More than advertising

  Dear HCN,


The "Analysis" by Tony Davis regarding the failure of Arizona's anti-growth Proposition 202 in the last election misses an important part of the situation in southern Arizona and, I suspect, elsewhere as well (HCN, 11/20/00: In Arizona's growth fight, advertising defined reality).


Davis attributes the failure to an advertising blitz by the pro-growth lobby, and states that "advertising defined reality." This may make environmentalists feel good about their noble cause, which was thwarted by the evil forces of rampant capitalism. However, I don't watch TV and I never saw any of the advertisements mentioned, and I still voted against Proposition 202. Why? Because I'm ticked off by environmental zealotry in the form of bullying litigation.


My son attends ninth grade at a badly overcrowded high school on the northwest side of Tucson, and this would not be the case if the Center for Biological Diversity had not caused an expensive two-year delay in new school construction because of its concern for the welfare of the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl. Given that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has declared 731,712 acres of Arizona as critical habitat for the pygmy owl, and that the high school site in question occupies a mere 90 acres on which the owl has not even been seen, it seems excessive to make a big issue out of this school site.


I would be inclined to vote for measures to preserve the natural environment in Arizona, but Proposition 202 would have achieved a lot of its growth control through litigation that would likely make lawyers wealthy while harming public institutions such as schools. Jon Spencer
Tucson, Arizona
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