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Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 9:25 am

Sandefer should do more research

I am writing in response to James Sandefer’s letter published March 28, “You can’t have that because I said so.”  I think Mr. Sandefer should do a little more research on the role of the pharmacist in our health care system.  I speak with some authority as I have been a practicing pharmacist for over 30 years.  Pharmacists today undergo four years of professional training that involves didactic work, focusing on the medications themselves, familiarizing themselves with medical literature, training that marries the drug knowledge with medical conditions, interacting with patients and prescribers and the study of evidence-based practice guidelines.  These highly trained professionals are usually the last check in the today’s health care system to assure that the right drug is given to the right patient and for the right reason.

I am certain that this pharmacist did not make this decision ‘just because’, as you put it.  This is not a decision that is taken lightly by any pharmacist and it is quite likely the prescribing doctor was consulted. While the prescriber uses their judgment when prescribing medications, it is the duty of the pharmacist to perform a check to help assure that the patient will be helped and not harmed by the prescribed medication using their knowledge of accepted medical guidelines.  In the scenario described, I support that pharmacist’s decision to decline to dispense your friend’s medication as I am sure, in their professional judgment, it was the right thing to do.  Cases abound where a pharmacist is held liable should they not take an active role as that final check and blindly dispense a medication when they should not have and harm to the patient is a result.

I suspect that the pharmacy you speak of was most likely a large, national chain pharmacy and, as such, they are not fond of lawsuits.  The result is what happened here; good clinical judgment was overruled to appease a customer.  Your ‘problem’ pharmacist is most likely working elsewhere and performing the job he was trained to do and upholding the pharmacist’s oath as he/she has sworn to do.


Janice Friedman, Tucson

Insulted by published cartoon

It’s hard to believe that you would publish this insulting cartoon concerning Paul Ryan’s G.O.P Budget Plan (Printed in The Explorer’s Opinion section on April 4.)

Not only is it a brilliant plan to not only save Medicare from an inevitable death, but to reduce a national debt that is obviously not sustainable. In the first  three years of the Obama administration, no budget plan was even introduced by the Democrats.

Obama  recently introduced a plan that would increase the deficit by over a trillion dollars next fiscal year.

You introduce your publication as the voice of Marana, Oro Valley and Northwest Tucson.  You have badly misjudged the intelligence of your audience.

Mike Liggett, SaddleBrooke

Sun City vote a private matter

I am perplexed about the purpose of Micheal Burk’s “You Say” of April 4 regarding the defeat of the proposed Aquatic and Fitness Center at Sun City Vistoso.   To what audience is he directing his message that we need to “heal from the wounds” imposed by a “belligerent, arrogant and bullying” board of directors?  Sun City Vistoso residents are already fully aware of the AFC , according to the writer  himself, over 90 percent of us voted in the election,  and it’s unclear why anyone outside of SCV would have even a passing interest in an issue belonging to someone else’s HOA.   His statement seems to serve no purpose beyond relieving his pique at the fact that our elected board of directors promoted a proposal with which he did not agree.   Does the Explorer not have news and opinion of more general interest to print?   

My husband and I voted in favor of the project, as apparently did most our friends.  Others, whom I know to be intelligent and thoughtful people, voted against it.  Reasonable people may disagree.  However, it’s hard to imagine that the board members promoting the project had any agenda beyond a sincere wish to create a desirable enhancement to our community facilities.  To this end they and many other volunteers devoted hundreds of hours to develop what they believed was an excellent product.   To see them publicly vilified for their efforts makes me fearful that in the future qualified candidates may become difficult to recruit for our board.   

At least three different studies over several years have identified an upgrade of the present AFC as our community’s number one priority.  Presumably the board found this mandate enough to begin a design process - I know I would.   In fact, it’s unclear to me how residents could have intelligently responded to a survey sent before some sort of a building plan was created.  Numerous surveys and public meetings were in fact made available during the development process, and many of the suggestions received had obviously been incorporated into the final package that was submitted to a vote.

It goes without saying that we can only move forward, and it is critical to the outcome of this project that, unlike the board of directors, the newly-formed AFC committee receives support from the entire community.  This will not happen until the bomb-throwing ceases.  I’m willing to comprise.  I hope that Mr. Burk is, too.

Linda Stiegler, Sun City Vistoso

Gas price realities

Energy is the most important topic this nation can currently discuss, but there is great confusion about it; illustrated by the assumption that voting for a particular candidate in an election will have any noticeable effect at all on gasoline prices in the long term.

Domestic conventional oil production in the US peaked in 1970. We import around 50 percent of our oil, which is down from recent years not only because of demand, but because of an unconventional oil and natural gas boom. The U.S. is currently experiencing a boom in domestic oil production, yet gas prices remain high.

Oil and refined products are traded on a global market. The United States as of February 2012 was a net exporter of refined petroleum products, including gasoline. Abundant supplies of natural gas domestically mean we can refine oil cheaper than anyone in the world.

Domestic demand for gasoline is at a 15-year low, this should be a warning sign that a shift has occurred in the supply/demand paradigm as we know it; even at low demand, levels prices remain high. Domestic bottlenecks also leave some states with no option but to import gasoline leaving them more vulnerable to price spikes.

This means that as time goes on, choke points in the Middle East, exporters like Iraq and the decline of Saudi Arabian excess capacity are becoming more and more important. Even domestic issues such as well blowouts and pipeline leaks will continue to have larger impacts on gasoline prices.

Proven technically recoverable reserves in the U.S., including ANWR and the Bakken formation add up to 21 billion barrels. Compared to a relatively minor exporter such as Libya at around 46bb, or Iraq at an estimated 112 to 143bb.

The Bakken shale formation is “tight oil.” Extracting and refining oil from “tight oil” deposits is highly dependant on oil prices and only becomes economically viable above a certain price, this is the period which we entered a little before 2008.

Oil shale in the Green River formation is even less of a prospect, yielding 10 gallons of oil for every ton of shale processed, don’t expect oil from here soon or cheap. Massive domestic Kerrogen deposits are not a business as usual enabler, worse still almost a waste of time and energy to develop because of such a low energy return.

Canada’s oil reserves, estimated at 179bb are now 95 percent oil/tar sands. By 2017 a rate of 3.4mbpd is estimated to be flowing from the Alberta tar sands. But, to where China, even after having revised its growth estimates downward, is still the largest energy market in the world. They are also building up their own Strategic Petroleum Reserve in anticipation of a conflict with Iran, one of their key export partners.

This is why gas prices are high, and will remain high regardless of who occupies the White House. Everyone in the world is competing for the same energy to ensure a smooth energy descent into a period of history marked by the distinct absence of abundant hydrocarbon energy.

The Joint Forces Command, Joint Operating Environment report 2010 states that Current world GDP growth rates will not be sustained without adding the equivalent of Saudi Arabia’s current energy production every seven years.

It is my strong opinion that if you have the ability, sell low mpg vehicles as in the coming years their value will only decline with gas prices wildly fluctuating.

Dave Hymers, Marana

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Welcome to the discussion.

1 comment:

  • dhymers posted at 5:04 pm on Wed, Apr 11, 2012.

    dhymers Posts: 5

    Thanks for printing my piece on energy, but to clarify one point; Talking about Canada's exports coming in the next few years, they won't be going directly to or only to China, here's what I wrote:

    "Canada’s oil reserves, estimated at 179bb are now 95% oil/tar sands. By 2017 a rate of 3.4mbpd is estimated to be flowing from the Alberta tar sands. But to where? On to global markets, not directly to the US. We will, as we have been doing, have to compete with the world oil price, it doesn’t matter if the oil comes directly through our back yard."


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