Tucson is friendlier than Silicon Valley
My wife and I moved to Tucson about two years ago from San Jose, Calif. Most people know San Jose as the heart of Silicon Valley, high-tech capital of the world. I expected to find a different attitude here. I was right. People are much more friendly here.
I would be waiting for my wife in front of some grocery store and complete strangers would come up to me and start a conversation. This simply did not happen in Silicon Valley.
Here, store clerks come up to me and ask if they can help. In Silicon Valley, you chase the clerks through the store, hoping you can capture one who will direct you to where you might find the item you are looking for.
I think I can best describe the difference as follows: Last year I had knee-replacement surgery. About a month ago, I started riding a bike to strengthen my legs. As I struggled up Cortaro Road, a woman in a blue Miata pulled off the road, rolled down her window, and gave me a bottle of water.
This would not have happened in Silicon Valley. It simply isn't done. People in Tucson are different. I like it.
Buddy P. Gill
Arizona's AHCCCS lags other states
Oct. 1 was the 30th anniversary of the start of Arizona's innovative Medicaid program, best known as AHCCCS. The Medicaid law was signed by President Lyndon Johnson on July 30, 1965. Six states started their programs on the first allowable date of Jan. 1, 1966. Forty-nine states had programs by 1970. And then there was Arizona.
Our political leaders argued, passed laws, vetoed laws, repealed laws and had laws thrown out by the courts. All the while our federal tax dollars were going to pay for health care around the nation and not a dime was coming back to Arizona. Seventeen years after the law was signed by LBJ, our state finally began a Medicaid program and called it the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.
We are now in another political debate about expanding AHCCCS. Are we doomed to repeat our actions of the past and wait 17 years to follow the lead of the many states planning on implementing the expansion on Jan. 1, 2014? Let me see. That would be 2031.
Dr. Leonard Kirschner
Director AHCCCS 1987-1993, president AARP Arizona
Spruce up Tucson's 'curb appeal'
After reading several recent articles on the lackluster Tucson-area economic picture, I have a request for any of our local elected officials who might want to make a small difference.
I'm sure they've heard of the phrase "curb appeal" when it comes to how a property is viewed by a prospective buyer. Although they all want to make Tucson a place where new business feels welcomed, I wonder if they ever considered how we appear to travelers passing by?
We could start with the Old Spanish Trail Motel sign off Interstate 10. While technically the sign is in South Tucson, it reflects on the entire metro area. I'm sure as elected officials they can come to some kind of agreement to get rid of this "entrance to the city" eyesore and maybe even show we still have a little pride left in the Old Pueblo.
Small-business owner, Tucson
Let's try FairTax to fix the system
Current campaign comments highlight over and over that our income tax system is broken and our nation is suffering, especially young Americans ages 18-29. In fact, 1.7 million of these young people have been jobless for the past year, the highest unemployment rate for that age group since World War II. This is a generation in danger of becoming a "lost generation."
FairTax is the solution. FairTax is a comprehensive plan to replace federal income and payroll taxes with a consumption tax on new goods and services. With no exemptions or exceptions, FairTax taxes all consumers of new goods and services; it provides a monthly, universal "prebate" or rebate that ensures each household effectively pays no taxes up to the poverty level, thereby making the FairTax very progressive.
With FairTax, consumers will pay the actual price of a product or service with no hidden taxes; workers will keep 100 percent of the wages they earn minus any state or local taxes. This produces powerful economic growth and desperately needed jobs.
FairTax will likely bring hundreds of thousands of lost jobs back to all America, for young and old. Please take a few moments to learn more at FairTax.org
Retired psychologist, Oro Valley
No successful outcome for war
Re: the Oct. 1 article "US military deaths in Afghanistan hit 2,000; insider attacks called a 'serious threat' to success."
The use of the word success is a misnomer, as inappropriate and misleading as the word "victory."
There is no success or victory to be had, no more than there was for the Vietnam fiasco. Such wars are not worth the sacrifice of even one life, be it one who lives there or one who doesn't belong there, but should be home in America.
Fitz is right: It's time to clean up
Thank goodness the Arizona Daily Star's cartoonist, David Fitzsimmons, frequently features cute and clever 'toons on Tucson-centric themes and culture. His political cartoons, however, all too often appeal to the lowest denominator of our egos, resorting to sophomoric mudslinging and debasing generalizations.
Yet I couldn't agree more with his comment in one fairly recent cartoon, concluding that it's "time to clean up more than the medians."
It is time to replace the worst of our political leaders, locally and nationally. I ... can't ... wait ... to vote!
Jon F. Buck