Letters to the editor published in the June 10, 2009, edition of The Explorer.
Franzi should read tea leaves a little closer
It seems Mr. Franzi should read his "tea leaves" a little better or at least decide what is ethical and what is not.
It would have been unethical if Robert Cozad had taken credit for founding the Democrats of Oro Valley. The club was founded more than five years ago, two years before Robert became a member. In fact, as of this date Robert is not even a member.
So it is hard to be unethical when all he did was state the truth, and stick to the facts rather than stray into the ad hominem attacks that punctuate many opinions stated by Emil.
The idea that the state legislature can dictate how and where teachers, and only teachers, can spend their time off is offensive on so many levels, that it leaves me speechless. These acts taken as a collective of the actions of the Republicans in the legislature in regards to the law and the constitution of both the state of Arizona and the United States is in a word "unacceptable."
Chairperson / Founding member
Democrats of Oro Valley
Bus service in Oro Valley a waste of money
In your latest edition I noticed the article about Sun Tran asking for customer input about their service in Oro Valley. Based upon my observations, I think Sun Tran should be seeking input from the taxpayers of Pima County.
First let me say I am a proponent of mass transit. It benefits our environment by reducing overall pollution, reduces traffic congestion and does less damage to our roadways, thus reducing road maintenance expenses.
I am not a proponent of wasting taxpayer money. The Sun Tran system in Oro Valley is doing just that. I know that because my job requires that I drive Oro Valley streets to serve my customers, and I see the buses every day.
The large Sun Tran buses that run the 10-stop Route 401 from Golder Ranch to Ina Road, on a good day, have just a small handful of riders on it. The Park and Ride 100-space parking lot at Vistoso Commerce Loop has six to 10 cars in it daily.
The utilization of the smaller Sun Shuttle buses that run the 26-stop Route 402 in Oro Valley is even worse. Usually there are no riders on board when I see them operating.
It is clear to me the RTA, which funds the bus system, did not do their homework in terms of market research to properly forecast customer utilization of their services in Oro Valley.
If one divided the taxpayer costs of the Sun Tran bus systems in Oro Valley by the number of actual riders, the cost per passenger mile would be astronomical. What a terrible waste of taxpayer money.
Steven E. Samson, Oro Valley
Holiday lights at Steam Pump? Silly, silly, silly
It has come to my attention that one of the council members has proposed that the holiday lighting ceremony be moved to Steam Pump.
Have you driven by there lately? There's nothing to be seen except bare land with a few ruined old buildings, no rest rooms, no place to sit and rest, and no lights. What a farce.
The past displays have been wonderful and there's no reason to change what works. Silly, silly, silly.
Dottie Eagley, Oro Valley
State residents should decide on a tax hike
Tax and cut.
For a moment, put aside your party of affiliation and think a bit about what is really going on at all legislative levels within many of our state governments.
First, the general public is constantly reminding all that they do not want to see cuts in education and many other areas that have been funded. There also are legislators that cannot and will not swallow a "temporary tax" increase, and say that more consideration should be given to wasteful spending.
For those making such claims, data verifying that elimination of all wasteful spending will solve the problem is justifiable. There is a possibility that much of our wasteful spending could very well be in the areas that are of prime focus, such as education.
Many of our state legislators are using the serious situation of our budget constraints as political leverage designed for personal gain. Many in the general public are complaining about all the programs that are being considered for cuts. This is a no-win situation for the general population and our elected officials.
The mandate of all elected officials is to execute the will of the general population, separating one's special interests for those of the general population. With the public outcry regarding budget cuts and the legislative outcry regarding elimination of wasteful spending and proposed tax cuts, individuals need to recognize that both cannot be accommodated.
This issue needs to be brought before the general population for a vote. This would allow the legislators to work in executing the mandates of the general population.
Jan Brewer had it correct in requesting a vote from the general public. Unfortunately, our legislators are not concerned in taking the right steps to resolve this problem. They have not seen the value of letting go of the political ping pong that is being played out by both parties, and care more about their political ambitions and how they appear, rather than executing the mandate of the people.
A general vote would make clear the mandate of the general population.
Bob Black, Oro Valley
This letter was shortened – Ed.
Just who should public leaders be quoting?
To Michelle Saxer, I believe you addressed two main issues. The first regards the government's treatment of religion, and the second involves the doctrinality of honesty.
You cited the Arizona Constitution as dictating that "no public money shall be apportioned to any religious worship, exercise or establishment." I agree. So does the Latter-day Saints (Mormon) Church, as it does not solicit or accept funding from any government. However, no money or services were exchanged. The OPVD did not present the LDS Church with a check honoring Brigham Young.
To claim that quoting an individual who happens to be a religious leader is unconstitutional would exclude one from quoting Jesse Jackson, Mother Theresa, Mohammed, Confucius, Gandhi, or Martin Luther King, Jr., (each an often quoted religious leader). Maybe it would be a greater offense to exclude someone's civic comments simply because they were / are a religious person.
You appear to be very religious. What if no one could quote or honor you simply because "God is big in [your] life?"
Your second main issue is that honesty is a point of LDS doctrine. Yes it is. However, members of the Latter-day Saints Church have no monopoly on honesty. Honesty is stressed in almost all measures of morality (including Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Hinduism).
Two notable philosophical exceptions are hedonism and moral nihilism. However, these philosophies contradict US law on this point. A hedonist would say one could steal if it would generate personal pleasure and a moral nihilist would say there is never anything wrong with stealing. Regardless of the offender's philosophical position, theft is against the law. Plagiarism, fraud, theft, and other forms of dishonesty are not only immoral, they are illegal. Not only does it coincide with LDS doctrine to be honest, it coincides with being American (or German, Egyptian, or Japanese).
There are only 13,508,509 members of the LDS Church (out of a world population of about 6,706,993,152). I sure hope more than just one-fifth of one percent of the world "believes" in being honest.
Nicole Boyle, Tucson
OV doesn't need to be in animal business
As a proud, naturalized US citizen and first-generation immigrant, I'm grateful to Mayor Loomis and council members for permitting me to address them at the June 3 meeting.
Aside from the day I pledged the oath of allegiance, I've never felt more patriotic than when I shared dissension with my elected representatives. To be able to speak without fear of retaliation or violence is a right I shall never take for granted.
Although I was reprimanded by Mayor Loomis for addressing my criticism directly at Councilwoman Latas for the pet licensing idea, I have no hard feelings and am encouraged to speak out. Week after week, The Explorer reports OV's budget crisis. With hiring and raise freezes, cuts to OVPD take-home vehicle program, cuts to non-profits, withdrawals from reserve funds to save 16.25 positions, discussions of cuts in OVPD, I find it disturbing and fiscally irresponsible that the town allotted $10,000 for a pet licensing feasibility study. Every tax dollar must be scrutinized before spending. OV needs to exert self-control.
Latas stated that Hope will provide no-kill sheltering and full-time vet care at no cost to OV, and that OV could hope to gain revenue if able to compel 100 percent pet registration compliance. There are 30-plus rescue organizations for dogs / cats linked to Pima Animal Care Center's website (pimaanimalcare.org). Three speakers question the new bureaucracy's ability to attain 100 percent compliance and the cost to start and sustain such operation.
While I commend Latas for her passion to save every stray, I urge the council to consider unintended expenses: vehicles purchase and maintenance, training, vaccines, ID chips, scanners, enforcement, 24/7 switchboard, transportation, record keeping, medical procedures, etc.
Do OV residents want to cut law enforcement but start up pet licensing? Pet owners should have ID chips implanted in their pets. Otherwise, if your pet gets away from you, it will have to fend for itself until found or rely on the kindness of people who find them. With PACC and many rescue groups already in place, OV doesn't need to get into the animal business.
Misti Chivaluksna-Smith, Oro Valley
Mayor, council backers out of touch with people
Mayor Loomis, together with Oro Valley Council members Kunisch, Carter and Abbott, recently voted to donate $25,000 of taxpayer money to the Critical Path Institute, despite a recent poll showing that only about 10 percent of Oro Valley taxpayers approved of this contribution.
Fifty-six percent opposed any contribution whatsoever, and 34 percent opposed giving the Institute the requested amount.
Not only that, but the council is considering levying property taxes and increasing various other taxes, such as utility taxes and retail sales taxes.
The mayor and his supporters on the council appear to be out of touch with the voters. Perhaps they need to be reminded by the voters in the next election of their obligations to their constituents.
David Sattinger, Oro Valley
Actually, it's called 'common sense gene'
Dave Safier's "They're missing the empathy gene" continues his ongoing rant against conservatives.
This time he calls us "heartless," "selfish" and "unable to understand the feelings of others." He even suggests that since conservatives lack empathy, they cannot make objective decisions and may even become sociopaths ending on death row.
Boy, this is heavy stuff. It's also a lot of bull.
Conservatives have empathy. They also recognize it is only one of many factors in making the correct decision. Unlike liberals / progressives, they don't wear it on their sleeves to curry favor with some voters, or as an excuse to control peoples' lives with greater governmental control and higher taxes. This is called the "Common Sense Gene."
Tom Vana, Marana
Town can do better than county with animals
At the June 3 Oro Valley Town Council meeting, three residents voiced opposition to the animal licensing / control feasibility study proposed by Councilmember Latas.
The first speaker, Misti Chivaluksna-Smith, claimed OV would be "duplicating the efforts" of Pima Animal Control Center. Ms. Latas has no intention of duplicating the efforts of a facility that would rather kill the animals in its "care" than to turn them over to rescue groups. Ms. Latas is promoting the humane treatment of animals.
But Ms. Smith's most revealing comment came when she asked, "Why are we debating this point for a mere handful of animals?" referring to the fact that last year PACC picked up only 24 animals from Oro Valley.
I was appalled at the way she tried to minimize the lives of 24 animals as being "merely a handful." Apparently, this is someone who has never loved an animal (nor known the pain of losing one) and therefore, she is hardly qualified to speak on this issue.
Smith then asked in a very sarcastic tone, "Who stands to gain from this?" and then accused Ms. Latas of having something to gain but she offered no evidence to back up her preposterous assertion. I'll answer Ms. Smith's question. It is the animals who stand to gain from this and I question the humanity of anyone who thinks that animals are not worthy of this endeavor.
The second speaker was Kathy Shaheen who questioned the costs vs. benefits.
The third speaker was Yvonne Ignacio, who laughed her way through her presentation.
Kudos to Ms. Latas for remaining civil while her character and knowledge of animal welfare issues were being called into question. She informed the speakers that the Hope Animal Shelter (a no-kill shelter) has offered to provide free veterinary care and boarding to the town and that Oro Valley could collect between $62,000 and $313,000 annually in license fees depending on compliance. She pointed out PACC kills 60 percent of the animals in its care and dumps them in the Tangerine landfill. I believe that Oro Valley can do better.
Diane Peters, Oro Valley
This letter was shortened – Ed.