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Posted: Tuesday, April 6, 2010 11:00 pm

Clear-thinking seniors will rise against 'reform'

Some people have criticized us Medicare enrollees for participating in various protests, meetings and demonstrations. They suggest that since we are against this further march towards socialism with the "health-care reform bill," we should now give up our Medicare benefits.

No can do, since those us in the Medicare program have no options available except self-insurance. For years we were forced to pay and pay a percentage of our income to the government with no choice in the matter. The fact that Medicare is fast approaching insolvency concerns us greatly … not only for ourselves but as a harbinger of government-run health care programs in the future.

Although the first round was lost, I predict that we will see millions of clear-thinking seniors giving their opinion against this abominable law forced upon us at town halls, protests, demonstrations and most importantly at the polls in November.

 Tom Vana, Marana


Hiremath may be most qualified to ever seek job 

Unlike the resident who was upset when Mary Snider said she would vote for Satish Hiremath, or the resident who put great store in candidates for mayor attending meetings, I believe Ms. Snider understands that a town with a budget in excess of $110,000,000 needs a mayor with deep financial experience in running a town with a budget of this size.

We residents of Oro Valley can depend on this proven, detail-oriented professional to work with staff to maximize their efficiency and who, after 20 years of successful business experience in Oro Valley, is absolutely qualified to be our mayor.

In the present circumstances, this town can afford no less —Satish Hiremath is possibly the most qualified candidate this town has had run for the office of mayor.

Alisdair Innes, Oro Valley


OV bus route was a waste of $200,000

In reference to your story in the March 31, 2010 Explorer — "Sun Shuttle may cut 1 OV bus route."

Finally someone at the RTA determines what everyone else in Oro Valley already knew — No one rides the bus on the local route. Why did it take a year to determine this?

If they averaged less than 200 riders per month at a cost of $90 per rider for 12 months, that is more than $200,000 wasted. In this economy and with local governments hurting for money, how can this be justified?

Route 402 should have never been implemented in the first place and certainly not allowed to waste money month after month. This is the type of mismanagement that drives voters and tax payers insane.

Dale Knight, Oro Valley


More than two ways to solve school problems

 In a recent issue, Kathleen P. alluded to some of Sen. Al Melvin's concerns when she rhetorically stated, "With substandard education, the big choice will be: Move away or stay to work for a substandard wage."

And therein lays the fundamental problem. Folks like Ms. P. seem to think that there are only two choices. Her assumption is that if the government doesn't do it, it won't get done. Additionally, it seems to be their belief that more taxpayer money means a better education.

Had the government-run education system been doing a proper job for the past three decades, we wouldn't have such a dumbed-down electorate as to believe that socialism is cool and communists are heroes and rock stars.

It is not the money we spend on education; it is the substance of what is being taught. We all would like to see good educators earn what they are worth. Then why in the world do we stick them into a government-run operation where their abilities and remunerations are marginalized rather than fostered?

Why not a market-based education system so that kids can be taught well and those that do the teaching can be compensated based upon how well they do their job rather than, to coin a phrase made popular by our "young president," the tired, worn-out ideas of the past?

The kids win, the educators win, and the state budget wins. Who loses? The NEA and the dogmatists wishing to control the minds and hearts of our future generations.

Some say that we should get God and prayer out of school. I say, keep God and get government out of our schools. How have the test scores been tracking these past few decades as government increases control over the day-to-day activities and curriculum within our schools? Or is that Sen. Melvin's fault as well?

In October 1960, hero to many present-day politicians, Nikita Khrushchev, loudly proclaimed with the banging of his shoe, "We will bury you without firing a shot."

I hate admitting that a communist was right.

Don Winfield, Tucson


Wilson's a top school, and we should support it 

Congratulations to the teachers, administrators, parents, community volunteers, and students at Wilson K-8 school in the Amphitheater School District on their award from Johns Hopkins University.

Wilson was recognized as one of the top 10 schools in Arizona. It is the only school (public, private, or charter) in Southern Arizona to receive this honor.

Wilson earned this award while being committed to providing a quality education to all children in our community — not just a small number of hand-selected children who perform well on advanced placement tests. They earned this while struggling against horrific, draconian cuts to their budget by the state legislature. They earned this award through their excellent teachers and administrators who are truly committed to children who perform at all academic levels — from those with severe learning disabilities to those who are gifted. They earned this award while making sure that every child who needs it receives safe and timely transportation to school.

Just think what Wilson, other Arizona public schools, and our children could accomplish if they had the support of our state legislators and our community. The sky would be the limit. The kids who attend Wilson and all Arizona public schools deserve this.

Wilson K-8 and Amphitheater administrators, teachers and community volunteers commit their hearts, expertise, time and energy to preparing and educating our children. They and our children have done an excellent job, as evidenced in the Johns Hopkins award.

The rest of us now need to do our part to support our community's children and a bright economic future for Arizona. To care for our children in the way the need and deserve, please vote "yes" on Proposition 100 on May 18. In November, please elect politicians who have consistently voted against cuts to public education (find your legislators' voting record on education issues and more info about Prop 100 at Arizona Education Network, http://www.arizonaeducationnetwork.com/">http://www.arizonaeducationnetwork.com/).

Let us partner with Wilson K-8 School and Amphitheater School District to support our children so they continue to excel. The children at Wilson K-8 and all children in our state deserve this and so much more.

Congratulations again Wilson K-8 School.

Erin H. Collier, Oro Valley


Town needs strong, even-tempered leadership

 Oro Valley is facing some major decisions over the next several years, including how to balance our budget while confronting a shortfall in sales tax revenue with little or no relief expected from the state.

That is why, more than ever, our town needs strong, even-tempered, objective leadership, beholden to no one.

Since its inception, Oro Valley has taken pride in the fact that our elections have been non-partisan. There is strong evidence, however, that during the last election, and again this year, partisan politics have entered "the arena." The Democratic Party is again believed to be supporting certain candidates with funds and a calling squad.

There is no place for partisanship in our elections. It is important that we retain our tradition of independence.

Both in the last election and again now, several candidates were "hand-picked," and are receiving support as long as they are / remain willing to vote the desires of their "handler." Oro Valley needs a mayor and council which is objective and independent, and which votes only in the best interests of the town.

It is essential that Oro Valley, through its mayor, establish / maintain strong relationships with other governmental agencies and members of the business community, both current and prospective. Diplomacy, consensus-building ability and negotiating skills, not a bully approach, will be required.

Only Hiremath, Waters and Hornat bring the desired attributes and objective leadership which are vital for Oro Valley's stability and growth.


Alan Dankwerth, Oro Valley


Blame Melvin, allies for all that's wrong

If anyone is still wondering who Al Melvin really represents in the Arizona State Senate, all doubt was cast aside last week when he supported the payday lending industry and the continuation of their predatory practices in our state.

His vote should surprise no one who has watched Melvin since he was elected. He snaps to immediate attention whenever his Maricopa masters demand his allegiance to their agenda.

Al Melvin's priorities are at odds with the needs and the values of his constituents in District 26. We want a government that works and that focuses on improving the lives of hardworking families. We are baffled by legislators who waste our time pushing for guns in bars, legalizing sparklers and quixotic lawsuits against the federal government.

Melvin and his allies control every branch of government in Phoenix, but their record is one of ignorance and ineptitude. When your child's school has to cut staff and increase class sizes, blame Al Melvin. When you wonder why budgets can't be passed by statutory deadlines and more services are whacked to the bone, blame Al Melvin. When you drive across Arizona and can't find an open rest stop, blame Al Melvin. When our state parks start to close, blame Al Melvin. He is not solely responsible for all that is going wrong in Phoenix, but he votes in lockstep with those who are calling the shots and could care less that his record is at odds with what his constituents want and deserve.

Fortunately, we can end Melvin's reign of arrogance and error. We can vote for Cheryl Cage. She is talking about sound fiscal policy, support for public education and strengthening small business. Cage is a pragmatist and a problem-solver who would vote based on our agenda, not that of the Maricopa County legislative leadership.

Rex Scott, Tucson


Sun Shuttle spends first, thinks second

Sun Shuttle has buses around town which are frequently empty, but the 402 sits empty while the driver just waits.

If a private company had put untold millions into bus routes, they would have done careful market research. But with public money, don't think first, just spend.

People in this area are lifelong car lovers, many are retired, very few work, and resent such a colossal waste of their tax money.

Rita Fjelseth, Oro Valley


Coyote Run provides a great service

 As a Tucson resident since 1979, and disabled for eight years, I have great appreciation for Coyote Run, and the courteous service it provides.

It allows me the luxury to attend M.S. support meetings, physical therapy, social senior meetings at my church, socialization with other riders and guided tours through neighborhoods I never knew existed.

When I first used Coyote Run, I'd stand at the end of my driveway and walk up the steps of the van. Now Coyote Run pulls right up to my front door, lowers a secured ramp, so my walker, cane and I can go out. Please know what a great service Coyote Run provides.

Mary Motto, Oro Valley


Chop up old tires, mix with asphalt

 Nancy Young Wright was getting close with her ideas. Then along comes Jack L. Ransom with his ideas.

"Burying" the tires can still damage the water supply. There will be several more expensive steps to be taken: 1. Land must be purchased; 2. Heavy equipment to be acquired; 3. People to be hired to dig the hole, bring in the tires, cover the hole; 4. Erect a security fence; 5. Landscape the eyesore.

Why not just chop up the tires and mix it in with asphalt for road paving? This has been done in other places around the USA.

Gene Drury, Marana

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