<b><center>Letters to the Editor</b></center>
Proposition 202 backers don't tell whole truth
Signs supporting Proposition 202 read "Growth: Let Voters Decide, Not Developers." What hypocritical propaganda!
First, elected officials and city planners make growth decisions. If these voter-elected representatives are doing a poor job, why should we put the responsibility on the general public who elected them? I don't want the average citizen without land planning experience determining how my community grows!
The Sierra Club wrote Proposition 202 to benefit itself and other special interest groups. If Proposition 202 wins approval, residents will have to decide according to how the Sierra Club dictates. Examples:
• All development must occur in designated boundaries, creating more traffic, higher density housing, more pollution and less open space.
• No one can extend public utilities, sewer and water to land outside the boundaries. Landowners outside the boundaries, such as farmers and ranchers who financially depend on their land, will lose their rights.
• Any person or special interest group may file a lawsuit against any other person for any "perceived" violation of this initiative. That means anyone can contest any development in court, and they don't even have to live in Arizona. We must make decisions under a legal cloud. Ultimately, all growth decisions will be up to attorneys, special interest groups and extraneous individuals.
I support controlled growth. I help in growth decisions every time I attend a public rezoning hearing and every time I cast a vote for a candidate who supports controlled growth. I helped when I voted for Growing Smarter in 1998, and I will help when I vote for Proposition 100 this November. So I concur, residents should decide about growth - not the Sierra Club.
Peter Gasca, Jr.
Parents have more effect on children than teachers
Many people think the school is the primary educator of children, and that if we spend enough money on "education" we will solve our social problems.
They assume that if only our teachers would do better, all children would be up to par educationally. Both political parties talk about how to improve "failed schools."
Such claims don't take into account all of the research, much of it within the past 10 years, about the development of infants. Such researchers as Brazelton, Perry, Schore, Siegel, et al, have proven that experiences in the first three years of life are critical to a child's later learning capacity.
As Buckminster Fuller put it, "There is no such thing as genius, there are only some children less damaged than others." We spend millions on remediation and very little on prevention.
What, then, is a good school? It is one which remediates most effectively. What are its characteristics? 1. It sets high standards of achievement. 2. It has strong parental support. 3. It employs highly qualified teachers. Is there anyone who cannot remember at least one teacher who had a lasting effect on your future? Perhaps, not because of what they said, but because of the kind of people they were. "What you are speaks so loudly, I can't hear what you say."
Telling is not teaching. "The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be lighted" – Plutarch. But how can we retain competent teachers if we don't pay them adequately?
From earliest infancy, read to your children every day. Support our public schools. They have not failed us. If there is any failure, it is we who have failed them.
Voting is the sole path to true political change
This country's two major parties are blasé in their thinking of the Reform, Green and Independent competition.
This is a free nation but with John Q. Public voting without a clear choice. Both major parties are analogous regarding the political structure.
Two weak points of the Republican Party are its ability to place the party ahead of the health and welfare of this country. The impeachment trial involving the president hung our dirty laundry before the whole world, just to crucify one man. Bypassing the judicial system was shameful on its face,.
The second was the insatiable quest to create disillusionment for the aspiring individual dissenting views. Stalwart GOP fanatics are the problem, not the independents.
The Democratic Party suffers the terrible saga of President Clinton's moral "accomplishments." The party's non-support of the Second Amendment reveals disdain for our forefathers' historical efforts. Their tenacious position leaves little room for support. The two-party system protects and preserves the status quo.
The only certain avenue to any change in the political process is to vote. If you're not satisfied with Social Security, Medicare, poverty, crime and education, then you must vote.
It was the classes of people below the wealthy that created the American Revolution. They will listen to you.
Failure to vote is the coward's way of ringing the death knell. Voting is a sacred right. Do not be apathetic. Take advantage of this free society and prosper in change.
In spite of apparent weakness within the two-party system and all the room for improvement in our government, this is still my country. Until somebody finds a better form of government I will support it by voting.
Come on America, stand tall, be counted and voice your opinion by voting.
A 'no' vote on 102 will protect our wildlife
Those of us, who have studied Proposition 102, realize that we must vote "no" if we are to protect Arizona's wildlife and majority rule. If voters approve Proposition 102, it would:
• Take away our voting right.
• Make it virtually impossible to protect wildlife from unfair or inhumane treatment and it jeopardizes the citizens' initiative process by creating a "super majority" requirement.
This is a democracy, and we must not let them take it from us.
Organizations endorsing a "no" vote on Prop. 102 are numerous, and I name but a few: Arizona Humane Society, Arizona League of Conservation Voters, Arizona League of Women Voters, The Animal Defense League of Arizona.
Don't let the advertising fool you. Protect Arizona's wildlife and majority rule.