Letters to the editor published in the January 13, 2010, edition of The Explorer.
Where do OV town candidates stand
Upcoming Oro Valley elections: What are the candidates' priorities? Where do they stand on key issues such as the budget, public safety, policymaking, attracting new businesses and land use?
I'm requesting that The Explorer ask questions and print responses from local candidates on the key issues facing our community. If The Explorer provides this service, as they have in the past, voters will have the opportunity to clearly see what each candidate represents.
During these tough times we need strong leadership that is willing to step up and make the tough choices. The individuals we elect must be those we can respect and whom we can trust to represent our best interests.
Local government is important. Every vote is important. Oro Valley votes by mail, the ballots go out in early February. Please vote.
Conny Culver, Oro Valley
We're warming, but alarmists are living otherwise
I would like to add my observations to the article written by Dennis Evans in the Jan. 6 Explorer.
Dennis is correct in observing that the Earth is getting warmer. As Dr. Walter E. Williams points out, we used to have massive glaciers covering most of North America, and they are mostly gone. However, they melted away long before people were here to have an effect on their melting.
There are a lot of scientists on both sides of the argument, equally qualified in their fields. To say the issue is scientifically settled is incorrect. But we can also look at the behavior of those who are supporting the concept of manmade global warming/climate change. There are many ordinary citizens who believe man is a factor, and they live as they preach: riding bicycles as much as possible, walking, using clothes lines to dry clothes (when local codes allow such freedom), keeping lights off when not needed, etc.
But when we look at some people who are closer to the sources of data, we can see a much different behavior.
Candidate Obama made the statement about how we cannot drive our SUVs, keep our homes at 72 degrees, and expect the world to support us. President Obama raised the temperature in his offices so he could be comfortable in his shirt sleeves. When President Obama wants a burger, he loads up his SUV caravan and drives 10 miles. When Albert Gore went to collect his Peace Prize he took an aircraft. Why didn't he take a sailing ship and save the carbon? When the world delegates get together for discussing how to stop climate change, they arrive in private jets and ride limousines.
You would expect such behavior from people who know they are promoting a farce. Like the leaders of socialist countries, who are not part of the "equal citizens" they tout so energetically. Like congressional members who have a fantastic plan for the rest of us, but they are not willing to be a part of it.
As the wisest person who ever lived said, "you shall know them by their fruit."
Andy Woodward, Tucson
More revenue, rather than a jobless future
As a constituent of Sen. Al Melvin's District 26, I was interested in reading his views in the Jan. 6 Explorer entitled, "School cuts have been 3 percent."
I found the headline a bit misleading, as I believe only the second cut to education was 3 percent … the total cut was higher.
While watching Arizona Illustrated Dec. 21, I heard Marshall Vest, from the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management, say that the state of Arizona did not get into this situation by excess spending, but from serious tax cuts dating back to the mid-'90s. If we took those dollars, adjusting for inflation and population growth, those cuts amounted to a $2.8 billion decrease each and every year thereafter. If tax cuts got the state where it is now, more tax reductions are supposed to solve the problem?
Sen. Melvin also wrote that the Democrats opposed every attempt to reduce anything from our government. According to Dr. Vest, if all state government was done away with, except for K-12 education and AHCCCS, the state would still be one billion short next year. Will reducing government 30 percent solve the problem, or is it just a stop gap with no structural change?
Dr. Vest also said the state of Arizona could increase the tax base by $1 billion with a $200 per person tax increase. I've seen people from Oro Valley and SaddleBrooke who complain about too much government easily spend $200 in one weekend. However, a $1 billion increase in revenues along with some spending cuts seems more agreeable than reducing all programs by 30 percent and putting the Arizona communities at risk as a result of program and services cuts. Without education, the teens of today will be the unemployed of tomorrow.
Phyllis Davis, Oro Valley
Private, public education tax credits not same
This letter is in response to letters from Marian Hill and Harold Thompson regarding Sen. Al Melvin and the private school tax credit.
Both writers questioned the inequity of a $1,000 limit for the private school tax credit while there is a $400 limit for the public school tax credit. This perceived inequity may have some legitimacy if the tax credits were earmarked for the same thing. However, they are not.
The private school tax credit is earmarked strictly for basic tuition support, while the public school tax credit is intended for extra-curricular activities that are "after school" and outside of normal curriculum requirements.
Another difference in the two credits is the potential for providing savings to the government. The private school tax credit allows many children to attend private schools that otherwise could not afford to do so. Every child educated in a private school saves the government the cost of educating a child in a public school. The $1,000 value of the private school tax credit is only a fraction of the cost of educating a child. Although providing tangible benefits to students, the public school tax credit does not result in any savings to the government.
Marian Hall characterizes the private school tax credit as benefiting the wealthy while the smaller public school tax credit benefits the average taxpayer. While there may be some misuse, the overwhelming majority of the funds received through the private school tax credit program are earmarked to organizations that provide tuition support to individuals based on financial need. If Ms. Hall was really concerned about benefits to the wealthy, she would equally point out that there are no income restrictions for receiving the benefits or taking the tax credits for the public school tax credit program.
Obviously, my letter is written in support of the private school tax credit program. However, my intention is not to bash the benefits of the public school tax credit program. Both programs provide different but worthwhile benefits for educating our children and provide the Arizona taxpayer with a say. I recommend consideration of their use by all Arizona taxpayers.
David Gerlach, Oro Valley
3-story hotel would not fit north Marana
Like many residents in Marana, we were attracted to the area by the open spaces and unique beauty and wildlife of the Sonoran Desert. Now we have learned that HSL Properties has submitted a proposal to the Marana Planning and Zoning Commission for an amendment to allow a 3-story, 100-room hotel and 240 apartments to be perched on the edge of Tangerine Road west of Thornydale.
Ironically, this project, originally approved for low-profile duplexes, sits directly across from a neighborhood that the mayor of Marana once touted as "one of the most environmentally-conscious developments in Southern Arizona." Approval of SPA 09036 will impact property values, traffic, schools, crime and wildlife and will be a 50-foot reminder of how development that is obtrusive and inconsistent with the surrounding area is a permanent blight on the landscape.
This hotel does not comply with Marana's own 2007 General Plan, which states that the hospitality industry sites require "easy-on easy-off" interstate access.
The residents of Marana have made an investment in our homes and neighborhoods. We do not want to see approval for this project simply because HSL Properties views a 3-story motel and apartments as more profitable than residential homes.
The Marana Planning and Zoning Commission will receive public comments on the proposed amendment on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 6:30 p.m.
Sarah Kennedy, Marana