Letters to the editor from the Sept. 17 issue

Palin is a new Dan Quayle, in lipstick

Twenty years ago, Dan Quayle was plucked out of obscurity to solidify the Republican base behind George Bush Sr.

He was a staunch, eerily conservative VP candidate who appealed to a broad swath of American fundamentalists. Today, we’ve been dealt a new Dan Quayle, but in lipstick.

Sarah Palin has the same uncompromising fundamentalist stances that appeal to a small but highly mobilized population of our country. They are commonly referred to many circles as “the crazies.” They love her. And they loved Dan Quayle. They always love people who agree with them, simply because they agree with them when most people do not.

Do you know the difference between Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin? And I don’t mean lipstick. The real difference is that George Bush Sr., didn’t have to hide behind Dan Quayle.

We must remember we have a Presidential candidate there at the Sarah Palin rallies — a candidate who is dodging issues. John McCain, like his insta-celebrity running mate, dodges the issues and refused to talk real policy. It is classic evasive maneuvering, meant to dupe the people.

Peter J. Burns


If Captain Al is retired, his signs should indicate it

Republican candidate Al Melvin’s political signs include the word Captain, as though he is still on active duty with some branch of the military.

However if he is retired, (he should use) the word “retired” followed by identification of which branch of the armed forces he was serving at the time of his retirement, for example: Cpt, USA (ret.).

Otherwise, he should stop using the rank “Captain,” as it is misleading, unless it is intended to be used similar to the comic book character, Captain Marvel, or the star of children’s TV show, Captain Kangaroo. Then I guess Captain Al is OK.

Jerry Lujan


He’s no longer a skeptic about the power of vortices

While I’ve been to Sedona, but not to any of the vortexes, I have been to the Oregon Vortex, in Gold Hill, Ore.

It was explained there that a vortex is a magnetic anomaly in the Earth that is strong enough to bend light. There was an old structure there, built in the late 1800s, by the surveyor that discovered the place. It has since slid down the hill a bit, and is twisted out of shape.

I, and the other tourists, were told that in order to build anything flat and level in the area, surveys have to be taken every six hours for 30 days and then be averaged. They have visual demonstrations of the phenomena there that truly boggle the mind.

I also have tinnitus that has been constantly ringing in my ears for at least the last 20 years. While I can’t say that it totally disappeared like James’, it did have a very dramatic, although short-lived (a day, at best) reduction.

Whatever a vortex might really be, I am no longer the skeptic that I once was.

Peter Van Keuren


OV dentist works with integrity, skill and compassion

I am a 33-year practicing dentist in the state of Michigan. This is my first letter to any editor, and has taken almost four months to decide to write.

My visits to Tucson began over 20 years ago as part of my yearly teaching responsibilities through the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University. Both my wife and I fell in love with Tucson and now own a second home there. Both of our parents retired there almost 16 years ago and remain there still.

As my father practiced dentistry in Michigan for 34 years, I was his dentist until he could no longer travel to Michigan. For the last eight years, his care has been provided by a dentist in Oro Valley whom I met on one of our visits. On one of those visits, I took my father to his dental appointment and found all of the patients in the office were in fact retired dentists. All of us there had a great spontaneous dental meeting.

Earlier this year my father-in-law phoned seeking my opinion regarding proposed dental procedures recommended to him. As it was somewhat extensive, I advised my father-in-law to seek a second opinion from my father’s dentist. This he did and was advised that no treatment was necessary at all. This was not a surprise to me, as my father-in-law is 92 years old and suffered a lower brain stem stroke over 20 years ago, leaving him unable to eat or drink orally.

Throughout my father’s career and most of mine, dentistry enjoyed the position as the second most trusted profession. In the last 10 years, it has slipped to the eighth. This is a source of heartache for those of us who love the profession and seek to serve it well.

I would like to thank Dr. Kevin Haley of Oro Valley publicly for serving the profession with great skill, compassion, and most of all the integrity the profession deserves.

I would also state that Dr. Haley and I have no relationship outside his professional relationship with our Tucson family members and our mutual love for our profession, which provides us such a wonderful way to make a difference in the lives of others.

Yours truly,

Dr. Gary R. Distefano, DDS

Assistant Clinical Faculty

Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Member of the Sports Medical Team at MSU

OV needs more jobs, open space, not more people

Foreclosures in Tucson have quadrupled in 2008. Sharply tumbling home prices are battering our banks, affecting our whole economy. The Arizona economy is in recession due to a marked contraction in home building.

Yet massive home building is what Oro Valley seems determined to expedite. Our expanding northern border will make room for Arroyo Grande, where almost 16,000 new housing units will double OV’s population.

These findings and economic forecasts do not bode well for those who would build and sell new homes, so why is Oro Valley wading into the deep waters of development amidst job losses, slumping consumer spending, and sagging house sales?

A Master Plan Community is in the planning stages, but our town staff seems consumed with bringing it to fruition as soon as possible. An amendment to the General Plan could be passed as early as November and if passed by the Council will legally enable the construction of campus office parks, thousands of residences and even high rises.

In a 9,000+ acre area with 68 percent set aside as a wildlife linkage, a futuristic city-like “better half” of Oro Valley is envisioned. For some, such creative leaps are an exciting chance to innovate, but in this economic climate, speculation is suspect and many consider it a grandiose illusion.

Who are these homes for and how will the TOV manage all of this? Can our staff, administration, computer system, fire department and police department cope with a city twice as large? Can we afford it?

At the Sept. 4 public meeting, Charles Dean, Pima County consultant was quoted as saying, “The Village Center …could be entirely as office park. It’s flexible in terms of its land use.” Oro Valley’s Planning and Zoning Chairman Doug McKee suggested more biotechnology. “If this technology takes off, we’re going to need a lot more space.” He described the industry’s need for privacy and space.

If we do annex these 14 square miles, why not eliminate the 16,000 housing units? Why not use the entire area for campus office parks, greatly reducing the building density, need for water and burden on roads? Natural park-like settings advocated by conservationists and citizens can add to low-rise green buildings to aesthetically blend with the scene.

What Oro Valley needs is more good jobs and open space, not more people.

Chet Oldakowski

Oro Valley

Invest in OV’s future with ‘yes’ vote on park bonds

Now that the primary elections are over and we have a clear view of the choices before us, I believe it is an appropriate time to look at a very important Oro Valley issue.

At stake is whether we move forward as a progressive community or slide backwards. It’s about providing our children, grandchildren, and adults of all ages with sufficient recreational facilities. It’s about being a Community of Excellence versus a town of mediocrity.

What is at stake is whether we choose to invest a few dollars a month in our future or spend the same amount, or more, on gasoline to transport our kids to recreational facilities outside of Oro Valley. I am speaking of Naranja Park. On Nov. 4, 2008, or before if you receive a ballot by mail, you will be asked to answer a simple but powerful question. Do you want to build a park that will meet the clearly defined needs of our community, or continue to fall behind as our community grows?

Senior softball teams need to travel to Tucson and beyond because there aren’t enough fields. Young boys and girls have to be transported to fields many miles away to play a game of soccer. Little League teams are woefully short of needed fields. Requests for ramadas and picnic facilities are turned down weekly because there just aren’t enough to satisfy the demand.

The status quo is simply unacceptable for our town. I urge you to vote yes on the Naranja Park bond issue. And when it is approved, we can hold our heads high and point to this as an investment in the future of our great community rather than be blamed for not acting.

Don Cox

Oro Valley

Take a close look at Palin’s ‘character’

You call yourself “The Voice of Marana, Oro Valley and Northwest Tucson,” while you print radical right-winger Emil Franzi every issue, but never a liberal viewpoint, unless a reader is lucky enough to have a letter no longer than 350 words (about 1/2 a Franzi column) accepted.

Shouldn’t that be “The Voice of Arch-Conservative Marana . . . . etc.?”

As to presidential qualifications, neither how “tough” is a particular job, or “kicking butt” could be considered presidential qualification outside the macho, simplistic world of the neo-cons. That attitude and judgment  has delivered us the Iraq quagmire, a strengthened Iran, and an increasingly bellicose Russia emulating the butt-kicking example of the radical right.

Sen. Obama has pre-politics experience which conservatives alternately ignore or denigrate. After earning his law degree, Sen. Obama went to the poor south side of Chicago as a community organizer. Conservatives preach “pull yourself up by the bootstraps without government help,” so they should laud Sen. Obama for that, but they lambasted him at the Republican convention. Perhaps the wealthy, elite conservatives, while preening in their machismo, really are afraid that ordinary people might have to be reckoned with if they organize in communities or (shudder) labor unions.

Conservatives always praise character, so consider Gov. Palin’s. This pork barrel queen says she fought against the infamous Bridge to Nowhere. Actually, she lobbied for it. She turned against it only after learning that Alaska would have to pony up some of its own money to build it.

She says she profitably sold the state jet on e-bay, which is also untrue.  She listed it on e-bay, but nobody bought it there. It was later sold through a broker, for a loss.

As governor she billed Alaskans per diem travel expenses while she was staying in her own home.  Character?

Respectfully submitted,

Grant Winston


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