Letters to the editor published in the November 17, 2010, edition of The Explorer.

That was not a campaign to be proud of

What It is beyond laughable for Giffords to make statements such as “… liked to have seen a campaign where there was a real focus on the issues ….”

We all would have. But every ad she ran was an attack ad that used lies, deceit, threats, and out-of-context propaganda to slander Jesse Kelly. Every mailer was likewise. Giffords knew full well that having voted for the radical fascist Pelosi agenda 91 percent of the time that she is a far-left radical, and that campaigning on her record was a sure loser. She did everything possible to avoid the issues, and instead to confuse and terrorize people. She is lucky she isn’t up on elder abuse charges for terrorizing seniors.

Jesse’s volunteers did everything possible to keep Giffords’ record front and center. The 3x4 white signs festooning the district kept the spotlight on her radical record. But, not surprisingly, hundreds of the signs were stolen or destroyed, and we had to replace them frequently. Each sign stolen or destroyed is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Overtly lying, avoiding all issues, threatening, engaging in terrorism, hundreds of criminal acts, Democrats … it all goes together. Giffords sure did run a campaign to be proud of.

Rick Cunnington, Oro Valley

This letter was edited – Ed.

Media should call out Fox on hypocrisy

Your editorial, “In the Aftermath,” was snappish but not really non-partisan. You say that Giffords and Grivalva were “fueled by funding from erstwhile sports commentator Keith Olbermann.” I would hardly consider $2,400 per candidate a major factor in their election.

Also, Olbermann has not been a sportscaster for a number of years. He is a commentator, or a journalist, or a pundit, depending upon your point of view. When do we get to a point in our political discussions where we no longer denigrate those who we disagree with?

Why are his donations, which I agree should not have been made, an issue when Fox News Corp donates millions to the Republican governors? The Fox News pundits have individually donated money to right wing candidates as well as featuring them on their shows and appearing at their fund raising rallies. They hire as commentators 12 potential Republican candidates for president and give them a great deal of public exposure.

Why the double standard? Why is the mainstream media afraid to call Fox News on their hypocrisy?

Phil Gibbs, Oro Valley

Follow Al’s wake as he sails for Pearce

Lest Al Melvin think he’s won not just re-election but a mandate, I’d remind him that over 35,000 of his constituents voted for his opponent. And we’ll be watching closely as the Captain — under his ideologue “admiral,” Senate President Russell Pearce — sails the good ship SB 1070 into a monster deficit about to break over its bow.

As that happens, let’s pay particular attention to how he then fulfills his dubious claim of being a guardian of education. Unfortunately, despite all her good efforts, Cheryl Cage’s campaign never fully managed to take Al to school on that. She didn’t adequately convey that today’s education is often a life-long process — which Al’s ax chopped at every stage.

He was all for sweeping early childhood education First Things First funds into his budget hole. Then he helped eliminate all-day kindergarten. And he was never tagged with the facts about all the real K-12 cuts beyond the mere $500 per student he boasted of — cuts that have challenged public schools in myriad ways.

And beyond K-12, how about students attending or hoping to attend one of our public universities? There Al helped take away hundreds of millions – cutting programs, hiking tuition and fees above the national average and reducing available funds for financial aid.

And what about the role of life-long learning in enriching lives and, especially, training workers to step up to all those new jobs Al promises? Adult education funding has been virtually eliminated – and with it, the best path for thousands of un/under-employed adults to advance themselves.

So let’s follow the Captain’s wake closely as he sails Admiral Pearce’s course. And let’s not wait until 2012 before calling Al out on the real-time consequences of his actions on education, jobs, the economy — oh, and his vision for a nuclear Arizona. I predict that if we do, in just 24 short months, an accurately informed majority will be clamoring to give Captain Al Melvin’s political career a well-deserved burial at sea.

Jerry Farnsworth, Marana

After vote, some good news for progressives

Having read the letters that appeared after the Nov. 2 elections, I felt I had to write and offer some encouragement for progressives.

First, you need not fear for the education of Arizona’s children. With per pupil spending at about $8,000, there is plenty of money. The problem has been spending the money foolishly. Also, private schools can do the same educating for about $6,000. So, for every student who goes into a private school, the state saves $2,000. That is good news.

Second, Social Security is not going away any time soon. Also note, people who work for the railroad do not pay into Social Security — they have their own retirement system. Their retirement system invests partially into the stock market, and they have not had to refuse retirement to anybody, and their returns are better than Social Security is paying out.

Third, the Earth is not going to burn up because of people. About 25,000 years ago, we had ice covering a lot of the United States. Most of it was gone by the time Europeans discovered this area. It is safe to assume the ice melted due to an increase in global temperature, and it is safe to assume the rise in temperature had nothing to do with people emitting greenhouse gases.

As was clearly demonstrated by the Iceland volcano, the environment can produce much more pollution much quicker than people can. This does not mean we should not try to reduce pollution, it means we will not die from it in the next generation, as so many school children are being led to believe.

Andy Woodward, Tucson

To be made part of the ‘fill record

First, thanks to The Explorer for its coverage of the 10-month debate over the Marana Regional Landfill, a mega-dump the town council approved building 165 feet high over a rising water aquifer in a FEMA flood plain by a major wash next door to 100 families.

Some things, however, were not reported but should be made part of the record:

Council members Patti Comerford and Russell Clanagan, who made and seconded the motion approving the landfill development agreement and rezoning, have both received campaign contributions from landfill lobbyist Michael Racy.

Council member Roxanne Ziegler kept her counsel Nov. 3, but at a Heritage Highlands meeting Aug. 12 said, “Maybe the water will be contaminated, but it won’t be in three days. It’ll take a hundred years!” On July 8, after the landfill open house, Ziegler told landfill opponents that, “If the land wasn’t Herb Kai’s, it would never have been annexed.”

Council member Jon Post, who initially raised good questions about the mega-dump, waved a red herring when he voted for the landfill. The Durham landfill being built in Pinal County was never backed by dump opponents, but was only mentioned as one of the alternatives, along with the Pima County transfer station to be built at the existing Tangerine Landfill. Post made it sound as if the opposition were fronting for Durham.

Mayor Ed Honea, over the months, showed his favoritism to pro-landfill spokespersons by allowing them to turn in speaker cards during the meeting, in violation of council rules printed on the agendas, and to interrupt council business to let them speak.

Landfill supporter Dean Spencer signed a pro-dump petition which I gave to the council which was more honest than most, stating, in part, “Possible drinking water contamination and illness are a small price to pay to keep Marana Clean.”

Lastly, my “Red Menace Returns” tee shirt was a response to lobbyist Michael Racy calling me a Communist at a public meeting, and using an “apology” as a forum to attack our research.

Albert Lannon, Picture Rocks

Marana plans to industrialize Avra Valley

It is a sad state of affairs and one more indication of the power of greed over common sense, scientific data, morals, integrity, and concern for fellow human beings.

For 10 months, the hard-working families of Silverbell West have courageously battled for their children, homes, lifestyle, the peace, quiet and beauty of Avra Valley, and protection of the aquifer, only to lose to Marana’s plan for a dump on the vice mayor’s property.

If you live in Avra Valley or near the Marana town limits, be forewarned, vigilant and steadfast. Marana’s 2010 General Plan indicates plans to industrialize our valley. We and our desert are expendable.

Councilman Russell Clanagan told this writer that the town will not annex residential areas when they “gobble up” (annex) our valley for industry, because it is not profitable. As the town has no property tax, incorporating neighborhoods doesn’t reimburse the town for the expense of police and fire services, road maintenance, and the like.

You will not be protected if your property abuts county or state lands, because Marana will annex those with ease, keep the zoning long enough to satisfy the law, vote to rezone for industry, and “poof,” there goes your piece of heaven.

Schedule of Marana’s industrialization of our valley:

Plans to expand the airport, to reroute Avra Valley Road for runway expansion, to industrialize the Avra Valley Road corridor, done. The Kai landfill 2,000 feet from Silverbell West residents, begun. A huge sports park between Avra Valley and Twin Peaks roads and between the CAP canal and the Saguaro Springs development (traffic and light pollution), already begun.

Remember, there are still over 600 acres of the Kai dump annexation zoned for heavy industry, but still vacant. All developers have to do is get permits approved, and they’re in.

With no plans to annex Avra Valley residents, Marana has no amenities for the valley — no family parks, wildlife sanctuaries, bike lanes, nature trails, libraries, road improvements, etc. It’s economic discrimination, the process whereby municipalities locate heavy industries in lower income areas where land is cheaper and the residents less capable of fighting back.

Janice Mitich, Picture Rocks

This letter was shortened – Ed.

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