Letters to the editor from the Sept. 24 issue

Surge not the only reason for Iraq’s decreased violence

Was the surge successful in Iraq? Of the three things affecting violence, the surge was the most publicized, but two other Iraqi initiatives significantly contributed to the same end.

First, Sunni factions turned against Al-Qaeda. It was a huge factor in the successes of 2007.

Further adding to the reduction of violence was the unexpected, unilateral standing down of the Shiite.

With these three major variables interrelating, how can we attribute the reduction of violence levels solely to the surge? To do so is known as Univariate vs. Multivariate Reasoning – An attempt to isolate a single causative factor from a multivariate problem. In the field of research it is known as an error in reasoning. It is sometimes known as “black-and-white reasoning.”

Perhaps, if we apply multivariate reasoning to the energy and financial crises, we may come up with appropriate measures to resolve them.

James P. Needham

U.S. Army (Ret)


Palin, no ‘queen of pork,’ appeals to the masses

Two of the letters published in Voices in the September 17 issue deserve a prompt reply.

In one, the writer compares Governor Palin with Dan Quayle. He also states that her appeal is to a small, highly mobilized population.

Both statements couldn’t be further from the truth. Palin is a strong individual with principles and conviction and her appeal is to the masses, not a small segment of the population. And this is what makes all liberals and the liberal press so nervous, as they should be. That’s what the difference is.

The other letter calls Palin a “pork barrel queen,” which is a blatant lie. You want pork barrel, just check out the Democratic-controlled House and Senate which, by the way, both have the honor of the lowest performance ratings ever recorded in the entire history of this country.

You dare to compare her character with Obama?  Oh, I forgot about his community service work for two years. By the way, how does a community service worker afford a $2M house? I guess it must be his “character” that allowed him to get a mortgage.

The next President of the United States will be John McCain, but just as important is for the Republicans to take control of both the House and Senate. And anyone who thinks that a president doesnt have to be tough can just go back to the Jimmy Carter era, when this country was the laughingstock of the world. But than again, most liberals should be used to being laughed at.

Frank Sapone

Oro Valley

Voters should heed warnings from Eisenhower

Re: President Eisenhower’s Farewell Address

Eisenhower warned us of the “grave implications” of the rise of the “industrial-military complex.” In 1961, he declared, “The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

The privitization of the military in our “War on Terror” as exemplified by Blackwater, Inc., is the very scenario Republican President Eisenhower prophesied. It is evident to me that a McCain administration would continue with this privatization. Blackwater is a private army and is controlled by Erik Prince, a radical right-wing Christian mega-millionaire who has been a major bank-roller of Republican campaigns.

If you want to continue down this path, despite Eisenhower’s warning, vote for McCain. If you value our freedom and heed Eisenhower’s warning, vote for Obama and the Democrats.

Phil Gibbs

Oro Valley

OV parks, rec facilities should be for residents and their guests

The Oro Valley Town Council should adopt a policy stating that park and recreation facilities are provided for the exclusive use of Oro Valley residents and their accompanied guests.

This policy would relieve pressure on park and recreation facilities, especially softball and baseball diamonds, which are particularly popular with non-residents.

Soon Oro Valley residents will vote on the proposed $48 million bond for the Naranja Town Site. As we are asked to vote ourselves a property tax to repay the bond, it would be reassuring to know that the tax will be for the benefit of taxpayers, and not for non-residents.

Bill Peacock

Oro Valley

New fire district formed in shadows

The new Mountain View Fire District seems to have been conceived in the shadows away from any public scrutiny. I read your article, where Mr. Treece said approximately 60 percent of the those affected agreed with the findings and the plans of the board. I would like to know where that figure came from?

To date, I have contacted over 20 homeowners from North Ranch; none of whom had received any correspondence, or were aware of anything like this that would double their fire tax rate.

My questions concerning this tax without representation or property owner review are:

1. What were the alternatives to taking over and funding an entirely new fire district?

2. Could not a contract arrangement have been made with one of the local fire districts?

3. Why was there not more effort made to openly advise the people of North Ranch what was taking place in what appears to be a back room deal?

4. Who selected the land to be purchased and when?

5. Who owned the land selected and was there any relationship with any Fire Board member?

6. In this time of real estate downturn, was the amount to be paid ($500K) realistic with today’s land costs?

7. Will the costs of the new fire district be redistributed in the next year so that each of these subdivisions taken into the new district have the same rate per hundred?

8. What allows the new Fire Board to be created with limited members selected from the number of the previous board which was voted into office by the people of those districts?

9. How will the Human Resources function of this new employee/management scheme be handled? Who hires and fires, evaluates performance, oversees insurance, retirement programs and all associated costs?

10. Where does the equipment come from for the new district? Are we accepting used and worn out equipment from the Metro units?

I would think many of these things have been reviewed by the old district boards, but the public has been kept in the dark. Perhaps you, as an public interest newspaper, can find out the answers to some of these questions for the folks of NR.

Dan Jones

North Ranch

Most North Ranch people unaware of fire merger

Like most North Ranch residents I was unaware of this merger. My first knowledge about it came in the form of a letter, which informed me about a meeting on Aug. 25 to approve the merger. Oddly, I seemed to be the only one or one of the few residents to receive this letter.

The meeting was basically closed to any complaints or comments. We were told by the board that we had three minutes to make comments, which would be meaningless because the purpose of the meeting was for the respective board members to approve the merger.

We were also told that the merger had been in process for two years and somehow we should have known about it. How, I am not sure since I, like most people in NR, knew nothing about it.

Also questions about the land purchase for the new station, alternatives to the merger and construction costs were brushed off or justified by such comments as, “there were no other alternatives.” When the issue of doubling NR residents taxes for fire protection came up, the answer was that we didn’t pay enough to begin with. Needless to say I and others were not satisfied with these kind of answers.

Then there are the comments by Mr. Treece that 60 percent of the residents are for this merger. Where does he get this information? There were no polls and certainly no vote. Also, how does the old board have the authority to form a new board by selecting the members they wish to retain rather than a vote by the residents affected?

All and all this seems to be a rather stealthy program which minimizes its exposure to public scrutiny. However, in fairness, NR did have a representative on the board but no one seemed to know this and she did not or chose not to in inform anyone about what was going on. Perhaps your newspaper can give us more answers.

Charles Bolejack

North Ranch

Don’t denigrate military service to our country

As a veteran who proudly served our great nation and retired with the equivalent United States Air Force (USAF) rank of Captain Al Melvin, I was insulted by the reader of your paper who denigrated his service and mocked his achievements. Anyone who does not understand the sacrifice that military veterans have made to keep this country free from its enemies is either ignorant, foolish, or perhaps both.

You could better serve your readership if you would include articles and personal stories in your paper about the accomplishments and sacrifices of military veterans rather than allow the hate-bashing opinions of a few misguided people to dominate your pages.

Patriotism is not a disease to be avoided.  We should be proud of our country and honor those (past and present) who defend us from the evil forces of the world.

Richard E. Hudgins

Colonel, USAF (retired)

With park, many would pay for the choice of a few

In a letter to the editor, Don Cox cites examples of citizens traveling to events throughout the city for the lack of a local area park; namely the proposed bond issue, Oro Valley’s Naranja Park. Most leagues travel to play at other leagues fields; part of the game. As far as creating a tax to fund a park for the local communities to be paid for off the backs of the citizens of Oro Valley, we have to look and say ‘should the many pay for the fun of the few?’

I would say the park would be used, but by who? Oro Valley only residents? Doubtful. Look at the parks in the city of Tucson; campgrounds for the homeless? Other serious crimes committed? Do local people feel safe in using them? Crime travels; to think we are immune because we live in Oro Valley is sticking your head in the sand.

We do have one of the finest law enforcement agencies in the area. I myself started my law enforcement career in Oro Valley in 1977, before retiring from the Arizona Highway Patrol in 2000. But the police are having a hard time dealing with what they already have on their plate; look at the high rate of burglaries, for one.

I’ve lived in this area all my life; my parents founded Golder Ranch Fire District and were the first chiefs. I retired in the Copper Creek area, because there were no property taxes; Uh oh! Bad word! I should of said “bond” issue.

Cox points out we can move ahead or slide back on this issue. In the current economic turmoil, this is not a good decision to spend a few dollars more. Again he states it’s either that or spend it on gas; the big difference is now, it is your choice to do so or not. Voting for the park bond issue takes that choice away from everyone. Just so a few people, who choose to play ball, would not have to travel. Again, that is their choice.

We do not need this park in our community, on such a grand scale, or a property tax needs to pay for it.

Darrell D. Murray

Oro Valley

Sad to see people disrespect Al’s service to nation

I was saddened to read a letter to the editor in your paper where a reader compared GOP State Senate candidate Al Melvin’s military rank of Captain to Captain Kangaroo.

As a retired veteran myself, I take offense at these cheap shots just like I did two years ago when the Arizona Democrat Party mocked Al’s service to our nation in cartoons depicting him as a pirate, complete with hat and sword.

I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Captain Melvin and want your readers to know that this man served our nation for 30 years. He was the squadron commander of the largest ship squadron in the U.S. Navy and received the Legion of Merit from the Chief of Naval Operations. There isn’t a ship in the U.S. Merchant Marine that Captain Melvin isn’t licensed to captain, yet these qualifications are nothing more than fodder for cheap shots and derision by his political opponents.

I’m proud of Al’s service to our country like I’m proud of John McCain’s service to our country. It is a sad thing that some consider it fashionable or politically expedient to attack those who have served our country.

I hope your readers will reject those attacks and give proper respect to those public servants who have a proud history of serving our great nation.

Roger Bogard

Lt. Col. USAF retired

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