Letters to the editor: April 3 - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letters to the editor: April 3

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Posted: Thursday, April 2, 2009 5:48 pm | Updated: 1:30 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

This is in response to “Mesa businesses wary about light rail,” a March 8 Tribune article by Sonu Munshi in which Tom Verploegen, president of the Downtown Mesa Association, told the City Council that opposition to running a 3.5-mile light-rail extension along Main Street in downtown Mesa has decreased.

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Light rail

Too expensive to expand

This is in response to “Mesa businesses wary about light rail,” a March 8 Tribune article by Sonu Munshi in which Tom Verploegen, president of the Downtown Mesa Association, told the City Council that opposition to running a 3.5-mile light-rail extension along Main Street in downtown Mesa has decreased.

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Downtown business owners and many Mesa residents are opposed to extending the light rail through the downtown area, not just because of concerns about the disruptions, and obstruction conditions caused by construction, but mainly because of more taxes needed for the billion-dollar project.

Light-rail construction cost “guesstimate” for the City Council (at $71 million a mile) is a good $300 million to extend the Metro light-rail line from the Sycamore station 3.5 miles east to downtown. Mesa remains the largest city in the nation without a primary property tax after voters soundly defeated it in 2006. The real problem would be for the City Council to try to get a tax passed for the future light-rail growth and continuous operation.

Jack Salley

Mesa

Need public transit to Gateway airport

In reference to your March 27 article on light rail, someone should be thinking about a good, decent public transportation to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport rather than just taxis and shuttle vans. Granted there is a public bus service that runs to Arizona State University Polytechnic campus, but it does not run to the terminal or anywhere near it so passengers could make use of it. There is light-rail and bus service to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, so why not to Gateway?

Jack Mitchell

Mesa

Gilbert elections

Krueger, Sentz are best choices

In Gilbert, there are only two candidates in the Town Council race that will move the city forward to a brighter future. Joan Krueger and John Sentz have the experience needed to listen, and they know the will of the people. Gilbert cannot afford anyone inexperienced in good, sensible government. Many opportunities are upon us here in Gilbert. Joan Krueger and John Sentz know what those opportunities are and will work for all of us to move Gilbert toward obtaining those goals.

I urge all Republicans, Democrats and independents to vote for Joan Krueger and John Sentz for the two Town Council seats in Gilbert.

John Chiazza

Gilbert

Drugs

Just make them legal

The Tribune dances around the real solution to America’s drug crusade (“Failing to learn, U.S. ramps up war on drugs,” Our View, March 29) by never saying that legalization and regulation is the best answer to our drug war disaster. We’ve tried prohibition with ever-escalating penalties, without an iota of success in reducing drug use or eliminating violent drug cartels. We need to remember how repealing alcohol prohibition ended 13 years of chaos that saw Al Capone and his ilk fighting gun battles over the alcohol market. Since 1933, we haven’t had a shootout or a bombing over a beer route.

Ralph Givens

Daly City, Calif.

Legalization leads to regulation

Regarding your thoughtful editorial “Failing to learn, U.S. ramps up war on drugs” on March 29, it is not “our insatiable demand for illegal drugs” that causes the violence in Mexico, it’s our prohibition and criminalization of drugs. A lot more Americans use the drug caffeine on a daily basis than use marijuana or any other illegal substance. So why don’t we have lots of crime related to caffeine? Simple answer: It’s legal.

Kirk Muse

Mesa

The war’s effects soon to be seen

The war on certain drugs was never meant to be won; it was meant to be continuous. It was designed to reduce the civil rights and liberties of the general population, accustom them to an ongoing and ever-growing police and military presence in their daily lives, drain taxpayers’ dollars, and to keep lawyers rich, cops busy, and jails full. In that regard, it has been a huge success.

In the future, this war will be used to justify all manner of suppression of privacy and civil rights, and civil liberties. You think Soviet Russia was bad? Or Nazi Germany?

Those totalitarian prison states will seem like summer camp in comparison to what is coming for North America. Cameras everywhere, ID checks and sniffer dogs on every street corner, drug testing, forced military service, your iPod and laptop’s being scanned and zero-privacy internment camps (most of which are already built).

Everything is almost in place — both the laws and the technology — and all President Barack Obama needs is one “emergency” to declare martial law.

Russell Barth

Patients Against Ignorance and Discrimination on Cannabis

Nepean, Ontario, Canada

Sex education

Abstinence works but hard to follow

Sex education is very important to our youth. Of course, abstinence is the best way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies, but abstinence is not a normal biological behavior.

What parents need to realize is teenagers will become sexually active, and the best way to protect them is to educate them about the use of condoms, birth control and safe sexual decisions.

Arizona has the second-highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation, and our teens are at a higher risk for sexually transmitted diseases than the national average. We teach abstinence-only, which is obviously not working. Making sure our young men and women have access to true sexual education, and our young women access to birth control and reproductive health care, is the only way to lower these statistics.

Teaching abstinence-only and keeping young women from birth control and reproductive health care will not stop them from having sex, but it will stop them from making informed decisions that can reduce the number of abortions, teen pregnancies and the spread of STDs — things that I believe every one of us wants.

Nicole Brown

Gilbert

Afghanistan

What happened to withdrawal?

Why is it that the left-wing loons in Congress and on the Internet are not calling for the president of the United States to explain his reasoning for sending more American troops into combat? Why are they not demanding from the president a time line for the troops to remain in Afghanistan and Pakistan?

Why is it that President Barack Obama, who called for President George W. Bush to withdraw all troops from Iraq immediately while he was a senator, can now decide to act much the same as Bush did and not hear one word of discontent from the weird individuals now in charge of our government? We still have troops in Iraq.

Anthony J. Milone

Apache Junction

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