Why did S&P change our credit rating?

Given that our debt and entitlement problems have been well-known for nearly two decades, one can’t help wondering what changed on Thursday that affected our AAA rating by Standard & Poor’s. Why would it suddenly question the “full faith and credit” of the United States government?

Then I remembered that these are the people who rated collateralized debt obligations as AAA not too long ago. Surely, you remember those bonds containing a medley of mortgages that, even today, nobody is able to evaluate as to either content or price. So much for credibility.

At least the other rating services had the good sense to keep a low profile. Maybe we’re being scolded by S&P for not eating our peas and spinach. The media, of course, will do what they are accustomed to — create an atmosphere of fear, uncertainty, and doubt over and over again between commercials.

However, in the final analysis, the rating that counts is the one that will be expressed in November of 2012, by those of us who haven’t been brainwashed by some political party’s hogwash.

Time to fire some more incumbents.

Mark Wittels, Oro Valley

Kino worth the drive for true baseball fans

I am tired of hearing people in Tucson who call themselves baseball fans complain about how hard it is to get to Kino Veteran’s Memorial Stadium.

When Tucson was presented the opportunity to host spring training games, the City of Tucson Council hemmed and hawed about if and where to build a stadium. In the meantime, the Pima County Board of Supervisors made a decision and built a beautiful facility. Kino is on East Ajo Way, about two miles south of Hi Corbett Field. It is approximately five miles down Interstate 10 from the Congress Street exit, where many wanted a downtown stadium built. 

Kino is accessible from Interstate 10, east or west. From the east side get on Golf Links to Alvernon. From midtown, just drive south on Alvernon a couple miles past Hi Corbett, and you are there. It is no harder to get to than any other place in Tucson, and easier than some.

Hi Corbett Field has been a wonderful venue. It holds great memories from when I was young; however, there is a reason that old ball parks are replaced with new facilities.

The Padres have given us a chance to bring baseball back to the Old Pueblo. They are playing at Kino. If our “fans” can’t be bothered driving a couple extra miles to support them, then why should they go the extra mile to stay in Tucson?

It is time to stop making excuses. Buy a ticket and come to a game. You may find a reason to come back.


Joseph Ryan, Northwest Tucson

Mine’s scar will forever remain

I was disappointed to read in a recent Explorer (Aug. 3, 2011) of the Town of Marana’s decision to vote 6-1 for endorsing the proposed Rosemont Copper mine in the Coronado National Forest located in the Santa Rita Mountains. The lone dissenting vote came from Vice Mayor Herb Kai, who thought this is a topic that the town has no business giving an opinion upon.

I concur with Mr. Kai. First off, the Town of Marana is geographically located several miles from the proposed mine and the nearby communities that would be directly affected by it. Marana would be separated from the worst effects of the mine, but those communities in close proximity would be directly impacted. 

Therein exists the problem. I don’t believe our town council should endorse something that negatively affects other people outside of Marana’s jurisdiction. What if it were the other way around? Imagine Green Valley, Benson and Vail endorsing a planned open pit mine in eyesight of Dove Mountain or Continental Ranch/Reserve in Marana.

Secondly, in reviewing the pros and cons of the mine argument, is the economic trade-off listed by the Town of Marana and others worth the irreversible effects upon the environment?

I’ve heard and read all the marketing how multiplied millions of dollars will go into southwest Arizona’s economy and help our schools. So tax money is going to the State of Arizona and state legislators. With their track record, will they help our schools? 

Other tax money will go to Washington, D.C. How much of that will come back to help with the 4,000-plus acres of Coronado National Forest destruction?

This is something to think about folks. The economy will come back, but the scar upon our beautiful land will remain.

James Kurtis, Marana

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