Money carrots more golden as decision nears
After sitting through the majority of council meetings regarding the purposed landfill, I am shocked, amazed and appalled that the subject of the federal Interstate Commerce Clause is never touched upon by either DKL/Henk/Racy or Town of Marana council members.
Is this a subject that both parties would like to not face? By sticking their heads in the sand? Or garbage pile? The DKL team because they don't want to have to tell Marana Council, or its residents that once they can open they will be accepting trash from everywhere? So they will in fact become Southern Arizona's dumping ground That what other states (i.e., California) consider hazardous, Arizona may and does not.
And the town council … do they not want to acknowledge this fact because the Henk/Racy team keep dangling those money carrots in their faces? It seems lately that the more pressure that is put upon DKL/Henk by our opposition group, the more golden those carrots become. Is there pressure coming from Mayor Ed Honea himself on the rest of the council members to fall in line and get this dump in?
And why is it, that DKL/Henk is having to resort to the use of false and deceptive tactics to gain any type of support for their dump? The people that were invited to the pizza party by DKL/Henk before they shuffled on over to the July 20 council meeting and seemed on that day to support Henk's effort should really look into the facts. It is such a shame that some of them stood to say we needed a landfill in our area for our trash …and that there shouldn't be emotion at these meetings … and that there have always been "defective kids and landfills," so what is the big problem. These types of statements do not come from people who have really taken the time to research this issue and make an intelligent rational decision. They come from a quick deceptive fix by DKL/Henk and a piece of pizza.
Melissa Rohli, Silverbell West
Maybe you're shouting at the wrong people
Chris Martin's July 28 column was filled with mud-slinging at the Democrats. He wants us to "shout from the rooftops that we are for redistribution of wealth and believe it is within the right of government" to do so.
Republicans have been redistributing wealth and power to the rich, legislating tax breaks for them and letting the big corporations operate free of government interference for decades. Further, the Republican-controlled Supreme Court has empowered corporations to influence our elections with big money. That wasn't necessary, since Republicans already have the means to rig all the electronic vote-counting machines in the country. Republican affinity for oil and coal fuel has put the U.S. in jeopardy or losing the tech race for renewable energy.
Martin fears the Democrats will institute Euro Socialism. European workers and middle managers enjoy their shortened hours, higher pay, and more leisure time spent in their parks and infrastructure. That trumps the Republican offer of no health care, no wage increases, longer hours, and shorter unemployment benefits. It's far better than the plutocracy Republicans have established (government of the powerful, by the rich, and for themselves). Every Republican administration since Hoover has started at least one recession/depression because they don't share enough proceeds of capitalism with the workers who consume goods and services. They go outside for cheap labor and to avoid paying taxes.
Republicans make no distinction between taxes; they want them all flat and believe any cut pays for itself. If this were true, Bush would not have had a $5 trillion increase in the national debt and a loss of 3 million jobs. The richest 0.01 percent of Americans' wealth has increased so much and their tax rate decreased so much that their secretaries pay a larger percent of their salary in taxes than they do.
Democrats want to restore the Bush tax cuts only for the super wealthy so they carry their share of our debt. Yet, the party of "no" still refuses to cooperate in our recovery and insists on the same dogma which drove our economy over a cliff in 2008.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Ben Love, Oro Valley
There is a way to eliminate all risks from landfill
I recently visited the Marana dump web site and clicked on "benefits" to see what they had to say. A full-screen pop-up told me that I was that day's "winning visitor," that I had won a $1,000 gift card.
Well, not having been invited to a pre-town council meeting pizza party for dump supporters, I figured a thousand bucks could buy a lot of pizza for the hard-working folks who were carrying on a David vs. Goliath struggle to keep their neighborhood, their water, and their kids safe from pollution. It wouldn't match the big bucks being spent to promote the private, for-profit, dump on land being sold by the vice mayor, but, hey, pizza …
So I filled in the blanks and followed directions until it became clear that I would have to buy things and subscribe to things and get a cell phone so they could text and e-mail ads to me. If I did all that, I would start earning "points" towards my "prize." In other words, it was all shuck and jive.
But it's a good metaphor for the landfill: shuck and jive. That's if we buy their pitch about a squeaky-clean, non-polluting, town revenue-generating, 165-foot-high garbage dump sitting on top of our water aquifer in a floodplain next door to a neighborhood whose health, not to mention property values, will be put at risk.
As one of the developer's consultants, William Seukup, told me at the July 8 landfill open house, "you can't eliminate all risks."
Actually, you can. Don't build a 165-foot-high garbage dump on top of our water aquifer in a floodplain next door to a neighborhood. In short, don't buy the shuck and jive. That's the only way to eliminate the risk.
Albert Vetere Lannon, Picture Rocks
So thankful McCain is not in White House
As I start each new day, I am so thankful that John McCain was not elected to the U.S. Presidency.
In reviewing his voting record, he and Kyl always vote against any Democratic proposal to improve the country. McCain would have been a continuation of the Bush policies, which are very similar to those of Herbert Hoover.
Arizona voters should look at the issues and the voting records of these two men. Neither of them support measures to benefit the middle class of Arizona. McCain has become bitter over the overwhelming loss in the last election, and his mission is to bring down the Obama administration.
Glen Huffman, Casas Adobes
Leave that sort of reporting to People magazine
I was disappointed that learn that you approved a gossip column on a past employee of Oro Valley.
While I am in no way affiliated with these people mentioned, your paper showed disgrace in commenting on people's personal lives. I would suggest that you leave that up to People magazine.
Let's talk about real concerns in our community and something that has true meaning.
Deborah Van De Putte, Oro Valley
Every week, a new screw-up from capital
It seems that we are burdened every week with a new screw-up by the federal government. How about another pol who didn't pay his income taxes?
Rather than help Arizona solve the illegal entry flow into the U.S., let's sue them, and sit on our hands. Don't solve the problem — ignore it.
The Arlington grave mix-up is a travesty, and a slap in the face for those who gave their lives for our country. How devastated their families must feel.
Then of course, we get the news how easy it is to submit false papers and get a U.S. Passport. How encouraging for the new, and very well funded, Homeland Security to read about that jewel.
Our trade deficit with China — have we reached $1 trillion yet? Let's review. Our government gives tax breaks for corporations to leave the United States. Believe it, sports fans — China is booming, we are not. Lee Iacocca said in his book 30 years ago, "If the United States doesn't wake up, and stop giving away our manufacturing jobs, there will be nothing left but banks and hamburger joints on every corner." Maybe we can now add pay day loan outfits and tattoo parlors. A 71 percent consumer-based economy. Maybe Washington will send us another "Happy Shopper" check. Now they pray small business will save our economy.
It was our government who told us years ago, "If a country doesn't make anything, it is a 3rd world country." Hellooo!
Now we get the "Bobsy Twins," The McCain and Kyl act. On every radio talk show, the two of them have a hug fest. "Well, I agree with Jon." "Well, I agree with John." "I agree with what Jon said." "I agree with what John said." Do these two clowns ever have an original thought? McCain, after 24 years, spouts this pearl, "Build the Dang Fence." Kyl harmonizes, or mumbles some legalize.
Both sides of the aisle come across as self-serving buffoons, who have ill served their country. They have allowed special interests to trump the common good. Dems and Repubs only worry is about their re-election. Can November get here soon enough?
Fred Stupp, Oro Valley
More pressure on town council to OK landfill
Many people attended the Town of Marana council meeting on July 27. Town Attorney Frank Cassidy provided feedback about the Marana Regional Landfill development agreement. Unfortunately, none of the exhibits were presented and the exhibits were also missing from the Marana website. Why?
It would appear that anyone who does not live near the proposed site would be absolutely ecstatic with everything DKL is agreeing to provide. Just look at all the goodies for the town. The presentation, however, was a typical sales job meant to minimize or hide any negative aspects of the landfill. It has placed increased pressure on the TOM council members who now have to make a decision between the money and tangible benefits and the lives of the neighbors who live near the proposed site. Vice Mayor Herb Kai has caused this problem for the town and he should be ashamed of himself. With the kind of money he will be making, I doubt he would be ashamed.
Why would someone like Mr. Kai, who comes from a family with a rich farming background, want to bring in thousands of tons of garbage to his land every day? Thousands of tons of garbage currently collected from the area gets trucked out of Marana and surrounding areas every day. Our valley is rich with history and farming, and we do not need all that garbage sitting in a big hole in a floodplain just waiting to contaminate the water aquifer one day. No amount of money is worth the potential risk to the water, land, and air from that landfill.
Some people were invited to R&R Pizza by the DKL folks to enjoy free pizza on July 20. They were asked to show up at the council meeting afterward to praise the landfill. None of those people were from the area near the proposed site.
We are reminded that everyone has a price. We now know how little it takes to get someone to show up to support the landfill.
Steve Storzer, Silverbell West
Franzi should disclose his own affiliations
I have just read the 'hit piece' put out by Emil Franzi.
To start with, I will say I am a volunteer with the Jonathan Paton campaign. I would like for Mr. Franzi to disclose his connection to the Jesse Kelly campaign, as this is not the first time he has extolled Mr. Kelly. I also believe he needs to make amends to Jonathan's staff; his words were uncalled for and unprofessional.
Let's see — career politician. Jonathan made his first run at the age of 28 (same age as Jesse) and Jonathan is 39, not 37. Jesse told an attendee at the recent forum at Desert Christian High School that he would run for re-election if he won this race. I guess he is like one of his endorsers, John Shimkus, who signed the pledge not to stay in office for more than 12 years when he was first elected in 1996, but then ran again in 2008. "It was a mistake at the time," he (Shimkus) said about his 1996 campaign promise. "Unless everyone plays by the same rules, term limits don't make any sense." Does his word make any sense?
While Mr. Kelly admonishes Jonathan for being a career politician, Jesse's Congressional endorsements are career politicians (with the exception of Duncan Hunter's son). It is interesting that the only Arizonan to endorse Jesse is Trent Frank and Mr. Frank is the only member of Congress Jesse trusts (he stated this at the Saddlebrooke Republican Women's Club).
Jonathan is endorsed by Sen. Jon Kyl, Rep. John Shaddegg and Rep. Jeff Flake, all of Arizona. I think it is important that since the CD8 representative will represent Arizonans, he be endorsed by Arizonans.
Jonathan is also endorsed by Arizona Right to Life, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and has an A+ rating with the NRA, just to name a few.
I thank you for the opportunity to express my views and I do hope Mr. Franzi will make full disclosure regarding his association with the Kelly campaign.
Connie Pellman, Oro Valley
Emil Franzi responds:
"I disclosed several months ago my role in the Conservatives for Congress Committee, an independent group prohibited by law from coordinating any efforts with any candidate or candidate's committee but allowed to comment on any or all of them which we have. … My comments on CD8 are my own and not authorized by them or in any way coordinated with the Kelly or Miller campaigns. My apologies to Sen. Paton for misstating his age."
The biggest hornswoggle in waste history
The illusive American chameleons, (anolis carolinensis) Michael Racy and (anolis scottsdalensis) Larry Henk (DKL Holdings), attended the Marana Town Council special session to discuss Kai/Landfill agreement language.
Hoping to hornswoggle the public, this pair has "spun" every concern raised these past five months. They could talk a pump into thinking it was a windmill or a cow out of her calf. They "believe" Kai's land is the perfect site, for the perfectly double-lined landfill that'll accept perfect garbage allowing 100 percent perfect evaporation of "non-existent" liquids, perfectly keeping hazards from the aquifer by perfectly confining them within perfectly landscaped berms that'll perfectly hide heavy equipment and perfectly deflect any flooding, while being the perfect neighbor. Marana residents live in a "perfect" world.
Unfortunately, the dump's neighbors live in "imperfect" Pima County.
Has DKL's experts ever presented researched facts proving dumps are safe and will never leak? Never. Chameleons can't prove it either. There are no safe landfills. Eventually all landfills will leak.
Councilwoman McGorray questioned the tonnage needed to raise the promised $500,000 yearly "host fees" to Marana and the schools. Racy tried taking offense at opposition calling his "host fees" "tempting carrots," but McGorray folded him up like an empty chameleon-hide purse, saying, we "… aren't going there," and asked how DKL would get the necessary tonnage. Racy revealed Henk owns waste collection companies in Yavapai, Maricopa, Pinal, Pima, Santa Cruz (¿Mexico?) and could haul in enough trash to pay "host fees." DKL finally confessed there's so much money in dumps, chameleons can still profit after hauling Maricopa, Yavapai, and Pinal garbage over 100 miles uphill to dump on Marana.
Is it chameleon-ville thinking or do I see Phoenix trash being hauled to Marana while Waste Management hauls Marana's trash to Phoenix? Is that not insane? Do the drivers honk and wave when passing each other on I-10 or do they wink, because they've pulled off the biggest hornswoggle in Arizona waste management history?
Janice Mitich, Picture Rocks
OV mayor ought to get after willing sign code violators
I'd like to thank Bonnie Quinn for her defiant violation of the town sign code and for bragging about it at the Oro Valley Town Council meeting on July 21.
In doing so, she has provided me an opportunity to ask Mayor Hiremath if he plans on handling this deliberate violation with the same vigor he displayed, when, as candidate Hiremath, he relentlessly pursued his opposition's inadvertent violation of using the town logo on a campaign flier.
Immediately upon learning of the mistake, his opponent pulled the fliers and apologized for his error, but this wasn't good enough for Hiremath, who contacted the town attorney and demanded that his opponent be penalized under the law. Quinn, on the other hand, knowingly and willfully violated the town sign code and then proudly announced her flagrant violation to the mayor and council.
Will Mayor Hiremath do what candidate Hiremath did and file a formal complaint with the town attorney? Will Quinn receive a fine or reprimand of any sort?
Apparently, Ms. Quinn never considered that her deliberate violation of the sign code and subsequent announcing of it in a public forum could result in unintended consequences for Mayor Hiremath (the candidate whom she supported).
There is a huge difference between a willful violation and an unintentional one, and if Mayor Hiremath doesn't handle Quinn's willful violation in the same way that candidate Hiremath handled his opponent's unintentional one, then Quinn will have succeeded in placing Hiremath under the microscope of hypocrisy.
Diane Peters, Oro Valley
Fannie, Freddie now in need of federal attention
I read with interest the letters in the July 29 edition supporting Rep. Giffords' vote for finance reform. Hopefully she read and understands the bill. In any event, time will tell if it is good or bad legislation.
I truly hope the folks that are happy with finance reform understand that Fannie and Freddie, with support of Congress, created most of the "melt down" problems. I also hope the folks will now support the proposition that Fannie and Freddie should now be addressed by our president and the Congress with as much aggression as was the finance reform.
Ken Kinared, Oro Valley
Andrews asked to resign due to his performance
Thanks to The Explorer and Pat McNamara for publishing the article about the wedding of David Andrews and Salette Latas. I am sure most, including myself, wish them a long and happy life together in their new home.
McNamara wrote that some folks have concluded that the marriage validated the decision to oust Mr. Andrews. I can't agree with that conclusion.
I do not believe that any relationship was the root cause for David's departure. The information that I have received from reliable sources appears to indicate there were issues that cemented the decision and they were all based on his job performance.
As for the comments made by Mr. Garner, those are understandable. Ethical behavior and facts are not his strong suit.
As for the mentioning of Segal in the article, it was inconsequential as is Segal's "blog."
Lastly, Ms. Latas' statement, "In particular that there was any improper relationship between me and David while he was Town Manager of Oro Valley are untrue and defamatory" is incredulous. But I suppose it depends on what your definition of "improper" is. I suppose the fact that they wed is coincidental to any previous relationship, proper or improper.
Hopefully we have closed another chapter in the Oro Valley "Book of Revelations."
Don Cox, Oro Valley