Citizen has allowed this citizen a voice
A dozen years ago when I moved to Tucson, the slap of the morning paper on my doorstep awakened me into an exciting adventure.
The Arizona Daily Star! What a fantastic hometown newspaper. I bragged about it to out-of- town friends and used it (as I’ve done everywhere I go) as a venue for my opinions in letters to the editor.
Arizona was executing nearly one prisoner a month in Florence and, being fervently opposed to the death penalty, I wrote many more letters than the Star would publish. Although I hardly bothered to read such a conservative rag, I began sending letters to the Tucson Citizen as well.
I continued to subscribe to the Star and to buy the Citizen on the stand in the afternoon.
Both papers printed several of my letters and the Citizen said, “You should broaden your interests.” I was flattered by the attention and had a hard time doing that. Then my interests were broadened for me.
I had been protesting the legal killing of fewer than a dozen Arizonans a year and now, with the invasion of Iraq, I began protesting the illegal killing of hundreds of thousands of human beings, Arizonans – Tucsonans – among them.
I began writing more guest opinions than letters. And I began to prefer the frankly conservative Citizen over the becoming-more-right-wing Star.
I had the feeling the Citizen was growing up and the Star was burning out, or had it been a closet conservative all along? I’m afraid the Star I loved is gone, and I’m really grieving the loss of the Citizen.
You might wonder why a peace activist is teary over the end of a pro-military paper, and I wonder if there might be a little something wrong with me.
I’ve been living with threats (and being stalked and tormented by a counter-protester) because of articles I’ve published in the Citizen, and it’s troubling sometimes.
But I value free speech, and I’m enormously grateful to the Citizen for letting me get a word in once in a while.
It’s been an honor; the Citizen has some wonderful writers. Of course I’m a Billie Stanton fan, and I’ve admired Mark Kimble for more than a decade.
This town – this world – needs newspapers written by and for adults with a sense of humor who want to hear the worst possible news and think about how to make life better for everybody.
We need the news in our hands, in our pockets. I remember, as a kid, cleaning my room and reading last spring’s news before lining my dresser drawers with the latest edition of the local paper.
I believe we need to touch the words to connect and to feel a part of the news, a part of the world.
A historical treasure – a living monument – is being razed in our town. I take it personally.
Peace and good luck.
Lack of compassion with flu editorial
Re: your April 28 editorial:
“Flu outbreak – Awareness, not hysteria, best response” is correct, but you might have added compassion.
Your “opinion,” such as it is, blaming the Mexican government for a “slow response,” leaves out the fact that Mexico is a Third World country.
Those of us lucky enough to have lived in Mexico and who own vacation homes there know how badly Mexico is suffering from the economic crisis, the drug wars, and now the flu.
Mexico is doing what it can with what it has. Efforts are under way in Mexico to stop the spread of the flu.
I have a sister in Guadalajara who e-mails us daily about her beloved city and what is happening. Before you point fingers at the Mexican government, just remember Hurricane Katrina and the response of our government in the richest, most modern country in the world.
“Mexico is suffering: What can we do to help?” should have been your headline. They are our neighbors and our friends.
Penny C. Johnson
Drive out cameras by driving speed limit
Here is an indecent proposal – how to get rid of speed-monitoring cameras.
The company that put up the cameras spent a large sum of money and has to pay salaries to the people monitoring them.
Their income depends on successfully issuing citations for speeding.
If all of us carefully stay within the prescribed speed limits, the company will have no income. They certainly would not be eager to renew a non-revenue producing contract.
How about it? Let’s drive them out of business.
Embarrassed by lack of educational support
I would like Gov. Jan Brewer, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne and the Arizona Legislature to know:
As a fifth-generation Arizonan, I am dismayed and appalled by the continued erosion of support for a strong public education system in Arizona.
There is nothing left to cut in education funding!
Where is our state budget?
Why are some $60 million a year in public monies still allowed to go to religious and private schools via tax credits?
How can you look your constituents in the eye and tell us we are already 49th in funding for public education?
How can you justify the gutting of public education if more cuts are made?
I support a small and temporary tax increase to get us out of our economic mess by not destroying education, critical services and projects that will keep, attract and create jobs in Arizona.