YOUR VOICES: LETTERS TO THE EDITORby Tucson Citizen on Dec. 21, 2006, under Opinion
Who knew bus hub was so dangerous?
Quite frankly, your tone regarding the people who use the Ronstadt Transit Center (Tuesday article “Downtown transit center on the move?”) makes it sound as though you think the only really suitable thing to do is round them all up and dump them out in the desert.
Since I ride Sun Tran and therefore “congregate” around Ronstadt Center three or so times a week, I guess I, too, am an undesirable who should also be gotten rid of.
Until that time comes, however, I will be ever more vigilant for all the drug dealers and violent criminals that you report are at the Ronstadt Center, taking to heart especially your warning about the threat posed by people who “don’t drive or can’t.”
This might surprise you, but some of us riding Sun Tran do own cars, which we drive periodically, and we had no idea of the threat we pose to the general well-being of our fine city.
Transit center impedes downtown revitalization
Your Tuesday article on the transit center points to one of the main impediments and solutions for downtown revitalization.
The Ronstadt Transit Center is smack between the cultural and entertainment district bookends of the Rialto and Fox theatres on Congress.
The RTC greatly contributes to downtown’s having the second-highest crime rate in the city.
If you want folks to not only venture downtown at night, but also to live there, something has got to give with the RTC.
Businesses will follow once more people live downtown.
Tucson voters and the Legislature have mandated downtown revitalization.
It is time for the Rio Nuevo Council Subcommittee of Nina Trasoff, Steve Leal and José Ibarra to show leadership and begin the process of moving the RTC to a more amenable location away from the compact, downtown core.
Among the significant issues:
● NIMBYism will kick in hot and heavy. What neighborhood wants to have the RTC? A possible new location might be found on the east side of Interstate 10 between 22nd Street and Congress.
● How to accommodate the bus riders with routes and schedules that are not disruptive to them.
● What to do then with the valuable parcel of land where the RTC presently sits.
It is time for city staff to gather information and for the Rio Nuevo Subcommittee to get this ball rolling.
Wakefield Middle School
What city should do about arts district
Your observations on the warehouse district describe the problem perfectly.
I have been involved with two of these buildings and know most of the others. Every five years or so, the city or state suddenly decides that the risks are too great to continue what has been happening for 20 years.
In 2001-02, the city spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to analyze the buildings and draw up contracts for renovations, then never ordered these repairs.
The artists continued to occupy and fix up the studios and galleries, which managed not to collapse despite the previous panic.
In this instance, artists must leave so the city can repair the buildings. Yet the city does not even have all the funds, so this could take years.
What can be done? First, the city must decide if structural risks exist (which it is doing).
Second, the city must allocate enough funds to renovate these buildings, permitting the artists to remain as long as possible.
The city could include the warehouse district in expanded Rio Nuevo boundaries, providing funds to support the publicly owned buildings there.
Third, the city should implement the district’s master plan to upgrade walkways, plantings, public art and other amenities.
Last, the community must hold the city accountable for following through and completing this valuable redevelopment.
Keep Tucson’s history, architecture genuine
Thank you for bringing to our attention that the city is considering demolishing two landmark historic warehouses in our arts district (Dec. 12 editorial “City striving to save artists’ warehouses”).
This would be a great loss to the artists who use these spaces and would further decharacterize architecture downtown, which includes all eras of Tucson history, into what there’s lots of in Phoenix and all over the country – the anonymous and ubiquitous “national American mall.”
The warehouse district and the railroad are integral to Tucson’s history.
Keep Tucson’s history and architecture genuine. And build on the drawing card that the vibrancy and vitality of the arts bring to downtown.
Beside attracting Tucsonans downtown year round, there is no reason the city can’t project an arts and gallery scene in our winter season that equals or surpasses Santa Fe, for instance, in the summertime. Tucson has the world-class artists to do so.
Penn not an expert in foreign affairs
Sean Penn’s desire to impeach the president is his opinion, and he has every right to voice it.
Sean is an actor and can reasonably speak on the art of acting. However, when it comes to foreign affairs, Sean is not an expert.
Reading his words carefully, one sees a man who is deeply troubled and disturbed. Sean appears to have tunnel vision that has blinded the reality of world events.
Given Sean’s personal track record and history, it would be foolish to give him any credibility.
Most movies begin and end within two hours. World events do not; they require years.
Sean’s voice is greater than that of the average citizen, and so is his responsibility. My advice to Sean is to stick to acting and recognize he is not an expert in foreign affairs.
Sean’s rage clearly shows a mind that is out of control.
JOHN C. ROBERTS
Let the recovery begin: Impeach Bush, Cheney
Bring our troops home now! Impeach Cheney and Bush immediately! Gates and McCain are following in their footsteps!
What else could we expect from Bush than more Republican “yes” men. Get Bush and Cheney out of the White House now!
We as a nation need to recover from the damage they have done to our citizens and the world.
DR. CARL ISLER