuels as quickly as possible. That means solar, not coal, electric trains and vehicles, not gas-powered cars, and living much more locally and sustainably to decrease our carbon use.

The best way to bring down CO2 emissions is a steadily rising tax on carbon that returns the tax revenue to us in our households, like they do in Alaska with oil. This is not a test, folks. This is the real thing. Let's get to work.

Dr. Barbara H. Warren


Benghazi cartoon was offensive

Re: the May 15 editorial cartoon by David Fitzsimmons.

The Fitzsimmons cartoon is offensive. He uses the words, "With this one they'll just be killing time." What was killed was our ambassador and three other men. Nixon was forced to resign over his attempted cover-up of a bungled robbery where no one was even injured.

David Fitzsimmons and many other like-minded individuals are striving to suppress the Benghazi murders. Hopefully, they will not succeed.

George Viveiros

Retired, Tucson

Teen should suffer consequences of actions

Re: the May 11 article "Tucson teen makes up abduction story."

The 13-year-old who made up the abduction story should suffer the consequences of her actions and be charged as a juvenile making a false report. She cost taxpayers (and I imagine her parents) the time and services of emergency responders who were diverted from helping others with real needs.

Community service in an area where she assists people less fortunate than herself would provide her with a look at the world beyond herself, whatever her own life circumstances may be. Thirteen is a difficult age, but it's no excuse for her actions.

Georgia Duncan

Retired banker and Realtor, Marana