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Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 6:58 am

Problem with Smith’s quote

Sen. Steve Smith upon his reelection (as quoted by the Explorer, 11/14):

“All the credit goes to God, I think it’s His will that I’ve been placed in this position again, and I think people understand what we were able to do the last few years and what they can look forward to in the next few years, unlike with our President, who somehow mysteriously won again.”

Citizens, regardless of political party, should have a problem with that quote.  If you have to ask “why?” then, #1-take a civics class and, #2-look up religious hypocrisy.


Dana Whitson,

Oro Valley


Not up to Melvin to judge

Some weeks ago SaddleBrookes’ Al Melvin characterized those living in SaddleBrooke and not flying the American flag as being unpatriotic, secular Democrats.  While driving around SaddleBrooke during the days prior to the election, I found very few houses where the American flag was being flown.  If I were to take Melvin at his word, there are hundreds, yes hundreds, of unpatriotic secular Democrats living here far outnumbering the flag-wavers who he assures us are patriotic, Christian Republicans.  I’m sure that would be news to a lot of people, including those who live in my cul-de-sac.  

There are a lot of folks living here that fly the flag on certain holidays and others who don’t fly the American flag for one reason or another, but it isn’t up to Melvin to characterize and judge them as he has.

Really, Al?

Jerry Lujan,



Look at the reason why

Dear Editor: In the article “Boo hoo for Honey boo- boo”, many feel the same sentiment. However, typical of what I see from most small news media outlets, is the lack of real commentary, about why a large portion of the population actually tunes into such “entertainment”. The distractions offered to the populous in the form of this type of entertainment, to convey the message of, ‘its ok, there are people out there like me’, or ‘ha! I thought I had it bad!’ really do distract from the real issues of poverty, inequality, poor educational systems, political apathy and environmental destruction, etc. So yes, isn’t it sad what passes for entertainment now a days is indeed a shame, but even more so that people don’t want to visit the reasons for its existence.


Marissa Tacket,



Charging sales taxes is right thing to do

Governor Brewer, the Arizona Department of Revenue, and Amazon did the right thing recently in striking a deal to charge sales tax on online purchases. While we all like to save money on those purchases, it just wasn’t fair to local brick and mortar stores. Congress itself has been focusing on this issue as well, and if/when they pass legislation for a nationwide sales tax on online sales, I hope they consider the monumental task that small businesses would face in having to comply with all 50 states and their tax structures. That is why there should be a built-in exemption for these businesses, so that they don’t have to spend countless hours and resources complying with each state and their tax code. It would simply be too tough to manage. Lets hope Congress remembers that in their future legislation.


William Powell,


Even more thoughts on teachers’ pay

Jean Bomeisl’s “More Thoughts on Teachers’ Pay” in the Nov. 7 edition of The Explorer needs  some fact checking. 

Salary.com uses median (versus average) as the more appropriate statistical analysis tool to compare salaries.  For the Tucson area the median is $49,522 (versus Ms. Bomeisl’s $39,810 average).   

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (2008 analysis) indicates that including time at home, teachers work about three hours a week less than people in other professions.  Ms. Bomeisl only teaches six classes a day.  Many teachers have two months off versus two weeks for comparable professions.  With these adjustments, teacher pay is closer to $28 per hour than $16.

Ms. Bomeisl’s average of 21.7 students for six classes is not comparable to a middle manager with 130 employees.  That middle manager has 130 employees all day long…8 hours or more.  She has 21.7 for each of six hours.  Averaged over eight hours, that is about 16 FTE.   A high school teacher with no management responsibilities is probably more comparable to a first line supervisor than to a middle manager.   (That is not a slur.  Supervisors are critical.)  A lot of supervisors would be pretty happy with $28 per hour.

The National Center for Education Statistics indicates that for the 2007-2008 school year, 84.5 percent of public school teachers remained at the same school.  Of the 15.5% who did not, 7.6% moved to a different school and 5.3% left because their contracts were not renewed.  So, less than 3% left for other reasons including pay.  If turnover was high, there should be a plethora of open teaching jobs.  Pick up next Sunday’s Daily Star and check the ads for teachers. 

If money were no object, I’d love to see teachers paid more.  The same holds true for other hard working, dedicated people.  But that isn’t the way it works.  This is the real world where rational analysis is appropriate and it doesn’t denigrate or malign.  Nobody thinks it is fair that actors or illiterate rappers make more than teachers (and everyone else for that matter).  But teachers aren’t any more unjustly compensated than anyone else.


Lee Holden,

Oro Valley

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