Letters to the editor published in the November 18, 2009, edition of The Explorer.

Branding art an homage to frontier history

Shelley Rose; What you find "offensive," the rest of us see as homage to our frontier history.

Certainly technology has improved our ability to tag livestock with less intrusive measures. Taking this tried and true method gratuitously out of context does little to inspire the rest of us to view your disposition as well intentioned. You would have been better served by railing against the practice of tattoo art, body piercings, lobe-stretching oversized earrings and other forms of piercings not fit for print in this forum. Your outrage may be genuine but thinly disguised if you are promoting a vegan lifestyle on the rest of us who enjoy our carnivorous history.

If it makes you feel any better, look at this art as the name of the ranch the livestock was owned by. One further thought, with the iconic and beautiful Pusch Ridge looming above the wall, how can you let the art on the sound barrier occupy your focus during your drive? My guess is that deeper concerns occupy your drive through this gorgeous countryside, and that the art discussion is a diversion.

David Hampton, Oro Valley

What's with continuous lambasting of OV, its police?

In response to last week's letters from Roy Varner and OVPD Chief Sharp: I simply don't understand the continuous lambasting of Oro Valley.

Regarding complaints about the perceived overzealous, ineffective police department, the "'bait and switch"' Oro Valley Marketplace tenants, and the outcry over the crematorium, I have to say "'enough already!"

I live in Catalina and work in Oro Valley and drive up and down Oracle Road between Rancho Vistoso and Ina at least twice a day. I also spend the majority of my shopping dollars at Oro Valley businesses. Over the years, I have never once been stopped by an OVPD officer; nor have I witnessed any nefarious behavior while parked on the side of the road.

I was, however, involved in a very serious four-car accident on Oracle Road and was nothing but impressed with the response by OVPD. The first officer arrived on the scene within a matter of minutes (perhaps he was fortuitously parked in the median close by completing paperwork or exchanging information with another officer) and immediately took control of the chaotic situation. Each and every responding officer was courteous, compassionate, and competent. I was transported to the hospital by ambulance with my 3-year-old son, and two of the officers met us in the emergency room with my pocketbook and personal belongings from my totaled vehicle. They were genuinely concerned for our well-being while providing me with information I needed to contact insurance companies and recover the rest of my things from my car.

Over the years, I have had additional opportunities to meet and talk with OVPD officers (through community outreach presentations at my son's preschool, the SRO Program at Canyon Del Oro High School, as well as the motorcycle patrol officer who lives in our neighborhood and is always willing to stop and talk with my son) and have consistently been impressed with their professionalism and commitment.

From my personal experience, Chief Sharp is doing a fine job training and supervising his officers. As for Mr. Varner, I sincerely hope you never find yourself in a situation requiring assistance from OVPD. However, if you do, your impression of them may very well change from one of criticism to that of appreciation.

Joanne Spencer, Catalina

On health care, no trust in rep, the government

This letter was addressed to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, in response to an inquiry regarding health care. – Ed.

Dear Rep. Giffords:

I simply don't believe you or trust my government. You say in your response:

"On a final note, a significant amount of misinformation has been circulated about health insurance reform. H.R. 3962 is not a government takeover of health care. Rather, this bill would establish a series of consumer protections designed to improve your access to care and prevent insurance companies from taking advantage of Americans when they are most vulnerable."

I submit it will lead to a government takeover of health care in addition to establishing more wasteful government bureaucracies.

You and your friends in Congress say the proposal is deficit neutral, yet it will cost a trillion dollars. In the end the money can only come from taxpayers/consumers. It will raise the cost of health care.

And by the way, you and your friends in Congress say health care costs are out of control. Have you checked the federal budget deficit lately? And we should trust you to take over health care?

Thank you for your consideration.

Ken Kinared, Oro Valley

Thanks for the encouraging information

Thank you for two very encouraging articles in the Nov. 4 issue of your paper.

The first (and on the first page) was "Students bond with Marine," which showed how the Copper Creek Elementary School students and Marine Sgt. Andrew Valora both showed appreciation for each other.

The other article (on page 20) was "It's just fine to be a patriotic American," which encouraged the reader to show his patriotism.

In these days when we read and see so much discouraging news, it is so refreshing to read some good news. Thank you again for these two fine, encouraging articles.

Sandy Ainsworth, Tucson

On care, thanks but no thanks, you Democrats

In response to Ben Love's letter on Nov. 11, I'd like to say it's a shame that Mr. Love used an unusual dictionary to look up the words in the Preamble to the Constitution. "We the People" meant the people in the 13 colonies that became the United States, not whatever he thought it meant. The word "union," in those days, meant the union between the states, not labor unions. Justice meant fairness, not socialism. Welfare meant well-being, not welfare checks or nationalized health care.

As for the founders not being interested in capitalism, capitalism was one of the self-evident truths they liked to talk about. No capitalism, no money, no nothing.

One of my ancestors, a third generation from his Revolutionary Yankee forebears, pioneered west with his family, and not long before the Civil War, he and some friends got together the capital to incorporate a town in eastern Kansas, called Uniontown. I can assure you, he didn't name the town after some labor union. I can also assure you, if he ever thought of labor unions, you wouldn't have liked what he was thinking.

As for the present, here in Tucson not long ago, we had a health clinic called Thomas-Davis, which had been in operation for years. Some unionizers from back east, including union sympathizing doctors, came here to unionize the place and Thomas-Davis went bankrupt in a matter of months.

So, is bankruptcy what we're looking at with unionized, nationalized health care? Thanks, but no thanks, Democrats.

Rebecca LoPorto, Tucson

No right to mandated health care

Is Mr. Love making a common mistake, or is he perhaps just wishful thinking, when he refers to the preamble to the Constitution?

He seems to want the preamble to say "provide" for the general welfare in his argument for healthcare, when the actual words are "promote the general welfare." I cannot question his definition of general welfare; however, I do question his apparent desire that we (after all, we are the government) have to provide it.

Promoting the general welfare would seem to me, following his use of the preamble, that when we "secure the blessings of liberty," we would want to assume responsibility for our own welfare and insist others (the government) limit its intrusion into our lives. Requiring, under penalty of a fine, that everyone have health insurance is an intrusion into our liberty.

Frankly, I am pretty tired of others taking my liberty just because they think I should pay for others. One of the historically great things about our wonderful country is our willingness, without any coercion, to help others. Witness the sacrifice of our all-volunteer military, which by the way is fulfilling that other part of the preamble that often causes the confusion Mr. Love and others make, "provide for the common defence."

So let's all get it straight now, the preamble says, "…provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity …"

There is no constitutional right to government mandated healthcare.

Fred Heinrichs,Tucson

Take the class, learn about OV police department

I just read Roy Varner's letter concerning the O.V.P.D. I feel Chief Daniel Sharp gave a very positive and informative response to Mr. Varner. In addition, I would like to add my comments.

I have been a resident of the Northwest side since 1975. In that time I saw O.V. grow (est. 1974) and their police officers in action. I saw many vehicles stopped over the years and assumed many were getting warnings or tickets. I, also, saw officers parked somewhere close to the road, in plain view and wondered, why?

Well, I just completed the O.V.P.D. Citizens Academy and found out the answer to that question and much, much more. What Chief Daniel Sharp said was only the very tip of the iceberg.

I would suggest that Mr. Varner and other citizens sign up for this very informative and interesting academy. By doing so, they will have all kinds of questions we citizens have answered, which should result in a greater appreciation for this outstanding law enforcement agency.

In these troubling times we need to give this agency all the support we can give them to continue this high quality service and protection. Support your police, they protect you.

Larry Thompson, Oro Valley

Flowing Wells shows public schools work

This letter was addressed to Sen. Al Melvin – Ed.

Sen. Melvin,

Another, business as usual event for the entire Richardson Elementary campus took place Tuesday. A 90-minute assembly honoring our service men and women was held.

Teachers, parents, volunteers and our kids collaborated to thank and honor our heroes in uniform both past and present. As a result of their hours and hours of combined effort, our kids were enriched at many levels.

Veteran stories were told. Some directly from the soldier. Our kids were exposed to world geography as it related to all of our combined military activity as a nation.

Led by our dedicated and hardworking librarian, Mrs. Klinkingbeard, her team honored and educated.

Sen. Melvin, it is worthy of note that this event took place absent of the strains of increased class sizes and reduced salary. As you join the legislature next week for the special session, I implore you to be aware of and remember the 6,000 kids who make up the Flowing Wells School District. These kids continue to be provided the best that public education has to offer.

Senator Melvin, public education works.


Tim Derrig, Flowing Wells

Beautiful OV view blocked by an ugly wall

The comments are "what were they thinking," "who approved this," "this is an eyesore," "this is just plain ugly," "I can't believe they did this" and so on. What people are talking about is the wall along the CDO Wash on Oracle Road.

I do not know anyone that likes this wall. If it was done as a barrier for sound, I can think of many options that would have been far better than this wall. It's very sad that one of the most beautiful views while driving through Oro Valley is blocked by an ugly wall.

K.S. Miller, Oro Valley

A candidate decides not to seek office

After having entered the "fray" of running for a seat on the Oro Valley Town Council, and having done so because of a deeply ingrained belief in the need for new perspectives to take hold within town, ideals that I believe could have assisted in progressing our home in a positive manner, I have more recently concluded, with much introspect, that a governing position, for me, was not the course suited for my retirement years.

By remaining involved, however, I can be and intend on being a contributory factor in such a movement.

It is thus that I am announcing my withdrawal from consideration for a town council candidate position in the upcoming Oro Valley election.

There is, in my opinion, a definite need for expanded nuances here in our beautiful and desirous locale. While commercial and other development enterprises must be one of the bastions for the future potential of our community, too much degradation of our "space" has taken place over a period of years by helter-skelter applications of "just-put-it-here-whatever-it-is" mentalities. There are always alternatives afforded particulars; thus the forces of tunnel vision must be quieted and, though I do have the utmost respect for much of the work that many of our "elders" have put into our past, it is time to retire the now stale facets of old dogma which I believe have become negative signatures on some of their current involvements; too, it is at this juncture that we have the opportunity for a new beginning, a fresh opportunity for ushering in the ideals of interactive involvement in lieu of contentious confrontation.

I will continue to offer service to the Town of Oro Valley. This Town is still my passion and I believe that, along with same, my experiences and knowledge, applied through discourse and volunteerism, I can offer a contributory value in helping to formulate a better community.

I wish to acknowledge wholeheartedly those persons who supported me to the extent that they did, those who worked so hard in the endeavor to have me certified as a candidate as well as explaining me "away" to the voters who are / were unfamiliar with my person. I also wish to acknowledge the staff of the Town of Oro Valley who so graciously assisted me in the processes and who have helped to educate me in some of the technicalities of municipal intricacy and governance; thanks to all of you.

Zev Cywan, Oro Valley

Ride with an officer, and learn the job

My name is Jerry Arnold, a resident of Marana, and a retired police officer from Scottsdale.

I read Mr. Varner's comment that was posted in your paper, and have to say that he doesn't know what he is talking about, and ignorant of the facts.

Just because he sees two Oro Valley police cars parked together, he has the audacity to complain to the town council, the police department, and post his comments in your paper. He thinks that when two police units are parked together, they are doing nothing and wasting the taxpayer's money. He even made a comment that "maybe they are lonely and in need of companionship"? I had to laugh at that one, and thought how asinine can a grown man be, who's supposed to be intelligent?

No, Mr. Varner, they aren't "horseholding" as you put it, and they aren't lonely, they are just doing their job, something apparently you don't understand. The patrol car is the officer's office. He parks somewhere visible while he writes accident reports, burglary reports, or meeting his sergeant or supervisor to hand over reports or get information regarding crimes in his area, or a number of things.

When I was a patrol officer I had on occasions to have a civilian rider assigned to me and they saw everything I did during a shift. They came back with a different point of view of things, some saying, "Gosh, I didn't know you had to do all of that!"

Maybe it would be in Mr. Varner's best interests to go and ride a shift with an officer and see what he goes through, and things he has to do, before making rude comments about the police. They have a job to do and receive enough "flak" from some people they have to deal with on the streets; they don't need more from you.

Jerry Arnold, Marana

OVPD best she's ever encountered

What an unpleasant surprise to read of Mr. Varner's dissatisfaction with the Oro Valley Police Department (Nov. 11).

They are the best police department I've encountered in my 71 years, and I hope they will not be discouraged from doing the fine job that they do.

Oro Valley is a safe place to live because of their dedication, professionalism and high visibility. Thanks, OVPD.

Priscilla Ketz, Oro Valley

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