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Letters to the Editor Aug. 10
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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor Aug. 10

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TUSD, with about 42,000 students, follows two Phoenix school districts in resisting a state prohibition against school mask mandates. Above, first grade teacher Alexandra Walsh helps Angelo Enriquez during Meet Your Teacher Day at Holladay Magnet Elementary School on Wednesday.

Anti-vaxxers & insurance

Here’s a suggestion! Why don’t medical insurance companies give notice to the insured (without medical contraindications) who refuse to be vaccinated, that their coverage will be more limited or even refused if they are hospitalized for the COVID virus.

We are tired of paying for other people’s ignorance. We are tired of paying for the failure of those who don’t believe the science behind the pandemic, those who refuse to act sensibly and those who won’t participate in sound public health policy to stop the virus from creating new variants.

Anti-vaxxers are refusing to acknowledge the long-term effects of this disease.

Throughout history, terrible diseases would suddenly appear (smallpox, TB, polio, measles, mumps, etc.), and science was able to respond with life-savings vaccinations. The masses didn’t refuse vaccinations.

Maybe anti-vaxxers need a wake-up call when their insurance coverage is restricted or canceled due to lack of compliance!

Monica Maloney and Debra Schaeffer


Pool-testing in schools

As a parent and former teacher here in Tucson, I know the challenges facing us as we get ready to head back to school, specifically the need to ensure our kids’ health and safety. That is why I hope that Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo and the TUSD school board implement a pool-testing program here in Tucson.

With pool-testing, Tucson students whose parents opt-in to the voluntary program would be given nasal swabs that they would use on themselves to collect individual samples. These samples would be pooled together and tested using a single COVID-19 test to see if someone in the classroom is positive.

This would ensure that TUSD schools can keep their doors open for good. The last thing any parent wants is for another school year to be interrupted and for new restrictions to be placed on in-person learning. TUSD can get ahead of the curve when it comes to protecting students, and pooled testing provides the most effective means of doing that.

Melissa Gutierrez


Women in charge

Re: the Aug. 8 article “Local women thriving in 1st responder roles.”

I was both discouraged and uplifted by this article. Framing the article were unsettling statistics noting that of the more than half of the women in the workforce nationally, only 27% of law enforcement employees were women and only 13% in leadership roles.

Following these statistics, however, were five impressive portraits of local women in public safety work. Reading the diverse roles and responsibilities of these five women, Lieutenant Lauren Pettey, Captain Liliana Pesqueira, Sergeant Leslie Gallaher, Deputy Fire Marshal Jenn Akins, and Lieutenant Belinda Morales, I was impressed with their commitment and diverse abilities.

Maneuvering the many challenges of their respective roles, each balanced demands of family, work and gender preconceptions, progressing to notable levels of authority.

I encourage the Arizona Daily Star to continue highlighting public safety work, especially stories of highly competent and dedicated women. Hopefully soon, the result will follow the advice of Keb Mo’s lyric “Put a Woman in Charge.”

Roger Shanley

East side

Mask mandates in schools

Re: the Aug. 6 article “Defying state law over mask mandate ban just makes sense” and the editorial cartoon by David Fitzsimmons.

This cartoon by Fitz hit the nail on the head. Along with the opinion piece by Janni Simner, it made it clear that Gov. Doug Ducey is putting us all in danger by signing into law legislation that prevents schools from requiring masks or vaccines. Of course, this does not apply to expensive private schools like the one his sons attended in Phoenix. They are free to require eligible students to be vaccinated and all students to wear masks.

Talk about a double standard! The rich get safety and the rest of us get (fill in the blank here).

Call the governor and tell him what you think about his endangerment of our children.

Kathleen Dubbs

West side

Eviction ban

Since President Biden has already bypassed Congress to extend the eviction ban, why not include a provision that would actually do something that would be good for all and not just renters? Require proof of COVID vaccination to receive eviction protection from the federal government. Think of all the lives that could be saved and hospitalizations prevented.

John McNamara

Northeast side

Gov. Ducey and the pandemic

Once again, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is endangering our community, especially the children, and ignoring the advice of public health experts. By prompting signing a law that bars school districts from requiring masks or vaccinations in the on-going battle with the COVID-19 pandemic, Ducey demonstrates his disregard for our children and the community. He only seems to care about the rich.

Kudos to the Tucson Unified Governing Board and a few others who have demonstrated the fortitude to defy Ducey et al. on this dangerous ban. Why are other districts not following TUSD’s action? Do they lack the guts? What about our local business community and leaders?

Are we to believe that the local car dealers, home builders and others only identify with Republicans and the rich? This is a life-or-death matter. We must rise up and protest, boycott and use all of our powers to combat this injustice. The time to act is now, before more of our citizens become ill and die!

Robert Miranda

Southeast side

Listen to the horror

On Jan. 6, D.C. Police Officer Michael Fanone begged for his life, as violent insurrectionists beat and threatened to kill him. He suffered a heart attack and brain trauma. Sgt. Aquilino Gonell said that day, he was “more afraid to work at the Capitol than during my entire army deployment to Iraq.” African American Officer Harry Dunn broke down recalling how rioters screamed the n-word in his face.

These officers recounted the horrors of Jan. 6 to a House select committee, as Republicans continue to pretend it was just another day at the office.

“I feel like I went to hell and back to protect them, and too many in this room … are now telling me that hell doesn’t exist or hell actually wasn’t that bad,” Fanone testified. “The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful.’’

Are you listening, U.S. Reps. Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar, and state Rep. Mark Finchem?

Elinor Brecher


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