Al 'The Truth' might add some math to resume

I find it amusing that Al "The Truth" Melvin resorted to smoke and mirrors in his latest "informative" ad about Arizona education in The Explorer.

His Arizona Tax Revenue graph uses a freshman trick to visually distort the actual tax revenue reduction — choosing to cut off the columns at a $5.0B axis, giving the impression that the 35 percent drop over three years from FY07 was much more dramatic. I also wonder why he didn't include the projected 2.4 percent and 4.8 percent increases in FY'11 and FY'12?

As for his "$ per student" graph, Al "The Truth" omits the fact that FY 10's per student amount includes $472 million of stimulus funds from those horrible Democrats in Washington. If it wasn't for the 1-cent sales tax, that "federal backfill" in the FY 11 budget would shine a spotlight on how much Al cares about K-12 in this state.

Looks like "reasonable, responsible" Melvin should add some more 'rithmetic to his resume.

Jim Schallert, Saddlebrooke

Giffords fails to represent her constituents

There is a wide open contest for Congress in CD-8. Fortunately, we have two distinct choices.

So far, we have only heard from Gabrielle Giffords, the incumbent, when she has distorted and lied about her opponents stance on the issues. What does she stand for? Is it her "proud" moment when the disastrous health care plan was passed? Her support against SB1070? Her vote for cap and trade, which would devastate our country? Her support not to secure the border by finishing the fence?

Now is the time for her to come out of hiding from behind her shameful attack ads. She is now free to have a meaningful debate(s) with her opponent on the issues. Her party has just left Washington without a vote on the "tax cut" extensions or "exposing" next year's $1.3 trillion deficit budget. (her party will do that after the November election.)

Giffords was elected to represent the people of Southern Arizona. She has clearly failed to do so. Shame on her for totally disregarding the people's wishes. If she were to be elected again, shame on us.

There is an urgency, not like any other in my lifetime, to take back our country and re-establish our support of our founding fathers. A good start would be to elect Jesse Kelly for Congress and have a representative for the people.

Edwin M. Hughes, Oro Valley

Let October be month you support the arts

Theatre! Music! Art! Support!

In 2009, President Obama proclaimed October as National Arts and Humanities Month. In this proclamation he said, "Throughout our Nation's history, the power of the Arts and Humanities to move people has built bridges and enriched lives, bringing individuals and communities together through the resonance of creative expression." Bravo!

Yet, despite the strength we find at the stage of a good play, symphony or painting, when economic times are tough, the arts are quick to suffer. Why is that?

Let's alter the pendulum swing by making the arts a necessity in our local community rather than a luxury. Let's introduce our neighbors to its value to our town by inviting them to a concert, art exhibit, or play. And let's realize that a little help and financial support goes a long way in the arts. Just ask the theatre departments at your local high schools.

A community that supports the performing and fine arts can only become a stronger community at all levels. This month, instead of a trip to the movies or another Netflix rental, support your local talent at the high schools and community theatres. As one reviewer wrote about a production of "Our Town" (by Thornton Wilder), "theatre is the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it means to be human. Theatre can change the simple events of human life into universal reverie. It can give familiar facts a deeply moving, philosophical perspective."

Let October be the beginning of your lifelong support of the arts in our community.

Sue Bishop, Oro Valley

Party on to oblivion, or take charge

Imagine coming home and finding the kids have had a party. You find cars parked on the lawn. A keg thrown through the front window. Trash and beer cans strewn about the yard. Lawn furniture in the pool. The barbecue tipped over and shrubbery charred. Kids passed out all over the house and the yard. Living room furniture flipped over and broken. Loud music blaring from open windows and doors. Neighbors angry.

You'd think it was time for the adults to take charge, right?

The last two years of rule by Democrat elites have been just like that scenario. The children have been in charge, and they have devastated the economy, the constitution, destroyed the American way of life, and are turning the U.S. into a police state where Democrat elites lord it over us and decide every minute detail of our lives. Its past time to send the kids to their room while the adults clean up the mess and start the recovery.

You have a choice in November. If you like the radical extremist Pelosi/Reid/Obama agenda then you want to vote for Gabrielle Giffords, and send the children back to Washington.

Giffords does not represent CD8. With her every vote in Congress she has shown herself to be a Pelosi clone, supporting the radical extremist agenda in its entirety, imposing it on CD8 irrespective of our desires to the contrary.

But if you're horrified at the mess, if you value your liberty, the constitution, your prosperity, if want representation that represents your values, if you have any concern whatsoever for your kids and grandkids, then you need to retire Giffords. The party's over. Time to clean up the mess. Your choice: party on to oblivion or take charge and clean up.

Rick Cunnington, Oro Valley

Editorial a disservice to placid readers

Your editorial, "Coveting the center," is indeed a disservice to your placid readers.

To characterize Giffords, as a Blue Dog, is a popular notion for debate, which certainly allows The Explorer wiggle room for an appearance of independence. But a more truthful editorial should have dwelt on Giffords' factual voting record.

Giffords portrays herself as a Blue Dog, trying to avoid the Pelosi taint. But the color of the stain reveals her true record of following Pelosi's scent and voting for the most despicable issues which the majority of citizens firmly oppose.

So, why would The Explorer not report that 80 percent of the Blue Dogs voted for the bailouts. Every one of them, including, Giffords, voted for the Fannie and Fred bailouts. She voted for the TARP program. She voted for the stimulus program, she voted for the clunkers, she voted for the federal takeover of our healthcare. She was opposed to firm immigration law observance before she discovered that most Arizonans support our state and federal laws. Being a Blue Dog is not a badge of compliance with the will of the people. But pretending to be a Blue Dog is even worse.

Yet she claims, and your paper accedes, that she is a "moderate." How dishonest and cynical this is to us ordinary folks.

Giffords is trying to portray herself as a centrist. She is trying to deceive the voters, and The Explorer is abetting this corruption with your biased reporting and editorializing. Not all of your readers are gulled by those named in your article as supporting Giffords for her dubious work, without mentioning the chasm of nonsupport by the rest of us, who are fed up with her and her Democrat colleagues.

I would hope that The Explorer could exert more journalistic fervor and provide coverage with more integrity and respect for the truth — the whole truth — and nothing but the truth.

Lou Dudas, Oro Valley

Kelly off the rails about Social Security

The Kelly bandwagon is off the rails on Social Security. Reason, not cries of "Ponzi scheme," proves that Social Security is on a solid track for the future. Gabrielle Giffords knows that Social Security is fundamental for today's retirees as well as future generations and wants to strengthen it.

Cooler heads know it is risky to expose Social Security, so important to average Americans, to Wall Street. It is a myth that it is necessary to extend the retirement age or cut benefits to fix this popular program. Social Security tax is paid only on the first $106,000 of income. Why should people earning less than that have to sacrifice because the wealthy are getting out of paying their fair share?

The latest trustee report to Congress projected that over the next 75 years, Social Security will remain solvent if nothing is done to fix it. The same report concluded that the Affordable Healthcare Act strengthened Medicare.

Social Security trustees invest in special issue securities that earned 4.86 percent interest in 2009. SSA online says that "the investments held by the trust funds are backed by the full faith and credit of the U. S. Government. The government has always repaid Social Security, with interest. The special-issue securities are, therefore, just as safe as U.S. Savings Bonds or other financial instruments of the Federal government."

Right-wing attacks on Social Security and Medicare are promoted by true believers in 19th century "survival of the fittest" mentality. The choice is clear. Elect Giffords.

Sandra Spangler, Pima County

Crude remarks about Tea Party are mean-spirited

Response to Ben Love's opinion piece of Oct. 6:

Whenever I read an opinion from an individual and they inject crude remarks about the "other side," ala the term "Tea Baggers," versus "members of the Tea Party," they have already lost me.

If they can't state their view of the issues without the need to resort to this level of rude diatribe, I find that person to be a mean-spirited and terribly ideological bigot.

Rosalie Wright, Oro Valley

Water, the new liquid gold in OV

Water, the most expensive utility in Oro Valley.

They call petroleum "liquid gold." In Oro Valley, water is now the new liquid gold.

Where does it go from here? The council has approved an increase every year, except for 2007 since 1997. A total of 90 percent increase since 1997, almost double. If any business raised their prices this much, they would be out of business.

Why does the council go along? Surely, there must be some solution to curb expenses and cut overhead to maintain a stable price to the residents of Oro Valley.

I managed a large manufacturing plant for several years. In each of those years, we faced cost increases which threatened to reduce the bottom line. Each year we found ways to cut costs and/or reduce payroll to maintain an acceptable bottom line.

Every problem has a solution. The council needs to demand a cost-cutting process be implemented by the water utility to maintain a more stable operation. A suggestion would be to bring in a consulting firm to do an analysis. Fresh minds have fresh ideas.

In my view, if neighboring towns can supply water for less, why can't Oro Valley?

Hal Feldman, Oro Valley

Editorial for Giffords is unfair, 1-sided

Your unpaid editorial/advertisement for Giffords in the Oct. 6 issue is out of line. Why would you just give Rep. Giffords a free advertisement; if she paid you for a real ad, you'd at least make a little money.

How you can present such an unfair, one-sided discussion of what is the "center" between Giffords and Kelly is beyond me. I think Giffords abandoned the center ("smack in the middle" doesn't describe her) and her claim of being a blue dog conservative is bogus when she voted for Obamacare, the trillion dollar stimulus, and cap and tax, all with Nancy Pelosi. That's not what "her opponents believe," those are facts.

It's obvious where you stand on the race, but I don't have to support your newspaper. I do not want any more deliveries at my home. If I get any future copies, I will complain to my neighborhood homeowners association. Maybe we can get you barred altogether from our neighborhood for delivering unsolicited advertisements.

Roy Carter, Tucson

Interesting facts from latest 'fill discussions

Interesting facts came out of the development agreement discussions between Larry Henk/Michael Racy (DKL), the landfill developers, and the Marana Planning Commission on Sept. 29.

Racy stated that "designation of truck routes: no rail spur or hauling" only applied to the big transfer trucks (24 tons) and not the big dump truck (8 tons) as one designated route would interfere with the collection trucks' routes. This means folks in Continental Ranch, folks along Sandario, Sanders, etc., better get used to blowing trash and having 8-ton dump trucks tearing up your roads.

DKL is quite proud of the fact they will pay for resurfacing six miles of Avra Valley Road (within town limits) with "…slurry seal and/or asphalt overlay work prior to opening day." If the section of Avra Valley Road between I-10 and the town limits has not be resurfaced, DKL will pay for that, also.

This is a one-time-deal, folks. Those 24-ton transfer trucks are going to eat up the road surface for the 75 years the landfill will be open, and the town/county (meaning taxpayers) will have to pay for the upkeep.

Racy was also quite puffed up in regards to the fact that DKL will rebuild the Avra Valley/Brawley Wash bridge before opening day. Before crowning him with oak leaves, DKL has to do this because they don't want to lose a 24-ton semi in the wash when the current bridge collapses.

Then Mr. Henk finally admitted, dear supporters, he's had landfills that leaked. All those times … he and Racy were speaking with forked tongues when they insisted modern landfills didn't leak and Marana's wouldn't, either.

After Racy had a long discussion with the chair, Norman Fogel, explaining why out-of-state trash would cost too much to bring into Marana, Henk showed his true intentions when asked to include a prohibition on the importation of out-of-state trash. Henk refused, stating his company is small and that the larger companies could put him out of business in a year by underbidding him locally, thereby leaving out-of-state trash importation as his only option to stay in business. So guess what's in your future, all you landfill supporters, semis hauling in 24 tons apiece of out-of-state trash so that the Vice-Mayor Kai, the town and DKL can all profit.

The planning commission unanimously approved the development agreement. Read it and weep.

Janice Mitich, Picture Rocks

Kelly 'shrill and angry;' Giffords 'consistent, focused'

Jesse Kelly is playing the classic game all right-wingers do after they win a primary: race back to the center after running hard to the right to get the nomination.

Doesn't he think about the fact that all of his outlandish comments and risky ideas are on tape or in print? His back-pedaling and redefining of his positions on the key issues make it clear that he can't be trusted. The independent Fact Check group has pointed out how Kelly has told flat-out lies about Gabrielle Giffords and her voting record in his ads and statements.

He says that the federal stimulus bill motivated him to run for office, but his construction company takes millions of dollars in contracts authorized by that legislation. Kelly wants to posture and preen like some kind of populist warrior, but he said he would have voted against a law that forces Wall Street brokers and big banks to stop some of the practices that put us in financial crisis. He favors a wacky national sales tax plan that would reduce taxes for his wealthy backers, but dump more of a burden on working families.

You can't substitute volume for thought. Jesse Kelly is a shrill, angry voice and everyone knows what he's against, but he lacks the maturity and substance needed to be a leader. Giffords has been consistent, responsive to constituent needs and focused on solutions over ideology.

Rex Scott, Tucson

In support of Marana's new regional 'fill

I have lived in Arizona since 1981 and appreciate the beautiful desert landscape. Without the Marana Regional Landfill, people will dump their trash all over the desert and ruin our area. Our growing community needs this landfill because we all have disposable waste. The land that will be used does not have any other use and the location will benefit all of the Marana community. I support the Marana Regional Landfill.

Kenneth Baker, Tucson

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