Letters - Tucson Local Media: Letters To Editor


Letters to the editor published in the February 8, 2012, edition of The Explorer.

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Posted: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 4:00 am

RTA setting the record straight

We were disappointed to read Tom Sander’s letter in the Explorer.  His facts and accusations are simply incorrect.

As members of The Citizens Accountability for Regional Transportation Committee (CART) we provide oversight for the implementation of the 20-year RTA plan. This is purely on a volunteer basis, and we take this responsibility very seriously.  Not only are we pleased with the high quality and ethics of RTA staff, but with the results they have obtained with our jurisdictional partners.

Since the voters approved the RTA, more than 460 projects have been completed.  All 11 of the major roadway projects for the first five year period were started as promised.  Many of them, such as the Twin Peaks interchange and La Cañada Drive were completed substantially under budget.

The Streetcar is yet another example of the RTA working to ensure success.  This is the most complex project in the Plan, so the RTA has become a co-manager, bringing in significant experts.   Note that the construction bid was almost $7 million under estimates.  Fabrication of the first American made streetcar in 60 years is on time and on budget. There is $160 million of new development along the line.

The RTA has already created more than 1,800 jobs, as many large projects begin.  With over $366 million invested in our community, there has not been any evidence of fraud or corruption.  To get the actual facts, we invite all of you to visit RTAMobility.com.  People will be cursing the RTA – because with so much road construction, driving around town will be difficult!

Kelle Maslyn, Chair, RTA CART Committee

Disappointed in Safeway’s tribute to victims

Remembrance is important. Memorials help to heal, and sometimes ignoring this need can do more harm than good. Such is the case at the Safeway grocery store where the events of January 8, 2011 took place.

As a Tucsonan who lives three blocks away from the store, watching the media coverage from the east coast while at college, I expected to return home and see a heartfelt remembrance. Instead, I returned this December to no acknowledgement from the store, no trace of the events or the people whose lives and family’s lives were changed forever. Since I returned home this holiday season, Safeway installed a small memorial. This memorial, erected on Jan. 7 consists of six rocks surrounding a larger rock with a miniscule plaque, which pays honor to the victims, yet also pays acknowledgement to Safeway.

As a long-time customer of Safeway, and as a member of this community, I am disappointed in the store and the way they have handled this matter. This community deserves better.

Elizabeth Slaymaker, Tucson

Thanks to Golder Ranch Fire

I would like to say a special thank you to the Golder Ranch Fire District for their quick and efficient help when I had an accident in Fry’s drugstore at Oracle and La Canada. I would also like to thank the two female shoppers who rushed to my assistance. Your help was greatly appreciated.

Rita Cooper, Oro Valley

Excited about weight-loss program

I recently joined a new weight management club here in Marana and am so impressed by both the organization and the people involved in it that I wanted to share a little bit of my story.

The organization is TOPS Club, Inc. After two children, and a few extra pounds I began searching for just the right way to get back into shape and start a healthier way of living. I looked at a few diet pills and DVD exercise plans. I looked at a few weight-loss groups I’ve seen ads on TV for. Then, one Wednesday afternoon, I saw an announcement for a group that meets right in my neighborhood. The name itself caused me to look more closely at the group. TOPS stands for Taking Off Pounds Sensibly.

I started with the website and was impressed enough to attend my first meeting. I joined that night, and have been a member now for the last two months.

The information and support this group provides is superb. I am losing weight, living healthier, eating more sensibly and exercising more. The best part is I’m enjoying it and I’ve met some great people. I am so thankful to have found this group.

Monique M. Carson, Marana

Melvin plays footloose with the facts

Al Melvin has been playing footloose with the facts again. Fact checking is a must with his claims. Mr. Melvin wants Arizona to be our country’s waste dump. Here are three factual errors of his. The French reprocessing system he says leaves just five percent that has to be buried. The Department of Energy says reprocessing multiplies the high-level waste volume by about seven times.

Melvin says that a logical solution for waste storage is in underground salt deposits. The U.S. rejected salt storage in Lyons, Kansas decades ago because salt tends to flow, though slowly. You do not know where it will flow as geology changes over the centuries. He says the Navy has had no mishaps with their nuclear reactors on ships. This is completely wrong as both the nuclear subs, USS Thresher and Scorpion, have sunken, along with their reactors.

I am afraid Mr. Melvin is ideologically driven to promote nuclear power, whatever the costs. On that point, nuclear fuel that is reprocessed costs several times that of regular nuclear fuel and would take massive government subsidy. It would require a socialistic government.

Russell Lowes, Tucson



Opinion on Safier column

In an otherwise thoughtful column about Gabby Giffords, Dave Safier offered an amusing comparison between the Republican and Democratic party, describing Republicans as having “crammed themselves into a tiny, ultra-conservative tent” dominated by the Tea Party. Apparently, he doesn’t recognize the radical, far left, extremism of the current president and his cohorts in Congress.

Only someone totally absorbed in his own ideology would describe today’s Democratic Party as “center left.”


Robert Key, Tucson

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Welcome to the discussion.

1 comment:

  • Tom Sander posted at 8:55 pm on Fri, Feb 10, 2012.

    Tom Sander Posts: 2

    Kelle Maslyn, is one of many RTA supporters who have lied to and misled the taxpayers and ratepayers of this county for years.
    The RTA claims the Modern Streetcar Project will cost about $163M, the City of Tucson claims it will cost about $197M; it will cost us over $400M over 20 years. About $50 per person, per trip for the next 20 years!
    Last May, RTA Chair Jennifer Eckstrom, wrote: "...The RTA plan also includes an additional $13 million for its [Streetcar] operation...." The RTA now states it will provide $3M in annual subsidies ($39M). The RTA pamphlet told to voters stated the streetcar would have 4,100 trips per day [one every 21 seconds]. Last May it was lowered to 3,000 passengers per day. Which numbers do we believe?
    The UofA has also pledged $600,000 per year in Streetcar subsidies. The COT already subsidizes Sun Tran operational costs by 80%, and the UofA subsidizes Sun Tran passes for their people by up to an additional 40%. Guess why tuition rates keep rising!
    Much of the so called "$160M of new development along the line" which the RTA/Maslyn is now claiming credit, was from Rio Nuevo projects downtown and the jury is still out on that corruption.
    The RTA also claims their money isn't suppose to be used to repair potholes yet one COT website relating to ARRA funds (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act), listed: "This pavement preservation package will encompass 10 roadways and will include rubber chip or mill inlay.", and included RTA money totaling $700,000. This document has since disappeared from the web-site and COT officials have refused to provide an explanation.
    The RTA gave the PAG, the same people who run the RTA Board, $326,919 in FY2010. Furthermore, the RTA's administrative expenses for FY2010 were $780,582; over $5M since 2006. We're paying about a million dollars per year for the RTA to write checks to the cities/county, and to lie/mislead us in the process.
    The above are just some of the FACTS about the RTA. I've done my homework and hopefully the CART can start doing theirs!



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