Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Letter and photos in the paper

So, I wrote a letter to the editor, and it was published in this morning's Arizona Daily Star:

Private information made public

Monday night I noticed that the Star posted a searchable database on its Web site so that Tucson readers could find out who is being laid off at what school, those people's full names and what date they were hired by the Tucson Unified School District.

Yes, I know that technically this is all "public information" made available by the TUSD (Tucson Unified School District) board. But is it really necessary to post a searchable database? Maybe some of those teachers and administrators would rather not have everybody know that they will potentially be unemployed.

I'm one of those teachers. Don't I have the right to choose when and how I would like to inform whom? Isn't it an invasion of my privacy for your paper to have published my name, hire date and "layoff" status for anyone to find out?

Allow us to be uncertain in private, if we so choose. Thanks for adding to our stress.

Joseph Cyr
Teacher, Tucson


The day after I e-mailed the above to the paper, the editorial department called me to make sure that I wanted to have it published, since I did sound 'kind of angry.' Well, yeah, I'm annoyed; (insert 'duh' here) that's why I wrote...I did appreciate the call, though; very considerate.

On a less peevish-sounding note, the same paper has also featured several of my photos on its website recently:

--they were requesting 'wildflower' photos, so I submitted this one of wild desert heliotrope, a.k.a. scorpionweed, blooming now...
...and these were blooming along a mountain trail last November, but I haven't been able to identify them--anyone know what they are?
...and then 'moon over Tucson' was the topic:

So...I am perhaps looking at future unemployment, (and "RIF"s are not actually pink, by the way), but in the meantime, I'm getting my fifteen minutes of local newspaper 'fame,' eh? (cheap thrills...)


It's rainy and 50 degrees as I type this. Snow on the mountains. Occasional thunder-accompanied-sleet (!) here in town...

...a huge contrast from yesterday, sunny and around 80 degrees. I went with a couple of friends to climb Mt. Wrightson, just south of Tucson...a 13-mile round trip from the trailhead in Madera Canyon: 4000 feet up, and 4000 feet down--destination, the 9453-ft-summit of the highest peak in the Santa Rita mountains--a 360-degree view of a good chunk of southern Arizona and northern Mexico...pictures later.

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