Tucson Local Media: Opinion

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Wednesday 09/07/2016
My View: The voters spoke
Posted: September 07, 2016 - 4:00 am

I yelled into my mailbox today and heard a deafening echo. For the first time in months, this newspaper hasn’t received a letter to the editor explaining why the Oro Town Council incumbents in this last election are either civic government gods or members making a mockery of government process. 

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Tuesday 09/06/2016
Promote healthy foods at school
Posted: September 06, 2016 - 10:49 am

With the new school year starting, parents’ to-do lists are now filled with shopping for school clothes, school supplies, and school food. That’s right - school food!

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Tuesday 08/30/2016
Tech infrastruct-ure needs to be important part of plan
Posted: August 30, 2016 - 11:39 am

I recently attended the first Oro Valley General Plan public meeting on August 23rd after being unable to attend the various scoping meetings. The first item, even before discussion of the General Plan, was a non-related issue where owner-developer representatives were making the case on a vacant, hi-profile property—for a change in zoning from commercial back to residential. Usually it’s the reverse. However they openly indicated on record, “Oro Valley’s economy won’t support commercial development (at this time).” Anemic economic growth; this is a biggie, and was in no small way coincidental to my own input. After this part ended, the General Plan input portion barely mentioned a key linchpin in future municipal infrastructure. One that will affect everything across the spectrum of the entire developmental cachet: that being Broadband Internet. Broadband defined as one gigabyte or better upload and download speeds; something absolutely necessary for simultaneous voice, video, and data transmissions. Without this infrastructure aspect, OV can kiss goodbye to the kind of planned & controlled, advanced economic development everyone seems to want. Here’s the ominous consequence: without a specific Broadband input in the General Plan, all of Oro Valley’s glorious built-out settings, plans, parks, buildings, natural beauty, etc. will just render it to a dumbbell-shaped future. One side will be “Geezerville”, and the other nothing but a “bedroom community” of tens of thousands of younger commuters, daily clogging the traffic arterials to and from jobs elsewhere. Do you really want this? Broadband is the urban glue of the future; it’s the magic “secret sauce” that will allow Oro Valley to reach its full potential—that being a technologically adept, self-contained, economically vibrant community with a clear orientation to the challenges ahead. So OV needs a plan that puts a civic expectation on the cable cartels for constant technological upgrades. Make no mistake they will resist this in the most aggressive way possible. Sans a clear, unambiguous Broadband plan, firmly committed-to in the General Plan documents, the city will just have to take what the cable cartels give you, all the while telling you, it’s “the best we can do.” Right. 

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One last word on golf and voting
Posted: August 30, 2016 - 11:40 am

There are voices out there that would have you believe that if I jumped in my pool 10 times, there would be 10 people swimming.  Similarly, walking into a gym 10 times does not translate into 10 members. That’s spin, and indicative of a convoluted and dishonest thought process.  As such, the Community center stats are not an accurate representation of memberships.

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AZ needs aid in dying law
Posted: August 30, 2016 - 11:40 am

 

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Tuesday 08/23/2016
Merits vs. Mudslinging
Posted: August 23, 2016 - 2:55 pm

 

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Garner’s Comments Were Accurate
Posted: August 23, 2016 - 2:53 pm

 

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Marana, feeling a little left out?!
Posted: August 23, 2016 - 2:56 pm

 

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What problems?
Posted: August 23, 2016 - 2:56 pm

 

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Wednesday 08/17/2016
My View: Thanks for the letters, now here’s some perspective
Posted: August 17, 2016 - 4:00 am

For the first time in weeks, the opinion page has caught up on letters to the editor. I don’t think I need to explain to dedicated readers who keep informed that this is once again another volatile political season. In both towns we cover, Marana and Oro Valley, incumbents are facing challenges for town council seats. Nationally, we are in the midst of a presidential race that—if you had a chance to read this past Sunday’s New York Times—is literally splitting families apart with one spouse voting for a different candidate than the other.

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A serious conversation about distracted driving
Posted: August 17, 2016 - 4:00 am

Distracted driving has been a concern for public safety professionals long before the invention of the cellular phone, texting, snapchatting, tweeting and Instagram. However, it wasn’t until wireless communication technology was introduced to the daily driver that vehicle crashes on our roadways and highways spiked. In 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Institute (NHTSA) estimated 3,000 deaths annually are the result of distracted driving. Moreover, it was reported that same year an additional 431,000 people were injured due to distracted driving. 

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Put children first: An invitation to legislators and professionals to First Things First Early Childhood Summit
Posted: August 17, 2016 - 4:00 am

We hear a lot about K-12 education here in Arizona and we know the critical need for funding and upgrading our K-12 schools, but what about early childhood education? Early childhood education provides the tools for kindergarten readiness beginning at birth. Think about this fact: 90 percent of a child’s critical brain development occurs before age 5.  

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Tuesday 08/16/2016
Voting for incumbents
Posted: August 16, 2016 - 2:56 pm

A former Oro Valley Council member used to announce “Showtime” before taking the dais for a council meeting.

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A response to NYPD Sergeant
Posted: August 16, 2016 - 2:57 pm

As a brother in blue and one with great respect for NYPD, I offer these thoughts in response to your letter. First and foremost east coast and southwest politics and police unions are completely different. While NYPD has a strong police union to protect their members, the same unions here don’t enjoy those powers and the dynamics of small town politics allow for more destruction if public apathy prevails. There have been threats to do away with the SRO program in Oro Valley as well several other public safety programs. So, I guess it boils down to how safe does Oro Valley citizens want their community to remain? In these times I am voting for any candidates who want build on safety not tear it down. 

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Why we need to save our police
Posted: August 16, 2016 - 2:56 pm

This past year a private school in Oro Valley requested that the Town provide them a School Resource Officer (SRO) with the school paying 100 percent of all the costs. This routine consent agenda item was passed along with the other consent items 7-0 by the council and is cited by Zinkin, Burns and Garner as their support of our SROs. What they don’t mention is that year after year they have demanded cuts to our police budget including cuts to the number of police officers, their equipment, and our SROs. When these cuts were wisely rejected by a 4-3 council vote they used this as an excuse for voting “NO” to the entire town budget, effectively voting to shut down our entire town. Both Garner and Burns are on record of publicly insulting and belittling our police (Arizona Daily Star, 4/17/14 & Northwest Explorer Online, 8/4/16). We need to save our police and SROs from Zinkin. Burns & Garner. This is one of the many reasons that the Oro Valley Police have not endorsed them but have chosen to endorse Rhonda Pina, Bill Rodman and Steve Solomon for Oro Valley Town Council. (A few examples of Mike Zikin & Bill Garner publicly calling for cuts to our police officers, their equipment and our SROs; 3/23/11 Northwest Explorer, 5/18/11 Council Meeting, 5/1/13 Council Meeting, 4/17/14 Arizona Daily Star, 12/3/14 Council Meeting, 5/20/15 Council Meeting).

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Wednesday 08/10/2016
Put children first
Posted: August 10, 2016 - 4:00 am

We hear a lot about K-12 education here in Arizona and we know the critical need for funding and upgrading our K-12 schools, but what about early childhood education? Early childhood education provides the tools for kindergarten readiness beginning at birth. Think about this fact: 90 percent of a child’s critical brain development occurs before age 5.   

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Tuesday 08/09/2016
Political signs are trashy
Posted: August 09, 2016 - 9:33 am

What a trashy-looking town Oro Valley has become with the “I Have the Biggest” Trump mentality of political signs blowing around during this Monsoon Season.  Recent visitors from New Jersey were not impressed and I was angry. Candidates like Brendan Burns, Bill Garner, and Mike Zinken don’t have to flaunt their “Manhood!” through H-U-G-E signs supported by fringe tea partiers, bottomless dollar interests of developers hungrily waiting to blade more desert, and anonymous out-of-state monies supporting their own agenda...GREED AT ANY COST!   Instead these three intelligent men  speak to people at house parties, walk around neighborhoods, and tirelessly look for ways to better our town while questioning some of the proposals that our present majority town council has blithely accepted. 

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Sheriff race politics
Posted: August 09, 2016 - 9:33 am

When Deputy Sheriff Terry Staten (a Republican) indicated his desire to run for Sheriff of Pima County, Chuck Huckelberry, the Pima County Administrator and a Democrat, advised the current Pima County Sheriff, Chris Nanos (also a Democrat) to put Mr. Staten on leave of absence (LOA) without pay. The reason being his running for office would adversely affect the operation of the department. The LOA was put into effect even before Mr. Staten formally “put his hat in the ring” and became a candidate. 

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Let’s think
Posted: August 09, 2016 - 9:34 am

Boys, put on your thinking caps. Both Brendan Burns and Mike Zinkin are experienced and dedicated Oro Valley Town Council members who have proven their value to public policy matters of Oro Valley. Neither are in anyone’s hip-pocket and deserve re-election.

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Solomon is ideal choice
Posted: August 09, 2016 - 9:34 am

For the past 20 years Steve Solomon has been working to improve our community. Through his small business, he donated 13 acres of his property to preserve our historic Hohokam archeological site. He was also a charter member of our library. Steve Solomon has volunteered his time on many Oro Valley committees and was a guest instructor for our town’s Planning Institute. He has received numerous awards including the Metropolitan Pima Alliance Common Ground Award and the Governor’s Archaeology Advisory Council Award in Public Archaeology. When he was on Council in 2010-2012, he helped balance our budget by cutting spending without sacrificing our critical town services. During those two years, he implemented several smart growth initiatives and along with Vice Mayor Waters, formed our new and expanded Sun Shuttle Dial-A-Ride transportation service. His past private and public service makes him the ideal choice for a new Council Member. Please vote Steve Solomon for Oro Valley Town Council.

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