Letters to the editor from the May 14, 2008, edition.

Oracle’s challengers make their pitch for votes

For weeks now, you have been reading the many letters and articles placed in local papers by the present three school board members being recalled. We are the three candidates running against them in the upcoming election, May 20th. On the early ballots the three board members being recalled were allowed to provide you with information about themselves. Because of Arizona state statutes, we were not given the same consideration.

We are endorsed by the recall committee (composed of individuals from Oracle, Saddlebrook, and Eagle Crest) because of our sincere dedication to the youth of this community, and our past involvement with educational institutions or schools.

We pledge individually and as a group to:

Work cooperatively with other board members as an oversite management body and not as individual administrators;

Respond and consider input from parents and teachers;

Be listeners, not micro-managers;

Upon request we will gladly be a visible part of the educational process by visiting the campuses and being involved in school activities;

Available to respond to successful programs as well as problems;

Listen to the administration’s input of both needs and successes;

Oversee and approve the school district budget and policies;

Work with the administration to ensure a professional relationship.


1. We all have a history and the enjoyment of working with young people at the grassroots level.

2. We are dedicated to supporting the educational goals of the school district.

3. We will be fiscally responsible.

Dave Bowersock

Alicia Bristow

Kurt Steffens

Story about girl touched hearts, and a nerve

The Explorer’s 7 May cover story about friends coming to the aid of 13-year-old spinal tumor sufferer Nicki James touched our hearts. But it also touched a nerve with this matter-of-fact introduction to the James’ plight, “After the family’s insurance had been exhausted…”

What kind of insurance? How did it become “exhausted?” Where does Nicki, half-paralyzed and in need of ongoing treatment, now turn for help beyond the kindness of friends and strangers?

I would ask your reporter — or perhaps even champion of the free market and personal responsibility, your columnist Emil Franzi — to please explain. Those of us — probably including the James’ — who have been assured by a certain political persuasion that the free-market health care system is not in crisis would appreciate some reassurance.

Jerry Farnsworth


Incumbent Beaman has Oracle support

I want to thank the Oracle school board for their hard work and dedication to the district. The board minutes clearly show they work together for the good of the district and are totally effective.

I want to thank Susan Beaman for 30 years of civic duty in our community. Her years of countless hours of P.T.O. volunteer work at the school, carnivals, fundraisers, teacher luncheons, parent classes, open houses, parent nights, and presently the Learning Corners bookcase project for the 1st graders, demonstrates her dedication to the children of Oracle.

She was instrumental in the start-up of the Enrichment Program the community still utilizes.

Susan organized a group for parents with special needs children. She provided information and resources to help them make decisions concerning their child.

When she lost her job for standing up for children’s rights, she was later vindicated. The hearing officer stated she was wrongly fired for reporting child abuse and the district had to pay court cost. What a small price to pay for the protection of our precious children and staff.

Susan ran for school board because she knew she had the ability to make a difference for the children of Oracle, and she has. She won by such a huge landslide it was considered a mandate.

Susan is knowledgeable of her duties as board member. She does things by the book, not because someone wants her to, and she expects school employees to do the same. She recognizes that other board members are elected officials representing constituents and must be allowed full discussion of the issues to make an informed decision, whether she agrees with them or not. She is fair and treats board members and the public with respect.

Because of some who do not understand her role as board president, she has been threatened, slandered, and libeled in the newspapers and at board meetings. This behavior negatively impacts the district.

In closing, Susan is to be commended. I want to thank her and ask the voters of the Oracle School District to vote May 20 to re-elect her.

Becki Greer


USA must pick needy people above power

With all the cuts the government officials are making, the one that should never be touched is Medicaid.

I have a son that is very ill and requires nursing.  He is also delayed and has a variety of diseases. He is 20 years old. I am 56.

I have trouble making all the bills now. What little he gets from SSI and food stamps only puts a dent in what I have to spend. Insurance companies and ACHSSS do not pay for over-the-counter drugs, four trash bags a day for the wrapping on the supplies he uses. Light bulbs for the nurses to stay up all night. The electric bill that runs his machines 24 hours a day. The water bill from all the extra people that have to be in my house. Whom washes their hands every time they suction his tracheostomy or every time they go to the bathroom. The coffee they drink to stay awake. The meals they eat because they forgot their lunch / dinner.

I really do not think that government officials or the regular public understand what it costs to have someone in your family that is extremely disabled. If we didn’t think of power and instead thought of our people first, we would be the richest country in the world. Our people should not have to suffer for the sake of oil nor any other reason.

I have worked since I was 13 years old and have never ask the government for anything. I have raised five children and educated every one except my sick one. My son needs just as much help as any other person in the world and as an American deserves the help.  It is a sad USA when winning overruns human kindness.


Darlene Jones-Lundergan

They weren’t first to inject OV with partisanship

I am writing in response to Mr. Dankwerth’s letter about partisan politics.

Apparently Mr. Dankwerth has a memory problem. He seems to have forgotten about the red cards the Republican Party sent out in 2006 endorsing several Republican candidates. When he mentions “significant monies,” he seems to have forgotten about the nearly $35,000.00 that Terry Parish received from the developers.

Terry Parish was the only candidate to publicly campaign with a recognizable partisan politician, Tim Bee. Like Parish, Mr. Bee is also a friend of developers, having recently sponsored legislation that would hinder Oro Valley’s ability to collect impact fees.

Before the primary, Paul Parisi, former town council member, and current employee of the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, stood up at the LD26 Republican meeting and stated that the Chamber of Commerce was supporting these two fine Republicans, Helen Dankwerth and Terry Parish, and asked for their support.

Many Oro Valley residents, including this Republican, were disgusted with the present Town Council and their voting record, and they wanted a change. Democrats, Independents and Republicans walked precincts and made numerous calls for Salette Latas and Bill Gardner. This to me shows nonpartisan support, especially when members of several parties are working together for a common goal.

Mr. Dankwerth mentioned ability, knowledge, preparedness, decisiveness, and dedication. I can assure him that these are the very qualities that attracted people of all parties to Salette Latas and Bill Garner.

Mr. Dankwerth’s wife came in dead last in the primary and was eliminated from the Council. I’m sure that had nothing to do with partisan politics. Maybe it was her voting record.

In any case, Mr. Dankwerth’s letter reeks of sour grapes.

Geri Ottoboni

Oro Valley

Oracle’s situation shows gossip as destructive

This was going to be a letter to set the record straight on the conflict between the Oracle School Board and the superintendent. But, this entire situation demonstrates that the most destructive force in the universe is gossip and that the truth would be drowned out and lost.

We have lost all respect for those in our district whose job it is to educate our children and teach them to think and give equal and fair treatment to an issue. We can assure you that both sides have not been explored as we know who have and have not asked questions of both sides regarding this continual unfolding of drama.

We’re sure all thinking voters will support the Board, but as Adlai Stevenson said, it takes a majority to win.

Richard H. Beaman

Jennifer E. Beaman


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