Appreciation for 2 series
depicting state’s history
Kudos go to David Leighton for his Street Smarts articles on the notable pioneers, surveyors, merchants, mine owners, lawmen, engineers and educators whose names are memorialized on our street signs. William Ascarza’s articles on the state’s mining heritage are fascinating.
Both series are enjoyable to read, have interesting photos, and give us a better appreciation of Arizona’s early history.
Geologist, Oro Valley
Lessons learned will last a lifetime
Re: the Aug. 18 article “After cancer, it’s 1st day ever of school for girl, 9.”
Reporter Angela Pittenger’s article inspires us in two ways. First, it relates the courage of Azayliah Dezerie Perez on the first day of school in her life, a life that had been dominated by leukemia treatments. Second, it recognizes her teacher, Elizabeth Egan, in whose classroom compassion and empathy are part of the daily lesson.
Whether her students become managers and supervisors working closely with employees, and/or parents who model respect for their children’s feelings, having been part of Ms. Egan’s classroom environment will serve her students well for the rest of their lives.
Using trains would cut
Re: the July 31 article “Huckelberry: New highway key to future.”
Many studies have shown that carrying trucks or containers by rail for distances of more than 600 miles is cheaper than by highway trucks. This includes costs associated with loading and distribution. Also, the trains use one-fourth or less fuel to move the same load, cutting pollution.
Mostly, the large trucks passing through Tucson on Interstate 10 are traveling from California to the Midwest or East.
Using trains would cut down a massive amount of traffic, reducing expenses for road maintenance.
The article refers to a proposed commerce corridor from Nogales, Mexico, through Tucson to the north. The Union Pacific has a good rail line from Nogales to Tucson. For the most part, Union Pacific has ample right of way for expansion, paid by the railroad, not the taxpayers. Just think of the big decrease in pollution, while saving money.
Retired, Green Valley
Make fingerprint cards easier for volunteers
Re: the Aug. 12 article “Star, mayor hope to find 500 reading coaches.”
I am a retired teacher, having taught in the Marana District for 27 years. I served as a Reading Seed coach at Butterfield Elementary School for several years.
My fingerprint card has expired, but my fingerprints have not changed — except perhaps to become even less pronounced and more difficult to print. Surely there is a way to check records, see that I have not been in trouble with the law, and reissue fingerprint cards at no cost and no hassle.
I’m a 68-year-old grandma with grandchildren at Butterfield. I’d be back in a classroom to help out.
Retired teacher, Tucson
Corporations helping to write state laws
Re: the Aug. 20 editorial “ALEC’s backers run and hide from Durbin inquiry.”
I first heard of the American Legislative Exchange Council on an episode of “Bill Moyers and Company” that aired in 2012, titled “United States of ALEC: How Corporations and State Legislators are Colluding to Write Laws and Remake America, One Statehouse at a Time.”
I was shocked to learn how much influence this corporate wolf in sheep’s clothing has on laws passed by state legislatures.
Legislators who are wined and dined by ALEC at their lavish national convention rarely report this blatant lobbying and its effect on the laws they pass.
I urge everyone who has not seen the program to view it at billmoyers.com or to read the show transcript to learn about yet another instance in which our democracy is being subverted.
Freelance copy editor, Tucson
Keep Interstate 11 out
of peaceful valley
I just took a closer look at the map from County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry’s office showing his proposed Interstate 11 Avra Valley highway route. On his map, Picture Rocks Road seems to end at Sandario and the area to the west is a big empty space.
I’m one of the thousands who live in that big empty space, not counting those who live in Avra Valley and other nearby communities.
We have community centers, fire stations, schools and businesses. We have families and wildlife and archaeological sites and Saguaro National Park, Tucson Mountain Park and the Desert Museum. We have clean air and good water. We have a peaceful valley.
Putting a freeway through it isn’t my idea of quality of life. Please help us save the beauty and peace of Picture Rocks by standing up to defeat the I-11 proposal that projects a freeway through Picture Rocks and the Avra Valley.
Artist and poet, Picture Rocks
Columnist shows ignorance of probability
Re: the Aug. 20 column “Ruling vs. ‘stop-frisk’ is blood-on-her-hands moment.”
Christine Flowers’ column about New York’s stop-and-frisk ruling is a terrific/terrifying example of innumeracy (the mathematical version of illiteracy) and poor logic.
She concludes that because nine out of a sample of 19 stops were unlawful that “the policy was proved to have violated someone’s constitutional rights in about 0.01 zillionth of an instance.”
If the sample is taken to be representative, about half of the stops, or 2 million, were unlawful. That is far from a minuscule number of unlawful stops.
She demonstrates an astonishing ignorance of probability, which is apparently shared by all of the editors who sent the piece out for distribution and publication.
Would she get published at all if her grammar were as bad as her math? I should hope not. The piece should have been sent back for correction or deep-sixed.
Eric K. Williams