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Letters: Put people to work in national parks

National park projects land stimulus funding

On Earth Day, April 22, the Interior Department announced the stimulus-funded projects for our national parks.

More than $20 million has been allocated for such essential upkeep as fixing historic structures and long-overdue road maintenance in 20 Arizona units of the National Park System, including Grand Canyon and Saguaro National Parks.

I can think of no better use of stimulus money than putting people to work in these very special places where we celebrate our joint heritage, and which millions of people visit every year to experience the natural wonders of our state.

In December, my organization – the National Parks Conservation Association – published “Working Assets: Reinvesting in National Parks to Create Jobs and Protect America’s Heritage,” a report that called on Congress and the administration to include national parks in economic recovery legislation.

The report offered examples of ready-to-go, job-creating infrastructure projects in national parks nationwide.

The final bill passed by Congress in February, with support from Reps. Raúl Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords, included a measured investment of $900 million toward the Park Service’s $9 billion backlog of critical maintenance and preservation projects.

NPCA’s report highlighted the desperate need for adequate staff housing at Grand Canyon National Park – one of the projects this stimulus funding will address.

Here in Pima County, Saguaro National Park will receive $1.4 million for projects to improve energy efficiency; repair fences and trails; install new air conditioning at the visitor center; and seal a hazardous mine.

Of course, this is not all that Saguaro and our other Arizona national parks need to be restored in time for the Park Service centennial in 2016, but it is a good start!

Kevin Dahl

Arizona program manager

National Parks Conservation Association

Shouldn’t city manager be first to ‘give back’?

Re: the Wednesday article “Mike Letcher is new city manager”:

It seems the City Council has found their person to be the new city manager, someone I assume they feel can be controlled.

Mike Hein seemed to be going in the right direction – proposing cuts in various areas to balance the budget compared with our new proposal of taxing those who are ambitious and earn their way to help those who are not and would rather be taken care of by the system.

This follows the national agenda of “change” that was so prevelant in the national presidential campaign.

Mr. Letcher keeps saying he would like to retire. Let him. Or is it the understanding he only wants to “give back” to his community?

I assume with his deep desire to give back, he will stay on in this new capacity at his existing salary.

This would be in line with the forced giving we are all going to be doing with the proposed tax hikes!

Dale Lausch

As Obama soars, so does fuel consumption

Barack Obama sure loves that Air Force One. It seems that every day he gets in that plane and flies somewhere.

Just for a 15-minute speech about saving energy and building wind turbines, he got to ride that plane.

Now Air Force One burns about 5 gallons of fuel for every mile it travels, so that trip burned about 9,000 gallons of fuel. He could have made that pitch from the White House, but then they don’t build wind turbines in Washington, D.C.

One wonders if his favorite song is “Come fly with me, let’s fly, let’s fly away.”

William Hurt

Green Valley

Let’s put health care on road to recovery

The 50 million Americans who have no health insurance need reform now!

I am relatively healthy, though recently I was barred from paying for my own $5,000 deductible insurance.

Insurance companies have no motivation to provide excellent care. Their motivation is to make money.

I have been a registered nurse for 34 years yet have spent years without insurance. I work two jobs in home health, helping indigent people in their homes. They pay nearly nothing for care through the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, yet I have no such benefit.

I do not begrudge them, but where is my health care?

Recently, a friend dislocated her hip three times after having it replaced a few years ago. Before she knew it, she had $50,000 in medical bills. She had to declare bankruptcy.

She was living on Social Security after working as a nurse for 40 years but could not afford private health insurance.

A diabetic patient of mine gets renal dialysis three times a week, costing taxpayers about $60,000 per year. I ordered insulin syringes for her, but she sent them back because she couldn’t make the $23 co-pay.

It is shameful that in the recent meeting on health care reform, proponents of HR 676 were not fully represented. This is our only real solution for meaningful change.

If we are lucky, we have two years to enact reform before Republicans take over. If the president gives the single payer plan some thought, he will do a service for all Americans.

Linda Abrams, RN, BSN

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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