Even a 14-year- old has a right to her opinion

This is in response to Mr. Winfield's letter (5/12) expressing dismay that an "intelligent, well-spoken 14-year-old girl" in his Toastmasters club could have a different world-view than his own.

In 1950s-style paranoia, his boogeyman is a public education system run by anti-American subversives (teachers).

First of all, the fact that a 14-year-old is participating in Toastmasters should be applauded and is a promising indicator as to the quality of her education.

Everyone, including 14-year-olds, have a right to their opinion. To assume she has been brainwashed by anti-American studies in school is a huge leap. Presumably, this girl has other influences in her life — parents, friends (perhaps other Toastmaster members), her own life experiences and something called the internet.

The American experience needs to be taught objectively. We undermine the integrity of our educational system by focusing solely on pro-American concepts while ignoring areas/episodes in which we've fallen short. There is more than one side to every story and we need our young people to be able to think critically and question authority. They are this country's future and our democracy depends on it.

Mr. Winfield's rant on public education is no more than a straw-man argument to attack Prop 100. He states that he is not getting his money's worth. I disagree. In a state where education funding is near the bottom in the nation, he is getting a bargain.

Dana Whitson, Oro Valley


Valedictorian at Immaculate Heart deserved her story told

I was disappointed to see The Explorer excluded Immaculate Heart High School in Oro Valley from the highlight of local high school graduating classes.

This exceptional college preparatory school boasts 100 percent of the graduating seniors moving on to post-secondary education. Their valedictorian, Marissa Garcia de Leon, has been active in Academic Decathlon, Ambassador Club, Drama, NHS, editor of the school newspaper and editor of this year's AZ yearbook.

She actively donates her time to the community, as does every Immaculate Heart student.

Please take this opportunity to correct your oversight and congratulate Marissa and the Immaculate Heart High School Class of 2010.

Lynne DeStefano, Oro Valley


How does he know illegals vote Democrat?

In a recent letter Rick Cunnington wrote that illegal aliens (immigrants) are reliable Democrat voters. I would like to know what his source is. How did he find out they are actually voting, where are they voting and how does he know they always vote for Democrats? Aren't only US citizens allowed to vote?

If Mr. Cunnington is absolutely certain this group is indeed voting, I suggest he recruit his friends to become poll workers and stop this illegal practice. Using his source, he should report his facts to the authorities and not just write a letter to the editor.

Jerry Lujan, SaddleBrooke


Before police came, he was never so  helpless

On April 29, I was driving on the Vistoso Commerce Loop Road. As I approached Oracle, I stopped behind a car. There were openings in Oracle traffic but she did not go.

She then exited the car and came back to me and asked me questions which made no sense. I realized as she went back to her car that the poor woman was in some sort of mental distress. I got out of my car and ran up to her vehicle. Just as I got there she pulled out onto Oracle Road to go north, then suddenly she cut hard to right heading south in the northbound turn lane.

I had called 911 as soon as I realized her distress. I ran out to the median and tried to talk to her through the window. A Good Samaritan had seen what was transpiring. Just as the first police car showed up the woman tried to go forward but the Good Samaritan used his own vehicle to cut her off.

The reason I am writing this story is because a couple of months ago someone was bad-mouthing the police and the amount of police. Let me tell you this from the time I called 911 and the first patrol car showed up was possibly six minutes, but those six minutes were the longest in my life.

The first patrol officer to arrive on the seen (I didn't get her name) had the door open, the woman safely contained and the keys out of the car in about 10 seconds. When I looked up I was so glad to see four police cars, two motorcycles, fire truck and an ambulance. In those few seconds that I was paying attention to the distraught woman, there was traffic control, EMTs rushing to the woman and four patrolmen and women attending to the woman. Another officer got witness info and obviously someone orchestrating the whole situation.

There was no yelling, just pure practiced professionalism. I am proud of our police department. Until they got there, I was never so scared or helpless in my life.

Tom Maxfield, Oro Valley


Hornat grateful for the support, and courtesy

To the voters of Oro Valley:

I first want to say thanks for the votes and the confidence you have shown in my successful bid to represent and protect your interests and our community.

I also want to say thanks for the courtesy shown me while ringing your doorbells and dropping off the election information. I really got a feel for the attitudes and interests of the folks in Oro Valley. I am glad to see that so many of us share the same interests and concerns.

As for the barking, but very friendly dogs who met us at the door … well, I apologize for irritating them, also.

Thanks again and I am anxious to begin my responsibility to Oro Valley and I am looking forward to working as part of a new council.

Joe Hornat, Oro Valley


It's up to our grads to become nation's next leaders

I had the pleasure of presenting scholarships to two Marana High School graduates on Monday evening. I made the usual congratulatory remarks, but I did not say what I would have liked to have said.

After stating what a pleasure and honor it was to be there, I wanted to say: But there is irony in the dichotomy we are witnessing this evening. We (the presenters) are awarding financial scholarships to very deserving students while very qualified teachers are being laid off.

To you graduates, whether you are going on to college or not, no matter what path you choose, I would say to you: get involved with what is going on, going on at the community, city, county, state and federal levels of government. The United States is not as short of funds as it is short of leadership.

I'm not addressing any particular politicians or political party. I am saying that the system is broken and the responsibility for fixing it is being thrown on the shoulders of your generation.

An example of this is the passage of Prop 100. Yes, I love my kids and my grandkids, but we are being held hostage by those who failed to do their job. They overspent and overcommitted, and now we either pass the tax increase or they are going to fire more teachers and cancel sports, music, etc. I fear the same kind of threats in 2012 from federal level administrators.

We need leaders.

Godspeed, graduates.

Stephen M. Richards, Oro Valley


Richards is an officer with Kiwanis Club of the Desert. – Ed.



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