This is why we search for our war dead
Re: the July 18 letter to the editor "Why do we still look for our war dead?"
We search for our war dead in order to bring closure to the families of those missing warriors. The American public sent those warriors "over there" and it is their responsibility to search for and bring the remains back home. Anything else would be unconscionable.
Just because the recovery program has fallen into inept and incompetent hands does not mean that it is not worthwhile. What is called for is an investigation into what is wrong with the program. For my part, I am working with a friend who I used to serve with who is now the deputy assistant secretary of defense for POW/MIA affairs. Under his leadership the program was expanded to cover battlefields all over the world and the results were profound.
We are now calling on the House Armed Services Committee to hold hearings on the recovery operation and the problems it is experiencing. Contact your representatives and ask that hearings be held.
Those of us born in US won the lottery
If our border with Mexico were more porous, investment capital would flow south, labor would flow north and within a decade equilibrium would be established - bringing significant economic and social benefits to both countries. What prevents this from happening is our illusion that our occupation of these lands is more legal than the occupation of the Native Americans and the Mexicans who lived here prior to the time that we illegally used brute military force to claim ownership.
Those of us who were lucky enough to be born here basically won the lottery. It wouldn't hurt to show a little humility and share our good fortune with our neighbors who weren't so fortunate.
Environmental policy had little to do with fire
Re: the July 16 letter to the editor "Enviros have a part in 19 wildfire deaths."
The recent letter to the editor attempting to blame "tree huggers" for the tragic Yarnell Hill fire deaths shows an incredible lack of knowledge or compassion as well as an apparent deep-seated dislike for those the letter writer disagrees with. It is just one more attempt to politicize a tragedy using opponents as fodder.
While Forest Service and environmental policy has certainly played a part in the intensity and size of a number of large fires, there are many other factors contributing to the problem.
The area affected by the fire was not an area in which commercial harvesting of trees was a viable option and the 8,400-acre fire burned mostly grass and brush along with personal property and homes. In this case, environmental policy had little to do with it.
Several members of my family are wildfire fighters and one of my nephews helped fight the fire. That is the extent of "responsibility" I take.
Plenty of Samaritans live here in Tucson
I had a flat tire on East 22nd Street on Monday about 6:30 p.m. While my wife and I were standing on the roadside waiting for the emergency service to arrive, eight different people stopped and offered assistance. I have no doubt that most or all of these people were on their way home at the end of a long day, yet they all stopped. Proof to me once again that we live in a wonderful, helpful, friendly city. Thanks to all who offered assistance!
Retired firefighter, Tucson
Let's search out zoos for our predatory lions
Re: the July 13 article "2 Montana grizzlies arrive at Reid zoo."
It's interesting - and fairly hypocritical - for us to accept two problem bears from Montana who were raiding chicken coops, stealing food and breaking into buildings, while we simultaneously plan to kill (sorry, "administratively remove") our own wild mountain lions for naturally preying on bighorn sheep.
Perhaps we can follow Montana's efforts to collaborate with other states' zoos and federal and state game and fish services to find more welcome homes for our own top predators.
It seems to me that our nation's zoos would have as much interest in our "bad kitties" as we have in Montana's "bad news bears." It's certainly worth the time and money to find them a more hospitable alternative.
High school teacher, Tucson
Mayor's column offered political pablum
Re: the July 14 guest column "Set aside differences, build on strengths and help Tucson move forward."
Tucson mayor Jonathan Rothschild's guest column on moving Tucson forward is laughable. He cites "supporting a high-speed-rail study" between Tucson and Phoenix. And "submitting an application" to the FAA. And "encouraging employers to hire and provide summer internships" for our youth. And, while touting efforts to ensure a safe and secure water supply, advises us that the city will be planting 10,000 trees starting this fall.
Supporting, submitting and encouraging do nothing to add jobs or improve Tucson's economy. It's political pablum. Planting trees harms, rather than helps, water conservation. Rothschild claims Tucson is on the upswing. No. Tucson is in an economic death spiral.