Letters to the editor published in the February 10, 2010, edition of The Explorer.
JFK, Barry would not be welcomed in today's parties
Re: Emil Franzi's column "There is no viable third way."
I came of age during Barry Goldwater's run for the presidency, and he is the one who ignited my passion for politics. I left the Republican Party when the social /religious right hijacked it and its platform. They also co-opted the term "conservative," which they are not. Any one who wants to use the power of government to advance their agenda is just like the progressives on the other end they love to hate so much.
As Emil suggests, I should have stayed and fought for the soul of the party. I also found no home in the Democratic Party, and have been an independent for a number of years. I believe that the rise of the Tea Party movement can possibly take back the soul of the party if, like Emil suggests, it is not hijacked by the fringe elements that hang around the edges of both parties.
A final thought: It is a shame that John F. Kennedy and Barry Goldwater would not be welcome in their respective parties today. If JFK uttered that famous phrase today, he would be tarred and feathered and run out of the Democratic Party on a rail.
Barry Goldwater would not be welcome in the Republican Party of today. In fact, he might not even want to be a part of what it has become.
Don Hartman, Tucson
No tax increase? That's not what info indicates
In the Feb. 3 issue, page 14, of The Explorer, Russell L. Clanagan wrote about the Marana School District override. He stated: "It is important for the voters to understand that there will not be any tax increase in 2010 or 2011 as a result of a successful override vote."
On the same day The Explorer arrived, we received a Information Pamphlet and Sample Ballot clarifying issues concerning the Marana School District. On page 7, Proposition No. 400, paragraph three, it reads as follows: "Any budget increase authorized by this election shall be entirely funded by a levy of taxes upon the taxable property within this school district for the year for which adopted and for six subsequent years. …"
Aren't Mr. Clanagan's comments in direct contrast to the actual facts? Further, since taxpayers are also feeling the effects of the declining economy, a continuation of the 10 percent override would be more likely to pass than asking the 15 percent.
Otto T. Gal, Marana
Can't fight City Hall; can elect proper occupants
Yesterday I received my new property tax valuation, up more than 9 percent over the previous year. Yet, recent sales of my neighbors' properties show that property values continue to decline. Perhaps many of you are having the same experience.
There is something that we can do in order to protect ourselves. Coincidentally, last week, The Explorer published all of the candidates' views on starting a property tax here in Oro Valley. The results are in. Only Mark Finchem and Don Emmons came out categorically against initiating a property tax.
Likewise, among the three mayoral candidates, only Mike Zinkin has come out against starting such a tax here.
We can't fight City Hall, but we can still elect the right people to be in it.
Ray Lewandowski, Oro Valley
We should be appreciating our good climate fortune
The great climate change debate is teetering on a cusp. where it can either become a primary political feature of the 21st century or it can decay to a forgotten and unlamented decade of mass confusion.
Scientists come in many varieties. They are seldom in agreement on controversial topics, and they hardly ever take a vote among themselves to discern truth. The hard sciences, led by geologists, point to copious evidence in the ground that demonstrates a continual natural climate change. The soft sciences like climatology have copious computer models that indicate dubious human effects. My point of view is from a lifelong career in aerospace engineering.
The politicization of anthropogenic climate change comes about because of its impacts on civilization and its lack of any hard physical proof. In news reports, 10/30/10, there is a story from Al-Jezeera that Osama bin Laden has hijacked the debate by claiming that the American economy should be broken to prevent all the world's climatic disasters. So there should be no lingering doubt of the severe economic and political consequences of the climate change debate.
Natural climate change is due to the fact we are living near the end a 10,000 year long interglacial warming period that has enabled mankind to build great civilizations in lieu of huddling in caves and hunting mammoths in the snow. The melting ice is causing the oceans to rise so as to swamp the land types that should never have been populated, like river deltas, wetlands, and beaches. Early in our current interglacial period the entire area of the present North Sea was a vast low-lying plain where herds of herbivores grazed. Its flooding has not stopped.
The current interglacial warming period is only the latest of four previous periods over the past million years. Each interglacial lasted around 10,000 years and then yielded each time to more than 100,000 years of Big Ice.
We should be appreciating our good fortune. Rain dance superstition based on phony guilt is unbecoming of a 21st century society.
Peter Vokac, Tucson
More on speech rights of corporations
When I first heard about the Supreme Court giving some rights to corporations to openly promote or oppose candidates for public office, I was a little skeptical about how many First Amendment rights a corporation could have.
After thinking about it for a while, I remembered one of the principles that brought on the original revolt against England: no taxation without representation. If a corporation is "person" enough to be taxed, then it is not unreasonable to think of it as being "person" enough to advocate either for or against a candidate.
Then I also found out that not all corporations were excluded under the challenged law: CBS, NBC, Fox News and a host of other media corporations were free to make their voices heard. Some will say they are excluded because of freedom of the press.
Fine. Then all other corporations can make their views know by way of their press agencies, and the playing field is even.
The law, as it was implemented, did little to change the advocacy of corporations anyway, as the "527 groups" were put together to skirt the law.
Andy Woodward, Tucson
Unions aren't voters, either; let's fix law
Unions and corporations are not voters. The recent Supreme Court verdict allows considerable participation in our elections by both of these entities. I think that this is faulty logic, to consider them as persons, like you and I.
Much has been said about what influence corporations could wield, little about unions. Remember, public employee union membership exceeds private union membership. These are the firemen, police, teachers and other government workers. It goes without saying that that many of the members and all of the union bosses will support any legislator who will increase the size of government, thereby increasing the number of members, dues collected etc.
Legislation can be passed to correct this ruling. We just have to be sure it includes all corporations and all unions.
Tom Vana, Marana
Enough stuff on towers in Oro Valley
On Dec. 10, I received a very small white post card from the zoning board or Oro Valley announcing that a company named Crown Communications, represented by Clearwire, is requesting approval of a Tier 1 minor communications facility, located at 55 E. Tangerine Road in Oro Valley.
They are proposing to install three panel antennas and microwave dishes on an existing 75-foot pole located within the Tucson Electric Power substation property. The purpose is to provide high-speed wireless internet service from Clearwire.
I have lived behind the TEP Substation for almost 10 years. It now has several cell towers from various companies, and there is a cell tower less than 500 feet from my bedroom window. It has become a field of towers since I have moved into my home.
Who stands to benefit from the profit of allowing more cell towers and microwave dishes to be added to this substation property, and where does it end? How much equipment are they willing to expose us to? If these cell towers are so safe, why don't they put them in their own back yards instead of mine?
We have been granted a meeting to be held Thursday, Feb. 18, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Oro Valley Town Hall, to let our wishes be known. Make it a priority because if you don't, this and more cell towers may find there way on this same piece of property in the near future. Please come to our meeting next Thursday night. Thank you.
Marjorie L. Moody, Oro Valley