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Arts programs aren’t just fine, they’re vital

I am a senior at Thunderbird High School and a member of its marching and jazz bands and vocal ensemble.

The fine arts programs in my district have been supported and encouraged until now. With the deep cuts proposed by the Legislature, districts across the state, including mine, will need to “cut to the bone” to balance their budgets.

Many regard music, art, band and orchestra as “nonessential”programs. Yet according to the Union Pacific Foundation, a well-rounded education in fine arts helps students develop imagination, skills in observation and critical thinking, the ability to think more deeply and complex thoughts, spatial reasoning and temporal skills, critical analysis, abstract thought and pattern recognition.

But the arts also teach many life lessons. As a drum major for two of my four years in marching band, I was in the highest band leadership position, in charge of conducting the band on the football field, delegating responsibilities of the band section leaders and running band council meetings.

This experience taught me how to be an effective leader, positively influencing my peers. It also taught me how to get along with fellow band members and have a successful season. Had I not been in this so-called nonessential program, I would never have realized potential as a leader and had an experience that will enhance my character and growth.

Also, through the great help of my choir director, I got to audition and be part of the Arizona Music Educators Association’s Southwest Regional Choir, rehearsing for the regional festival. This was one of the hardest musical things I have been part of, but the group came together to perform one of the best concerts ever.

I learned the importance of hard work and was inspired to bring what I learned back to my own choir. Had it not been for my school choir, I would have never had this fantastic musical and spiritual experience.

The education cuts won’t affect my education, as I am a senior. But what about the generations of musicians, actors, artists and playwrights to come?

This is shortsighted of the Legislature. Instead of reducing education budgets, we should be looking at all avenues to raise revenues to keep these very essential programs.

Travis Meyers


Abortion issue spawns emotion over intellect

Re: the Wednesday column (“Women’s choice, not lawmakers’”):

Is Billie Stanton truly for the right of a person, usually the rapist, to coerce his victim into an abortion against her will but against the right of a physician or pharmacist to choose to “do no harm” to any human being no matter how small? Choice for the rapist; no choice for the doctor.

In the purchase of a home, a buyer has three days by law to think about the decision they are making that will last 30 years.

In the purchase of a car, the buyer has two days by law to think about the decision that could last seven years.

With the car and the house, the buyer can see what he is buying. With a baby in the womb, a woman cannot yet see the human being she carries and how the decision to end that baby’s life will last their entire lifetime.

Every year when that abortion or birthdate comes around, the woman will think about the life she bore or ended.

Shouldn’t a young girl be given information on what it is she is carrying? The women and doctors who testified on this bill all felt she should have one day to consider the single-most-important decision of her life and that she should have accurate information on the life she carried.

Planned Parenthood and NARAL didn’t even testify against it.

But Billie Stanton knows all and called them Neanderthals. How intellectual.

Lynne St. Angelo

Checkpoint reality: DUI patrols more effective

Re: the March 25 article “Warning to Wildcat fans from police: beer and baskets don’t mix”:

The recent sobriety checkpoint in Tucson funneled limited state and federal grant money away from measures that have proven to be most effective in combating drunken driving.

Because they are highly visible and publicized in advance, roadblocks are all too easily avoided by the chronic alcohol abusers who compose the core of today’s drunken driving problem.

Conversely, the number of DUI arrests made by roving patrol programs is nearly 10 times the average number of DUIs made by checkpoints, a Pennsylvania transportation official has testified.

By focusing scarce resources on roadblocks, Tucson police stripped Arizona’s roadways of their most valuable tool for catching drunken drivers.

Tucson residents and taxpayers would benefit from employing the most effective tactics: roving police patrols.

Sarah Longwell

managing director

American Beverage Institute

Washington, D.C.

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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