School counselors suddenly indispensable

Re: the April 9 guest opinion "Counselor cutback at TUSD's elementary schools should be revisited."

Perhaps it's my age showing (78), but I found Todd Brown's article decrying the lack of elementary-school counselors amusing.

My elementary school (K-6) had a staff of eight, seven teachers and a custodian. The sixth-grade teacher doubled as school principal with neither staff nor separate office.

Likewise, my junior high school (grades seven and eight) had no one designated as a counselor.

Finally, in high school we had one counselor for the entire student body of about 1,600. Yet, we seemed to have turned out quite well. A large majority of my high school classmates went on to college, ranging from the local junior college to Ivy League schools with a mix of state and private institutions in between. Most have fared equally well in the professional world.

Has society really changed so much in the intervening years that counselors have become essential? Brown certainly seems to think so.

Robert Butts

Retired engineer, Tucson

People, not box cutters, need controls

Re: the April 10 news brief "Knife attacks hurt 14; man, 20, is charged."

Well, it happened, as all but the most strident liberals knew it would. Some deranged idiot went on a rampage with a knife or box cutter and slashed at least 14 people.

What now, an outraged cry from the left seeking box-cutter controls?

Until we find better ways to control those who would harm relative strangers for whatever reasons are running around in their squirrel-cage minds, we will never have the sort of safety we want.

Banning box cutters won't help much.

Eugene Cole

Retired, Tucson

Compassion lacking in column on Bolger

Re: the April 10 column "Cunningham aide might not deserve another 2nd chance."

I'm writing in response to Tim Steller's column about Ward 2 chief of staff, Katie Bolger. Mr. Steller documents an incident that took place on April 5, when Ms. Bolger, who'd been drinking, spoke profanely to police officers who tried to assist her.

I've been thinking about Mr. Steller's column, in part because I know another Katie Bolger. I'm a poet who teaches in the prison system, and over several years I've watched Ms. Bolger navigate difficult political debates with purpose and dignity, uniting diverse stakeholders around common goals. I want that Katie to be visible.

Mainly, though, longing - as I think many of us do - for a higher generosity, a compassionate tone in civic dialogue, I'm writing to say that reading Mr. Steller's column, I yearned to hear this tone. (Perhaps he, like the rest of us, was pulled in too many directions while writing.) The incident he describes does deserve candor. But not without a wider history of Ms. Bolger's capabilities, and not without empathy.

Madeline Kiser

Poet, Tucson

Trolley-track danger at issue in early 1990s

Re: the April 12 letter to the editor "Trolley follies are just beginning."

I'm happy to see that someone else wonders why we didn't put in the buses with rubber tires, no tracks and a connection to electric lines above.

As a student in the early '90s, I was riding along University Boulevard behind a city bus. It stopped. As I started to pass, it pulled out. Instinct moved me quickly to the left and my tires hit the trolley tracks, throwing me back toward the bus. I landed in the street with my head about eight inches from the rear tires of the bus.

The driver took my name and address, this from someone whose head had just hit the pavement. Witnesses who might have assisted me stood silently with pale faces. They, as I, probably had visions of my head squashed like a melon beneath the bus tires.

Karen MacLeish

Retired, Tucson

Good luck, Chuck; we miss you on KOLD

Re: the April 12 article "KOLD meteorologist George takes third leave of absence."

We read with sadness in the Star that Chuck George has taken a leave of absence from KOLD. We look forward to his weather segments each weekday evening, and, in fact, watch Channel 13 local news for that reason.

His enthusiasm for his work is infectious, and we appreciate the meteorology lessons we often receive from him. We wish him well and hope he'll return soon. Good luck, Chuck!

Jerry and Lee Miller

Retired UA faculty, Tucson