An UnAmerican thing to say

I live in SaddleBrooke, have been a Democrat all my life, and I don’t fly an American flag. Nor do I wear an American flag head rag, an American flag sweatshirt, American flag underwear, or American flag socks. I don’t eat off of American flag paper plates, wipe my soiled face with American flag paper napkins or blow my nose in American flag handkerchiefs. I don’t fly an American flag from the back of a pick-up truck in all sorts of weather, hit American flag golf balls, wipe my dirty fingers on an American flag barbeque apron or wear American flag sunglasses. I do, however, salute the American Flag and pledge allegiance to it and the Republic for which it stands. 

Hundreds of thousands of American citizens fought and died supporting that flag and many were buried with it draped over their coffins. They deserve more than to see that great symbol turned into a cheap novelty or political swipe. Melvin’s statement was a hate-filled, decidedly unAmerican thing to say. This kind of destructive jingoism must be stopped at the polls before it is too late.


Doug Mitchell,



Insurrection never happens in a vacuum

Richard Brinkly’s editorial, “Obamaness Leaves Much to be Desired” (Explorer, October 3, 2012) tries to discredit President Obama’s Middle East foreign policy but falls short because it fails to address the relevant historical context of that region.

The modern history of the Middle East began at the onset of World War I when the British Government dispatched T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) to that region to foment an Arab revolt against the Ottoman Turks who were occupying Egypt, Syria, Jerusalem and other outlying territories.  Unknown to the Arab and Bedouin tribes who were at the forefront of this revolt, the great powers wrote up the Sykes-Picot Agreement, granting governing authority of this area to Great Britain, France and Russia.

In 1917, the Balfour Declaration was constructed to carve out a Jewish homeland in Palestine, countering the prior agreement which promised Palestine to the Zionists, the French, and the Hashemites, descendants of which now rule Jordan.  Several years later, American President Woodrow Wilson and the League of Nations grappled with this egregious contradiction between Zionism and Arab self-determination. 

In the 1930s, geological surveys would discover oceans of crude oil underneath this continent of sand that would further complicate the relationship between East and West.  The rising geopolitical influence of “petrodollars” combined with the post-colonial, military rule of Arab nations would work to sow the seeds of mistrust and animosity of both the West and of their own despotic leaders that continues to this day.

Throughout the 20th century, our government aided in propping up many of these military strongmen, either for the sake of oil or as a counter-measure to the influence of Communist Russia and Islamic fundamentalism.  The fruits of these labors have been less than satisfying.

In his recent book, “Jerusalem,” Cambridge historian Simon Sebag Montefiore addresses the problems of this city and the Middle East, calling them, “a puzzle within a labyrinth.”  Hence, it’s difficult to assign blame to any Presidential administration for trying to solve an impossible equation.  As for the “Arab Spring,” it was an idea whose time had come.  Insurrection never happens in a vacuum. 


Robert Peters,

Oro Valley


Miller is not the best choice for supervisor

Ally Miller has not been endorsed by the incumbent Republican county supervisor she hopes to succeed, Ann Day, even though Miller is the Republican candidate for that seat. 

Two of her opponents from the Republican primary, Stuart McDaniel and Mike Hellon, have filed complaints against her for questionable campaign practices during the primary. Several other prominent Republicans, including former state Representative Pete Hershberger and CC Goldwater, the granddaughter of Barry Goldwater, have endorsed Miller’s opponent, Nancy Young Wright. Miller touts her experience with budgets, but Hellon accurately pointed out during the primary that she demonstrated significant misunderstandings about how county finances actually work. Miller boasts that she was the one who got the FBI to look into Rio Nuevo, but former Republican mayoral candidate and Rio Nuevo board member Rick Grinnell publicly rebutted her claims. 

One of Miller’s more telling assertions is that she was at the vanguard of the Tea Party movement in Pima County, but other activists state that she actually played less of a role than she pretends. This area of Pima County has a record of electing independent, strong and intelligent people to represent us. These folks have been good listeners who weigh all the facts and listen to all points of view before making a decision. County government is at a crucial point and there is no time for on-the-job training. Other Republicans have given us compelling reasons why Ally Miller lacks the knowledge and credibility to be our county supervisor. Nancy Young Wright gets my vote.


Rex Scott,



Support Miller for Supervisor

am writing in response to Thelma Grimes’ recent editorial article about Ally Miller, Republican candidate for Pima County Supervisors District 1.

Talking about attacks on your opponent, I guess Mrs. Grimes did not receive Nancy Young Wright’s contrast mailer against Ally Miller that went out the week of September 24. 

This attack mailer went to Republican households falsely attacking Ally Miller. Because Ms. Wright has been on the Amphi School Board and in the State Legislature, she has a record. Use of past records is fair game in politics. I am sure Wright would use Miller’s political record against her.

The way Grimes and Wright are trying to spin the pygmy owl vs. the construction of Ironwood Ridge High School tells me Wright thinks it will hurt her chances of defeating Ally Miller in November. What’s the big deal here? Some people might appreciate that Wright wants to protect pygmy owl habitat over building a high school.


Gini Crawford,



Kirkpatrick supports Obamacare

suppose it really is too much to think that Ann Kirkpatrick would have read the Affordable Care Act before she voted for it.  After all, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated that they’d have to pass the bill in order to find out what’s in it.

As we now know, what’s in it is a nightmare.

There are cuts to Medicare reimbursements, new taxes on prescription drugs, new taxes on medical devices (such as insulin pumps used by diabetic children), 40 percent excise taxes on insurance policies that cover people with serious pre-existing conditions, new limits on flexible spending accounts used by middle income families to help reduce out of pocket costs, changes that make it more difficult for individuals to deduct medical expenses, and dozens of other “gifts” to the American people that will increase the cost of health care while decreasing the quality of the actual care we receive. Ann Kirkpatrick has had a chance to represent this district, and she served poorly, which is why the voters in the district rejected her in 2010.  

Unfortunately, she didn’t get the message and now she’s back with more of the same disastrous ideas she supported the first time around. We simply can’t afford to let her worm her way back into office, especially representing the voters of southern Arizona.


Sherese Steffens,



Thoughts on pay for teachers

central tenet of Democrat theology is that paying teachers more money will guarantee improved educational outcome. The left claims that increasing teachers already-high hourly rate and platinum plating their benefits rather than mere gold plating will motivate them to teach better. The implication is that teachers are mercenaries who are holding out for more money. 

As a society do we really want mercenaries in the classroom? Or is the logic fallacious? Another claim of advocates of raising teacher pay is that better quality people will be attracted to teaching, and they will presumably perform better. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait decades for any improvement. Existing teachers have a union with guaranteed lifetime employment. Until they exit the system there won’t be room for the presumed stellar educators. Meanwhile the less-than-competent will be handsomely compensated. In 1970 the U.S. had one teacher per 22.3 students. In 2012, the ratio is one teacher per 15.2 students. Yet math and reading scores for 17-year-olds are virtually unchanged (Ref: Prof M Greene University Arkansas; WSJ 9 Oct 2012). 

Since outcome is apparently independent of class size, let’s reduce teacher head count back to 1970 levels and save the money. The real reason the left is harping for increasing money for education is that teachers unions are the number one contributor to Democrat politicians: more money for teachers equals more money for Democrat politicians.


Rick Cunnington,

Oro Valley


It’s time for a new sheriff

It is time for a professional to replace Sheriff Dupnik, who has occupied public office for nearly 30-years. How could he stay in this position for so long and how could he have so little control over the people under his command?

When SB 1070 was approved by the Legislature, Dupnik said he could not trust his deputies to not profile. An outrageous statement coming from the leader of the largest law enforcement organization in southern Arizona. This is an especially disturbing statement when you consider that trust is a cornerstone to duty and honor, the requisite responsibilities of sworn law enforcement officers. Last month a significant number of deputies were arrested and terminated for assaulting citizens at a Tucson bar. A lapse in supervision? No. poor judgment concerning the hiring of certain individuals to represent the Sheriff? Certainly.

When Dupnik spoke out prematurely about the shooting of Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords, he compromised an active investigation. And, he was speaking about a situation where his remarks were speculative at best. A professional law enforcement administrator, like the Chief of Police in Aurora, Colorado protects the information he is entrusted with. When the leader of a law enforcement organization can’t trust his sworn staff to act within the law, we either have the wrong staff or the wrong leader. We have many good deputies serving Pima County. It is time for a new Sheriff. 


Mark Finchem,

Oro Valley


Miller is a better choice

Why would we vote for a candidate, who was voted out of office?  Nancy Young Wright was NOT elected back to the House of Representatives.  It was because of her voting record (F grade = Big Government).

Ally Miller has worked in the private sector with a degree from the Univerity of Arizona in Finance and a Masters in Business.  She knows what it takes to promote jobs.  She also worked on contracts, bidding and budgets.  Education is important to her and she would work with the Eller Program at the University of Arizona to acquire jobs to keep our graduates here in the Tucson area.

Nancy is pushing solar energy, which, maybe in the future, would be fine, but 24 Schools in the San Diego area have removed their solar panels and the Michigan Company (Solar) has filed bankruptcy.  Another solar company bites the dust.  Apparently they don’t last.

Nancy Young Wright is not RIGHT for Arizona.  Maybe she should consider California or Oregon.  (Nice liberal states).


Geri Ottoboni-Gilmore,

Oro Valley

Mr. Walden is outrageously biased

Letter writer Jack Walden of SaddleBrooke is outrageously biased. It certainly isn’t only Democrats who patriotically display our National flag.

I am a retired veteran of three major wars and have flown my flag in front of every house I have lived in for the past 60 years.

I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican, but prefer to be an Independent thinker and voter.

Party membership will never be a prerequisite for patriotic pride.


Norman Hansen,

Oro Valley


Thoughts on Continental Ranch elections

There is an election in progress for the board of directors of Continental Ranch.  Many concerned citizens believe it is time for a change.  Please vote.

Before you vote, consider the following: The board is awarding sole source contracts for major budget items instead of following their stated policy of obtaining competitive bids.

Does requiring homeowners to sign complaints about covenant violations promote a friendly community?  

Homebuyers are more concerned with your neighbor’s yards and our year-round pool than they are with common area landscaping.

Does the difficulty recruiting committee members stem from Mr Lambert’s insults/actions at meetings?

Is the board showing respect for the homeowners by changing our election process, hiring a CPA firm to count the ballots and requiring signed ballots?

Is it in your interest for Mr. Lambert to dismiss the experienced and impartial election committee and appoint an inexperienced one when he is running for reelection?

If you agree that these things should change, please vote for Jim Alam, Andy Padilla, Dorothy Bruce, and Woody Smith

The future is in your hands.


Joyce Grosso,

Concerned citizens of

Continental Ranch

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