The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

80° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Mail Bag

    Reid Park Zoo unfair to elephants

    Andi Berlin’s Feb. 8 column (“”It’s all happening at the zoo””) was a mildly amusing discussion of human antics until Ms. Berlin stated, “”The cool thing about the Reid Park Zoo is that you can see all of the animals up-close”” because the cages are smaller than the ones at the Phoenix Zoo.

    Yes, the cages at the Reid Park Zoo are “”built with the viewers in mind.”” And many of the needs of the animals were, and continue to be, passed over in consideration of seeing “”all the animals up-close.”” Many of the enclosures are so small that it’s disturbing to any contentious and compassionate individual. A number of the animals exhibit severe physical and psychological disorders because of their captivity and the lack of space, including stereotypical behaviors, joint diseases, skin disorders, reproductive problems and even premature death.

    Reid Park Zoo currently has the opportunity to improve the condition of many of animals residing in their care and has made an affirmative decision not to. Over a year ago, The Elephant Sanctuary offered to take both elephants at the zoo at no cost to either the zoo or the city. Despite the overwhelming support to send the elephants to the sanctuary, the zoo persuaded the City Council to spend $18 million of taxpayers’ money to construct another, inadequate enclosure for the elephants. This new exhibit will not improve the elephants’ condition.

    The largest U.S. zoo enclosure for elephants is less than eight acres and that is still woefully inadequate for the world’s largest land mammal. Reid Park Zoo is only 17 acres and yet is home to over 500 animals. By not accepting the sanctuary’s offer to take the elephants, the zoo is diverting funds and space these other animals desperately need. Instead of commenting about how wonderful the small exhibits are, the Arizona Daily Wildcat should encourage Reid Park Zoo and the City Council to act responsibly by putting the best interest of the animals before entertaining zoo-goers.

    Nikia Fico
    Director, Save Tucson Elephants

    ‘Free’ music punishes small artists

    I am writing this in response to Lillie Kilburn’s column appearing in Friday’s Wildcat (“”Music becomes a little more free””). I am a recording artist and composer, and her article sounds like she is advocating stealing from artists.

    Does technology that enables anyone toÿ””rip”” aÿCD – and there’s an appropriate word, coming from “”rip-off”” – justify doing so?ÿKilburn asks where Gwen Stefani would get her hairspray money from if her royalties were not collectable. How about artists like myself who depend on revenues from our music in order to eat? Do you do your work for free? If you write a book, do you want to get paid for each copy, or just let people download it for free because they can?

    As for Kilburn’s suggestion that music CDs contain advertising as a way for artists to be able to collect income from their work, what should someone like me sell besides the music?ÿHairspray? Do you enjoy watching commercials on TV? Why would I want to have a bunch of advertising polluting my artwork?

    Kilburn says to big music companies, “”we’re looking at you.”” As much of an unfair profit as these companies make off of their artists, at least they are trying to guarantee to pay their artists. Be careful about advocating theft. You don’t want people stealing from you, do you?ÿ

    Danny August
    tutor, Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques Center

    Smith death coverage shows questionable priorities

    The coverage of Anna Nicole Smith’s death on Feb. 9 has been covered unceasingly since the news first emerged. Every news agency on cable television has covered nearly all possible aspects of her life. Her death is indeed a tragedy, for the loss of any human life should be mourned. However, the coverage of her death is a sad social commentary on the character and fiber of America.

    Anna Nicole Smith was a former Playboy Playmate of the Year, she once starred in her own reality television show, and was known for her ongoing substance abuse problems. Americans were and still are fascinated with Smith’s life and lifestyle.

    Her actions should be characterized as shameful and deplorable. She made her first millions by having men objectify her body. There is the ongoing case concerning the father of her child Danielynn. And of course, there is always the matter of her problems with substance abuse. Why has America become so obsessed with “”stars”” who lack moral consciousness?

    One death that I am sure few UA students, let alone Americans, have heard about is the untimely death of Leon Thal, a neurologist who led research in the field of Alzheimer dementia. Thal was a graduate from the prestigious Tufts University and later would become a professor of neurosciences at the University of California at San Diego.

    A professional peer of Thal stated that his guidance was “”driving the field and raising a new generation of Alzheimer’s researchers.”” An estimated 4.5 million people in America have some degree of Alzheimer’s. Thal contributed to the medicinal field in such a positive light that will not be truly known until years to come.

    The broadcasting of Smith’s death is indicative of the social character of America. This is what Americans are reading, talking, and gossiping about. We live in a sad state of social consciousness when the news coverage of the death of a leading professor in neurology is trumped by the death of a celebrity celebrated for her questionable lifestyle.

    Christopher Ortiz
    philosophy senior

    UA could lose donations for punishing frats

    I would like to comment on Anthony Skevaki’s statement “”The big point I’d like to make is that there’s no difference between the greeks and the non-greeks. They (greeks) just tend to get caught more,”” which appeared in Wednesday’s article about fraternity probation (“”Seven fraternities, one sorority on probation for alcohol violations””). My question to Mr. Skevakis is: How can greeks and non-greeks be equal when the punishments administered to greeks and non-greeks differ?

    There is no reason for the university, Greek Life or UAPD to set different standards for people just because of an organization they are affiliated with. Some of the sanctions placed on the fraternities are a result of people receiving minors in possession that aren’t even members of the fraternity. If the UA wants this to be fair they should set a universal standard for all students, regardless of whether they are affiliated with a greek organization.

    Next time an underage student is caught drinking at a UA sporting event, I expect that team to be put on probation because someone was drinking at one of their events. Mr. Skevakis, the UA police department, Greek Life and the Dean of Students Office are completely wrong in their punishment and reprobation of UA greek organizations and its members.

    A double standard has been cast among greek and non-greek students at the UA. Greeks and their affiliated organizations are being unfairly punished for the same actions that non-greeks are participating in. The university is going to suffer some hard hits in donations, admissions, and campus involvement if this trend keeps up.

    Manuel Chrysoloras
    senior majoring in Italian

    Time to bring the troops home

    I have nothing but the most profound respect for our men and women in uniform (“”Time to support the troops””). To do what they do takes a leap of courage that most people don’t have, myself included. This is why they are the greatest Americans in my mind.

    Despite my frustration with this war, my respect for them has not dimmed in the slightest since day one. It is because of this that I feel we support them in the greatest way possible – by bringing them home to their loving families and friends.

    Let’s put an end to this awful war that should never have started. We as Americans were wrong to let our fears get the best of us and go into this war that was built on false pretenses. I think it’s very nice that the UA College Republicans want to support our troops, but frankly I feel that USO shows are not really the best way to show our gratitude. If we truly care for and love our troops we will give them the ultimate Valentine’s Day gift: A flight home, a commendation for their service and all the benefits and respect that come with being a U.S. veteran.

    The troops have done everything they can, but unfortunately, we are in a situation where the military might will not fix the mess Iraq is in. As soon-to-be-resident Barack Obama has said, “”No amount of American soldiers can solve the political differences at the heart of somebody else’s civil war.””

    For the College Republicans to support this escalation of 21,000 troops while collecting donations and presents for those same troops is hypocritical at best. This is especially true when every military expert has said “”time to pull out.”” The College Republicans need to stop acting like mindless sheep to the Bush-Cheney marching band and learn how to think for themselves for once. If Bush told them to jump off a bridge, would they do it? Probably.

    Joel Shooster
    political science junior

    More to Discover
    Activate Search