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Letters to the Editor

Arizona does support MLK Day

Just when I thought it had died of natural causes, Ms. Winsky resurrects the specter of establishing Arizona's Martin Luther King Day holiday and dresses it up in a new sheet of ignorance. Perhaps Ms. Winsky, like many of your readers, could use a history lesson.

Riding the wave of national sentiment for setting aside a day to honor Rev. King as a cultural hero, then-Governor Bruce Babbitt created just such a holiday as he was stepping out of office. Unfortunately, he did so in violation of Arizona's state constitution. So, incoming Gov. (Evan) Mecham had no choice but to rescind it. That created a nationwide furor and brought a lot of undeserved contempt to this state and its citizens.

During the next election, not one but three popular referenda went on the ballot seeking to establish some sort of day of recognition for Dr. King. The overwhelming majority of voters supported one or another bill, but none of them garnered a majority of votes, causing them all to fail. The following election year, there was one referendum for creating a paid holiday, and again the overwhelming majority of voters chose to do just that.

The point, Ms. Winsky, is that Arizona is the only place in the United States in which the people created the MLK holiday, not vote-conscious officials. Not bad for a state full of racist rednecks! Obviously, the people of Arizona supported the man and his dream.

Dave Heacock
UA security officer

Preserve cactus garden

Thank you, protesters who rallied on Friday and to Joe Liesz and the estimated 800 persons, according to Inger Sandal's article in Saturday's Arizona Daily Star, who signed a statement protesting the UA Alumni Association's ludicrous proposal to move or modify the Joseph Wood Krutch cactus garden. How much construction must the students and community-at-large endure in the name of revenue-raising, which seems to be President Likins' modus operandi? And another construction project, smack-dab in the busiest corridor of the campus? Please, Mr. Likins, vote to have the Alumni Association leave the garden as is and move their booster pavilion to another location. How about the stage on the west end of the Mall when you finish that campus center construction project? That stage has been there for years.

In addition to its biological richness, the cactus garden offers an aesthetic and architectural beauty that will never be compensated for an Alumni Association "pavilion." At least two major bird species, the cactus wren and Gila woodpecker, visit the garden day in and day out. It is an oasis for students and wildlife. One can stop, enjoy the incredible range of boojums and cactuses in the garden, and enjoy the antics of these gregarious birds. This kind of interaction and contact with nature does far more than a multi-million dollar white elephant - I'm talking about the subterranean Integrated Learning Center - to boost the lagging spirits of freshmen.

In the words of Edward Abbey, who lived in and around Tucson much of his life, "leave it as it is."

Stuart H. Williams
UA graduate student

Leave Icecat fans alone

The Icecats game on Saturday had all of the makings of a legendary game, until we were all thrown out. Along with my referee-striped friends, I have had the front-row seats of section 120 for the past two years. Although I would have to say that the peewee hockey fight was the apex of hockey at the TCC, the rubber-chicken incident soon shadowed it as the nadir of the season. The feisty Icecat fan who was accused of tossing the offensive had no part in the incident. In fact, he is part of a wonderful family that has been coming to Saturday Icecats games for many years. If he were guilty of anything, he would be charged with being a true fan. However, the referee would rather listen to the miserable gripes of the opposing team. Therefore, there was nothing else for us to do but all admit to throwing the chicken (It was a Spartacus moment). Even the super fanatic "three amigos" got up and left.

The TCC has too many ushers that try to come in and rule with an iron fist. I was removed last year for a disparaging comment that I made to my favorite referee, Landry. This year, I was almost removed from a game before it even started. I sit in section 120 because I am a college student who loves hockey. The ushers need to understand that we are watching hockey, not Rugrats on Ice. We are not feisty. We are not even rambunctious. We are crazy loudmouths. I am often surprised by the things that come out of my mouth.

The McKale Center could take a few chapters from our playbook. First, we are all allowed to sit together. I know that the alumni are probably not going to join in the "Hey goalie, you SUCK!" chant. Second, we all cheer together. Third, thanks to Mike the organist, we also sing and dance together. Fourth and finally, we are allowed to drink beer. If I was a parent, I would not want my kids to sit in that section. That's the way it should be.

Anyway, I will end this as a true Icecat fan. The feisty fan was innocent. The ushers suck. The refs suck. Watching games at McKale sucks. ASU sucks (Repeat). He shoots, he scores! Hey goalie, You suck!

Paul Bentz
math education senior

Durrani column brave

This is in defense of Mariam Durrani and her article regarding the U.S. patriotism. I applaud her appreciation of her freedom of speech as she is brave enough to give an opinion of dissent to the totalitarian ways of our national government. The "with us or against us" mentality of the United States has been portrayed by the conservative letters from students with rude and biting criticism by anyone in disagreement. As conservatives so violently attack the left, they forget that without a dissenting voice, you have no democracy, but a totalitarian state. "How dare you cheapen our country's nationalism and trivialize patriotism," one student questions Durrani. This rhetoric and "nationalism" is reminiscent to the causes of the Third Reich.

Telling Durrani to exit to the nearest border is a ludicrous and appalling statement that could only come from a fascist who would prefer all those who do not agree with the status quo to get out. While the conservatives keep shouting for everyone to glue themselves to the bourgeois news, some of us seek the truth. Freedom of speech is not synonymous to unbiased media. Apparently the indoctrination of the ruling class media is working splendidly. Contrary to popular belief, leftists liberals do not consist of people in "some marijuana-induced fantasyland," hippies in tie-dyed shirts and people holding hands and singing. There are those radicals who wish to dissolve this madness and the horrors of imperialist nations and their arrogance.

By making this statement, I am not aiding or condoning fundamentalist terrorists who kill innocents for their interests. I am simply stating to all those who will mock and criticize us to understand that our opinions count as well.

Stu de Haan
political science senior

Leftist ideas unworkable

I cannot agree more with Pam Simpson's letter yesterday, "Durrani column absurd, shocking." Ms. Simpson shows the reality of this world, exposing the "hippy mentality" for what it is: unworkable nonsense. World order and stability can only be achieved through war and the blood of young soldiers. Until those on the left realize and accept this fact, they will continue to be a parasite to civilization, similar to the terrorists.

Silas Montgomery
undeclared freshman

Ashamed of becoming UA alumna

I will be graduating in May and am ashamed that I will then be known as an alumnus. I am not ashamed of the university or for having received my degree here. What I am ashamed of is the appalling arrogance of the Alumni Association and the fact that I may soon be considered one of "them" just by graduating.

Although I, as well as most students, understand the need for some construction on campus, there is no need for the Alumni Plaza to be built except to satisfy the vain attitudes of those proposing the plan. The Alumni Association seems to believe that this is what the students want, need and deserve. The only thing I have heard fellow students and faculty members say is how stupid this project is. Of course President Likins will support it! Why wouldn't he? Alumni donate enough money to this school to influence any career-minded politician.

What I am concerned about is the fact that the UA Mall is disappearing - and fast! Until yesterday, I had never seen the Mall without construction. I found a picture of it, and it was beautiful! The grassy Mall area offers people a place to relax, have a picnic, exercise and enjoy lots of other activities that only a large open space can accommodate. Oh sure, a plaza is generally an open space, but it will be made of brick or cement, which becomes very hot under the Arizona sun and then there will be extremely wasteful water fountains put in. Is anyone planning on using reclaimed water for this project?

Lastly, I would like to address the issue of our so-called "eyesore"(Thank you Mary Jones). The plants in our cactus garden are considered endangered species by state law and, if not on campus, would require numerous permits to move them (if allowed at all). These plants will die if moved. I know that I enjoy the garden and visiting family, and friends of mine enjoyed taking numerous pictures of it. My East Coast family had never seen plants like those located here. Hargreaves Associates and the Alumni Association are the only ones who view the cactus garden as something to be destroyed.

Please do not build the Alumni Plaza.

Jennifer Rogers
psychology and near Eastern studies senior


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