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Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 12:00 am

Letters to the editor published in the November 24, 2010, edition of The Explorer.

Al, Marana east of I-10 is in LD26

I am shocked and disgusted by the re-election of Sen. Al Melvin.

Evidently it doesn’t matter that he has a zero percent rating on education, voted “no” on Prop 100, refused to debate Cheryl Cage at MVHS (a high school in MUSD). When he finally agreed to a debate at Basis Charter School in Oro Valley, he objected to the debate being videotaped. What was he trying to hide? He needs to remember that Marana east of I-10 is LD26.

How does this Legislature justify spending more than twice as much per inmate than per student ($21,840 per inmate and $9,200 per student)?

One source of income that this legislature refused to look at is the private school tax credit. This is about $100 million that should go into the general fund to reduce the deficit. I brought this up in a previous letter to the editor. So did Nancy Young Wright at the candidate forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters.

It is time for moderate Republicans, Blue Dog Democrats, and Independents such as myself to band together and to tell the far right enough is enough. I would recommend that the Tea Party crowd check out the “Coffee Party,” which is open to all regardless of party to discuss the issues. They meet at the Oro Valley Public Library.

Newly elected Rep. Terri Proud says she will focus on K-12 education. I challenge her to prove it by voting “no” on education cuts and by working with the pro-education legislators regardless of party.

Harold Thompson, Marana

No one is closer than Silverbell West

In the Nov. 10, article, “One of the hardest decisions to make,” Mayor Honea has tried to make it appear that his family lives “close” to the landfill site, they aren’t worried for their safety, and so everyone else is safe, too.

Over three miles by road or 2-plus miles as the crow flies pales in comparison to Silverbell West folks living only 2,000 feet away. These folks could have been annexed into by the town, but as Council Member Clanagan told me, it’s not cost-effective to annex homes since Marana would have to provide costly services without being reimbursed, as the town has no property tax. Right, Russell, and don’t forget they can’t vote in town elections either — something I’m sure the council is fully aware of.

Sounds like a license to ‘dump’ on your county neighbors — neighbors who patronize Marana businesses on a daily basis. Maybe county residents should avoid spending their hard earned money supporting a community who views them as expendable?

Janice Mitich, Picture Rocks

Some sort of credit for total lack of hygiene

I’m writing to both question and support a fellow liberal’s call for more government regulation (Ms. Culver’s letter, 11/3).

She is advocating surcharges for swimming pool owners, as we are obviously not “responsible, water-conserving customers.”

While I haven’t seen her supporting data, it is reasonable to assume that it exists and has some degree of merit.

One question, though. How does Ms. Culver determine how water-frugal or wasteful any given household is aside from having a pool? How long are your showers, how full are your loads, did you wash the dog wastefully … did he really need to be washed?

Golly gee, if I’m going to have to pay more for my cement pond, then shouldn’t I at least get some sort of conservation credit for my total lack of hygiene?

Dana “Stinky” Whitson, Oro Valley

Melvin helps give Arizona ‘Brewer Care’

We learned late last week that budgets cuts to Arizona’s AHCCS included in the state budget approved last spring by the governor and the Arizona Legislature went into effect Oct. 1.

The first results are 98 people needing life-saving, medical care have been notified that if the do not have the money ($500,000 for a liver transplant), then they are no longer eligible, and their names are being removed from the transplant lists.

Sen. Al Melvin voted last spring for this budget, and he campaigned this fall that he was running to protect Arizona from “ObamaCare,” which he felt would destroy “the best medical system in the world.” But it’s only the best system if you can access it. Access for him was probably easy since he, as a retired military person, was eligible for the government sponsored health plan Tri-Care. For those with pre-existing condition or without means to pay exorbitant premiums, there is no access and therefore no health care.

We are now seeing the effects of what Al Melvin gave his constituents — “BrewerCare.” Does he honestly think that not one person living in LD26 might need the help of AHCCS funds to pay for high-cost, life-saving medical care? Does his vote last spring make him a member of the governor’s first death panel?

As a constituent, I would welcome his response to this letter. How does depriving lifesaving, medical treatment to the less wealthy benefit us, his constituents?

Kathi Sanders, SaddleBrooke

OV council turns consent agenda to sham

In the Nov. 17 town council meeting, in the “Call to Audience” segment, I expressed an opinion that the use of the consent agenda had been abused by past and current mayor, council and town staff.

Under Town Code 2-4-6 (A) items to be placed on the consent agenda:

“When any item of business requires action by the council, but is of a routine and noncontroversial nature, such item may be presented at a regular meeting of the council as part of a consent agenda.”

In my opinion, items are placed on the consent agenda because they are not routine or noncontroversial, but someone wants a quick rubber-stamp approval of the item in question.

Town Code 2-4-6 (C) states:

“There shall be no debate or discussion by any member of the council regarding any item on the consent agenda, beyond asking questions for simple clarification.”

This statement effectively limits discussion of the merits of the item in question prior to approval.

In the Nov. 17 consent agenda, there were 14 consent agenda items and only four regular agenda items. I questioned whether Item G, Item I, Item J, and Item K were routine and noncontroversial. I submitted a blue card to speak on each of these items. Mayor Hiremath allowed me to speak on Item G only. So much for full disclosure and democratic rights.

Council member Hornat rebutted my abuse argument by stating that there is a mis-conception by the public that all council members do not review the consent agenda items in significant detail. He said the council members do review them prior to council meetings in significant detail.

Then the mayor and council members spent the next three hours discussing five of the 14 routine and noncontroversial items in significant detail.

What a sham.

John Musolf, Oro Valley

Thanks for telling dems of mystical powers

I laud Mr. Woodward for sharing his mystical powers in offering encouragement to we Democrats.

I was unaware that private schools, who can choose their students and hire un-certified teachers, could educate children cheaper that public schools. How comforting it is to know that the Repubs are abandoning their historic efforts to kill Social Security. I didn’t even know we were in danger of extinction from earth burn-up in the next generation. Thanks for the heads-up, Oh Grand Wizard.

Could you share some of your encouraging words for your colleague, Mr. Cunnington? Perhaps you can assure him that the anonymous billionaires who donated an estimated $5.4 million to defeat Rep. Giffords won’t even miss the money, especially since the Repubs in the Senate will insure that the billionaires will continue to receive their tax relief at the expense of the middle-class and their progeny.

Also, Cunnington seems terribly depressed about the loss of his signs. Please assure him that Democrats have also experienced the loss/mutilation of many of their signs.

Whiz, could you please reveal to us where Melvin plans to locate his nuclear waste dump? Is it in a mountain near Tucson; near our aquifers?

And last, but not least, Great Wizard, would you please say a few kind words to the victims and their families of the governor’s “death panels,” which deny state support for any Arizonians who cannot pay for their own organ transplant operations. It is a matter of life or death to them.

Ben Love, Oro Valley

Edited? And you let him write that?

It’s OK for your writers to say that Democrats are “engaging in terrorism,” and committing “hundreds of criminal acts?” And then you say the letter was edited?

If you let this madman say what he wanted to say, it would be one thing. But if you then decide to edit the letter, and make the decision to allow accusations of terrorism, then you share the writer’s view that that such an accusation is within civilized norms.

Great work: if your job is to erode the fabric of American discourse.

Michael McNulty, Tucson

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