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Letters to the Editor


Some cuts ‘stupid, just plain mean or both’

Have you noticed who will be most affected by the Arizona Legislature’s premature and ill-conceived budget cuts?

Those cuts made to the fiscal 2009 budget and signed by the governor for the claimed purpose of dealing with the deficit, concocted behind closed doors and in the dark of night?

The most vulnerable and powerless group of human beings in Arizona, that’s who. Students, elderly, physically and mentally disadvantaged, the poor; all groups of people who cannot, do not or are too young to vote.

Don’t be fooled. This is not the Republican Legislature’s effort to fix the budget crisis.

This is their cowardly attempt to take advantage of this critical situation and eliminate programs, period. Programs which are already being overwhelmed now – due to employer layoffs and terminations, home construction downturn, off-shore outsourcing, home foreclosures, lost health insurance coverage and on and on – will be so severely cut they will no longer be able to meet citizens’ needs.

If we neglect our students and our most needy, we are on that slippery slope to the bottom, which we are already close to in education, 49th nationally, and fourth from the bottom in numbers of uninsured.

High-quality education guarantees a future Arizona equipped to meet the demands of a world economy. Ignoring the needy is immoral. We are better than this, Arizona.

Jim Pierce


Green Valley

Ailing TUSD needs rehab, ‘hope pushers’

Houston, we have some problems. Teacher morale is at an all-time low. Reports exposing inept management flood the media. Education budgets are being cut.

I remember a brighter time in Tucson Unified School District. In 1986, voters had just passed a bond override. Paul Houston came on board as superintendent, bringing optimism.

But he found TUSD a hard nut to crack. His attempts to extend the override were met with virulent opposition.

Pro-life activists polarized the community with their push for an abstinence curriculum. Contract negotiations turned hostile and an exasperated Houston called outspoken teachers “shameless agitators.”

Did he leave a curse on this district? Succeeding superintendents settled for a command and control approach that shunned input.

In the 1990s, legislation mandating school councils created an ideal forum for engaging all stakeholders. In TUSD, however, it became clear that councils were not to infringe on a principal’s inclinations.

When I was a regional director for Arizona PTA, TUSD was only interested in the organization’s fundraising potential. Administrators privately used the term “psycho parents” to refer to those who demanded attention to their concerns.

As a representative of the Tucson Education Association, I witnessed how principals brazenly violated our negotiated agreement.

Arizona laws giving teachers control over student promotion and placement were nullified. But woe be unto any teacher who dared file a grievance! Retaliation remains an integral component of district culture.

Houston’s new book is “No Challenge Left Behind: Transforming American Education Through Heart and Soul.” He says public education needs “hope pushers,” noting, “Leadership is about liberation.” We need clear signs that the new superintendent and board intend to transform TUSD. That must start at the top.

Richard Choquette

Community response lifts Terra Cotta family

The sadness we had in closing Terra Cotta has been erased by the unbelievable number of letters, e-mails, calls and personal expressions of thank-you’s. We are left with the belief that we had an important role in contributing to the culinary excellence of independent restaurants in Tucson.

Restaurants are difficult to operate, and 4 in 5 startups close within five years. Terra Cotta lasted more than 22 years, and we can only thank our local clientele and many winter visitors. We also thank our kitchen and front staffs.

We take particular pride in the fact that many of our chefs have moved on to open their own restaurants, creating wonderful food and service. Doug Levy at Feast and Jeff Azersky and Marianne Banes at Kingfisher are great examples.

We encourage everyone to support independent restaurants.

Our family business has been honored by the community and we have been privileged to give back to many of the nonprofits we believe in – donating food and wine, cash and attendance at events. We supported the arts, children’s issues and health issues. We hope local businesses continue to give back to our wonderful community even in these difficult economic times.

Again we thank the community, our visitors, our suppliers and our highly appreciated staff for support over the past 22 years. It has been an honor to serve and work with you.

Donna Nordin and Don,

Michael and Maya Luria

Our Digital Archive

This blog page archives the entire digital archive of the Tucson Citizen from 1993 to 2009. It was gleaned from a database that was not intended to be displayed as a public web archive. Therefore, some of the text in some stories displays a little oddly. Also, this database did not contain any links to photos, so though the archive contains numerous captions for photos, there are no links to any of those photos.

There are more than 230,000 articles in this archive.

In TucsonCitizen.com Morgue, Part 1, we have preserved the Tucson Citizen newspaper's web archive from 2006 to 2009. To view those stories (all of which are duplicated here) go to Morgue Part 1

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