Public art and youth make Tucson special

I recently attended the dedication of the refurbished snake sculpture at Wrightstown and Pantano roads — a wonderful partnership between the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona and the Portable Practical Education Preparation (PPEP) YouthBuild/Americans program. Thanks to Tucson City Councilman Paul Cunningham and Mayor Jonathan Rothschild for making this happen, to the wonderful youth who reconstructed the snake, and to the artist, Katie Cooper, for making our city more beautiful and special every day. What other city would have a rattlesnake in the middle of the road!

Evan Mendelson, Vice president, Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona

East side

Maybe Pence isn’t so bad after all

Never thought that I would utter the words that I wanted Mike Pence for president! The other guy, not so much.

Bob Tarpchinoff

Northwest side

No town halls for Tucsonans

Sen. Mitch McConnell has stated that he is waiting to see the “blowback” from town halls during the current congressional break before deciding exactly what he is going to do about AHCA. Here’s my problem: My members of Congress aren’t holding town halls. However, they are raising funds.

Recently, (Rep. Martha) McSally was the keynote speaker at the Arizona Bankers Association Tucson reception. It appeared to be a fundraiser. I have repeatedly called her office to see where and when she would be holding a town hall and face her constituents. The response: None have been scheduled.

I then called both Sens. Jeff Flake’s and John McCain’s offices and asked when they were going to be holding a town hall — an in-person town hall. None scheduled.

How am I to provide my “blowback” to the outrageous way AHCA is being drafted? My only assumption is that (Senate Majority Leader Mitch) McConnell is going to say, “Well, no blowback, let’s keep moving forward and potentially kick 23 million people off health care.”

Bonnie Heidler

Northeast side

Let’s start fundraiser for DeGrazia chapel

My family came to Tucson in 1945 from a Boston suburb, after my Dad — Paul G. Rees Sr. — vowed he’d never again “shovel snow.” He bought the northeast corner of Prince and Park, then built a service station that still stands there. He met Ted DeGrazia while Ted was still living at his studio on the southeast corner of Prince and Campbell. When Ted began building the Gallery in the Sun chapel, he drove a Ford Model A roadster, and Dad helped him put a 55-gallon drum in the rear to carry water to the construction site. Ted would buy $2 worth of gas and fill up the water barrel at the station. If he was short the $2, Dad would let it go until he had some money. Dad often visited and gave Ted advice on construction. They became fast friends. My mother’s funeral services were held there.

I sincerely hope that a drive to collect funds to restore the chapel will be started.

Paul Rees

Northwest side

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