Letters to the editor published in The Explorer’s Oct. 29, 2008, issue.

Candidate’s actions delayed building of new school

Oh how I remember the anguish as the Ironwood Ridge High School construction was delayed by the environmentalist extremists. And, yes, Nancy Young Wright was one of the activists that kept our kids and their teachers in hot trailers and ran up the cost of construction. Owls versus education? Guess who wins out in that choice?

The pygmy owl scare was a fiasco, and I lay it at the door of Rep. Wright. Education champion? I don’t think so. Because I do care about kids, teachers and education, my vote goes to Marilyn Zerull and Vic Williams.

Warren Braun

Oro Valley

Writer was right  about member’s role on school

Connie Culver is accurate. Nancy Young Wright led efforts of the environmentalists to block the construction of the Ironwood High School because there were pygmy owls in the area. This assertion turned out to be untrue, yet not a word from Ms. Wright.

She was more concerned about the habitat of the pygmy owl than the habitat of the area’s constituents. Not someone I want representing me.

Kenneth W. Gareau

Oro Valley

Writer actually makes good case for Young Wright

Did Conny Culver even bother to read the links she provided as proof of her claims that Young Wright does not have a great track record in our community? Does Culver know the history of Amphi?

Let’s begin with her use of the Attorney General’s investigation into Amphitheater. Culver suggests that this was an investigation of Young Wright. The investigation clearly reprimands the recalled school board and former administrators that Young Wright and the community was in constant battle with.

The findings clearly show there were issues with procurement laws and construction laws, and that most of the blame was focused on a former associate superintendent.

This is investigation bolstered Young Wright’s claims against the board majority and the administration, not the other way around. The recall of the board members in question and retirement of almost every administrator sealed the deal.

I am very sure those people did not want the investigation of them posted for all to read (again). But thank you Culver for putting another nail in their coffins.

As for the link to her claim that Young Wright is a “terrorist,” that remark was made anonymously by an Oro Valley council member who was also voted out of office due to bad actions.

Want a good link by the Tucson Weekly? Try this one: http://www.tucsonweekly.com/gbase/Currents/Content?oid=82557

This is what they have to say about Culver: “Coming in dead-last was Conny Culver, who swept into office two years ago as a reform candidate, only to take a dive on all the issues that she campaigned on.”

So, Conny, that you for making Young Wright’s case that she is the best candidate to represent us.

Andy Morales


Explorer tries to be New York Times of the Northwest

For the past few weeks there has been a steady stream of pro-Democrat and anti-Republican letters to the editor. Not a single pro-Republican or anti-Democrat letter has been published.

The news coverage regarding the election has been decidedly pro-Democrat. The Explorer has published a series of lengthy interviews and articles highlighting Democrats or profiling the wonderfulness of the Democrat candidates. Not a single similar article about Republican candidates has been published. The only coverage Republican candidates have received is the forum where each candidate is asked a question and a short response is printed. Democrats also received the same coverage, albeit with somewhat different questions.

In short, the exceedingly pro-Democrat and anti-Republican bias of the Explorer News is coming across loud and clear.

The New York Times doesn’t even attempt to hide its pro-Democrat and anti-Republican bias. The Times is the Pravda of our times in this country, and is the de facto official mouthpiece for the Democrat Party. It appears that the Explorer News is trying to be the New York Times of the northwest.

Rick Cunnington

Oro Valley

A hopefully rare reply: We’ve published every political letter to the editor we’ve received. Profiles about Democratic candidates were the first for those individuals in the newspaper; Republicans in the contested September primaries were profiled during the summer. — DPP

Amphi super sets record straight on Young Wright

I was taken aback by a recent letter to the editor maligning Nancy Young Wright’s service as a governing board member in Amphitheater, and felt it important to set the record straight.

Ms. Young Wright served on the Amphitheater Unified School District Board from 1997-2007 and was the board’s president in 2003 and 2004. In August of this year, the current Amphitheater Governing Board gratefully acknowledged Ms. Nancy Young Wright for her significant contributions throughout her association with the district. In honor of her service, our governing board presented her with a platter with the following inscription:

Ms. Nancy Young Wright

Living a Life of Leadership, Humanism, and Advocacy for the Power of Education.

The district continues to be grateful for the many years of service, dedication, and commitment Ms. Young Wright contributed to the students, families, and employees of the district. Thank you, Nancy.

Vicki Balentine, Ph.D., Superintendent,

Amphitheater Public Schools

Writer did not research the Amphi facts

This is in response to the “Interest at Heart” letter written by Conny Culver.

It appears that Ms. Culver failed to research the facts in this matter.

Nancy Young Wright was elected and then re-elected twice more to the Amphi School Board, because she did a good job.

The three board members that caused many of the problems in the district, including the school site guards issue costing hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars, were ultimately recalled.

Under their watch, the District was investigated by the Arizona Auditor General for problems including alleged misuse of funds and procurement violations.

Ms Culver did not fare so well herself. Conny Culver was a one-term council member who was defeated by the voters on her re-election bid.

Enough said.

Rudy Roszak

Oro Valley

Attorney tries to squash her free expression

Within 24 hours of the distribution of last week’s Explorer, a certified registered letter was delivered to my home from Risner & Graham, attorneys at law.

Attorney Bill Risner, apparently on behalf of his client, Ms. Nancy Young Wright, took offense to my letter to the editor published Oct. 22.

Having served as an elected official, I understand how it feels to read articles critical of your actions. On more than one occasion the comments about me were inaccurate, untrue or signed by someone who simply did not exist. Never did I resort to legal threats or intimidation in an attempt to quiet those who disagreed with me.

I ask the voters to consider these two questions: Is it too much to expect candidates for public office to be held accountable for their actions?

When an candidate or elected official acts to silence those who disagree with them by legal action, do they deserve your vote?

Conny Culver

Oro Valley

Vote ‘yes,’ and settle marriage definition forever

I am surprised to see that on October 8th The Explorer devoted a full editorial to the issue before us on November 4th to define marriage in Arizona. After all, in the same article you stated that this question should be “off the ballot, for good,” because “there are more pressing matters before us.”

Indeed, binding one man to one woman legally, economically, and spiritually through marriage has been the foundation of Western Civilization for over 1,000 years, so the definition should be obvious, right? Unfortunately, this is not the case for a small minority intent on dismantling marriage and triggering a devastating social upheaval, all the while wagging their fingers and hurling epithets of bigotry and divisiveness at those of us dedicated to protecting this cornerstone institution.

Now, since we have refused to back down from this intimidation and misrepresentation, they (along with The Explorer) are trying to lull us to sleep with the bogus argument that marriage is protected by Arizona statute.

Interesting … if the marriage issue is already settled by Arizona law, then why on earth are the opponents of Proposition 102 terrified of the simple statement “only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state?” Well, it’s because this little bit of subterfuge regarding the adequacy of state statutes worked out just fine for them in Connecticut earlier this month. Since marriage was not explicitly defined in the Connecticut state constitution, the door was open for elitist judges to decide what was best for the less sophisticated people of that state. They did them the favor by overturning their quaint little law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Activists in our state would love to do us the same favor, just as long as Prop 102 does not get in their way. We did not pick this fight, but the majority of Arizonans should stand up and settle this issue “for good.” It is as easy as voting Yes on 102, November 4th.

Dr. Craig Stump

Oro Valley

Young Wright fought for open work, responsibility

There are many reasons why the former Amphitheater School Board was recalled in 2000. As an Amphi parent, I was an eyewitness to some very unethical behavior indeed (that Culver makes reference to). Those were the days of the  shady land deals, and lack of due diligence, end result … taxpayers paid double the market value for land because no one bothered to get an appraisal.

Let’s not forget how the district had a purchase agreement for land (for future middle school) located at the end of the La Cholla Air Park runway.

Yes, those were the days where unsound, unethical decisions seemed to prevail and where First Amendment rights were non-existent. They hired an attorney who concluded that open “call to audience” could be a violation of the state’s open meeting law. Their absurd attempt to squelch the public was immediately overturned by the attorney general’s office.

Nancy Young Wright fought for open government and fiscal responsibility. These are just a few of many qualities she brings, in her current role as State Representative LD-26 and why she deserves to keep her seat.

Hats off to Nancy and others who fought to make change and progress possible. They opened up government and made the necessary budget cuts and adjustments to put money back into classrooms and give deserving teachers much needed raises. Today, we are fortunate to have excellent leadership at the district, thanks in part to those who came before them.

An article describing these unhealthy times is captured in the Tucson Weekly, by Jim Nintzel, published on May 4, 2000: Recall And Remembrance After Years Of Unrest, The Revolution Is Underway At Amphi.

Parent and supporter of Nancy Young Wright (State Representative LD-26 )

Paula Abbott

Oro Valley

Thanks, Conny, for setting the record straight

A little while ago, Conny Culver wrote in about Nancy Young Wright’s claim of being for children. I appreciate that Ms. Culver has said what many are either too scared or too ignorant to say.

Nancy Young Wright has never had the children and teachers at heart. I was there at Canyon Del Oro High School during those years of wrangling over whether or not to build Ironwood Ridge High School. I was there when they had to switch to a two-day block schedule to help the teachers handle the increased work-load and still give the students a quality experience. I was there when the school and classrooms were so overcrowded that they had to drop double-wide trailers onto an open field north of campus to accommodate incoming freshmen. That “north campus” was even made permanent because everyone believed that the new school would never be built and we’d be faced with overcrowding for years.

And the whole time Nancy Young Wright was helping to lead the charge against the teachers and against the students, all to fight for an owl that isn’t even native to the area.

Thank you Conny, for having the courage to set the record straight. My teachers deserved better. I deserved better. My classmates deserved better. And children and teachers deserve better now.

Don’t believe Nancy’s claim to be an advocate for education, because she hasn’t ever been and probably will not be still. I know. I was there…

Killen Herring

Oro Valley

No benefit from ‘yes’ vote on 102

The authors of Proposition 102, worded to define marriage in Arizona, have neglected to include a very important piece of information in their very expensive and widespread ad campaigns:

Title 25-101, Section C of the Arizona Revised Statues already states that “Marriage between persons of the same sex is void and prohibited.”

Since Arizona statutory law already prohibits marriage by same-sex couple, this referendum (102) serves no purpose but to distract voters from major issues plaguing our state: lack of funding for education, a stressed health care system, a lagging economy, a dwindling water supply … and the list goes on. Proposition 102 is a redundant and unnecessary proposition, designed to create divisiveness.

Not one single Arizonan, not one single Arizona family, will benefit from a “yes” vote on this unnecessary referendum. We all need to think long and hard about when and why a state’s constitution should be amended. A “no” vote on 102 is not a vote against marriage, it’s a vote against a misuse of our constitution; it’s a vote against frivolous and misleading initiatives sponsored by one-dimensional special interest groups.

Lynn Nicholas


Melvin knows it’s business that makes jobs

I have been privileged to positively evaluate the conservative views of State Senate candidate Al Melvin.

Among many other eminently reasonable positions, Al realizes that it is business that produces jobs and progress, not government and welfare. As a business school educator, he knows full well that raising taxes in a slowing economy is the worst possible alternative, and that tax cuts, even for the “rich,” actually increase tax revenues.

He knows that the middle class was produced by a thriving free market, not invented by the social engineering of bureaucrats and politicians.

Al has been endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. Al knows that “profit” is not a dirty word. Elect him and allow him to turn our economy loose to work its wonders.


John McKelvey

Oro Valley

Al’s right about value of nuclear power

State Senate candidate Al Melvin is absolutely correct in supporting the growth of nuclear power generation in Arizona.

While his opponent would smother domestic energy production in her quest for unproven sources of power, Al would encourage the development of additional clean, economical, and safe nuclear plants. This could make Arizona a model of energy sanity and prosperity, providing tax revenues that could improve services and infrastructure across the state.

He would fight to lower the artificial barriers to such development presented by “environmentalism” and other alarmist concerns. Private industry could lead the way with engineering expertise and capital investment, making wasteful and inefficient government involvement unnecessary.

Why depend upon government subsidies and handouts for technologies that may never bear fruit when we can have zero-carbon emission energy now?

John C. Ellinwood

Oro Valley

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