Raising rates, waning service
Tucson Water used to ensure that its customers could locate their meter boxes, access them to see the meter inside for reading it, checking for flow/leak, or turning a valve off in case of an emergency. Since the city has replaced all of its mechanical meters with AMR or electronic meters, the meter readers don’t even have to locate the meter or get out of their truck to read the meter, as they just press a button on their handheld computers.
The city has replaced all the metal meter box lids with plastic lids so the computers can get a strong signal from the ERT which registers the reading. The plastic lids are now seen during a downpour floating down the street. The meter boxes now fill up with mud, sand and debris, thus blocking the customer’s view. In many cases the entire meter box is essentially buried from view of the customer and Tucson Water employees. Don’t Tucson Water customers deserve better? Pay more, get less!
Biden nominee will hurt AZ
Re: the Sept. 5 article “Don’t let PRO Act gut entire gig economy.”
Thank you for this piece by Tim Steller on independent contractors. I write to highlight that President Biden’s nomination of David Weil to the Department of Labor is another grave threat to the livelihoods of Arizona independent contractors.
As a franchise business owner, I am also an independent contractor. While most people have not heard of Weil, he served in the same Labor Department role from 2014 to 2017. Weil’s re-nomination is based on his work as a researcher, and yet his academic views show a misguided bias toward the local businesses he would again regulate.
The bottom line is, Weil wants to turn dynamic Arizona into the restrictive California economy where so many independent contractors have lost their livelihoods to the recent A.B. 5 law.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to harm so many small businesses, I urge our Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly to stand up for Arizona small businesses and oppose David Weil’s retread nomination.
Finger pointing and no solutions
It is easy to criticize, and difficult to create. Afghanistan withdrawal was never going to be pretty, but our military did an amazing job, evacuating over 120,000 people in mere days. I am tired of hearing their efforts dissed as a lame way to get at the president. The visa issuers were sluggish under Trump and still sluggish under Biden. Therein lay the problem of why many didn’t leave a year and a half ago when withdrawal was announced.
We have had a border crisis as long as we’ve had a border. The idea that Vice President Kamala Harris is supposed to wave a magic wand and fix all when the last four (and more) presidents tried to and could not, is preposterous. Will she make any headway? I hope so, but she just got here, and it is too early to judge. Again, just a not-too-subtle ploy by some to criticize anything and everything while offering no better solutions to difficult problems.
You can bet on Ducey
Priorities are skewed when it comes to Gov. Doug Ducey’s recent support of online sports betting. That seems to be more important than protecting our state’s health! The almighty dollar wins the bet!
Armchair QB in Afghanistan
I love how people find it so easy to sit back in their armchairs and second-guess every move that President Biden’s Administration has made as it pertains to ending the war in Afghanistan. (A war that should have never been initiated as 15 of the 19 hijackers on Sept. 11, 2001, were from Saudi Arabia; but then, oil is thicker than blood). Trump negotiated with the Taliban, a terrorist group, to end the war and exit by April 1, 2021. President Biden extended that deadline, which gave Americans who were in the country plenty of time to leave, except those deemed necessary to the mission.
War is ugly; ending war is ugly. I pray that the Afghans who supported us get out safely. While executing the plan of evacuation could have gone better, to say the current administration is a “threat,” is nonsense, especially considering that the last administration almost toppled our own democracy in their “exit.”
Recently, 200 medical journals around the world published the same editorial urging all nations to respond to the public health threat of climate change. It states that “the greatest threat to global public health is the continued failure of world leaders to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius and to restore nature.”
Here in the U.S., the most important step we can take is for Congress to pass the budget reconciliation bill, which provides funding to set the U.S. on target to reduce our share of global warming and limit future climate disasters. It is imperative that Sens. Kelly and Sinema support this bill. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change noted that global warming will intensify, but we have a chance to limit the worst outcomes if we act now. We have no time to waste.
Children and COVID
In response to Gov. Ducey’s ban on mask mandates in schools, a recent letter compared this situation to combat and said students have better odds of surviving COVID than a soldier does of surviving combat. His statement that students have a better chance of survival implies and acknowledges that some unmasked children will not survive COVID unscathed.
There are always casualties in combat, and some soldiers are considered to be expendable to accomplish the mission. What mission justifies a no-mask mandate that makes educators and children expendable? In contrast to decisions made in the heat of actual battle, Ducey’s decisions on masks and vaccines seem to be based on his cold-blooded political calculations of appeasing extremists of his party and exerting his power. Has our society declined such that children are expendable virus fodder at the whims of politicians to score political points?
Ducey is a little man who should never hold another public office.
Withholding treatment not the answer
Re: the Aug. 20 letter “Anti-vaxxers full of bluster.”
The man who suggests that we not treat the unvaccinated for COVID makes a ridiculous argument. That is if it were not so dark. So many vaccinated people are in the hospital. Should we ask them to sign a DNR because they did not do their research about antibody enhanced immunity and thus got a worse case of the virus then they would have otherwise? Should we not treat people with lung cancer who made the choice to smoke? Should we not treat overweight people who made the choice to overeat and got diabetes? She we not treat people with heart disease because they refused to exercise?
GOP pro-COVID so it can blame Biden
Plain and simple, the Republican Party is pro-COVID. Their goal is to keep it going. From the initial denial (Democratic hoax) to incessant downplaying, science denial, hyping of unapproved drugs and dangerous “cures” (ingest cleaning chemicals), there is no inkling of sanity showing from the Party of Death.
Republican governors have banned mask mandates for schools, willing to sacrifice your kids to show allegiance to Trump. Shameful attacks on public health workers and school employees are tolerated. Being pro-COVID will keep the economy from recovering. I think that is their plan. Then blame Biden.
In his recent speech about fighting COVID, our president said “patience is wearing thin” with those resisting vaccination. Former Vice President Mike Pence took great offense, claiming those words were highly inappropriate. This from the guy who was OK with Donald Trump’s words commanding his supporters on Jan. 6 to storm the Capitol, with the murder of Mike Pence on their “to do” list. Incredible.
Not the country I grew up in
Many of us saw the recent news story about a Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 11th grader speaking before his school board about the importance of masks in preventing the spread of COVID. He spoke of his grandmother, a retired teacher who had been infected and who died from the virus. As he eloquently talked about his grandparents and elderly people being at a higher risk of infection, a woman sat behind him at the podium shaking her head, smiling and nonchalantly chewing her gum. Audible jeers and laughter can be heard from others in the crowd. This gut-churning and heartbreaking scene reminded me of something once said long ago to another, (paraphrasing) “Have you no sense of decency, at long last have you left no sense of decency?”
This is what the wrath of Trumpism has wrought: No shame, no decency, just cruel ignorance. Not the country I grew up in. We learned by our parents’ example. What examples are we leaving our kids?
National Pain Month
September is Pain Awareness Month. Does anyone know or care? Maybe only the 50 plus million of us who suffer from chronic pain, now mostly unrelieved. Because of the 2016 edict written by the CDC, we are the ones who have paid a very high price. Yes there were abuses of opioid medications, but it has been taken way out of proportion.
Many of us were living a tolerable life before that little bit of normalcy was ripped away. Now, even those in acute pain and post-op pain are sent home with over-the-counter meds. Please think about your worst pain, multiply that and experience it 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That is what some of us have to try to live with. Write to your Congress reps and let them know how intolerable life can be. Maybe some day we will get relief.